Why Do Dogs Sit In The Rain

dog in the rain

You have probably heard of a dog not wanting to go walking in the rain, but have you heard of a dog wanting to sit in the rain. Well its more common than you may think, so why do dogs sit in the rain?

Rain stimulates a dogs senses much more than dry weather, smells can become more accessible and the wind can carry them further. Working breeds with thicker coats will more commonly enjoy sitting out in the rain, whereas short coated breeds will feel more uncomfortable.

Dogs can be very different from breed to breed and the way they are raised can develop their own likes and dislikes. To fully understand why dogs sit in the rain we will look at some various aspects of this habit.


Do Dogs Like Rain

Dogs don’t commonly like the rain and most dogs would choose a sunny day over a rainy day. However this is not to say that some dogs don’t enjoy the rain when it is about.

As a dog owner you will probably be aware that a common training requirement during puppyhood is encouraging your dog to go out in the rain. Puppies are normally scared about going outside in bad weather especially when rain is involved. This is simply a response based on “if I don’t know it, I don’t want it”, the level of which can differ from puppy to puppy.

The reasons dogs tend to not enjoy the rain is because they associate it with discomfort, they feel wet and cold, especially amongst short haired breeds. However you will find some dogs, especially double coated breeds do like the rain and although sunny days are more desirable, the rain really doesn’t bother them.

Whether your dog grows up to enjoy the rain or not is most likely based upon their early experiences of the outdoors. As a puppy, did they run around in the mud, go swimming or play in the rain, if the answer is no then you would understand why they don’t enjoy the rain. The breed of dog also has some importance as dogs more adapted for the colder climates would not feel the discomfort that short haired or indoor dogs feel.

Reasons Dogs Sit In The Rain

There can be a few solid reasons why your dog may choose to sit out in the rain. Below are some of the most likely reasons your dog is sitting in the rain.


Dogs have a an incredible sense of smell, it is by far their most valuable attribute and something the use constantly. Dogs not only have great sense of smell they also enjoy the activity a whole lot more than people realize. Laying a scent trail on a walk can help give your dog some much needed metal stimulation as they hunt down each treat along the way. Check out some of our articles on a dogs sense of smell, “Why Does My Dog Smell Everything on a walk” and “How Long Can a Dog Follow a Scent”.

There love for this activity is a good reason why dogs might enjoy sitting out in the rain. As highlighted in Live Science, water falling from the sky has a tendency to disturb what it hits on the ground. The process that gives off these smells is called Petrichor, which essentially is the bacteria being released into the air from plants, especially after dry weather. Because these smells are given off when the rain falls, dogs will enjoy processing these scents as they become available. Have a look at the awesome video below for another explanation.

Love Of The Outdoors

Some dogs are made for the outdoors and are always wanting to be outside whenever possible. These is partly down to their upbringing but always their own biology. Working breeds have been bred over many years to be outside on the farms or on long hunts across open moorland. Although the majority of dogs have now become extremely domesticated and somewhat spoiled, there is still hundreds of years worth of breeding buried within each dog.

Double coated dog breeds are made to be out in adverse weather, splashing around in ice cold waters and running across windy mountains. These dog breeds will most likely sit out in the rain at least until they feel the water penetrate their thick double coat, at which point they may reside to going inside, after all there is no pint in getting wet.

Just like double coated breeds are made for adverse weather, some dogs have been bred to follow scents and track down animals. These breeds will always attempt to use their nose at every opportunity, can you imagine having one of your sense so powerful it engulfs your very existence, this is what dogs will fantastic noses feel. These breeds notice everything and anything when it comes to smell and so the opportunity to be outside where there is a greater abundance of scent shouldn’t be passed up.

On the other hand your dog may just be a unique pooch, with no characteristics that would suggest they like the rain, they just decide to sit out in it. Maybe at some point in their early life their love of water became apparent or just like a golden retrievers love of water, they have that same desire to be wet whatever the application.

Should I Let My Dog Sit In The Rain

Whether you let your dog sit in the rain will often depend on the type of dog, their character and what sort of weather is happening. Here are some points that may help you decide whether to let your dog sit out in the rain.

