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Old 10-24-2012, 11:25 AM
 
4,762 posts, read 10,987,092 times
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I adopted a 4 year old Lab mix from the humane society last spring.

I have a doggie door. At first during the spring, it rained a couple of times and he did his business just inside the doggie door. Then it stopped raining and he has gone outside all summer (no rain).

Now it started raining again and he is again doing his business just inside the doggie door.

I've determined he is afraid of the rain. This could be getting wet, or he seems to not like to walk on the wet lawn, or I have read that they sometimes do not like the sound of the rain hitting objects.

He pokes his nose out the doggie door to determine if it is raining. Then will not go outside if it is raining.

This seems to be a very STRONG fear... As I adopted him at 4 years old, I have no idea what might have happened to him in the past, so far as rain or water is concerned.

And I have tried every trick in the book so far as potty training - his fear of rain greatly overrides any regular potty training methods...

So I need to deal with his fear. I have a few ideas, anyone know if any of these might work?

1. I have a small back porch area which is covered (ok if he goes there, but will not do so now). I can extend the dry / covered area by buying a couple of those 12 foot by 12 foot "tents" and placing them next to my porch in a line. Then he would have the porch and a 12 foot by 24 foot area which is dry, in which to do his business.

2. I can spend time with him out in the rain. Say every day take him out (by leash) and sit out there in the rain. Walk him around in the rain. (The idea being to "desensitize" him to the rain.)

3. Feed him out in the rain and/or give him treats out in the rain. No leash, he comes out into the rain to get treat or no treat! (The idea being to associate "good things" along with the rain.)

4. Go into bathroom, turn on shower, call him and give him treat when he walks next to running shower. (He HATES to go into the bathroom if the shower is running! I can get him to go in there if I have a treat in my hand.)

Note: Food overrules ANY fear with this dog! It is a BIG motivator.

Any of those ideas sound like they might work? Other suggestions? I am a *very* patient person and understand this might take awhile, but that is ok.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:30 AM
 
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poor guy my friend has the same problem withn his lab mix . he pretty much has to go outside with his dog if it is raining out there
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,647 posts, read 26,615,464 times
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I don't think that the shower trick will work, and I wouldn't even try that, lest it confuse him. I also wouldn't feed him his meals in the rain -- that just seems too mean.

My first instinct, even before I read your list of choices, was for you to go out with him in the rain. Personally, what I'd do is put him on a leash and take him out for a walk in the neighborhood. It doesn't have to be a long walk. Then I'd take him into the back yard (I'm guessing yours is fenced, since you talked about the doggie door), take off the leash, and hang out with him a bit there too.

On the walk and also while hanging out in the back yard, I'd give him some treats and tell him that he's a good boy.

I'm going to bet that he learns that the rain ain't so bad if you're out there in it with him AND he's getting treats AND he's getting told that he's a good man.

Good luck! Please report back.

By the way, what's your boy's name?

Last edited by DawnMTL; 10-24-2012 at 11:49 AM..
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
3,138 posts, read 6,907,515 times
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I've never had a dog who wantesd to go outside when it rained. With my basset hounds, I have to accompany them both with an umbrella to do their business. Then I dry them off and praise them effusively when they come back in. I thought the praise and a little treat would make them want to go outside in the rain... but forget it.

Don't do the shower suggestion, but try food.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:46 AM
 
2,514 posts, read 3,486,397 times
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Your list sounds excellent. Try them one at a time and see which is the least adverse to the dog. Then work on that one and graduate to the next level after he gets used to the one he finds least objectionable. Kudos to you for your knowledge on good dog training techniques.

How does he do with the sound of a faucet running? I particularity like your ideas of treating while the shower is running or taking him out in the rain briefly, giving him a treat and coming back in. I don't know if I'd feed him out there. He probably loves his meals and I kinda feel sorry for him and wouldn't want to spoil his meal time.

We have two 12x12 gazebos with the fabric tops just outside our back door. Our dogs don't like the sound of them creaking and whipping in the wind so maybe hold off on that idea until you determine if it is necessary. He may not like them either.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:26 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,779 posts, read 18,681,251 times
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they have this item called a thunder shirt and they will give you your money back if it does not work . You can get them at petsmart now . take care .
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:13 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 91,989,470 times
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This is the problem with doggie doors. Dogs shouldn't be left to manage their "business" on their own. Too many variables can cause problems. It's not uncommon for labradors to hate the rain. My lab loved water but hated rain. Given a choice, he would have preferred to stay inside instead of going in the rain. He insisted that we went into the rain too. It wasn't good enough if we stood under the porch roof, he'd stand under it too until we walked out into the yard. Once out in the yard, he'd stay out there on his own while we sought cover under the porch roof again.

I don't care how much you expose your dog to the sounds and feel of water. He doesn't like rain. He's not going to like rain. There's nothing you can do about it EXCEPT housetrain your dog to wait until you let him outside. If I could advise any new puppy owner, it would be to NOT get a doggie door. Doggie doors aren't housetraining because doggie doors don't teach dogs to hold it unil they are allowed to relieve themselves.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:21 AM
ZSP
 
Location: El Paso TX
1,568 posts, read 4,156,058 times
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Of my four dogs and one foster, three do not like the feel of the rain hitting them on their backs, especially a hard downpour. Putting jackets on them solved the problem...they go right out and do their business.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:11 AM
 
4,762 posts, read 10,987,092 times
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The dog's name is Scooby. (Note I also have another lab mix dog that I raised from a puppy. She has no problem going out in the rain.)

Update: I bought two of those 9 foot by 9 foot tents they use for craft fair booths, etc. These are about 6 foot tall and open on all sides. I placed them next to the covered porch...

The dog will not walk under these tents by himself! (yet) At least I can walk the dog under the tents on a leash.

Also I tried giving the dog a treat outside in the rain. He eagerly followed me outside with me holding the treat in my hand. He totally forgot he didn't like going out in the rain! (Then after he got the treat, he "came to his senses" and high tailed it back inside. )

Also something interesting, I called him to come next to the shower in the bathroom. He was fine with just the water running out of the lower spout. But as soon as I pulled the lever to switch the water to shower, he wanted to run away! So water running out of a faucet, no problem. Shower - perhaps the sound? and he bolts.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,647 posts, read 26,615,464 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_J View Post
Also something interesting, I called him to come next to the shower in the bathroom. He was fine with just the water running out of the lower spout. But as soon as I pulled the lever to switch the water to shower, he wanted to run away! So water running out of a faucet, no problem. Shower - perhaps the sound? and he bolts.
Either that's normal... or Artie and Scooby are both scaredy-cats of the shower. Artie does the exact same thing. His monthly "bath" in the shower stall is always an exciting event.
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