Do Labradors Like Rain? (All You Should Know)

By Benjamin Tash

Labradors are notoriously known to have an affinity for water and swimming, but what about the rain? 

Have you ever wondered why your pooch wouldn’t even budge going out in the rain eventhough other labs seem to love it? Why is this? 

Here’s whether or not Labs like the rain:

It depends on their upbringing, environment, genetics, and personality. Some labradors would rejoice at the sight of rain, however, a slight majority of them wouldn’t even budge going outside when it rains. Part of it could be a negative association to wetness and on the other hand, some labs love the rain because they become more energetic when it’s cooler outside. 

Keep reading on to understand more reasons and factors behind this so that you’ll know what to do with your lab the next time it rains. 

raining lab

Why do some labs like the rain?

Some labs will never get enough of the rain and they wouldn’t instantly rush back home simply because they are used to it from early on. 

Most labs that adore the rain usually perceive wetness as a means of thrill and excitement, especially when they’re left alone out in the rain. Not to mention how they love drying themselves off after their rainy adventures. 

They particularly love the muddy puddles because after all, it’s in your dog’s DNA to love muds – more so for a water loving retriever. 

It could also be a learned behavior from the positive reinforcements they’ve gotten during their shower sessions.

And they may have inadvertently associated wetness with rewards and attention from you. 

Check also: Do Labradors like blankets? (All You Should Know)

Why don’t labs like the rain?

However, most labradors aren’t fond of being out in the rain and will instead prefer to stare outside the window hoping for the rain to stop. Some would even hide under the table out of fear of the loud thunder.

And you shouldn’t worry about it if your lab doesn’t like the rain, as it’s perfectly normal for a dog to fear the unknown if it’s not used to it.

Most labs are intimidated by the loudness of the rain because their hearing power is at most thrice as many as humans. Though the sound of the rain may be soothing for us, but the opposite is true for your pooch – especially if it’s a thunderstorm. 

Moreover, their sense of smell which is 40 times as many as humans is also a factor why a handful of them aren’t big fans of the rain. According to experts, dampness tend to amplify the smell of the atmosphere and it may be too strong of an odor for your pooch to handle if it’s not familiar with such potency. 

Also, your labrador may sense a huge drop in the atmospheric pressure (barometric pressure) whenever it rains, and hence leaving your pooch susceptible to health issues if exposed to such environment for longer periods of time. 

All of these factors combined may be the reasons why your lab doesn’t like the rain despite being avid fans of water and swimming in general. 

Explore more on whether or not Labradors can walk in snow here: Can Labradors Walk In Snow? (A Comprehensive Guide)

Will your labrador get sick from being in the rain for too long?

Your pooch will not easily contract any illness if it’s exposed to drizzly weather as labs have a thick undercoat that repels water, making them virtually waterproof. 

However, young and older labradors may potentially fall ill if they’re exposed to heavy rains on a regular basis. This is because heavy rainwater can pick up impurities and contaminants from the air, especially in today’s polluted environment.

Also, labs in this age bracket may have a compromised immune systems that may cause issues if they’re abruptly exposed to the cold and torrential rain.

Muddy puddles may also harbour various bacteria, parasites or chemicals that may harm your pooch in a heavy rain. There could also be traces of chemicals such as pesticides, faecal wastes or even motor oil in the water your lab walks on. So it definitely pays off to be mindful of where you walk your lab in the rain. 

It’s important to dry off your pooch with a towel or a blow dryer to eliminate stinkiness at home and to prevent your lab from feeling extremely cold at night. 

You might also be interested in: Why Does My Lab Stink Even After A Bath? (Reasons + Tips)

Do labs need raincoats?

The necessity of a raincoat depends on the particular dog breed. Labs have a thick water-repelling undercoat layer which renders raincoats useless in most rainy situations. Therefore it is not needed, except for situations where your lab is subjected to a rainy weather for an extended time. 

Furthermore, raincoats may also be useful for skinny, old, and injured labs as excessive exposure to cold rain may lead to hypothermia. Also, raincoats may ward off coldness and minimize splashes on them.

However, it’s advisable to get your pooch a raincoat if you’re very particular about limiting the amount of moisture or mud it brings into the house. Or if you’d like to save yourself some time from drying off your pooch after a rainy outing. 

Here’s a recommended raincoat for your Lab if you think it needs one. 

Additionally, it may be useful to invest in a paw washer to remove dirt and toxins that your lab may pick up on on its rainy walk. 

Related article: Do Labradors Love Snow? (8 Reactions + 8 Reasons)

What to do with your labrador when it rains?

Rainy days would somewhat be problematic if your pooch regularly answers its nature’s calls outdoors, especially if it isn’t used to the rain.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to keep your lab engaged with you if they are hesitant about going out in the rain as they are energetic dogs.

Here are 3 things you could do:

Gradual exposure

You should gradually expose your lab to the rain through exposure training if wasn’t properly exposed to the inclement weather early on. Begin by taking your pooch out for a brief walk on a drizzly weather just before it gets too heavy. 

That way, your lab will get used to the tiny drops of water hitting it from above and then, gradually increase those outdoor walk everytime it drizzles outside. Your lab’s urge to go potty will automatically shorten if it’s comfortable with the light rain.

Sooner or later, your lab will not have any qualms for a rainy walk.

Let it be

However, if your pooch has a hard time getting used to it then it’s best to not encourage it any further and instead, train your lab to go potty indoors. Comfortability for your pooch is crucial to letting it trust you. 

Here’s a potty pad you can check out. It helps keep the floors clean whenever your pooch relieves itself indoors. 


Alternatively, nosework games are definitely something you should engage your lab with indoors. Your lab is a natural sniffer, and these games would assist in bolstering their hunting instincts as well as enhancing their sniffing skills. And it works wonders in relaxing your pooch.

Not only that, it also helps your lab to bond closer with you as they are natural pleasers. It’ll help your Lab gain your approval and consequently they will trust you more. It’s always a good idea to incorporate positive reinforcements in these games. 

Check this nosework kit out for your Lab. 

Puzzle games

Also, dog puzzle games are definitely worth a try as it’s a perfect cure for your lab’s boredom indoors. These games help your Lab keep out of trouble because it distracts them from behavioral issues from their own fun when left alone. 

These puzzle games also helps boosts their mental stimulation. It stimulates their mental faculties even more, and as a result, your lab’s alertness and mental agility are heightened. Thus aiding in training as they become sharper. These games are also well known to deter dementia later on.

Consider getting this puzzle toy here. You won’t regret getting one.

These activities are worth trying indoors whenever it’s raining heavily outside. 

Read also: Why Are Labradors So Goofy? (8 Goofy Labrador Behaviors Explained)

What weather do labs like?

Labradors are cold weathered dogs that thrive on cooler temperatures, hence it’s advisable for you to walk your lab on cool days. They are more energetic when it gets colder thanks to their thick undercoat. 

Labradors thrive on temperatures above 18°F to 20°F and anything below this range is too cold for your Lab. You may find your lab constantly lifting its feet off the ground or shivering if you were to let it out for long below this cold threshold. 

As for the summer, labradors will do just fine under the sun below 80°F. Letting your pooch out above this 80°F would only exhaust your lab, and it will look for a shade to rest. 

It’s a good idea to walk your dog within the 20°F to 80°F range as a baseline, even if it rains. Be sure to minimize the walk on a cold rainy day as excessive coldness may lead to hypothermia. 

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