Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Help for Dogs Who Won’t Come Back Inside

| 2 Comments

Your dog will not come back inside. The more of a rush you’re in, the more of a catch-me-if-you-can bozo he is. This dog behavior upsets you. Your stress is completely obvious to your dog, which makes it even less likely he’ll come through the door.

How does this happen? There are many ways; the most common is cause-and-effect. The dog comes back inside in the morning then you leave you to leave or your crate him then leave. Or that’s the math he does in his canine mind. Simple solution: Don’t come back inside.

Or, when he dances around, you go get a treat to attempt to lure him in. In his mind: dancing out of reach=treats. So, unintentionally, he’s been trained to dance around out of reach.

No matter how it started, let’s just fix it. This is a fix that works for most people and dogs, most of the time. (Oh, and you can play it now to prevent this from ever being a problem, too.)

You’ll need:

Here’s what you do:

  • Put your dog on leash.
  • Let him outside (hold on to the leash!)
  • Close the door
  • Open the door.
  • Say your dog’s Name
  • THEN squeak the toy like crazy!
  • When your dog rockets to you (and most will) – toss the toy inside your home.
  • As your dog rushes past you, close the door so he can’t rush back out.
  • Praise wildly and play with him for 20-30 seconds.
  • Then retrieve the toy and stop playing. Stand still. Look at a wall or the floor but not at your dog – in every way become totally boring.
  • Wait a 10-20 seconds or so and let him back out as you did before.
  • Repeat.
  • After doing this a couple of times, end the session. Put the toy away, out of sight. The ONLY time he gets it is when he comes in from the outside.
  • KEY: Squeak after you say his name. Not before and not at the same time – after.
  • When you and your dog get good at this, you can move up to a 10 foot longline. When that is going well, try off leash.
  • Have fun with your dog! Your joy and this game will be irresistible to him.
  • Oh, and during the training time, remove all other squeaky toys from his reach. The only one he gets is for coming inside.

Here is a favorite squeaky toy for such games: The Bad Cuz. Why? Just becuz…sorry, love a pun. Anyway – it bounces but doesn’t roll too far, has a sturdy squeak and most dogs seem to like it.

Bad Cuz squeaky dog toy Image
JW Pet Company Bad Cuz Dog Toy, Medium (Colors Vary)

  • Hard natural rubber ball with feet
  • Tough squeaker
  • Formidable bounce
  • Available in a variety of colors

Buy on Amazon

All Good and Bad Cuz Toys if you want to see some options.

Give it a try then let me know how things are going!

2 Comments

  1. I just rescued a black lab/bird dog mix that is two years old and I’m scared to let him off lease so he can run. I desperately want to let him and I know he desperately wants to but I’m afraid he won’t come back when I call for him to.
    I’ve only had him for a few weeks.
    Any suggestions?

    • Good for you for being concerned. I wrote a book just on coming when called because it is so important and such a challenge: https://amzn.to/2MZK6E4 Get going with training and, until you are solid together, keep him on leash unless you’re in a fenced area.

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