Some dogs do not like to go outside in the rain, windy or cold weather. This can present a problem when the dog must take a potty break. Some people wonder why some dogs do not like the bad weather. There are a few reasons for this. One is the size of the dog. The smaller a dog is the less body mass they have to keep warm. The wind, cold or wet conditions may be too much for the dog to handle. After living in a warm snug house, who would want to go out into the nasty weather?
Some dogs do not have coats that are very weather proof or they have been groomed which included a haircut. These dogs have no protection from the elements. This is especially true of the very short coated breeds such as a Doberman pinscher. To put it in perspective, imagine going outside in nasty weather with only a tee shirt and shorts on. This is what it feels like to a dog with a very short coat.
Another reason why a dog may not want to go outside is that they have been frightened by the weather. These dogs associate the weather with unpleasant experiences or who have a fear of storms. The most common fear is of thunderstorms. If this is the case the dog, will typically show signs of anxiety before the storm actually arrives. High winds can also frighten a dog. Keep in mind that a dog has a much keener sense of hearing than humans so if the wind is howling and loud to you, imagine how it sounds to the dog.
What can a dog owner do with a dog who does not like the bad weather? There are a few steps you can take. If your dog does not like the wind, cold or wet conditions, you can put a waterproof dog coat on your dog. This may solve the problem. If you live in an area where it gets very cold, you may have to put dog boots on your dog’s feet as well. Some dogs cannot tolerate the frigid cold on their feet. Sidewalks, roads and other paved surfaces could also have de-icing chemicals on them that can harm your dog’s feet.
If your dog has a fear of storms or high winds, you may have to consult with your veterinarian or an animal behavior consultant for help to desensitize your dog. You can find a canine behavior consultant at www.iaabc.org
If your dog’s fear is not to severe, you can try making trips outdoors fun. Teaching the dog to go to special spot to relieve himself and then reward the dog for doing so. This training should start in good weather. The reward should be something special, such as a special treat that the dog only gets when he does his business or a play session after he has completed his business. If the weather is wet be sure to towel the dog dry when he comes inside.
Never force or punish a dog for refusing to go outside when they are afraid. This will only make the dog more afraid by associating the punishment with the stressful conditions. It will also undermine your relationship with the dog. Punishment is never an option in any situation. Teaching and reassuring the dog is the way to handle fearful situations. If the dog should have an accident in the house do not let the dog see you clean it up and do not make a fuss over it.
With a little understanding, compassion and training, many dogs can overcome their aversion to bad weather. At least they will run outside to relieve themselves and hurry back indoors. Who could ask for more?