How to get a dog to use a kennel


Well-Known Member
This isn't tracking or really specific deer dog related but just general dogginess. I've recently built a kennel for the back garden and I want my dog to use it as I'd like to be able to shut him out in the (secure) garden while the house is empty during the day.

Most of the time it is just a couple of hours but on occasion it may be a bit longer. Currently he is a house dog and if he is shut outside he will just whine by the back door if it's shut. When it's open he happily stay on the patio unless it's cold then he'll come in.

Other than just shutting him out and letting him get on with it is there anything I can do to encourage him to get in the kennel and bed down rather than just sit by the door shivering waiting to be let in?

Eric the Red

Well-Known Member
Put some of his bedding in there so it smells of him. Secure a bone in there so he is 'rewarded' for spending time in there - and it's a distraction. (secure it only so he can't bring it out). The endorphins released from chewing should also make him associate well with it.
If not, he'll soon be in there when the weather turns!


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Well I thought it was a joke post initially but I will run with it and my advice is to put the dog on a chain connected to the kennel then get your best garden sprinkler and turn it on full bore so its raining over the kennel.

How easy is that ha ha.


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All things are possible, but you say he's a house dog at present, so I'd say that success without difficulty is probably measured on the dog's age, in that a young dog would adapt better than an older one.


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It's a small garden so a dedicated run is out of the question but he can be shut onto the patio which would be the equivelent of a big run anyway. He had a muntjac pelvis tied in there earlier today and to start with he was just trying to tug it out but soon enough settled down to eat it in there so this seems to be working.

He is six so not old but fairly set in his ways so I think he'll take a few weeks at least to get the hang of it but should be alright.

Thanks for all the suggestions.


Well-Known Member
Make it a 'fun' place for him to be . . . .feed him in it, associate it with a treat (we used Dentastix), put him in it for a couple of minutes at unpredictable times, make sure he's not disturbed while he's in there, and whatever else you do DON'T ever use it as a punishment. Many dogs really enjoy a space they can call their own, and in a short time you might find he actually prefers to spend time in it on his own terms. My OH's dog (a whippet) was a dedicated house-dog, used to central-heating, being completely pampered and totally over-indulged by her parents. After only a week or so of being put in the outside kennel and run with my Lab' he started to thoroughly-enjoy himself and now goes out without a murmur. And he's coming on 8 :thumb:

An Taín Hunting Outfitter

Well-Known Member
Can you move the dog house near the back door and face it to the back door so he can lie comfortably and look in? Then add one of your old t-shirts and a good pillow with some old carpet in it to make it super comfortable. I have seen this with my friends dog in the wilds of Donegal in Ireland. At his cottage his dog sits on the step all day and all night even in the winter snow!!!! He has the best dog box which sits right beside him and one of the neighbours actually called into my friend and said "that's cruel that your dog has to sit on the step in the snow!" friend took the neighbour to the step and siad "see that lovely dog box with the carpet and the pillow inside? Well the dog just refuses to use it!".

My friends dog is a mountain collie, I mean a real hard dog that gets worked weekly. Some dogs are just genuinely hard dogs even though they seem similar to any other dogs. Lying on the concrete all day and all night without needing to go into the dog box doesn't even phase some dogs, regardless of the want we would prefer they do and the equipment we provide.