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We’ve been pretty lucky in our area this winter, just mostly wet and a little snow, unlike other years. You could say we lucked out. But for those of you with snow often covering your ground for weeks, if not months at a time, your pups and small dogs are rarely happy at not finding their “special spot.”

When that happens, that's when I start hearing the complaints - how the dogs don’t want to go out, or that they’ve started messing in the house out of the blue.

Fact: What goes in, must come out . . . at some point. And it does in the most unexpected and unwanted spots, at times.

So, expecting your dog to “get it” and realize it’s just going to have to finally “go” outside is unrealistic on your part. And it’s also a human perspective, not the dog's.

Let’s look at this from the dog’s point of view for a minute, shall we?

  • It’s cold

  • It’s wet (snow melts when it comes into contact with the body)

  • The snow is higher than the pup or dog

  • The substrate surface you taught your pup or dog to “go” on has virtually disappeared


Hopefully, you were doing your homework in building up a strong “go potty” behavior well before the storm hit. You trained your dog by going to the same spot in the yard regularly.

  • Shovel off a large square to reveal the grass that the snow has hidden.

  • Be sure to reward your dog with high value treats for taking care of business under such a stress situation.

  • If you know ahead of time and beat the storm, lay down a tarp on that special spot. Then when the snow is here, all you have to do is fold back the tarp and wallah! Instant potty spot!

AND DON’T . . .

  • Don’t yell at the dog.

  • Don’t let your dog “go” on the deck or patio. You WILL regret that when spring rolls around and your dog still wants to do what it's been doing for the last four months season.

  • And don’t be lazy. Get out there and shovel a spot if you can’t do the tarp.


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