Dog ignores doghouse

We adopted a dog this spring, the next-door neighbors had courageously abandoned her when they moved. :mad: Really skittish, took over a month until she trusted us. She and her new brother are outside dogs. Both have doghouses. Our new one (Buddy - named before we got close enough to realize it should have been Betty) will not get into her house, and it’s getting cold. There’s a down comforter in there, plus her toys, it’s on the porch with a heat lamp near. This morning she was sleeping in a small pile of leaves on the (cement) porch. We’ve thrown treats in there, made house as nice as we can. What to do?
Edit - both dogs have been fixed, if it makes any difference.

When I was living up in the mountains I got a new puppy in the spring, when winter rolled around he was an outside dog while I was at work so I bought him a nice dog house. He never went near it, to the point that if I put his food and water in the dog house he wouldn’t eat or drink that day. In the end I figured he didn’t mind the freezing temps and the snow so I threw out the dog house. It never made a difference to him.

After that I’d say if they dog is cold they’ll figure out a way to stay warm if they don’t care why should you?

Not all dogs hate the cold. My last dog seen there formed a doughnut of snow on the deck table there every year by lying on it when it snowed. I didn’t leave him out when I went to work but he was happy out there for hours at a time.

We had an airedale who would not go in her dog house. She loved to fetch a ball (for an hour at a time, I had a heck of a pitching arm after a summer with her) and the only way I could get her to go near it is to throw the ball in the dog house.
Then she’d stop outside and stretch her neck in to get the ball.
She’d curl up in leaves or even make a ball in the snow under the eaves and be perfectly content, but wouldn’t go in the dog house.

I guess I’m like the mother who makes you put on a sweater because she’s cold. Oh well, she has a warm place if she needs it. I just hate seeing her on cement when she could have goose down!

Next time you’re playing with her can you sit by the doghouse, then throw her ball in there a couple of times, then have her sit inside and, if lucky, maybe lay down? Just something to get her inside and comfortable with it. Then, if she needs it later she’ll remember.

Put some old tshirts or pyjamas in there with the comforter, so that it smells familiar.

What sort of coat does she have?

She has a few old shirts she stole somewhere, we put those in the house and she took them out.
He coat is rough and pretty long.

Have you trained the dog to perceive the doghouse as its den? I’d start by crate-training the dog. If it was never crate-trained, it’s unlikely to recognize the purpose of the doghouse as a “den.”

Maybe the doghouse is HAUNTED!!!

Maybe she was traumatized somehow in a previous house or house-like container.
Keep putting delicious treats in there, and perhaps her appetite will overcome her aversion.


Try putting the down comforter on the cement and see if she’ll nest in it there. She may not like the closed in feeling of the doghouse.

O just inherited a new old couch and my dog wouldn’t sit on it for a couple weeks. Finally, I put one of her dog blankets on it and she jump right up, curled into a ball, and went to sleep. Now I can’t get her off it. I call it the Vampire Couch of Death because it sucks the life out of you until you become One with the couch.

So, maybe put something that smells like you or the dog in there. Also, stuff a Kong with peanut butter and throw that in there. Maybe if she associates the dog house with Scooby snacks?

Ok, lol. Well it sounds like she knows what she wants. Maybe best to let her figure it out so it doesn’t become a whole battle of wills. If it starts sleeting maybe she’ll go inside or maybe she’ll barge in and cuddle up with her new friend. Some dogs like the cold and snow but most of them don’t really like wet rain. With her coat, she might comfortable.

If she decides she’s unhappy, she’ll let you know.