- I go out myself and lead the way. Some dogs may not be crazy about the rain, but they'll go if I go first and show them it's not so bad.
- Gentle encouragement. This may mean sitting in the doorway with a treat and a soothing voice, reassuring the dog, and helping to remove the stress from the situation. It takes time, but you cannot rush a good relationship with a pet, it must be earned, and that takes time and patience.
- Bribery. For many dogs, a treat is a great motivator. If they are really stubborn, I will bring out the freeze-dried liver treats - I have not known a dog to resist them.
- Compassionate understanding. There are times when the weather is just so rotten, the rain or wind too fierce, or snow too deep, and a dog just flat-out refuses to go. Nuh-uh, no way, not gonna do it. And every signal they are communicating - the drooping ears, the tucked tail, the submissive licking (or even growling) - says "If you force me, it will damage our relationship. Please do not put me in that position." In those cases, we make the pooch as happy and stress-free as possible while we're there, and just try again next visit.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Doggies in the Rain
It is no fun walking dogs in the rain. Some dogs don't mind it, but other dogs tuck their tail and try to hide when it's time to go out. I try a few strategies in cases like these.
Maybe one of these tips will work for you if you have a reluctant, weather-weary pooch!