5 Tips for Successfully Training Your Dog to Use Their Kennel Outside

5 Tips for Successfully Training Your Dog to Use Their Kennel Outside

If you're struggling to get your dog to use their kennel outside, you're not alone. In fact, there are many reasons why dogs don't want to use their dog house-more on this later!

It can be a challenge to train your furry friend to use their designated spot, but with a little patience and consistency, you can teach them to do so.

Here are five tips to help you get started.





Choose the Right Size Kennel.


The first step in successfully training your dog to use their kennel outside is to choose the right size kennel. It should be large enough for your dog to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down in, but not so large that they have extra space to use as a bathroom. If the kennel is too big, your dog may be more likely to use one corner as a bathroom and sleep in the other.


Introduce the Kennel Slowly.

When introducing your dog to their new kennel, it’s important to take it slow. Start by placing the kennel in a location where your dog spends a lot of time, such as in the living room or near their bed. Leave the door open and place treats and toys inside to encourage your dog to explore the kennel on their own. Once your dog is comfortable going in and out of the kennel, you can start closing the door for short periods of time while you’re home. Gradually increase the amount of time the door is closed until your dog is comfortable being in the kennel for longer periods of time.


Use Positive Reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement is key when training your dog to use their kennel outside. Reward your dog with treats, praise, and affection every time they successfully use the kennel. This will help them associate the kennel with positive experiences and encourage them to continue using it. Avoid using punishment or negative reinforcement, as this can create fear and anxiety around the kennel and make training more difficult. Remember to be patient and consistent in your training, and your furry friend will be using their kennel outside in no time!


Establish a Routine.

Dogs thrive on routine, so it's important to establish a consistent schedule for using the kennel outside. Take your dog to the kennel at the same time every day, and wait for them to use it before giving them any treats or praise. This will help them understand that using the kennel is a regular part of their routine, and make it easier for them to remember to use it in the future. Stick to your routine even on weekends or days when you're busy, and your dog will quickly learn to rely on their kennel as a safe and comfortable space.


Be Patient and Consistent.

Training your dog to use their kennel outside takes time and patience. It's important to be consistent with your training and not give up if your dog doesn't use the kennel right away. Keep taking them to the kennel at the same time every day, and wait for them to use it before giving them any rewards. If your dog doesn't use the kennel, don't punish them or force them inside. Instead, try again later and continue to be patient and consistent with your training. With time and practice, your dog will learn to use their kennel outside on their own.


Why Don't Some Dogs Use their Kennel?

There could be several reasons why a dog might not want to use their kennel. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  1. Lack of training: If a dog has not been trained to use a kennel, they may not understand that it is a safe and comfortable space for them to be in.

  2. Fear or anxiety: If a dog has had a negative experience with their kennel or feels anxious or fearful about being confined, they may avoid using it.

  3. Physical discomfort: If a kennel is too small, cramped, or uncomfortable, a dog may avoid using it.

  4. Temperature is not right: Some kennels are too hot during an Australian summer and too cold in winter. Consider Kennels with adequate shelter and shade in summer and add some warm bedding in winter.
  5. Medical issues: Dogs with medical issues such as arthritis, joint pain, or other physical conditions may find it difficult to get in and out of a kennel.

  6. Lack of incentives: If a dog does not associate their kennel with positive experiences such as treats, toys, or rewards, they may not be motivated to use it.

  7. Boredom: If a dog is not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation, they may avoid their kennel as they associate it with being left alone.

  8. Separation anxiety: Dogs with separation anxiety may become distressed when they are separated from their owner and may avoid using their kennel as they associate it with being left alone. Read our next tip on how to help with this!


Our Top Tip For Getting Your Dog to Use Their Kennel is....

Add a piece of your clothing inside their kennel! Preferably something that you have worn that smells of you. If you place this item of clothing on a snug dog bed or dog mattress inside their kennel you may just have what your dog needs, a little reminder of you!  Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell and are able to recognise the scent of their owners. A piece of clothing that smells like their owner may be comforting and familiar to the dog. This technique is popular for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety or that may be transitioning from sleeping inside to outside in a dog kennel as it alleviates their anxiety. 

Good luck!


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