Garden is not a punishment

Posted by Jimmy-Woofer
Feb 20, 2010
Hi all, I have a 10 month old greyhound who lives outdoors (in the garden) but who is allowed inside when I'm at home. Even though he has food and water outside, it is almost impossible to get him outside when I leave for work or at night time. He is very reluctant to go outside, and I think he sees it as a punishment. Any advice would be great.
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Feb 22, 2010
Hi Karen

Although your dog probably doesn't see the actual act of going outside as a punishment, he will be associating being left out there with you leaving. Naturally he doesn't want to go without you and so it is understandable that he is not too keen on being left outside. To desensitize him to you leaving, you will have to stop this negative association. You can do this by putting him outside during the day for short periods of time when you are not going out. Go and fetch him after 5-10 minutes of being outside by herself, so that he will learn that just because she is outside it doesn't necessarily mean that you are leaving the house. It may also be a good idea to provide him with some form of amusement outside to keep him occupied whilst you are gone. This could be a bone or some toys, with a handy tip being some dog food stuffed into a 'kong'. This will distract him from being left behind and make it less of a negative experience. Playing games with him outside, just generally as well as before you leave, will encourage him to relax and show him that good things happen outside, which will make him much more eager to venture out there. When you do have to go, be sure not to turn it into a big deal or make a huge fuss about it. Just give her a pat and then leave her there, just as you would if you were simply going back into the house. He will be less likely to get all wound up and upset this way. Be patient with him, because he has learnt to associate being outside with being left alone so it will take him some time before he gets over the negative association. Keep encouraging him and giving him positive reinforcement outside so that eventually he will come to enjoy being out in the garden.

I hope this helps and all the best with the training!