Refusing To Come Back Inside Once The Door Is Opened

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by baldgeezer, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. baldgeezer Member


    Wonder if anyone can help? I've got a lovely 7 month old border collie called Lexi. We've got an annoying issue with her where once she has done her business in the garden or been playing for a while, we ask her to come in. She comes straight away but then sits by the open door and won't come in. Eventually we can get her in with some treats. What is especially odd is if we leave her our there for a while and she wants to come in herself, she will bark and scrape at the door - we then open the door and she just sits there! It's too cold to leave it open so we close it again and she barks and scrapes again - so we open it and she still sits there.

    Any suggestions on how to train her to come in once the door is opened?

    MaryK likes this.

  2. Mutt Experienced Member

    Does she get enough exercise to get rid of her energy?
    It can be that she wants to stay outside becuse she has too much energy.
    I can't really give you a way to get her inside other than letting her deside on her own (opening the door when she is in front of it) or using treats.
    MaryK likes this.
  3. baldgeezer Member

    hiya - yes she gets plenty of exercise ;-) It's really odd - she will still do this if it is pouring down with rain! I can only think that something has spooked her in the past and she is wary of coming in. If I place a treat on the floor and walk into the kitchen generally she will come in - but if we stand there by the door (because we want to close it as there is a howling gale coming in!) she won't budge.
    MaryK likes this.
  4. Jean Cote Administrator

    Sounds like she is training you to give her treats. ;) Kidding aside, is she scared when you bring her in or is she trying to get you to go outside with her?
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  5. Dogster Honored Member

    Let's not take that out of question. You may have a point. Maybe she won't go through the door unless she gets treats...

    Do you think she could be scared of the door? When she comes through the door, look at her and see if she is showing signs of fear: ears back, tail is down or tucked in between her legs, head down, etc. If so, you could spend a couple of days just getting her used to walking inside and back outside through the open door.:)

    She may want you to come outside and play with her, as Jean said. When you let her outside, do you play with her or do you just leave her and let her play by herself?
    southerngirl and MaryK like this.
  6. Pawbla Experienced Member

    I'll go with her wanting you to come out. I know a few dogs who will bark at your door and then wait for you to go outside (like Hosen, among others). She only sits? No play bow, no wagging tail?

    Could you film it? Haha, it'd be interesting to see.
    southerngirl and MaryK like this.
  7. k9 crazed Experienced Member

    Teach her come in and go out, or inside outside. Call it what you will but pick one and teach it just like you would anything make it fun use lots of great treats and click away. When she comes in do you crate her or something like that right away? Try to look at everything from her view. Good luck, I'm having trouble with my pup in the opposite direction right now and tomorrow am starting "outside"
    southerngirl, MaryK, Pawbla and 3 others like this.
  8. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    I'm with k9 crazed and dogster. I suspect that she's been accidentally trained to sit by the door till given treats. I'd change things up by teaching a cue to pass in and out of the doorway, and use that cue instead. I had a friend who (somehow!) taught her dog to wait at the bottom of the stairs until treated. She'd accidentally taught the dog a very impressive stay! You change it by teaching something new, and letting the old training die a natural death :-)
    MaryK, Mutt, Dogster and 1 other person like this.
  9. Golden River of Dreams Well-Known Member

    I am currently working with a golden retriever who plays keep away when it is time to come in. He has learned that darting from your hand is an incredibly fun game. He also has trouble with a specific door that he associated being closed up in, although his family would like him to come in that door because it is like the mud room and where the towels are kept so it would be good for him to come in that door on rainy days. I suggested that maybe they should get into the habit of only bringing him in through that door. I am also going to start shaping his behavior. At first just luring him onto the step and giving him a treat and work up to him choosing to go onto to the step for a treat. Then we will work on going inside. For this particular door the problem, or one of the problems is he associates fun play time outside and being shut into the room and everyone leaves when they call him in from this particular door. Now we have to make it a really fun game to go through the door and not an automatic end to all things fun.
    blacknym and MaryK like this.
  10. MaryK Honored Member

    I agree with k9 Crazed, Dogster and A & C, does sound like she's been accidentally trained to sit by the door until given treats. I would give her a cue to come through the door and not reward her until she does this, which may take a while (real pain in a howling gale) but patience is the key. Once she's through the door, have a game with her, play with her so she connects coming inside with FUN, not just ho hum nothing to do now.
    srdogtrainer likes this.
  11. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Maybe when you are outside with him prop open the door and toss treats inside. Allow him to come back out and toss another treat inside. Continue this until he is going inside on his own.
    (Same concept as crate games and teaching a positive association with choosing to go in.)

    This is more like a supplemental game. There is a lot of good advice above as well.
    MaryK, Mutt and southerngirl like this.
  12. stretch New Member

    When she sits, praise then tell her "in". If that doesn't work, use "out" or whatever you say to tell her to get outside. Border collies are very methodical, and since you've trained her to sit at the door, that is what she is going to do. If you do decide to train her "in" with treats, put them on the floor to get her to pass through. You may even need to go outside and walk in with her.
    MaryK likes this.

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