Rain Desensitization?

I'll be moving from a VERY arid climate to a rather wet and rainy one with my Basenji, Robin. Robin has been a desert dog his entire life (as far as I know… he's a BRAT rescue, and came from a previous home in the desert), so he hasn't really had to deal with rain. We get little rain, so he usually just "holds it" until the weather clears up. In fact, he once urinated on the porch's doormat, rather belligerently, when I insisted that he could not wait another 12 hours. The look he gave me still makes me laugh. Robin will not poo when the ground is too damp, let alone if water is falling from the sky. He once went for two, nearly three days without defecating when we were having a really wet spell, despite regular walks (he considered them forced marches).

😕 So, here's my question - does anyone have tips for encouraging Basenjis to tolerate the rain long enough to do their business? Or any help in acclimating a desert B to life in Western Oregon? Any thoughts on those astro-turf looking dog "restrooms?" Thanks in advance!

I've always just grabbed the leash and go for a walk and they will go. Just wait till the rain eases up a bit. Or I just put them in the garage where it's dry and they go.

on those astro-turf restrooms for dogs, they are rather expensive at around $200, I have a friend that bought one and her dogs chewed it up. So I would not go there myself as my B, Sahara loves to chew. When it rains Sahara will hold it also for the longest time, but I have gone out with her with an umbrella over her and I and she will go. Then I praise, praise her and we go back till it stops raining or I do the same thing again. Of course she only goes outside b/c I have her on leash.

Houston

I agree with what has already been said..just walk and praise her, she will get it. The question is do you want to walk around for what can be a rather long time (at least in my case…sometimes) when it is pouring outside..?
I did look into making my own dogbox to my elderly Westie when he was alive, but never got around to it. Basically get a shallow plastic box or cat litterpan and buy a piece or two of grass sod and place that in the pan, not the fake grass. It lasts several weeks until it is time to replace it again...then of course you have to wonder, where do you find grass sod if it is not season for it..I don't know..

Thanks for the suggestions. I may have to consider making my own dogbox to place on the porch (out of retaliatory-chew range), thanks Basenjimama. While I am very persistent, and in the habit of taking Robin out for two 30 min. walks a day, I may not have time to drag him around until he relents - I will be enrolled full time in classes and living in an apartment, so walks are the only option unless he decides to use a dogbox.

I'm sure he'll eventually get used to the rain, I'm just a little worried about the transition since the rainy season will start while I'm in school and away from home quite a bit.

Jaycee still really dislikes the rain however we stand in the rain in the middle of the yard until we go do our thing. I thinks she might know now that we are there until she gets done. It was raining here the other day and we went outside and she put her feet on wet grass was like no way we are not going there so she just did her thing on the drive way.

Rita Jean

My boy dog learned pretty quickly if you go and pee on the nearest tree, we will turn around and go home. So if it is really pouring rain he will rush to the nearest tree or pole and then pee. As soon as he is done, I let him turn around and run home. The going right home is the reinforcer for the quick pee.

The same for the longer poop walk. When it is raining we use the "Quicker you do your business the quicker we go home." rule and it does seem to work. It means having some time at first but basenjis catch on pretty quick as long as you are consistent.

I am having the same problem with my male puppy. He has jsut recently experienced rain and I started picking him up and taking him to the grass but I am afraid I reinforced him for not going out. Any thoughts on carrying vs. literally having to drag him out to an appropriate spot?

In my eyes the main thing is any way wyou get there your going in the grass and we will stay until all is done. Jaycee still likes sidewalk to drive and puddle on drive that is ok. I know we may need to do more I just walk into yard old saying you have you have to that's us.

Rita Jean

@kipsdad:

I am having the same problem with my male puppy. He has jsut recently experienced rain and I started picking him up and taking him to the grass but I am afraid I reinforced him for not going out. Any thoughts on carrying vs. literally having to drag him out to an appropriate spot?

I find nothing wrong with carrying him to the grass… at least he is going potty outdoors regardless how he got there.... (to the grass...)

