Training your outside dog to become an inside dog is a transition that will take time and patience. Outdoor dogs are accustomed to going to the bathroom anywhere and established their own rules for play. So, how do you get a dog to transition into the indoors life? Hopefully, your dog already knows simple training commands, such as sit and stay. Even if he doesn’t know, you can still work with him and turn him into an indoor dog.
To start the transition, bring your dog (leashed) a few times a day into your home. Let him look around and explore. If your pup gets too close to something he shouldn’t jump on, lightly tug the leash while saying, “NO”. Repeatedly performing this activity will help your dog learn the basic house rules.
It’s important to give your dog an area of his own. Place his food and water bowl, along with a bed, in a comfortable area. It’s also a good idea to put down several pieces of newspaper for the unavoidable bathroom accidents fido will have. Enclosing your dog to his area, using things such as child gates or a crate, will help establish boundaries. Consistently bringing your dog inside, letting him explore, giving him food in his bowl, and then bringing him back outside to go to the bathroom or play, will gradually train his behavior and begin to transition him to an indoor dog.
After this, bring your dog inside and place him in his enclosed area. During this time, you should talk to him and make him feel like his presence is known (you should still bring your dog outside to play throughout the day during this period in the transition). Remain visible when you walk around, give him a few toys to play with, and pet him in order to calm any anxiety he may be exhibiting during this transition. Once you can visibly see your dog acting and calm and obedient, add more space to his confined area until he is allowed to wander your home freely.
If you’ve ever raised a dog before, you’ll find this transition is very similar to training a puppy. You must spend time with them, train them, and constantly keep an eye out for them. Consistency and repetition are extremely important and will reinforce these necessary behaviors in your dog. Just remember to remain calm and patient because this transition for your pup is no easy task.