Dear Labby: Why Do Dogs Hate the Rain?

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Dear Labby_oldDear Labby,
Look at this video – why won’t my dogs go out in the rain? They aren’t afraid of thunder – my weimie is a hunting dog, loud noises don’t bother her – so why won’t they go out when it’s just a shower?
Rainy Day Wondering


Dear Wondering,
I’ve experienced the same thing with my dogs. They will stand at the door, look at the rain and then look back at me like they are saying “You crazy woman, I’m not going out there!”
I’ve seen it written that dogs don’t like to go out in the rain because the rain amplifies the sound and since their hearing is more sensitive than ours, it bothers them. Given we were talking about dog’s hearing just the other day, I thought it might be interesting to see if this was true.
The answer is I think so. I didn’t find anything from a reputable source that gave me much more than: the rain amplifies sound and hurts their sensitive ears.
I tried to locate something with some fact behind it – or at least an explanation and the best I found was an article on birds singing louder in the spring. It gave the best explanation of how rain amplifies or distorts sound waves, just as it does with light waves and creates rainbows. And there is more rain in the spring, so it seems as if they are singing louder.
I don’t know for certain if it’s true as I’m not a scientist, but it makes sense. If any of you out there ARE scientists, please weigh in with some facts for this question.

Dear Labby

Additional Resources:

Do birds sing louder in the rain?

Why Dogs Do Not Like Rain

Why Does My Dog… Refuse to Go Out When It’s Raining?




We are joining up with the Monday Mischief Blog Hop, hosted by Snoopy’s Dog Blog, Alfie’s Blog and My Brown Newfies



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  1. Yikes! We live in the PNW. Our dogs don’t mind the rain; when they’re hesitant, it’s because I’m hesitant. So I go outside with them and have fun and then they have fun…running and splashing through every mud puddle. Yep, lots of fun 🙂 Then bath time.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Keeping Our Littermates Happy with VarietyMy Profile

  2. Funny dogs …… so cute !

  3. I have 2 dogs that will go out in the rain very grudgingly. I don’t think it has to do with anything other than they don’t like to get wet. They don’t like the feel of water pounding on them. For us, the harder the rain, the less likely they are to want to go out. I don’t blame them; I feel the same way. 😀

    Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats
    Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats recently posted…Story: Cats in the KitchenMy Profile

  4. Bailie and I don’t mind rain at all, but Katie doesn’t like to be wet, so she has never liked the rain. Bailie and I enjoy stomping in puddles, getting all soaked and dirty. No idea why some dogs don’t like it, especially if they are water loving dogs.
    Emma recently posted…My Review Has Been Hijacked Twice!My Profile

  5. I wouldn’t like to have to go outside to do my business in the rain either.
    Bailey recently posted…Sheltie Geomety: Acute AnglesMy Profile

  6. Cello won’t go out in the rain either!!!
    Jenny B recently posted…GSP Rescue of NJ at Doggie Appreciation DayMy Profile

    • And he loves the water…I think there might be something to this sound issue.
      mkob recently posted…Dear Labby: Why Do Dogs Hate the Rain?My Profile

      • Could be ! We could never figure out why this water-obsessed pup hates rain and baths! It will be interesting to see if our puppy, Hooch, will go out in the rain or not, as it has not rained since we brought him home.
        Jenny B recently posted…GSP Rescue of NJ at Doggie Appreciation DayMy Profile

  7. Hmm brown dawgs do not mind rain. We even train in it from time to time and during duck hunting season there can be rain. I guess they are not normal. Well I think I knew that…lol.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Lost In SpaceMy Profile

  8. Hi Y’all!

    I hesitate going out in the rain too, but head on out as soon as the Human joins me.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…Mean Mama MischiefMy Profile

  9. We love the rain!!! We will stand in the middle of the yard and not listen to mom call us in, selective hearing at it’s best! BOL!
    Miley recently posted…How a Dog’s Nose Saved the DayMy Profile

  10. Hey Labby – That makes a lot of sense to me, although in Harley’s case, I would have to throw in his “I hate wet hair” issues… BOL
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…BED HOPPING | MONDAY MISCHIEFMy Profile

  11. Maybe sound does have a part in it, but I imagine getting hit in the head with cold water isn’t fun for any species.

  12. My Labrador LOVES going out and running in the rain. He also loves running when it’s snowing. Looks like he’s the unusual one……… He does not like being groomed, so I wonder if there is a correlation.

  13. I guessed as I saw Taj… we must be related. Has Tally learnt it by Taj or is she generally no fan of “wetness-days”?
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog MISCHIEF MOANDAYMy Profile

  14. My three don’t mind the rain. However, Jeffie doesn’t like lightning and thunder; Rudy is truly frightened by it. Just a shower? No problem. Rosie? Doesn’t mind any of it, but doesn’t like to go outside alone – lol.
    Sue recently posted…No Barking Allowed | Monday MischiefMy Profile

    • So interesting there are such differences. Both Jack and Maggie will stand at the door. Jack will eventually come out with me, but Maggie may or may not.
      mkob recently posted…Dear Labby: Why Do Dogs Hate the Rain?My Profile

  15. LOL Silly dogs!

  16. Mauja and Atka don’t like the rain either. Mauja doesn’t like to get wet 😉
    It’s Dog or Nothing recently posted…Are We Crazy?My Profile

