Toby’s New Home

Posted on November 8, 2009

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No, Toby hasn’t been shafted. He still lives with us. Readers can rest easy.

I’ve been looking for a dog house for Toby to seek shelter from and more importantly, a place to rest. Previously, he had used his doggy door to enter the laundry, where it’s warm and secure. But doing that left our security door open, and we didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on a new security door so it’s left unused.

I’ve read a lot on dog forums how difficult it is to persuade your four-legged friend to get into the dog house. Dogs – when left outside – don’t tend to stray too far from the entry point into the home. So with that in mind, I moved things around the backyard to accomodate his new dog house and placed it right by the back door. This way the first thing he sees when he leaves his house is the entry to his ‘other’ house.

Getting him into the house was less stress-free than I had envisioned. Many owners recall trying to bait them with food, sitting next to the dog house to arouse the dog’s curiosity or even getting into the dog house.

My problem, however was three-fold.

a) Toby has learnt how to read us. We have tricked him many times to lure him in/out and he knows when to take the bait so a good reward is due.

b) I didn’t see myself sitting next to the dog house when it’s 30 degrees outside. Mind you, the harsh Australian summer sun really gets to you.

c) I won’t fit into the dog house.

So there was Toby, sniffing the dog house and generally ignoring it like it’s another inanimate object in the backyard.

The solution to my predicament? The bed he grew up in and has slept on for the last three years found its place outside – in the dog house. It has his scent and it’s a smell he’s very familiar with.

One arvo I left him outside the entire day with the hope he would use the dog house as a resting place. Toby wasn’t too pleased and was whining and barking a little for hours on end. In the end, he got tired and gave up. I noticed it had gotten quiet for awhile and went to check out where he’s resting…

Success!

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We can now leave home with all our doors closed, and knowing Toby is comfortable with a shelter over his head.

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