If your dog does not like being outside, 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 to get it to like being outside more.

So, why does my dog not like being outside? Common reasons why dogs do not like being outside are thinking that they will not be allowed back inside, separation anxiety, other animals being outside, hot or cold weather or injury.

There are actually many reasons why your dog might not like being outside and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Reasons why your dog does not like being outside

Below are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

It thinks it won’t be allowed back inside

The cause could be that it thinks it will not be allowed to come back inside. This would be more likely if you tend to shut the door, when it goes outside, and do not open the door for a number of hours. In this case, it could help to temporarily leave the door open so that it can come back inside when it wants to or to try to make sure to open the door back up when it wants to come back inside. 

Separation anxiety

The cause could be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it does go outside when you go outside and if it shows signs of anxiety when you are about to leave it. 

Coldness, heat, or wetness

The cause might also be that it thinks that it is too hot, cold or wet outside. This would be more likely if it does go outside when the weather is nice but not when the weather is not nice.

Other animals

The cause might also be that it hears other animals outside. This would be more likely if it does go outside during the day but it is hesitant to go outside at night when other animals are more likely to be in the backyard.

It hears noises

The cause might also be that it hears noises outside. This would be more likely if it only refuses to go outside when it is noisy outside. 

Injury

If your dog does not like going out for a walk, the cause might also be that it has an injury. This would be more likely if your dog has stopped wanting to go for walks suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being injured. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why it has been doing it.

What else happened when your dog first started behaving that way

If your dog did like being outside in the past, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started avoiding going outside. If it stopped going outside suddenly, it might be due to things such as making it stay outside for a long time or something happening to it while it was outside. 

What is different when your dog does go outside

If it does go outside sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when it does go outside. For example, if it does go outside when you are also outside, it would suggest that it does it due to separation anxiety or thinking that it won’t be allowed back inside if it is outside on its own.

Its body language

It would also help to consider the body language it shows when it does it.

If it shows signs of being anxious by doing things such as crying, avoiding eye contact and making itself appear smaller, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to something causing it to be anxious such as being fearful that it won’t be allowed back inside.

What to do about your dog not liking being outdoors

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

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage the behaviors you want to see by rewarding your dog when it shows signs of displaying them. To use it to get your dog to be more willing to go outside, you could go outside and reward it whenever it shows signs of coming out with you.

Don’t force it

If your dog often has to wait a long time to come back inside, it would likely help to allow it to come back inside whenever it might want to. It would also likely help to avoid forcing it to go outside since it will likely just cause it to be more hesitant to go outside. Instead, it would help to reward it whenever it shows signs of being willing to go outside.

Get help

If you cannot get your dog to stop doing it or it has been behaving very unusually, it would likely help to get the help of a professional dog behaviorist in your area. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to see what you can do to get it to stop.

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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.