Senior Dog Doesn’t Want to Come Inside

This month’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop has the theme What To Do When Your Dog Doesn’t Listen To You.

For me, that’s like every day. They do what they want. I’m not going to lie. So I don’t have any legit training tips to offer.

I mean, mostly, they’ve been good doggies lately. Leo, now that he’s seven, technically qualifies as a senior, too.

mia-portageYesterday, Mia was up to her old tricks, refusing to come in the house when it was time for me to go to work. Back in the day, when she was a spry eight- or nine-year-old, she was too quick to catch.

The night before, Rob lamented that she seemed to be slowing down. I said, “No, no, she was bouncy and happy on our walk today.” I have had to reconfigure our leash arrangement though, when I walk them both by myself. Mia gets an eight-foot-leash tethered to my belt so she can go at her own pace. The shorter tandem bungee leash was no longer working out because Leo wanted to charge ahead and move too fast.

Anyway, I shot this video to show Rob that Mia is in fact as tricky as ever, ignoring my entreaties, and running out of reach. I couldn’t catch her, and I stepped in poop while trying, which I didn’t notice until I got to the office and wondered what was that smell.

I finally lured her inside by shaking her harness in a ruse that we were going somewhere wonderful. Technically, this was still positive training, since I gave her a bunch of treats when she came in, but it was also a bait and switch. I hate resulting to trickery, because she’s too smart to fall for it too often. And it feels mean. I should have taken her to work with me. There was no reason not to.

Positive TrainingThe Positive Pet Training Blog Hop is hosted by Tenacious Little TerrierTravels with Barley and Wag ‘n Woof Pets. Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below. Our theme for this month is what do you do when your dog won’t listen but any positive reinforcement training posts or comments are also always welcome. The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop goes all week long. And our next hop will begin Nov. 6 on the theme “training company manners.”

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7 thoughts on “Senior Dog Doesn’t Want to Come Inside

  1. I’m not big on training either. I see them too much as individuals with valid wants And desires of their own. I’ve taught them a few things, just like I would a toddler. I also let them decide some things for themselves, just like I would a toddler.

  2. I try to not trick Mr. N because the next time he figures it out and refuses to fall for it! Plus he gives you a look. We work on recall a lot and if I know if it’s a situation where he really doesn’t want to leave (the thousand acre off-leash park), I’ll tell him to wait instead of come. And he’ll wait and I hook the leash on then.

    • That’s a good one! My defense is that Mia was being such a little trickster herself! Fortunately she came in today. Next time I’ll take her with me, so it’s not a trick!

  3. Desperate times and all that, right? I have had to use trickery at times too, but like you, with plenty of rewards ultimately. Don’t you hate it when after the fact, you think what you really should have done?
    Thanks for joining the hop!

    • I couldn’t believe it took me so long to remember the harness trick. I’d tried all different treats. I was working on her for a good long while!

  4. My guess is that your dogs have figured out the pattern: at certain times….they know that you’re calling them in and will be leaving them. Dogs are no dummies! They know the time of day patterns, our clothes patterns, our leaving ritual patterns, etc. Even though they’re older, you can absolutely train through this….but just know that it will take a while because of the learned behavior! I love your honesty! You are doing what every dog owner does when they are desperate and have to get past the moment! Don’t give up the notion that they can be trained through this. You really CAN teach old dogs new tricks! 🙂

  5. Oh no! I’ve had the poop on the shoe thing happen before, too. Then I had to try to sneak off to the bathroom without any of my coworkers noticing so I could try to get rid of the stinky situation before I had to go stand in front of my students! Every now and then, Barley will get stubborn like this when it’s time for me to go to work–usually she sees me starting the “I’m going to work” routine and she just runs to her crate and waits for her treat, but sometimes she’ll dive under the bed and refuse to come out (and I can’t fit under there with her!), so I have to lure her out with a trail of treats going towards her crate and then I quickly nudge her inside.

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