April Showers Bring… Potty Training Problems!

Having trouble getting your dog to go potty in the rain this morning? This can be a tricky problem… especially if you’re in the midst of housebreaking a puppy. It only takes a few accidents for a pup to “fall off the wagon” and get off track with house training.

Many dogs will not want to leave the shelter of the porch to go out in the rain to potty. So, even though you typically may be able to stand at your back window enjoying your cup of coffee while you watch your pup trot out into the yard to go potty… that may not be the case when its raining. This is an especially common problem with young pups and small breed dogs.

Put on a raincoat and get out in the rain with your dog. Be cheerful and chatty, think “Singing in the Rain”. Pups are often frightened by the unfamiliar rain. If they see you happy, they’ll relax and go. Get deep out in the yard. If you’re close to the house, the pup may be totally consumed with getting back inside. You may even need to walk down the block to counteract that effect. An umbrella sometimes helps. But, often it just adds to the strangeness of the situation in your pup’s mind. As soon as your pup goes potty, praise him and head directly inside. He’ll learn that going potty is the best ticket to getting back inside, and out of the rain.

If your pup hates the wet grass as much as the water raining from the sky, creating a dry patch in your yard will help. By throwing out a small tarp or an overturned kiddie pool before the rain starts, you’ll have a dry spot for moments when the rain lets up.  Just pull the item to the side and give your pup access to the only dry spot.  For very young pups, having a piece of sod on the covered patio will create a dry spot that is also out of the rain.

By finding the scenario that makes your dog the most comfortable, you’ll set him up for success. Realize that your attitude sets the tone. Resolve to be cheerful about being out in the rain and your pup will follow your lead!

Check out our Canine Enrichment group on Facebook. You’ll find a ton of options to keep your dogs mentally stimulated and happy while they spend their days indoors!