Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Get Your California Canine to Walk in the Rain

When it rains, it pours.

He ducks under awnings and huffs and puffs as he steps into a big black street puddle. Your dog is mad because its raining outside, and it's San Diego, California - America's Finest City, a magical place that boasts endless sunshine and dry, mild climate. Your California canine loves it because the average rainfall is only 10.34 inches per year, which means more time outdoors for your furry friend to frolic and play with his friends at the off-leash dog parks and beaches.

But what happens on those unexpected dark days, when the rain comes pouring down and your dog looks at you like a monsoon just hit Southern California? He doesn't want to go outside to pee or poop because he refuses to get his hair wet. He shakes his head because his ears and eyes are water-logged. This is exactly what happened to us last night. To shield him from the "inclement" weather, I put on his American Apparel Dog Hoodie, which is both cute and stylish, but also serves to keep him warm and cozy in the cold. But guess what? Bleu hates it. Last time I tried putting it on him, he pooped all over my apartment in retaliation. But this time, I didn't give him the chance to. Instead, I rewarded him for his cooperation with cucumbers:

He took the bate. And off we went into rain-soaked Little Italy. Bleu was not happy, but he did meet another flat-faced pug in a striped red and white sweater braving the bitter elements outside, and it seemed to put his mind at ease a little.

How can you prepare your pretentious pup for unexpected rain in San Diego?
1) Bring an oversized umbrella - one that hovers over you and your dog.
2) Buy him a raincoat or hoodie and booties (if he will wear them) to keep him warm and dry - make sure you give him ample time to get used to his foreign outfit beforehand indoors at your apartment before trotting off outside. He most likely will cop an attitude with you at first.
3) Encourage your dog to keep walking and assure him that water isn't the worst thing in the world.
4) Bribe your dog with treats - when you put on his silly rain outfit, feed him food. When you take him outside to walk him in the downpour, give him more.

Let's face it, we Californian's are wusses when it comes to the weather. And our dogs are no different. We are spoiled and want perpetual sunshine 24/7. Unfortunately, that can't happen all the time. Your dog might not be singing in the rain, but take these tips, and he will at least be walking in it.

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