I was at a new Home Dog Training client in Acworth last Monday working with him and his eighteen-month-old Sheltie named Lucky. Lucky was a very active and loving dog. The biggest issue that my client need help with was getting Lucky’s focus. Being a sheepdog, Lucky was always looking to herd and gather. This activity normally entailed running, not paying attention, and nipping. When put in “human terms”, Lucky was somewhat annoying.
We needed to establish my client as “the one giving the rules in the house” and to establish a list of rules for Lucky to understand and obey. It took several hours, but after we reestablished the appropriate perspective such that Lucky looked to my client for direction, we were on our way. After applying some simple teaching techniques, Lucky was now obeying, respecting, and paying attention to my client. Needless to say, he was very happy.
As I was finishing up, my client mentioned that there was one more thing he needed help on regarding Lucky. He wasn’t sure that I could help because it didn’t happen all the time, but he wanted to ask. He told me that Lucky was already very good when it came going to the bathroom. Normally, he would go out like clockwork and potty outside in the back yard. The problem that my client had was when it rained. Lucky would not go out in the rain to potty. He doesn’t want to use potty pads because Lucky is a little big for that and it doesn’t rain that often. Do I have any suggestions for pottying in the rain?
We have often faced this problem in the past with many of our clients. We even have this same problem with our two, big German Shepherds (big babies!). Many dogs have an eversion to pottying in the rand. It is not that they are timid or even afraid of water. Some dogs just have an aversion to “being disturbed during their potty activity”.
Think if you were in your bathroom and water was being squirted on you. You would probably not feel comfortable using the bathroom! We were being distracted that hindered our ability to use the bathroom. When it is raining on our dogs, the rain is causing a distraction that is discouraging them from pottying. To solve this problem, we first have to take a step back and review the problem facing us:
- We have trained out dog to go potty outside.
- Our dog does not like to go outside to potty when it is raining.
- We do not want our dog to potty in the house whether it is raining or not.
What we can draw from the above items is that we always want our dog to potty outside whether it is raining or not and our dog does not want to potty outside when it is raining. The item that we must resolve is that fact that it can sometimes rain outside on our dog.
So, whenever out dog is going outside to potty, even if it is raining, he will be able to stay dry while pottying. That is the environment we must create. We must create a tactile facsimile of the backyard where our dog loves to potty in such a way that it is always dry. Here is the solution that we have successfully offered to many of our clients:
- Go to Home Depot or your local garden store and purchase a few flats of grass.
- locate a covered area adjacent to an outside door such as a porch or covered patio.
- Place a drop cloth down in that area that is just a little bigger than the flats of grass.
- Place the flats of grass on the drop cloth.
- Guide your dog to the flats of grass for his potty area when it is raining. Remember, to your dog, that is just “more outside yard” and an extension of his normal bathroom.
You have built a roof over your dog’s outside bathroom so it is no longer raining in his bathroom.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over sixteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.