Pee, dog!
July 25, 2011 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Our prima donna of a puggle won't pee in the rain. Help us before I squeeze it out of her.

Our new three-year-old puggle, Apple (previously), refuses to pee in the rain. Usually, she'll just refuse to pee on concrete and we take her to some grass and she pees on that. Except now the grass is wet and she doesn't want to go onto it. I lifted her up and put her down on grass while my girlfriend -- who has been walking her for almost an hour (the goddamn dog hasn't peed since 6 AM) -- gave her a treat, and she sat hovering her little butt right over the grass.

Last time this happened, she peed on our welcome mat. I want to prevent this. Or a bladder infection. What to do?
posted by griphus to Pets & Animals (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps you can use a clicker when you walk her. Click it whenever she pees. Then, you might be able to pull a Pavlov's dog on her and entice her to pee when she hears the click.
posted by Foam Pants at 4:38 PM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: We give her a training treat when she pees or poops. I'll start doing that as well.
posted by griphus at 4:39 PM on July 25, 2011

I think that it's a 'pug thing', personally. I have 6 pugs, and they are all adamantly opposed to peeing in the rain or snow. A lot of other pug people that I know have the same problem with their pug buddies. Maybe get this or this ?

Good luck.
posted by bolognius maximus at 4:46 PM on July 25, 2011

I love that dogs are this ridiculous... damn things will eat poop, but won't go out in the rain. So, this won't help you immediately, but... both of my dogs used to do the same thing. To get them used to the rain, I spent months taking them out to play whenever it rained. They eventually forgot that rain kills dogs, and now we have no problems with peeing in the rain.
posted by AlliKat75 at 4:50 PM on July 25, 2011 [7 favorites]

When our little bastard refused to pee in the rain, we simply gave him a chance, and when he didn't go, took him in and crated him. We put a towel over his crate and his chance was over, totally ignored. We tried again in an hour. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This process took about three months for him to totally understand. He peed in his crate a few times until he caught on. He now pees in the rain as soon as we step outside, in order to get inside faster.
posted by juniperesque at 4:55 PM on July 25, 2011 [7 favorites]

I have the same problem with our 60 pound Afghan hound cross. She has her own outdoor kennel but if it's raining she just stands looking at the open door as if I am insane to expect her to go out. When I was collecting the mail at the front of the house during a recent downpour she dashed out the door to the covered area next to the stairs and did her business. I am thinking of putting up a small canvas canopy (4x4) over her kennel to see if that solves the problem. It has rained 33 of the past 43 days so I have to do something! Looking forward to reading other potential solutions though!!
posted by blubutterfly at 5:36 PM on July 25, 2011

juniperesque is right about the crate and repeat process. It will help out in two ways: the pug will learn that the options are pee or crate, and you will be less stressed out.

Also, our pugs use a dog litterbox in the house. It's not foolproof but it helps us avoid situations like this.
posted by MrZero at 5:49 PM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is not a pug issue. My Jack Russell doesn't like it and my mother's Doberman doesn't, either. Both are girls, so maybe that has something to do with it. This recent question has some good advice about teaching the command "go pee", but I don't know about the bell thing.
posted by raisingsand at 7:14 PM on July 25, 2011

My pug used to pull that crap with me. I don't recall how I did it (she's 11) but she knows she gets to go back in as soon as she pees, so she now pees right away and then turns around to go back in. That, and pee pads in the house if it is truly too awful to go out.
posted by cestmoi15 at 7:50 PM on July 25, 2011

The clicker trick is sound, but I would probably use a verbal command instead. Clickers are great for most things, but if you've "treat associated" the clicker, the dog might actually stop peeing in excitement over getting a treat. So, instead use a verbal command like "Do it" (pronounced Doooooooo iiit). You should say this repeatedly whenever she is doing it. And add "good girl" or whatever praise phrase you usually use. When she is finished (as soon as possible), then click and treat.

You have to be very consistent with the "do it" reinforcement. Eventually, however, it is possible you'll get her to the point where she will go on command.

Also, have you tried an umbrella?
posted by driley at 10:14 PM on July 25, 2011

FWIW, I open the door, push the dog out, and refuse to remove my body from the doorway and let her back in until she's peed. To be fair, however, this is not a mystery process for my dog as it would be for yours; she is very familiar with the "go potty!" command and is clear exactly what I am demanding. When she tried to fake pee with a dainty half-squat and come back in, it is not a shock when I say "No. Go potty!"

You can try to teach her this command by saying "go potty!" as she's peeing for a few weeks. There will be no fast fix for this.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:57 PM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

My cattledog used to do this too until we got him a doggie raincoat. No, we're not at all the sorts who dress up pets and I felt ridiculous buying the slicker and putting in on him but lo, it was like the cloak of wetness invincibility to the dog. No slicker=he hold it until his back teeth were floating away. Slicker=he'd happily trot out in the rain to take a leak in the middle of a wet lawn.
posted by jamaro at 11:15 PM on July 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

What about using a puppy pad?
posted by radioamy at 7:03 AM on July 26, 2011

On the verbal command: My boyfriend does this with his dog. The first time I went on a dog walk with him and he started saying "Abby, go busy. busy, busy, busy" I thought he was fucking nuts. But it does entice her to pee.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:44 PM on July 26, 2011

Response by poster: Okay, we're going to be trying to give her a verbal command every time she uses the bathroom. However, if someone would like to settle a debate between my girlfriend and I: does it matter if the command word is the same for both pee and poop?
posted by griphus at 6:52 AM on July 27, 2011

If it were me, it wouldn't make a difference. I would use the same word for either. After all, you don't REALLY know when a dog has got to poo.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:16 AM on July 27, 2011

Very few dogs can poop without peeing, either immediately before or after, so the same word is fine. Potty, business, whatever; you'll sound like an idiot regardless.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:37 PM on July 27, 2011

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