How To Get A Dog to Potty in the Snow

By Chris Miksen

Whenever winter's at its worst, you probably wish that you'd trained your pup to do his business in a litter box. That's because, for some dogs, finding a suitable potty area in a yard full of snow is like trying to find peace and quiet during the Fourth of July. However, don't fret just yet! A little shoveling and a lot of positive reinforcement go a long way.

Step #1 - Shovel out an area to serve as your pup's pee spot. Some dogs are simply no fans of having the cold snow touch their feet. So when the white stuff covers the ground, your pup might tiptoe around outside, do a little dance and then try to make a break for the door. Shovel out a large enough area for your pup to stand with all four paws on mostly dirt or grass, and bring her to that spot each time she needs to pee. Alternatively, you could set up a tent or other structure in your yard throughout the winter, keeping the area underneath mostly free of snow.

Step #2 - Put booties on your dog. Even with a shoveled-out pee area, your pup still has to make her way over there. That's bad news for those little feet, so outfit her in some stylish dog booties. The boots cover her paws and protect them from the cold and water.

Step #3 - Have some fun in the snow. Your pup thinks snow is a weird substance, especially if she's never seen it before. And some dogs view weirdness as something that's terrible. Instead of only shuffling your pup into the wintry air when she has to relieve herself, play with her outside. Throw snowballs, frozen sticks or just run around like crazy. Give her treats and make the entire experience wonderful for her. You might want to put a puppy jacket on her if she has a thin coat.

Step #4 - Stay out there until your dog pees. Dogs are not like cats when it comes to relieving themselves. Mess with a cat's litter box too much, and you might have a feline squatting on your floors. Your pup will likely not urinate in your house unless you take her out, bring her in when she didn't relieve herself and then not take her out again. She needs to learn that going back inside doesn't happen until she pees. If she doesn't care about her newly shoveled out area, take her somewhere else, like under a tree or another part of your yard.

Step #5 - Reward her for going potty. Every step you take in getting your little girl to go pee in the snow is important, but rewarding her for doing so is vital. Tell her what a good girl she is as she goes and when she's done, and feed her a treat.

By Chris Miksen

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References

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: House Training Your Adult Dog
The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You To Know; Tracy Hotchner

About the Author
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.