If your dog won’t let you leave the house, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why doesn’t my dog let me leave the house? Common reasons why your dog won’t let you leave the house are separation anxiety, hunger, an issue with the room it stays in, learning that the behavior is rewarded or boredom.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there is a number of things you can do about it.

Reasons why your dog won’t let you leave the house

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Separation anxiety

The reason could be that it has separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and it gets anxious when it is left alone. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since you have been leaving it for longer. It would also be more likely if it starts getting anxious when you normally leave home. Signs of being anxious could include crying or pacing.

Hunger

The cause might also be that it is hungry. This would be more likely if it usually does not let you leave when it has not already eaten but it does let you leave when it has eaten. In this case, it could help to try feeding it before leaving instead of after arriving home and to ensure that it is getting the right amount of calories.

An issue with the room it stays in

Another possible cause is that there is an issue with the room that it normally stays in. The room might be too hot, cramped or noisy. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it has to stay in a certain room.

Boredom

Another possible cause is that it gets bored when you are away. This would be more likely if it does not let you leave when has not already gotten exercise. In this case, it might help to try and exercise it before leaving home and to make sure that it is getting the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.

Fearfulness

It could be the case that something has been causing it to become fearful when you are not around. Things that might make it afraid could include noises like construction works or possibly someone else or another pet being around that it does not like.

If it does seem to be fear that is causing it to not let you leave, it would help to try and figure out what it might be afraid of and to remove it from its environment if possible. Other options would be to have your dog stay in a different area or to do desensitization training. 

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been behaving that way.

If it has always done it

If your dog used to let you leave in the past, it would help to consider what else happened when it first stopped letting you leave. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior is rewarded, a change in its diet or another sudden change.

What is different when your dog does let you leave the house

If it does let you leave sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when it does let you leave. For example, if it does let you leave when it has already eaten, it could be the case that it does not let you leave when it is hungry.

What to do about your dog not letting you leave the house

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not. 

Ensure it is getting the right diet

As was also mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been looking sad due to being hungry. It would help to ensure that your dog has been able to get enough calories and that it has been eating the correct foods. 

Give it exercise

If it is healthy, it would also help to ensure that it is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed. Giving it exercise before leaving should also help to get it to be more likely to sleep while you are away.

Ensure the room it stays in is ideal

It would also help to make sure that the room it stays in allows it to sleep easily. Things to do would be to make sure it’s not too hot, bright or noisy.

Get help

If your dog has started doing it suddenly and you cannot figure out why or it has been behaving abnormally, it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out the possibility of it being due to illness or injury.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.