Winter House Training – Potty Shelters
Many IGs will refuse to go outside when it’s cold, windy, raining or snowing. What’s an owner to do who refuses to let their IG potty in the house (and we are definitely with you if you are!)? Please see our House training page for more information.
Outdoor Potty Shelters
Many IG owners have had success creating an outdoor potty shelter for their dogs. This might seem extreme, but IGs are descended from desert dogs and are not built for Wisconsin winters. They do not have a heavy fur coat or high body fat (or at least they shouldn’t!) to survive outside in extreme weather. Shelters can range from very crude to a heated outbuilding. The closer the shelter is to your back door, the easier potty breaks will be for you and your IG.
Cheap, Easy Shelter
This is an example of a very cheap homemade poop shed. The owner used plywood to put together a three sided shelter with a sloped roof so snow removal is easy. One thing to think about when building your own potty shelter is to keep the roof high enough you can get in and clean up poop. Your poop shelter will collect a lot of poop and you’ll need to clean it out frequently. You won’t want to pick the shelter up or move it when your yard is covered in a foot of snow. You can also use an outside dog pen covered with plastic, however you’ll need to find a way to keep snow from building up on the cover.
Covered Shelter that lets in daylight
This is an example of a little more elaborate homemade shelter. The clear plastic on the outside lets in daylight. The shelter is positioned right next to the house which adds a little more wind protection and allows the dogs easy access on cold winter nights.
Attached Potty Shelter
Some owners have attached the potty shelter to their house with a dog door. These IGs never have to worry about getting wet.
Purchased Potty Shelters
If you aren’t that handy or don’t have time to build a potty shelter, a plastic covered green house is a great option. Shelter Logic has a great line of green houses of various sizes and can be purchased at Northern Tool online. This is what we use and we take it down every spring so we have more room in our yard. Or, if you garden, your green house can have multiple uses.