How to Have Your Dog Singing in the Rain at Potty Time
By Hilarie Erb, AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer
Can you blame your dog for not wanting to take care of business in the rain? Some dogs aren’t fazed by foul weather, but others, even the most reliably house-trained, would rather stay high and dry when nature calls. A canine raincoat may be all it takes to make these dogs happy.
If your best friend isn’t reliably house-trained when the weather is good, you need to get him there before you can expect success when the sky is falling. Stick to a firm schedule and reward when your pup does the right thing, even when the weather is good. Read How to Potty Train a Puppy: A Comprehensive Guide for Success if you need tips for housetraining. A dog might not be happy about having to do his business in the rain, but once good habits are well established, and you stick to the routine (maybe just adding an umbrella), he will know what to do, rain or shine. It may take longer at first, but if you wait him out, you’ll have success.
As with anything you are teaching your dog, when it’s extra challenging, the reward should be extra good. The hard part about this is that you too must brave the elements so that you can be right there with the dog to reward her with an awesome treat when she relieves herself on soggy ground!
If this is new to her, don’t simply shove her out the door (even if you have a fenced yard) and expect her to be successful. You won’t know what she’s done, and there’s a pretty good chance she’ll find a warm dry place to go when you let her back inside.
But if you are outside with her and she doesn’t eliminate after a reasonable amount of time, bring her in, put her in her crate for 10 or 15 minutes before trying again. No crate? Keep the dog on a leash with you in the house until you’re ready to go back outside. It may take a few tries but if you stick with it and don’t allow an opportunity for an accident, your dog will eventually understand. Just remember to give extra praise and rewards for taking care of business in the rain. Once your dog understands what she’s there for, she’ll probably learn to be extra quick when the weather is wet.