Getting out of the weather

Posted by JParker
Feb 13, 2010
I have two golden retriever brothers about 2 years old. They reside outside and I have two igloo dog houses for them to sleep. I have put the pet wood chips in each, substantial for a comfortable lay. My problem is they will not go inside of them unless I throw treats inside. Then they come out as soon as they have consumed them. Rain, sleet, snow or freezing temperatures they do not go in them. They do come onto our porch sometimes to get out of the weather but most time they lay on the ground near the house or on the stoop that has no cover. I have read that crates serve as a safe place for some dogs. How can I persuade my dogs to like and utilize their igloos as a safe place and for shelter?
Posted by kjd
Feb 13, 2010

I am a believer in indoor dogs. Goldens are people dogs and it sounds as if they want to be as close to you as possible -- thus lying close to the house. Judging from my dog, I would also say that near the house is pretty good protection from lots of the weather. During our recent blizzards, she did most of her outdoor activity right near the house.

Any reason why they cannot come in?

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Feb 13, 2010
Hi Jerry,

I think jkd is right. It is not like your GRs don't like the igloo houses but they want to be included in the human beings' activities. They are very people oriented dogs, in fact, they were originally bred as hunting dogs but they are one of the most popular companion/family dogs nowadays.

I don't know why you have to keep your dogs outside and also if you have ever lived with dogs together inside but it makes a tremendous difference in the relationship between you and your dogs.

How long have you had the GRs? Have they been outside all of their life so far? Have you recently adopted them?

> I have read that crates serve as a safe place for some dogs.

I think this means being in a crate inside the house, not in a crate outdoors.

If you really have to keep them outside, how about setting the igloos closer to the house and putting some of your old sweaters or old shoes, etc. I would go inside myself with a cup of hot coffee every day and spend some time with them until they get used to it.

Anyway, I am sure they love to spend more time with you...
Posted by LetsPlay
Feb 14, 2010
Hi Jerry,

perhaps your two boys don't like the smell of the igloo? Dogs have very sensitive noses and something might put them off.

Our dogs have dog houses outside, so that they can get away from the elements if they wish to do so. We put old blankets and sheepskins in there and I guess they like the smell and therefore sleep in there at times.

Our Golden Retriever much rather sleeps outside, either in his house or close to the house, sometimes in the middle of the lawn, than inside.

He has so much fur and goes swimming even when half the lake is frozen. I think he finds it too warm in the house. This is his choice. I like my dogs close to me and our little labrador girl does sleep in the house. On warm nights when we leave the back door open she will come in at night and sleep in her bed either in the bedroom or in the living room, but there is no way that our golden boy would do that.

Even in winter he prefers to be outside, if we ask him to come inside he doesn't look comfortable and it seems like he can't wait to get back outside.
Meanwhile our labrador will be baking in the heat of the fire place.
He is very social and we spend a lot of time with him, so it's not that he doesn't want to be with us.

In your case I would suggest to observe whether your dogs are happy outside or whether they really crave your attention and want to be close to you. If they seem happy and relaxed then that's good. They will know when they get too cold and they will look for shelter. Like I said our golden boy swims when the lake is frozen, he doesn't seem to feel the cold, but he certainly does feel the heat.

Do your dgs come into the house at all? I agree with MaxHollyNoah and kjd that it is certainly very nice for dogs to be close to their family (and the other way around of course!)