Cold weather may be affecting housebreaking

Posted by jawxx
Feb 26, 2008

I just picked up a 7 week old Yellow lab a few days ago. I moved on to crate training right away. I have the benefit of not going back to work until mid March. I took this opportunity to get my puppy so it could get more attention, and therefore, hopefully be housebroken quicker.

However, I'm experiencing a couple kinks. She's not in love with crate yet, but I can get her to sit quietly in it about half the time right now. And she does indicate,when in the crate, when she needs to eliminate, she gets extra whiny and rambunctious. So, I take her outside. I took her to the same spot the first several times, but then she decided to wander around a little bit and find a spot she liked better and pooped there. So I've started taking her to that spot. When she has accidents I put the paper towel outside.

An issue I'm experiencing is the cold here in Wisconsin. Today feels like 9. My puppy is still small at this age, and she gets cold very quickly. Especially her feet I think, with snow and ice. I set her in the designated 'spot' and she pretty much sniffs for a couple seconds and then goes back up the stairs to the door. I've made a habit of just grabbing her and setting her in the spot again. She just goes up the step again, by this time shivering. So I let her back in, and sometime within seconds she tries finding a place to go. This I why I think the cold my be the issue. It's simply too cold for us to be outside for 15 minutes each time, and its too cold for me to get her going on walks just yet.

Is this a heard of issue? Any suggestions? As stated, I clean the messes right away. I use deodorizer. I put the messy paper towels outside. If I catch her in the act. I give a slightly louder than normal, firm "NO!" Not quite a yell, but authoritative... then quickly take her outside.

Thanks a lot for your review of this, and any suggestions.
-Justin, and Gaz (the puppy's name)
Posted by Blue
Feb 28, 2008
Hi Justin,
For our dog Blue, we had a similar issue here in Canada - as she was from Louisiana and we adopted her in February (Brrr!!).

She would get cold and start lifting her feet and shivering and looking at us like "why are you making me dooooo this??".

So, rather than give into her, we bought her a little jacket and some boots and she loved it! She ran around like all of a sudden the cold wasn't a big deal! And... it was great for her house training too! She still wears the jacket on really cold days - as she still hasn't adjusted completely to Canadian climate, but she rarely has to wear the boots any more.

Definitely try not to give into Gaz's shivering too often - my sister's dog learned that by shivering he could be brought inside quickly. So now he shivers if he wants to come inside before he's done anything - even in the middle of summer!

If you think Gaz is really cold, bring her in for a minute or two to quickly warm up, then take her straight back outside! Especially if you know she is due to eliminate - or she will just start waiting to go inside rather then pee in the cold outside!

And dont' make any kind of fuss of her when you bring her in, just bring her in, wait by the door for a minute with her on her leash, then take her out again.

Hope this helps!