It never rains in California, uhhh yes it does.

About mid afternoon the clouds began to fill the sky; the house got darker and I should have got them all outside. I did manage to get my small girl out the door to have a quick pee but the poodles were sleeping and I hated to wake them. After all the rains had been few and scattered at the most.

I talked to a friend who lives a little more inland than we do; she stated that she was waiting for the impending storm; it was getting really windy where she was. As if on cue the wind came up and the rains started; I was too late. By late afternoon my poodles needed to go out; they stood by the kitchen door and rang their bell to let me know.

I opened the door to the outside; knowing exactly what was to happen. One glance outside at the rain pouring down and they quickly turned, they were not going outside. My male really had to go and once again he approached the door and wanted out. I opened up the door with the same result; he turned on a dime and was not going out. We did this a third time; I knew he had to go.

The fourth time my son ran out with him in hopes of coaxing him onto the grass; but he is not one to be coaxed into doing something he doesn’t want to do. So when I opened the door for the fifth time I told him “this is it; you have to go,” and shut the door behind him. Once he was out there he really had to go; so he made a mad dash to the grass, did his business and was back in a flash.

This is an all too common problem here in sunny Southern California; our dogs are not use to weather. So what we end up with are dogs that won’t go outside to relieve themselves in the rain. As a trainer it is one of the most common problem behaviors that I hear about.

So what do you do when your dog will just not go out? Well; you go back to kindergarten so to speak. You get out the best treat you can find, get your raincoat on or an umbrella (as long as your dog is not afraid of umbrellas) and you bribe your dog outside. Hopefully you have taught them a word for going; mine is “hurry up.” Once out there; tell them to do their thing and the second they do, offer them the big pay off.

Not all of the canine guardians deal with this issue but if you do have a dog that hates to go out into the rain; you are not alone. Many dogs will happily go out for a walk but not just to go to the bathroom. The positive association of a walk is enough to get them out there; not so much just to relieve themselves. So you can pull out the treats anytime it rains; it will not damage the normal routine of your dog. It is far better to reward your dog for doing something that they really don’t want rather than cleaning up the mess in the house, no?

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