All dogs need places that they can consider safe and secure. These places are normally consistent, well defined, and often include some sort of containment. Some of the obvious ones are under the bed, at a corner of a room, on the far sofa, or a dog bed by the fireplace. There are obviously many others, these are just examples that come to mind.
The one common thread between all these locations is that your dog has picked these locations. You may think that they were your idea, but that is not the case. Yes, you may have fed him by the fireplace or bonded through playtime by the sofa, but that did not create a safe place. They were simply actions that you performed that associated a place as safe. Your dog was the final decision maker concerning the appropriate real estate.
So, let’s talk about dog houses for a moment. Dog Houses are the “classic place” we get for our dog to hang out in the back yard. We believe that they will naturally love them because, if we have houses, they should have houses too. I am not sure where that is written down, but it isn’t.
A dog house is just “another place” around our home. It may be inviting to our dog because it is enclosed from the elements and he is the only one that goes inside, but it does not naturally say “Home”.
Remember how our dog loves to be under the bed, on the sofa, etc.? Those are safe places for him. We need to have him associate the (his) dog house as a safe place as well. Remember how we may feed our dog in a place they feel safe or play with them in their happy spot?
We need to socialize and educate our dog that the dog house is also a happy spot and safe place for them. There are multiple steps that we need to perform to make this take place. Robin and I have a great dog training article that will quickly transform the dog house that you brought home from the pet store into your dog’s happy and safe place. Please check out our article titled “How Do I Get My Dog to Like His Dog House?”