I love the rain. I love the smell of the wet streets. I love the sound of the raindrops hitting my roof. I love the moisture in the air. I love the grayness of the sky. So last week’s downpour was a welcome change of pace for me.
My dog, Oliver, on the other hand, was not happy. He finds the rain to be an obnoxious form of torture and wants nothing to do with it. So this makes taking him out to do his business a little bit tricky.
He’s already a picky pottier under the best of circumstances. He sniffs for minutes on end, spins a little, then changes his mind at the last second and goes searching for a better area. Any changes in the weather, such as wind or rain, complicate his already-picky potty habits and make his bathroom quest even longer.
Over the years, I’ve learned to better manage his picky potty behavior and fear of the rain with a few simple steps. If you’re struggling to get your pup to pee in the rain, here are some tips to make life easier for both of you:
Create a positive experience with the outdoors
Going outside should be a consistent, positive experience for your dog. Don’t wait until the conditions are less than ideal to start training.
Spend some time outdoors playing or walking together when there’s only a light drizzle. Help your dog become comfortable with wet grass and rain by rewarding her while outside.
Teach a ‘Hurry’ Command
When it’s time to go outside, use a cue word, such as HURRY, to indicate he should get straight to business—no sniffing or lollygagging. Say the cue over and over while your dog is eliminating. Immediately praise your dog at completion of the task and make a beeline for the door.
This teaches your dog he will be rewarded and can quickly retreat back to his cozy bed.
Grab your raincoat and go outside
A good leader never asks someone to do something they wouldn’t do. So, grab your raincoat or umbrella and go outside with your dog. You may need a leash to get her past the threshold, but having you by her side will give her more confidence to venture into the rain.
Take a quick walk
It’s pouring, you’re drenched and Fluffy is nowhere close to holding up her end of the deal. Don’t fret. Sometimes you have to get things moving. Take your dog for a quick walk around the yard or the neighborhood. A few sniffs of some interesting mailboxes or trees should do the trick.
Keep your dog on leash
Even if your dog normally goes outside alone, a snapping branch or cracking thunder can easily spook pets, and they may dart in the wrong direction or try to escape. If you must go outside during heavy rain or storms, keep your dog close and safe on a fabric leash.
Create an outdoor area with cover
Some dogs are more resistant than others when it comes to rain. If this is the case, find an outdoor area that’s covered and suitable for you dog to use, such as a patio, sunroom or balcony. You can even purchase a synthetic grass patch, like this one, for easy cleanup.
Buy a dog raincoat
If your neck of the woods sees frequent rain, consider investing in a raincoat for your dog. A raincoat, like this one, will keep her coat dry, free of wet-dog smell and warm.
Dry your pet quickly and thoroughly
If you don’t have a raincoat or your dog doesn’t like wearing one, make sure to quickly and thoroughly dry off your pet when he comes inside. You can keep an old towel handy by your door. Dry each paw, underneath his belly, his back and gently around the face.
And remember…reward, reward, reward. A treat makes even the most undesirable experiences better.
Aries (A469666) is a sweet 9-year-old dog with an attitude of a puppy. He’s a little shy when you first meet him, but he warms up quickly. He’s looking for a new home!