Thanks everyone for your advice.
I know my basenji understands and he does listen to me but he has selective hearing. We are traning on it and he is getting better each day.
He's so finicky. He'd prefer to be outside even more than he wants food or treats or toys or anything else. Using his toys, food, or treats and tossing them inside only worked the first time I did it. He's too darn smart for his own good.
So, my best bet would be to work on "come" more, and probably decreasing his comfort zone since he doesn't let me get close enough to him to pick him up while he's out there, you think? That will probably be the only way I can get bribery to work.
BTW, I FINALLY got him inside at a little after 5. He's now nice and warm under a pile of blankets.
I say let him stay out as long as he wants…he won't let himself get too cold. In this situation, I ask once, and if you don't come in, you can stay out until you are ready to come in. I also make sure if I am having a dog hesitant to come in, that they get treated EVERY time the walk thru the door...that generally keeps coming in more valuable for them than staying out. I don't turn it into a 'are you ready now, are you ready now, are you ready now?' kind of game
The only caveat to this is if the dog is not coming in because they might be involved in some serious mischief...like cat hunting/cornering...then I will go out and intervene.
Is cody a rescue? seems like many rescues have issues with doorways. which would be the only way i'd be concerned about him too cold outside. in otherwords if he really wants to come in but is afraid of the doorway. Also google "Collar Grab Game".
The main reason I was so worried is that one of the times I went out and checked on him, he had dug a hole under the deck next to the house where I couldn't reach him and he was curled into a tight ball and shivering. The hole was deep enough that, at first, I didn't see him.
Yes, he is a rescue, but I'm not sure if he an issue with the doorway or he just doesn't want to come inside. He definitely doesn't have a problem going out through the door. While he's out, he usually comes to the door a few times and pokes his nose in, but then he runs away. When he does come in, he always hesitates for a few seconds, then bolts inside. The woman that had him before me said he was kept outside, and I'm pretty sure he was kept in a crate or kennel while outside because his paw pads were completely smooth. That may be part of the reason he prefers to be outside… the familiarness of the smells and whatnot with the ability to run around as he pleases.
We have been playing a version of the collar grab game that I've been calling "got you." I'll grab his collar, say "got you" and click and treat. Unfortunately, he'll only do it inside the house since he won't usually let me get too close to him while we are outside, and the sudden movement towards him causes him to bolt no matter what treats we are using at the time.
Maybe try cut up hot dogs? They are smelly enough and you can throw, take some steps back, throw, repeat until you are inside?
My male will sit outside & shiver his little heart out. He doesn't have an ounce of body fat on him but he loves to sit in the backyard and watch the birds and listen to the dogs next door bark and attack bugs. I figure as long as he's enjoying it, let him be.
You could also use his food, if you aren't already. He doesn't get his food until he comes inside. What about a dog door? If coming through the door while someone is waiting there is anxiety provoking for him, he might be happy to come in and settle down if nobody is right there waiting for him.
What about a dog door? If coming through the door while someone is waiting there is anxiety provoking for him, he might be happy to come in and settle down if nobody is right there waiting for him.
Or maybe just leaving the door open ajar so he can come and go and theres no one waiting if thats the issue.
We leave our door ajar and our B comes and goes as she pleases - if we are boring her then she heads off to do something interesting in the backyard.
But i also live in a warmer climate :p so if your trying to keep heat in, leaving the door open for him to come and go might not be practical :rolleyes:
I've started giving him a treat every time he comes in after I close the door while he's on and off the leash… so hopefully that will help in showing him that he will get a good treat every time he comes in. Today is the first day since Monday he's been outside off leash during the day, which is when we have this problem, so hopefully there will be a little improvement. I've learned with him that nothing happens over night, so a little improvement is better than nothing.
Today is warmer, still cold, but a lot warmer than it was earlier this week. We have a saying here, "If you don't like the weather in North Carolina, wait 3 days, it will change." So I don't really have to worry about him freezing, and can focus more on a little training.
My roommate, who owns the house, wasn't really all that receptive to the idea of installing a dog door. It's understandable though; one of her dogs is a digger and likes to dig holes under the fence, so she has to be constantly watched while outside.
In the last house we lived, we were about to keep the door open most of the year, and he came and went as he pleased for the most part. Unfortunately, it's too cold to do that here. I'm going to try opening the door when he comes to it, then walking away for about a minute to see if he will come in. Usually, if I'm standing at the door after he's made it known that he wants it open, he'll just look at me for a second, and then run off. Maybe walking away will help.
I'm not sure, in your situation, I would leave the dog outside until he made the decision to come in. It almost sounds as if the dog had bad experiences inside at the previous home and outside was the only place he could stay or maybe was forced to stay; anyway you now have to counteract all that.
All the good points have been made by others, now you have to put them all together.
Do not let the dog outside without a long lead (long closthesline or whatever); when you say come reel in the lead and treat and praise. You have to be consistent too; use the same word, treat immediately, etc. Also I don't think I would leave the dog loose outside until this is overcome. If possible I would also take the time to be outside with your dog (still on the lead) and play with him and praising and treating for any good interaction he does.
Also you might want to have a special treat just for the come command and for entering the house. He does not get this treat until he comes and/or he enters the house - but make it something really special that is not given except for this purpose.