My Dog Hates Being Outside Alone

Photo by Marek Szturc on Unsplash

Have you ever experienced leaving your dog outside, and he started barking and getting fussy? That behavior is an indication that your dog does not want to be left outside alone, and this could be concerning to you as the owner. You are probably wondering if he is afraid of something outside or it’s just that he does not like it if you are out of his sight. 

There are times that you need to take your dog outdoors, maybe to take it for a walk, have it go potty, or just to get some air. But if your pooch is showing signs that he is not comfortable outside, especially when he is alone, then you need to do something. 

First, let us understand why some dogs do not want to be left outside unattended by their owners. 

4 Big Reasons Why Your Dog Does Not Want To Be Left Outside

[1] Strange noises

You have to take note that a dog’s hearing is more sensitive than that of a human being. A sound that is pleasant to your ears may be scary to your pup. And when you take him outside your house, he may hear different noises, such as construction work, voices of your neighbors, loud music, sounds from vehicles passing by, thunder, fireworks, lawnmowers, as well as other dogs barking. All these could scare your dog and could make him uncomfortable being outside. 

[2] Frightful experiences 

Dogs can also recall bad experiences, and this could be one reason why your poochie is reluctant to being left alone outdoors. It could be that he had a bad encounter with a mean dog in the past. It is also possible that he was bitten by insects in your yard before. Or, it could be that he hurt himself while playing outside. These experiences are retained in his mind and your dog might think that it will happen again that’s why he is uneasy outside. 

[3] New environment 

If you have just moved into a new location, it may take time for your puppy to get used to the new surroundings, that’s why he refuses to be left alone in your yard. He might feel uncertain about the new things that he is seeing outside. 

[4] Old age 

Just like human beings, senior dogs also undergo some physical as well as mental changes, and this could be another reason why your pooch suddenly does not want to be by himself in your yard. 

As a dog go through the natural aging process, his sight tends to blur and he may develop other types of eye problems. This could cause anxiety, which hinders a dog from understanding what is going on in his environment. 

What to do if your dog does not want to be left alone outside? 

 Some dog owners who are having a problem with their dogs not wanting to be left alone outside implement punishments, which is wrong. You must first determine the reason why your pup refuses to be outdoors so you can take actions. 

According to Animal Humane Society, the best solution to help your dog overcomes its fear to be left alone outside is through a process called desensitization. This means that you must gradually introduce your pet to your yard. You should never force him to stay outside because this will worsen his fear. 

Desensitization may be a long process, but you really have to be patient in order for you to be able to help your dog out. After all, as the owner, you want nothing but the best for your dog. 

Here are things that you can do: 

  • If you think that it is the noise outside that is making your dog uncomfortable to be in your yard, then what you can do first is to simply open your front door while your pet is still inside your home. Observe if he will step outside. If he does, then well and good. But if not, you can shut the door after a few minutes and you can try again some other time. 

It will also help a lot if you take your dog out early in the morning when the neighborhood is still quiet. If he refuses to walk outside, you can carry him. You and your dog can stay outside for a few minutes. If you notice that he is getting anxious or restless, then you can take him back inside. Do this again the following morning until he gets used to being outdoors. You need to assure and let your dog feel that he is safe outside, and the noise won’t do him any harm. 

  • Take your dog out for a walk on a daily basis. On the first day, you can do this for about 15 to 20 minutes. Maybe you can just go around the block once or twice. The next day, you can prolong the walk. Doing this will slowly make your dog comfortable with being outside. Sooner or later, you can already leave it alone in your yard without any issues. 
  • You should also teach your puppy how to socialize so he will be comfortable enough when taking him outdoors. He would know how to behave around people and other dogs. He will also be comfortable even if he is by himself. 

It is highly recommended that you train your pup how to socialize at an early age, because once he gets older, you might have a challenge doing this. You can expect that it is a lot easier to teach a puppy than an older dog. 

  • If you have moved to a new home, then it is important that you introduce your pet to the different areas of the house as well as that of the yard. Allow your canine to mark its territory. You need to give him the assurance too that the new place that you are living in now is safe. 

Again, the whole idea of desensitization is to slowly introduce your dog to the outside world until such time that he gets comfortable with it. You should never force or rush your pet during the process. 

5 useful tips to make your dog love going outside

Desensitization is the most effective way to make your dog love the outdoors. It is a process that requires you to be very patient with your dog until such time that he is able to overcome his fear. You should never give up on him. 

Aside from the things that we have mentioned above, here are other things that can make it easier for you to make your dog love going outside

Use treats 

Be creative when giving treats to your puppy. Since you want him to go outside and be comfortable being there, you can make a treat trail that goes from inside your home to your yard. 

For this to be more effective, you should use your dog’s most favorite treats. Sooner or later, he will be looking forward to this. 

Use pet toys 

Aside from treats, you can also utilize toys to encourage your puppy to go outside and stay there for a little while even by himself. You can create a trail, or you can also scatter the toys starting from your front door and all over your yard. 

Feed your dog outside 

Instead of feeding your pup inside your home all the time, you should allow it to enjoy his meals once in a while outside too. Start by placing his bowl next to your front door. The next time, you can do this in your deck or porch. Once he gets used to it, you can already place the dish completely outside your home. 

You can create an outdoor feeding area.  Make sure, though, that the station is comfortable enough. A perfect spot would be close to the trees so it won’t be too hot. 

Introduce Outdoor Activities 

Aside from walking, there are other outdoor activities that you can do with your dog. Play with him as this is a good way to make him feel safe outside. 

Avoid the leash

Some dogs are uneasy when put on a leash for an extended period of time. Therefore, you have to avoid it. Allow your pet to run around and explore your yard. But to be on the safe side, make sure that your property is fenced so the dog can’t go out on the streets. 

Top 2 Things You must Not Do If Your Dog Does Not Want To Go Outside

You can definitely help your dog overcome its fear of going outside through proper training. It could take days or even months. That is why you need to be very patient. 

If your dog is reluctant to stay outside, avoid doing the following: 

Use Force 

Forcing your puppy to get out is not advisable at all as this will only cause more trauma. Instead, help him to overcome his fear and give him enough time to do so. 

Punish 

You should never yell or hurt your pet if he does not want to go outside. Punishment is another form of forcing your canine to do something that he is scared of.