There’s a saying that goes something like, “April Showers bring potty training problems.”
By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Professional Blogger,
Well, maybe that isn’t exactly the saying but rain can cause owners frustration with their dogs.
Some dogs don’t appreciate rain hitting their bodies. This is especially true with anxious or sensitive dogs. The rain, especially with all our rain in Central Ohio, can be distracting and being pelted while trying to eliminate can exacerbate their fears.
Other dogs hesitate before going out in the rain because of the sound the rain creates. The best way to describe this is that the sound of rain distorts the sound waves similar to the way light is distorted to create a rainbow. This sound distortion tends to hurt the pup’s ears which are already sensitive.
With rainy and windy weather comes a change in barometric pressure which can also affect a dog’s ears – like when you go up to high or low altitudes and your ears feel they need to pop – the same thing.
For some dogs, it’s not the rain that bothers them, it’s the thunder and lightning. Dogs with storm phobia are more often herding breeds and hounds, but any dog can be afraid of storms and it can be a serious issue for an owner to deal with.
By interacting with your dog and using commands you can make going out in the rain a more tolerable and maybe eventually enjoyable experience.
Here are a couple of suggestions
- Go out with them. You being with your dog (anywhere) boosts his confidence and makes him feel safe. Don’t just open the door and tell him to go out, join him.
- Teach them an elimination command. Having a command which encourages an action that your dog understands will provide quicker and more positive results.
- Wipe them down with a towel (or even a wad of paper towels) can help dry off a soaking wet dog, thus avoiding any more water on your floors and furniture. More importantly, it will help them feel more comfortable and not catch a cold.
- Wear a rain jacket yourself so you can be out in the rain and cold.
Once you’ve made a successful trip in the rain, give them lots of praise. Next time, they may not mind a few raindrops.