So your dog won’t go out in the rain. Whether it’s just for a walk or for them to go potty, some dog parents have to deal with dogs being uncooperative when heading out into the rain.
If your dog is one such pooch, then you are probably wondering why and how you could get them to go out in the rain. After all, dogs who are untrained in doing their business inside the house can be messy and stinky. I understand why you’d prefer them to do it outdoors.
Dogs usually love walks and going outside, but if your dog starts staying firmly on the edge of the door when it’s raining, then you probably have this problem. Why would your otherwise outdoor-loving dog suddenly stop just because of a little rain?
If your dog dislikes getting out in the rain, this is a possible reason. Especially if they have had a bad experience with any of these elements in the past. Dogs who dislike baths are likely to have some sort of water phobia, which could explain why they don’t like the rain either.
Some dogs may not be afraid of the rain itself, but the thunder and lightning that accompany it. If your dog has bad memories of loud booming noises, they’ll be scared of thunder too. The surprising flash of lightning itself can be be cause for fear in your dog.
Other breeds are more sensitive to the atmospheric changes during thunderstorms and can even sense it coming. In this case, it may be the pressure and static in the air that’s making them feel off.
Unless you intentionally head out in the rain to have fun, you know the unpleasant feeling of getting caught in a downpour. The squishy mud beneath your feet, the cold rains drenching you to the bone, and so on. Dogs are far less protected than we are when it rains, so imagine just how uncomfortable it feels for them to be out in the rain. My dogs don’t even like getting their feet wet and cold on tiled surfaces inside the house, much less outdoors when we’re out walking in the rain.
Assuming your dog doesn’t have a serious trauma of the rain and/or thunderstorms, you can get them accustomed to wetter seasons to prepare them for the eventuality of rain. You can do this by teaching your dog to enjoy water instead of fearing it. While training your dog, you can use a hose to give a stream of water that they can play in.
Who knows, maybe your dog will learn to love the rain to this degree!
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Your dog most likely wants to do a quick out-and-in when it’s raining, so make sure that you won’t have to stay out in the rain for too long. You can do this by timing your walk for when your dog usually needs to do their business, so it’s basically all they need to do before heading back in.
You can also teach your dog a “Go potty” cue to tell them when it’s time to do their business. Of course we can’t fully control our dogs’ bowel systems, but a consistent feeding and walking schedule can help you train them to do it with a verbal cue.
One of the easiest ways to get your dog to go out when it’s raining is to join them outside. While easy, you may say it isn’t convenient for you at all. Just think of it this way, your dog probably feels the same. And what makes these kinds of situations easier is to have someone beside you.
You don’t have to get drenched in the rain to join your dog outdoors. You can bring your boots, rain coat, and umbrella out with you to make you more comfortable. The shade provided by your umbrella can also help your dog a little less wet in the rain.
If your dog still won’t go out in the rain even with your company, it’s okay to start considering other options.
If you can’t bear to be out in the rain without assurance of staying dry, then your dog may have the same concerns. Luckily, there are rain coats made especially for dogs who venture into the great outdoors. Take note that your dog may dislike getting their head wet the most, so a hooded coat may be necessary.
While some dogs dislike wearing booties, they might also make an exception for rain boots. Some dogs just don’t like the feeling of wet grass or soil on their paws. Plus, it also allows you less messes to clean up once it’s time to head back inside.
Getting your dog to go outside when i’s raining is a great feat in itself, particularly if you’ve had problems with it in the past. And once your dog does go outside in the rain, it’s not just cause for celebration, but rewards as well. Like in dog training, you should reward your dog if they do a behavior that you wanted them to do.
You can give the treat immediately after they do their business, or wait just a short while until you’re both back in the shade. After all, your dog might not like soggy treats!
Give your dog gentle praise even as they venture out into the rain. Not only will it reassure them, it will also help them recognize what behavior you are rewarding them for.
Even if it’s not a strong downpour, it would still be helpful if you find an area where your dog can do their business that protects them against the rains and winds. As mentioned above, you can opt to share your umbrella. If the rains are stronger for an umbrella to handle, find a corner outside your house which is still relatively more sheltered against the elements.
Your dog can and will get wet in the rain despite your best efforts so dry them off before they head back home. Use a towel to dry them off, but you can use a blow dryer for when they’re really drenched. What’s important is that your dog feels warm and comfortable again after braving the rain.
If you’ve tried all the alternatives and yet your dog won’t go out in the rain, then you might want to consider drier options. Particularly for strong rainstorms, it may even be the safest option for your dog to go potty indoors. You can train your dog to use pee pads inside the home in the occasional event of rain.
If there’s one important thing you should consider if your dog won’t go out in the rain, it’s that punishing them, forcing them, or getting angry at them for not doing so won’t help. Not a little bit. Your dog is scared enough as it is, and these negative stimuli will only make matters worse.
Remember, a scared dog is an anxious dog.
Instead, help your dog by making them feel as safe and comfortable as possible. Let them know that you are there to help them stay comfortable in those circumstances, and they will be much more receptive to your future commands. This is important if you plan to train them to eventually brave the rains to go outside.
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