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Monday, January 16, 2012

Ask the Dog Trainer:
Rainy Day Potty Troubles

by Michael Baugh, CPDT-KSA, CDBC
(c) h.koppdelaney via
Don't Give Up
Hi Michael-- My little fluffy girly dog just will not go outside to potty when it is raining. Sometimes I end up with a puddle as a result. Can you share some ideas on how I might get her to be agreeable to handling things outside where they should be handled? Thank you, Marsha P.
Dear Marsha:

Here’s what I tell my little dog Stewie.  “Even delicate flowers need to be watered.”  He’s not a fan of the rain (or the cold) either.

Certainly it’s important to be kind to your little princess.  We don’t want to throw her out in a torrent while we wait in the warm dry house peering out the window at her.  That will only make her hate the rain even more.  I’d be a bit disconcerted too if it were storming over my toilet in the morning.

Let’s try this instead.  On those dreary drizzly mornings put on your rain jacket, hook little fluffy girl up to her leash, and trudge outside with her.  Fake a smile and cheer her on for being so brave.  When she pees (she will eventually), praise her adoringly and give her three delicious tasty treats.  If she won’t follow you out on leash, pick her up and carry her to the designated potty spot.  Then, stand by patiently cooing about what a good girl she is.

If it’s raining too hard, or if she goes outside with you but doesn’t do her business, bring her back in and let her rest in her crate for a short while (10 minutes).  Then try again.  With any luck the rain will have let up a bit.  The idea here is not to give her the chance to make a puddle in your house while avoiding the puddles outside.  Most dogs won’t wet their own crate.  Eventually she’ll have to go bad enough that some light rain won’t be so much of an issue.

© Robyn Arouty
You will get past all this.  You and your fluffy girl may still curse the rain, but she will get the job done just like our own princess boy, Stewie.  He shakes off the cold wet water and burrows back under the covers on our bed.  I guess delicate flowers need to rest after they’re watered.

Houston dog trainer Michael Baugh CPDT-KSA, CDBC is the director of training and behavior at Rover Oaks Pet Resorts.


Anonymous said...

That's what we do, and it works for me. Believe it or not, I do NOT like going out in the rain. I must be a delicate flower also!

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