  17. I love the rain 🙂 it means puddles and mud, it’s a win-win!
    Misaki recently posted…Flying hooversMy Profile

  18. As a diva Doxie who won’t go out in the rain, oh I can hear it outside, I don’t need to stand at the door and look at it, my dad has an interesting theory. This is based on the fact that I love the snow, a problem you don’t have, even though it gets me as wet as rain. We think its because you can’t see it, its no fun standing in something that makes you miserable and you don’t know what it is. Your thoughts? Love Dolly
    Dolly the Doxie recently posted…Mischief with my Pals Sugar and RoccoMy Profile

  19. Huh. That’s interesting. I never heard that before, but it kinda makes sense. I could never understand that, cuz a lot of pups don’t mind getting wet at the beach or lake – yet hate to get wet in the rain, but if it’s the sound, then that would make sense. However – not a science type so what do I know! (I’m a word-girl and a numbers-girl, but not a science-girl!)
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Monday Mischief: The Dog’s the ThingMy Profile

    • It kind of makes sense to me…and my guys always stop and look up at me just like Taj did in the video..kind of like WTF?
      mkob recently posted…Dear Labby: Why Do Dogs Hate the Rain?My Profile

  20. We have always wondered the same thing. We are not scientists, but that makes sense.
    jan recently posted…I have a theory that the entire universe is speeding upMy Profile

  21. My girls do not like the rain, either!! Even with their heavy duty coats! They are also not a fan of puddles. It’s such a pita when it’s raining to get them out to go potty!
    Lauren Miller recently posted…I will NOT get wet!!My Profile

  22. Ha! What a cute video! My huskies don’t overly like the rain, but they will still go out when they have to.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  23. I have never had a dog that liked going outside in the rain. I know that they can hear the thunder long before we can. Bentley says he doesn’t like going out in the rain because he doesn’t like that Wet Dog smell. ☺
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Sometimes a BoyMy Profile

  24. Makes sense to me BUT my labs don’t like to go outside to potty when it’s raining, however if we are taking a walk, they will gladly go and walk, and walk. I can’t figure that part out. 🙂
    Jodi recently posted…Watta-MelonMy Profile

  25. Hm, interesting. I have a few that don’t care about the rain and a few that do. I always figured it reminded them of a bath, lol.
    Rama’s Mama recently posted…Product Review–Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest Part 1My Profile

  26. My dog doesn’t seem to mind the rain. I used to run dogs in the rain all the time in Fargo, and none of them seemed to mind it either. Some of them were really excited and energized by it!
    Lindsay recently posted…Does a no pull harness work?My Profile

  27. My Labs and Lab mixes will stay out all day in the rain. My hounds refuse to go outside if it’s raining! My friend has coonhounds, and they, too, will not go out in the rain! LOL! Silly dawgs!
    Kathy recently posted…k2k9 Joins The Writing Process TourMy Profile

  28. Or they just don’t like getting wet. Particularly when the reward isn’t worth it. Our guys are perfectly happy to go on a walk or a hike in the rain. Not so much in the yard to potty. Makes perfect sense to me. If I am gonna get wet, I better get something good for it.
    Jana Rade recently posted…One Vomit, No VomitMy Profile

  29. Dear Labby

    I’m no scientist, but I know I don’t really like the rain as it messes my hair up, now if I was a lab I’d not have to worry about that, so I’m stumped?!

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂
    snoopy recently posted…Monday Mischief – Tough MudderMy Profile

  30. wow interesting theory, never heard of that. Glory loves the outdoors rain or shine she wants to be out there, she will lay right down and let it rain.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Monday Mischief~I Said Sit And StayMy Profile

  31. We have the opposite problem here….I can’t get them to come in out of the rain. I have to keep a pile of towels by the door on rainy days!
    Jan K recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Hijacked AgainMy Profile

  32. Interesting that you gave a rational response to this and attempted to find a scientific source–I saw the statement about rain “amplifying sound and being too intense for dogs’ sensitive ears” and this being the real reason dogs hesitate to go out in the rain. I’ve been a bit obsessed with this for the last couple of days, trying to find science to support this . . .Honestly, (and I’m not a scientist either) but I think this is a series of someone jumping to conclusions, starting with an erroneous premise and continuing with the common culture understanding that dogs have better hearing than humans– feeling like they’ve made an “aha” “interesting new factoid” discovery. Firstly, I’ve tried to find any physics, sound engineering evidence that rain per se has the ability to amplify sound–cannot find any evidence of that. In fact I found this–“precipitation, rain, fog, snowfall .. .” have no significant effect on the propagation of sound. And I think I visited a similar site on a study of birdcalls in the environment. However, wind, temperature and humidity, as well as topography have a much bigger influence on the speed of sound and distance it will travel before decaying –higher frequencies–like those dogs can hear but we can’t–especially decay more rapidly in higher humidity (which one might expect when raining). The physics is so multi-conditional that there is no one single influence on sound one could expect during any given rainfall, esp. since rainfall heaviness, etc. itself is so variable. If it were simply the loudness of the rain hitting objects that was too intense (I’ve found citations that typical heavy rainfalls might register at decibels of 50-80), you would think other loud non-rain sounds, like say the current summer cacophony of cicadas (which often run to 100 dB) would also be “too intense for their sensitive ears”–yet my dogs don’t seem to hesitate in the least on going out on a sunny, cicada-y, day. I think sometimes the most obvious answer is the answer–dogs don’t like to get rained on, they can tell from the sound and visual and smell that it is in fact raining and whether it’s raining hard, while they are standing in the doorway (just like we can) and THAT is the logical reason why they hesitate.

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