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Yesterday during the rain my dog (Labrador) started barking because it's time for his evening walk, but it was raining and I was not able to take him to walk until the rain decreases. I don't think it's ok to take him out in rain, so I tried to calm him down but didn't have much luck.

He also does his business only during these walks. He is trained not to pee inside the house. He tried everything to grab my attention, from ruining/picking things etc.

This looks like a start of rainy season to me and this possibility might come again and again.

So what should this be handled ideally? I don't want to shout at him to calm him down as that's not helpful to the situation.

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    As you can see from answers and comments to the question: could you elaborate why you feel you cannot take your dog out in the rain? Are you worried he may get too wet and cold (I could understand that in a chihuahua, but a Labrador seems save to take out is most conditions), or are you talking about "the street is flooded and it is dangerous" levels of rain? – Layna Apr 14 '15 at 12:29
  • Buy a rain coat for the dog if you are really worried about the rain, although your dog should not need one – Huangism Apr 16 '15 at 14:06
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I'm trying to understand the question on multiple levels, so please forgive me if I seem to be rambling.

Yesterday during the rain my dog (Labrador) started barking because it's time for his evening walk, but it was raining and I was not able to take him to walk until the rain decreases.

It doesn't take a dog long to go to the bathroom (at least, not to urinate.)

Your dog did what most dog owners would expect and respect: he told you he had to go to the bathroom and/or he was eager to go out. If he has to go to the bathroom and you're not letting him go, I think you might ask yourself if this is beneficial to anyone/anything. There are options on what you can you teach your dog here.

  • to stop indicating to you he needs to go out (this wouldn't solve anything)
  • to dissociate going to the bathroom (less fun) from his walk (more fun): this would help you pick your time to walk)
  • to stop barking to go out (this is doable and fine). To do that, he has to learn several things the usual way, with training and rewards: what "bark" means; what "no bark" means; some other way to alert you when he needs to go to the bathroom (some people put a string of bells on the doorknob).
  • to tell you when he just wants to have fun, which can happen indoors or out.

Now your dog can ask directly do go out. If he wants to play, you can play with him, or if he wants to go out, well, you need to take him out. You taught him not to bark, you taught him that playing was ok inside, but you want to respect his telling you he needs to go out. Take him on a leash and let him go to the bathroom. If you don't want him to associate going to the bathroom with a walk as well, bring him inside right after, and go for your walk when it's more convenient to you. If he trusts you to take him out for a walk, he probably won't ask you unnecessarily.

This looks like a start of rainy season to me and this possibility might come again and again.

Dogs, like people, need to go rain or shine. Regarding the rain: he's a retriever. He doesn't mind getting soaking wet, shaking himself off, and doing it all over again. As far as you enjoying going out in the rain, I'll defer to @ndrewbuilder here.

I have no set schedule (I work days, nights, or middle shift, or not at all), so my dogs need to be very flexible, and they are. But they also need to trust me that I will do what they want and need sometime or another, so we get along really well.

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You say you've trained your dog to only relieve himself when he's on these walks. It's good that your dog is trying to get your attention, as it shows he's learned not to pee indoors and is wanting to go do it outside.

If you live somewhere where going for a walk in a downpour is potentially dangerous, you should at least put him on a lead and take him to some bushes or a tree just outside your house to let him pee. Like the other answer said, dogs love routine, so he's probably holding it in on purpose in anticipation of this walk.

In the future, it might be helpful to check the weather earlier in the day and let the dog out (or go for your walk) before it starts to rain.

It might also be helpful to buy a rope or chain or something, secure it somewhere just outside your door, and then attach the other end to your dog's collar. Make sure it's long enough so he can reach some bushes or a tree. This will let him be able to relieve himself even in the rain without having to get yourself wet!

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Get a large umbrella, a good raincoat, some waterproof boots and in the entry to your home have two large thick old towels, one on the floor and one next to it.

Then put on the raincoat and boots, take your Labrador out into the rain (the dog will love the water), raise your umbrella and walk your dog.

Your dog will love you for the break.

When you return to your home, train your dog to sit on the towel while you take off your boots and raincoat, drop your umbrella, then dry your dog thoroughly with the second towel.

Place both towels in a bucket to soak. Wash after 12 hours and dry.

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    Why do the towels need to soak for 12 hours? – Zaralynda Apr 13 '15 at 14:30
  • Does this really answer the question though? The user is asking a basic alpha-dog training and discipline question, and you're suggesting to just do what he wants regardless of the adverse circumstances. – Robert Cartaino Apr 13 '15 at 15:55
  • Towels should soak for a period of time to endure the animal smell does not persist. – andrewbuilder Apr 13 '15 at 20:33
  • I believe this answers the question for a number of reasons. (You assume this is an alpha dog training and discipline question - I do not agree.) Dogs prefer routine in their lives - they thrive on regular daily habits as it provides them a great sense of security. Dogs require daily activity - for exercise. Dogs require regularly toilet breaks. In my experience owning a pet is more about learning to live together than forcing the dog to conform exactly to human behaviour. – andrewbuilder Apr 13 '15 at 20:39

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