Q&A: Potty Training When It’s Raining


I have a wonderful 2-year-old female poodle mix that was brought up here to WA from Southern CA by a rescue group. We have a pet door going onto the deck/back yard and on nice days, she goes outside to potty. The catch is, we’re in Washington, known for our rain, and she WILL NOT go outside if it’s wet out. She’s usually pretty good about using the potty pads though will miss them occasionally. My goal is to get rid of the pads and have her going outside always since she’s free to go in and out on her own. How can I get her to do this when it’s wet outside? Thanks!



Hi Elaine.

Yep, some dogs just hate the rain! My own dog will hold it for 10hrs if it means avoiding the rain!

There are a few things you can do though to help this. Firstly, it may be worth buying a rain jacket for your dog. This will alleviate the feeling of the rain falling on her coat, and she may feel more comfortable. Secondly, grab your umbrella and take her out when it is raining. Just getting used to it helps a lot of dogs. As a two year old, she should be able to hold her bladder for many hours. I would say get rid of the puppy pads and take her out on a leash before you go out. Make sure she relieves herself, and then of course take her out again as soon as you get home. The pads are really an excuse for her not to go out at this stage. If you are home, again take her out on leash every few hours. Over time, she will get used to it. She may never like it, but she has to realize the option is either hold it or get wet…and there is only so long she can hold it!

Good Luck!


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Beth Jeffery

Beth Jeffery is a Dog Trainer and Behaviorist with over 15 years experience in the field. She spent years in the Service Dog field, training both Guide Dogs for the Blind and Assistance Dogs for the Disabled, as well as many years working with pet dogs. Beth current runs her Dog Training business in San Diego, working with dogs of all breeds, all ages, and with all issues, from puppy training through to aggressive dogs.

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