Here we have another 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' with Dr. Jennifer Scarlett.
Some of us find that our dogs can be… "prissy" at times. Like refusing to go out in the rain. Someone with that exact problem wrote into Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, asking:
My one year old Havanese hates the rain. When it is raining he refuses to go outside, if you force him to he will not do his business. He waits to come back in and does it in the house. What can I do?
Dr. Jennifer responded:
Well, the driest place on earth is the Atacama desert but that’s no place for a dog.
We have a couple of options, but without question, forcing him to go outside will backfire. If your guy isn’t enthusiastic about going outside in inclimate weather, you may want to throw in the towel and go for indoor potty training, or at least offer a better option than the living room carpet.
You can find puppy pads at any pet store. They are basically flat diapers. There are also some fake grass options. If that doesn’t sound like a good plan, you’ll need to dedicate some time to train your pup’s opinion of a downpour. You’ll want to go with positive reinforcement training. So stock up on yummy treats and pick your cue word.
For example, let’s say “bidness” is your cue word. Every time you say it your dog gets a treat.
Then say it ever time you go outside—Let’s do bidness!—treat and happiness. Ideally you would start this training when the sun is shining but we can still get a lot of good work done now.
Remember, don’t force. The more cruddy experiences your dog has (being forced, pulled or unwillingly carried), the more stubborn the behavior will become. Also, if there’s any way to make a little shelter outside for your dog, that’d help—even a little tarp or tent will help on those downpour days.
Jennifer Scarlett, DVM
The San Francisco SPCA
So remember, it's all about positive reinforcement.
Stay positive, and the pup will pee!
[Image via JDH/JCP/WENN.]