  • A light rain is very different to a heavy downpour. Additionally you should be thinking about the temperature and whether its too cold for your dog. Remember! rain will cause more discomfort in cold weather.
  • The breed of your dog will most likely have a deciding factor on whether they sit out in the rain. As highlighted above, double coated breeds will feel less discomfort than short haired breeds. However, on warm rainy days any breed may be attracted to some time out in the rain.
  • Allowing your dog to sit in the rain from an early age and encouraging them, can help your pooch become more hardy. This means that when you have no choice but to walk them in the rain they will be more than willing to come along.
  • If you have adequate shelter that your dog can retreat to if the feel uncomfortable, there is no reason why you cant let them enjoy the rain. After all its there own choice as to whether they want to sit in the rain or retreat to some homemade shelter or outdoor kennel.
  • Older dogs that have may have current joint issues or the potential for future joint pain, should probably not sit in the rain. This is not because the rain would harm them, but more that they will most likely be sitting somewhere unsupportive and uncomfortable. This is no good for their joints and could accelerate any joint issues they may have.

Letting your dog sit out in the rain is in the control of you the owner. Thinking about your dogs character, breed, physical state and the current weather conditions are all important factors in your decision.

Keeping Your Dog Dry

So you have a dog that enjoys sitting out in the rain, and rather than killing their vibe, you don’t mind letting them stay out, but what about the wet smelly dog that you end up with. Here are some great ways to keep your dog dry in the rain.

Wet Weather Gear

It may be that your dog enjoys exploring the garden whilst its raining or you simply want to keep them dry on a walk. Doggy raincoats are an abundant item online, you are almost overwhelmed with the amount of choice. If you do get a doggy raincoat or waterproof fleece, then ensure you get the right size for your dog, you may need to try several sizes before being satisfied with the right one.

This leads me to my next point, choose a company that offers free returns, allowing you to try a few sizes without worry. Even if you are not going for a walk and your dog simply wants to sit in the rain, then try a raincoat as it can help keep most of the rain off them.

If your dog enjoys both sitting in the rain and trotting around the garden then doggy boots can be a good idea too. Gardens can get pretty muddy and “keeping your house clean with muddy dogs” is a task in itself. There are a few different kinds of dog boot and picking the correct one for the activity you are doing can help tremendously. In most cases a trot round the garden can be covered by some waterproof, hard wearing doggy socks. If your interested in some more hard wearing dog boots then check out my picks for doggy boots in this article. “5 Best Dog Boots For Hiking”

DIY Dog Shelter

If you fancy it, you could try your hand at some DIY, with an outdoor dog kennel or sun shelter your dog can enjoy the rain whilst keeping dry. Dog shelters are fairly easy to build as they don’t consist of any methods than require clever woodworking skills. All you want to aim for is something your dog can shelter under, whilst enjoying the outside, this would also allow you to shut the door on them keeping the heat inside your house.

If your interested in DIY projects YouTube is a great place to learn and you can find some really awesome projects on there. This may be out of your skill set but I felt this dog house needed showing off.

Drying Your Dog

So there is the possibility that if your dog wants to sit out in the rain, they will inevitably end up getting wet. Drying a dog is a good idea, simply because the smell they will start to give off is not pleasant and is commonly referred to as wet dog smell, “this article highlights why dogs smell after getting wet”.

Using the correct gear to dry your dog can make the experience much easier. Microfibre towels will absorb moisture better than regular towels and don’t cost a whole lot to buy. You can also get dog coats that are made from a microfibre material, these wrap all the way around your dog. However, some don’t provide enough material underneath your dog so wouldn’t be much good if they have been swimming. Have a look at our article on “5 Ways to Dry Your Dog”.


Dogs can have different habits, depending on a variety of things. The two main influences on why dogs sit in the rain are their breed and their upbringing. Hopefully this has given you an insight into why your dog sits in the rain and how you can manage this, adorable behaviour. If you did enjoy this article check out our homepage for more great content on getting out an about with your pooch.







Dean Lissaman

As a child I grew up around dogs and have loved them ever since. I now have a beloved Golden Retriever who enjoys exploring the outside world. Being an outdoor enthusiast has inspired me to create the ultimate resource on relating both dogs and the outdoors. For more information on me check out my about page.

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