Puppies pooping when it’s pouring
November 14, 2019 5:42 PM   Subscribe

My puppy is doing well with house training so far but there’s a problem when it’s pouring rain outside. Namely, she refuses to go out there at all. Unfortunately this means sometimes she holds it too long and goes potty inside the house.

In the long run I hope to give her some covered space in the backyard and train her to use it, but for the next month or two I can’t do that. How have other people handled this?
posted by Tell Me No Lies to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My dog is the same way. I got him a raincoat and hold a big umbrella over him and he’ll go that way.
posted by dianeF at 5:55 PM on November 14, 2019 [8 favorites]

The way I dealt with this with two of our puppers was to take them out on a leash in the pouring rain when they were due for a potty and just stay out there in the rain until she did her filthy sinful business, feeling like Hitler McPolPot the entire time she kept trying to just run back inside. Lots of praise and a snacky-snack when she finally did it and got to go back inside.

Pretty sure I haven't had to do this more than 3 or 4 times for any given pup.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:42 PM on November 14, 2019 [25 favorites]

Patience and lots of treats. It's hard to be a puppy sometimes! Just have to keep taking them out and rewarding with treats.
posted by KMoney at 7:22 PM on November 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

Our general puppy rule is "exercise makes poop" so we do a big round of playing inside for 5-10 minutes and then go outside and refuse to budge until the deed is done. It shouldn't take very long.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:28 PM on November 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

We just didn't let him "refuse." We went outside for a walk in the rain whether he liked it or not. Lured with treats to get him moving as needed, just like any other time he was resistant to leash-walking as a pup. If you have a yard maybe you are used to off-leash potty breaks. I would *not* introduce a leash only for rainy days - that's a good way to make her hate it. Use the leash for sunny times, too.
posted by amaire at 8:32 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Puppy goes on a leash for potty breaks in good and bad weather. You need to model the behavior and attitude you want your dog tonhabe. Act like rain is amazing- play with her favorite toy outside, yummy snacks, and generally act like you don’t mind the weather one bit. If you act like it’s miserable and awful she will pick up on your attitude and it reinforces a hatred of inclement weather. Once puppy will go outside happily on the leash, start off leash trips with the same attitude and Funtime. Eventually she’ll learn to not mind it and you will no longer have to get wet yourself. Let her adjust to your expectations and meet them. Unless she’s a fragile breed like an Italian greyhound, keeping her dry at all times only makes it harder for her to realize it’s fine and adapt.
posted by shesaysgo at 10:18 PM on November 14, 2019

Yes, rain wasn’t never a preferred time to be outside but it’s not optional to go potty. They soon learn that the sooner they go, the sooner they can get out of the rain.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:13 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Patience and positive feedback is all the puppy needs. Don't give up. If you let the dog stay inside all the time it is raining, it will never learn that it's ok to go out.
posted by 0bvious at 4:54 AM on November 15, 2019

Go out with them, until they poop, you need to be there to reward them the second they go. They need to learn if they want to get inside where it's dry they need to poop fast. Lots of good boys/girls and running inside with them as soon as they're done so getting out of the rain is part of the reward for pooping. A large golf umbrella for you & pup can help.
posted by wwax at 6:26 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Okay, thanks everyone. I generally avoid training against instinct (and "don’t go stand around in the rain" seems like a pretty good instinct) but the consensus seems to be that in this case I need to.

The climate makes things tricky here. It’ll likely be too windy for an umbrella and a raincoat may be too hot for her (I certainly won’t be wearing one). I think I’ll have to get used to the smell of wet dog and wet human.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:42 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think I’ll have to get used to the smell of wet dog and wet human.

During rainy/snowy weather, we keep a couple of towels close to the doors to wipe down the dog as he comes inside; it helps keep the mess down in the house and he LOVES the wipe-down.
posted by cooker girl at 7:29 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Um, also? Dog tax? I can't believe no one has mentioned before now.
posted by cooker girl at 7:30 AM on November 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

My apologies.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2019 [11 favorites]

My dog acts like 3 rain drops is the same as being waterboarded, but he knows that the sooner he poops the sooner we get to go back inside and he gets the ultimate towel rub down. So making the cleanup part of the reward is a good routine to get into.
posted by bradbane at 6:56 PM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

That’s a wonderful dog!
posted by cartoonella at 11:10 PM on November 16, 2019

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