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Background:
My pup is about 10 months old, Lab/Pit mix, had him since he was 5 months. He had a bad start...stray, almost starved to death in the pound. He has serious food aggression issues with the other dogs that he is coming along great with.

The issue I am having with him is that when I try to call him into the house sometimes he won't come in. He will always, almost 100% of the time come running instantly to me when I call him at the park, off leash in the yard, in the house, etc. He has a pretty solid recall, its something we've worked hard on. On occasion, I'll call the dogs inside and he'll stand about 5 feet away from the doorway, rear back almost like a horse and take off back outside. Usually I shut the door, ignore, and try again a short time later, generally with the same results. Eventually he comes in.
I have followed him back out at times in hopes I can get him to come to me outside. Its the weirdest behavior I have ever seen from him...he has his ears pressed back, eyes wide and fearful, tail tucked up. He's terrified. I just don't know why or what the trigger is. I'm baffled. There is no reason for him to be afraid, 90% of the time he walks right back inot the house like its nothing. I don't know what scares him that 10% of the time. Nothing bad has ever happened to him in a house, he's only ever lived in my house (streets and pound before).

Any ideas? Suggestions?
 

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This is common with dogs that have been outside mostly. It could also be something from the past. You can fix this in steps with feeding the way into the house , it will just take some time.

Best , oldhounddog
 

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Seems like there's a huge element of liberty, and confinement. Undoubtedly linked to his past.

The act of coming back into the house probably signifies to him that "the fun" is over. So, provide less reinforcement outside --- and more reinforcement inside.


If you build a history of ie: playing, or feeding with extremely high value treats etc immediately when he comes in ... then he'll be more likely to comply. If it's one of those instances where he's wigged out, don't lure. Be patient and understanding, and let him figure it out on his own. And when he does figure it out WHAMMO party time and a hearty indoor play session. Try to convey somehow that being outside is boring as boring can be, and conversely, being inside is the greatest thing since the invention of sliced bread.

Also ... sounds like .. you following him outside is the actual trigger. Pursuit and prey and all that. So perhaps stop doing it, and find another way.


added: keep in mind that if you close the door and ignore, then he's getting exactly what he wants >> remaining outside. Closing the door and disappearing is very reinforcing in his mind I'm sure. So perhaps stop doing that too.
 

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I had (still have sometimes) the same problem with one of my boys, he didn't have a yard before us and was only outside on a very short leash. we worked on it a few different ways, until recently there were treats whenever they come right away. if there is "wait time" or i have to come off the porch to get them then no treat right away when they come in, but there is always plenty of playtime inside. the only thing we have not gotten over is when someone is walking by. but i am ok with the 98% i get now. the other thing that we worked on was "follow me" outside...you know hold treats and have them follow you around the yard, just by saying "come on" every once in a while..stop and have them sit...wait a few beats...treat...start over again...butyou need to make sure that you go up on the porch and do it too.

hope that helps
 

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Just a thought - for some fearful dogs the problem is not coming inside as much as it is coming through a door way. Is this a possibility - change of enviroment, light to dark, etc?
 

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Seems like there's a huge element of liberty, and confinement. Undoubtedly linked to his past.

The act of coming back into the house probably signifies to him that "the fun" is over. So, provide less reinforcement outside --- and more reinforcement inside.


If you build a history of ie: playing, or feeding with extremely high value treats etc immediately when he comes in ... then he'll be more likely to comply. If it's one of those instances where he's wigged out, don't lure. Be patient and understanding, and let him figure it out on his own. And when he does figure it out WHAMMO party time and a hearty indoor play session. Try to convey somehow that being outside is boring as boring can be, and conversely, being inside is the greatest thing since the invention of sliced bread.

Also ... sounds like .. you following him outside is the actual trigger. Pursuit and prey and all that. So perhaps stop doing it, and find another way.


added: keep in mind that if you close the door and ignore, then he's getting exactly what he wants >> remaining outside. Closing the door and disappearing is very reinforcing in his mind I'm sure. So perhaps stop doing that too.
not if you take all toys/friends with you & leave him out past the time he wants to be out, that's what I do.l & after a couple of times of that, mine always come in whwn called... Plus inside time means feeding time lol.

I dont play wih mine in the house, reindeer games inside isn't allowed... Its never been my bag.
 

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not if you take all toys/friends with you & leave him out past the time he wants to be out, that's what I do.l & after a couple of times of that, mine always come in whwn called... Plus inside time means feeding time lol.

I dont play wih mine in the house, reindeer games inside isn't allowed... Its never been my bag.
I have to admit I have no idea what reindeer games are (other than something in a song about Rudolph). I do play with mine in the house, but the games are not rowdy ones. I teach that recalling outside will be followed by reinforce and treat more times (considerably more) than by playtime is over. So I might call the dog to me, treat and tell them to go play 19 times for the one time I call then and take them in. However, from the original post it sounds like this is more an issue of something bothering the dog about coming in (something skeery) than just not wanting to end play time.
 

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not if you take all toys/friends with you & leave him out past the time he wants to be out, that's what I do.l & after a couple of times of that, mine always come in whwn called... Plus inside time means feeding time lol.

I dont play wih mine in the house, reindeer games inside isn't allowed... Its never been my bag.
I have to admit I have no idea what reindeer games are (other than something in a song about Rudolph). I do play with mine in the house, but the games are not rowdy ones. I teach that recalling outside will be followed by reinforce and release more times (considerably more) than by playtime is over. So I might call the dog to me, treat and tell them to go play 19 times for the one time I call then and take them in. However, from the original post it sounds like this is more an issue of something bothering the dog about coming in (something skeery) than just not wanting to end play time.
 
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