What to do when a dog hates the rain.
Willow (pictured above) does not. Its hard not to laugh when she pulls faces like that (it was only drizzling!) but I know an awful lot of dog owners that say ‘my dog won’t go out in the rain’. I am one of them!
My Jackapoo (jack russel x poodle – aka mutt) spent the first 3 years of his life refusing to leave the house when it was wet or windy. It was more than a little embarrassing to be seen trying to encourage this little tiny scrap of a dog along the road, not 2 foot from the house
This dislike for any kind of weather was a bit of an issue, considering we live in yorkshire which has exactly 3.23333 sunny days per year and 986 million drops of rain (ok so maybe I’m not sure on the stats). I also live next to farm land so the wind whistles over the fields and really upsets the little man. Toilet training was a nightmare, I’d open the door and he’d look at me as if i was crazy. Then came Archie:
This adorable little bundle of fluff is another rain hater. Now fully grown he will happily dive into puddles, the sea, streams but one rain drop hits him and its the end of the world.
There are of course dogs that adore the rain Harry a collie that I walk seems to come alive when its raining. The muddier the better as far as he is concerned.
There are a number of reasons dogs are hesitant to go out in the rain (and in Yogi’s case, wind) – the first being the noise. Dogs hearing is far more sensitive than ours, and all those rain drops hitting different surfaces at different times must be an awful lot of noise to process.
The second reason is something I’ve worked out over the years of being a dog owner – short coats often equal rain haters. Willow and her two sisters (Florence and Honey) all refuse to leave the porch in the rain and when they are out getting wet they show their displeasure by shaking constantly. I should imagine its cold and uncomfortable getting such a short coat wet – think how clammy your skin feels when you get caught in the rain. Our old Dobermann was the same, she would refuse to go out in the wet, even to toilet.
So for those of us that own rain haters – what can we do?
There is little we can do about the noise, perhaps wait until the heaviest down pour has finished before taking pups out. Some days you may have to miss a walk, that doesn’t make you a bad owner, it makes you a considerate one. A walk that is a chore will make the dog less likely to want to go out next time its raining. Make the rain fun – play games, give treats for venturing outside when its raining but never, ever force them out – let them take thier own time.
For those with short coats, the simplest thing to do is buy a coat. Make sure to introduce the coat slowly to them, don’t just put it on and make them like it, take your time – make the coat a fun thing to wear. Coats should be form fitting light weight and of course water proof. Waxed jackets are great but always check that they are washable – they get muddy and you want to be able to shove them in on a 40 degree wash at some point.
If you do chose to put a coat on your pup, make sure it does not cover their head or ears – dogs need to use their whole face and ears for communication. The coat will cover the hackles, so as a responsible owner you need to keep a close eye on any doggy chats that are going on, keep your dog safe (dry) and happy.