I am trying to delete this entire message, cos Im was talking to the wrong person…

In the mornings at least, I wait until the last possible moment to take Gossy out and by then she really has to go, rain or not. I never take her out if it is poring as I don't want to be out there any more than she does. I do use an umbrella with her and I try to get her over to some big spruce tree that can provide shelter while she does her business.

Also you might try working with piddle pads (they're called various things) until he gets used to Oregon's climate.

@kipsdad:

I am having the same problem with my male puppy. He has jsut recently experienced rain and I started picking him up and taking him to the grass but I am afraid I reinforced him for not going out. Any thoughts on carrying vs. literally having to drag him out to an appropriate spot?

Well, I'm not sure on this one, as I've never had a Basenji puppy… I adopted mine as a crotchety 7 year old (now a crotchety 12 year old) 🙂 However, if my boy is any indication of the breed, I'd say that picking up your pup is not a problem. Mine seems to loathe being picked up, he'll tolerate it, but it's certainly not a reward for him to reinforce any sort of behavior. In fact, I think mine would start going out on his own just to avoid the humiliation of being carried. For my B, being picked up has the connotation of the "argument" being non-negotiable - if he will not go where I say on his own, I will just put him there (calmly and gently, of course).

Additionally, as others here have stated, when your dog does his business in the rain, he gets rewarded for doing it quickly by getting to come back inside where it is dry. My problem has been that the weather reinforces my dog to "hold it" since the desert rain inevitably lets up before he goes.

One more tip - if you have any gravel, I have found that a lot of dogs that dislike water prefer to potty on gravel over grass when wet.

Shaye did not like the rain the first time and many times after that. I just took her leash and kept walking, and eventually, though it took a few times, she got the picture that she wasn't getting in until she peed or pooed, so now when we go out in the rain, she chooses the nearest available spot, and does her business quickly, then turns and trots as fast as I can keep up back to the house. Your dog will get accustomed if you keep it up. As to the indoor turf - do you really want to clean up that mess???

Jaycee did it today it's raining here we put the leash on her and she went right out did her thing and was back in the house fast. Today she did not stop and check peemail. You can do it we have but we have been at this since March. We have had more rain this summer by far then other summers. Next hurdle I am sure will be snow. just bought her new winter coat so we are ready to start over.

Rita Jean

how about a doggie rain coat. My 11 yr old girl will not go out in the rain without it. (yes she is spoiled) I also agree with the comments of take them out and don't let them come back in until the business is done. That worked very well when I was training Cody. I would stand at the base of the stairs to my house in the backyard and he wasn't allowed up until I saw he had done everything. As soon as he was done he was allowed back in. Now I have now trouble with him unless its thundering and lightening, and really who can blame him for that.

Believe me Basenjis get used to rain - otherwise there wouldnt be any up here in Scotland…

I really dont like the idea of a litterbox or turf inside - they are dogs - it wont kill them to have to take a wizz outside in bad weather once in a while..

@Elscodobermann:

Believe me Basenjis get used to rain - otherwise there wouldnt be any up here in Scotland…

I really dont like the idea of a litterbox or turf inside - they are dogs - it wont kill them to have to take a wizz outside in bad weather once in a while..

+1
Of my 3, 1 of mine hates the rain, 1 of mine tolerates the rain, and 1 of mine doesn't seem to notice if it is raining 😃 :rolleyes:…they all have to go out in the rain and know they won't be allowed back in until they go...so they go quicker. I'm 100% sure if catered to their weather dislikes, they would go in the house - at least 2 of them would anyway...and well, that isn't happening.

First Basenji's

I live in Central Oregon and I am new to owning a Basenji. It does not rain much here but in Western Oregon…I don't have a whole lot of issues. I don't offer him a choice. It's time to go and he goes, although he prefers to have me there when it's time. Good luck.
Welcome to Oregon. It's the best!

Thanks, candiejohn.

My problem isn't getting him into the rain, it's sort of like the adage, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Except that in our case it's that you can take a Basenji outside, but you can't make him potty. That stinking dog will hold it until I'm sure that his kidneys will rupture. I was concerned because I will be in classes from 8am to 5 pm, and that's a long time to wait if he refuses to potty in the morning. We'll just have to see how it goes, and hope that the umbrella and trees will provide enough cover for him to want to go.

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