If your dog has been hiding, when it rains, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get your dog to stop doing it.
Possible reasons why your dog hides, when it rains, are that it does not like the noises, it senses a change in the air pressure or that it had bad previous experiences in the rain.
Since there are many possible reasons why it has been hiding, when it rains, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the most likely cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Why your dog hides when it rains
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
It could be the case that the rain causes it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it does it more when it rains heavily and when there is also thunder and lightning. In this case, it would help to try to distract it from the rain by giving it things such as bones, toys or chews or to get it to go to a quieter room.
It doesn’t like the noises
Dogs have much more sensitive hearing than we do, the reason why it starts hiding could be that it hears the noises much more loudly or possibly that it can hear noises that we can’t.
In this case, you could try to reduce the loudness for it by letting it go in a room where the rain is harder to hear. You could also close the blinds on windows so that the lightning is less noticeable.
It is reacting to your own behavior
Dogs tend to be highly aware of how their owners are feeling. The reason your dog hides, when it starts raining, could be because you get anxious yourself or because you change your behavior in some way.
The reason why it does it might be that it had bad previous experiences in the rain and it now sees it as a threat. This would be more likely if it was made to wait or stay out in the rain before. In this case, it would help to give it desensitization training with the sound of rain as shown below.
A change in the air pressure
If your dog also starts hiding when it hears noises such as thunder, it might be because it can sense a change in the air pressure. This is because it will warn it that there is a storm on the way and it might hear the low-frequency noises of the thunder as it approaches (source). This would be more likely if it starts behaving differently before the rain or thunder has even arrived.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
If dog has always done it
If your dog did not always hide when it rained, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards for hiding when it rains or being left out in the rain.
If your dog always does it
It would also help to consider if it always, hides when it rains, or if it just does it sometimes.
For example, if it only hides when there is thunder, it would be more likely that the noise is making it anxious.
What you can do about it
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
One thing you can try is to give it desensitization training which is where it learns to get used to hearing the rain and to have positive associations with it.
To do this you could play with your dog while playing the rain noises using the speaker on your phone in the background. If it starts hiding, it would help to stop giving it rewards and to reward it when it is quiet again. Doing this could help to get it to associate the noises with positive things.
Let it go to a quieter room
If there is a quiet room, in the house, it might also help to get it to stay in that room while it rains so that your dog is less likely to react to it.
Reward it when it shows signs of acting normally
It would also help to encourage it to behave normally by rewarding it when it shows signs of being calm when it is raining and avoiding rewarding it when it acts weird.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, you could also try giving it things to be distracted with, while it is raining. Things that you could give it would include toys, bones and puzzle games.
It would help to be calm when interacting with your dog. As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has been reacting to your own behavior when it starts raining.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by rewarding it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it stops hiding and to stop rewarding it when it starts hiding. Doing this should teach it that it gets rewards if it does not hide.
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