Friday, July 17, 2015

Dear Abby - On the Sensitive Subject of Housetraining

(Postcard found at Birdhouse Books)
Dear Friends,

Thanks for visiting today!   I have a note to share with you from my friend Molly.  It is about the sensitive subject of house training.  I am replying to Molly today, but welcome your house training suggestions as well in the comments section.   Please send any ideas that may help my friend!   On to Molly's note:

Dear Abby --

I have a problem. I'm not exactly sure what the problem is but I sure hope you can help me with it anyway. I am an 8 year old, 15 pound girl in excellent health and just the right size for my weight. The problem has to do with where I do my business. (Mind you, I don't have a problem with this but Mom sure does.) My sister dachshund doesn't have a problem with the rules either. If she wore shoes, she would be a "miss goody four-shoes" because she NEVER makes a mistake.

I don't make mistakes either. I know exactly where I am doing my business. It is just that my sister believes in the great outdoor commode and I believe in the living room rug commode.

We do have newspapers in a corner that Mom says are for emergencies -- like if we have to get up in the middle of the night or if Mom is gone too long and we really have to go.

Me, I'd rather just use the paper than wait for walk-time. There are too many exciting things to see and smell to be worried about pee and poop. Mom gets upset with the liquid part of stuff if she thinks I missed the paper. How am I suppose to know whether my whole body is on the paper? Apparently, sometimes my front feet are on the paper but the pee comes out the other end. Mom thinks I ought to concentrate more on peeing outside (which I generally do not like to do) and concentrate less on relieving myself on any stray newspaper I find. Why are there sometimes stray newspapers in the middle of the floor if they are not there to be peed on? Newspapers are for peeing and pee belongs on a newspaper. It is far more fun to chase off birds when I am outside than it is to think about mundane things like peeing.

Poop is just as bad! Mom doesn't understand that I just don't like to poop outside. I would much rather poop on one corner of the living room carpet. I've claimed it as mine and we are a family. Others should respect that! Mom has given up getting mad at me. Instead, as she picks up my contribution to daily routine, she mutters something about my poop being solid and not runny.

What do you think, Abby? Is there some way Mom and I can reach a compromise instead of being at a permanent impasse? My sister doesn't even care about this plight. She just keeps on following Mom's rules. Mom has said that I will probably live to be about 18 and she is not interested in another 10 years of picking up my "business" from various spots. I love Mom and she does take good care of me but I think on this "doggy business" stuff, she is being a bit ridiculous.


Dear Molly,

Thank you for writing.  I understand your plight.  My sympathy is always with a fellow doxie friend.  

I do have a few suggestions, though.  Please do not be offended with me when I say that, like your sister, I also am a fan of the outdoor toilet.  I love, love, did I mention LOVE to go for walks.  Potty happens along with walks ... so that is all good.

I would suggest that your Mom keep your leash or harness on indoors and take you either to the newspaper or outdoors at short regular intervals.   I suggest one hour intervals to start, then two hours, and so forth.   If you go potty in the place your Mom wishes -- this is the good part -- then you could get a treat every single time you go.  Treats!  This is what they call sweetening the deal.

I think it would be helpful to remove any delicate marking scents on the carpet with Simple Solution, Nature's Miracle, or something similar before this all starts.  Then the doxie pre-approved areas will not smell as inviting.   

I hope this is helpful!  I am also hoping that blog readers will leave more suggestions in the comments below.

With love and good thoughts,




Alanna @ Alanna and Company said...

Housetraining is tough!! Luckily my dog was already a bit older and bigger when I got her so we just needed to reinforce good habits.

Brittany Bergman said...

First off, this format is adorable and so funny! Second, perfect timing! My husband and I are considering getting a puppy, but we're worried about house training since we both work full time (part time from home, at least). Thanks for these tips!

Unknown said...

Ive been reading a great book that was recommended by the vet! Its called Decoding the Dog! Super helpful!

Charlene said...

Such a cute puppy. I would love to get a puppy soon.

Unknown said...

This is just too adorable. <3 House training is definitely a lot of work. That is something that you have to be super consistent with, or they aren't going to understand the process. It only took about a week or two for my dog to understand that we go out to potty every morning before mom goes to work. And usually when she comes home, about 8:30pm after dinner, and right before bed. Once you establish that system, it's super easy!

Alexandra said...

So cute! Great advice :)


barbarakwrites said...

We have had three big red standard dachshund boys over the past 21 years and have great success with potty training. Our first came to us as a puppy (at 17 weeks). The breeder gave us some advice that has worked very well for us. Our puppy came newspaper trained. The breeder told us there was no way he could tell if it was potty paper, or today's newspaper just left on the floor. So don't leave paper down if you don't want him to use it. She advised us to remove the paper totally if we want him to be outdoor potty trained. Don't let him out, but TAKE him out. On a leash, but not to play. Play time is not potty time. Rain or shine. Morning or night. And this we did & still do. Also, she advised us to take him out, not wait until he asks to go out. Because likely he won't ask. So, the puppy was outdoor trained in under a week. Our next boy came to us at age 2.5, we did the same. Our current dachshund came to us at age 7, and we do the same. We shovel a path for him in the winter. We take an umbrella out for him in the pouring rain. We stick to roughly the same schedule everyday.
Also, I believe if the dogs potty in the house, by accident, it is best to check that medically everything is fine. We had the case when a middle of the night puddle was really a sign of a bladder infection.
Not sure if this will help anyone, but we have had much success with our potty routines.

Unknown said...

Aww so cute! I don't have a dog, but I can only imagine how much patience it would take. My moms has 3 dogs and she is going through the same thing with her youngest girl. I will give her some of the advice that I read! Thanks for sharing!

Betsy @ Happily Ever After, Etc. said...

"I've claimed it as mine and we are a family." I don't think I have laughed that hard in a long time! My little yorkie Bitty has a similar problem... she knows how to use the outdoor potty but tends to have a small bladder. So she tends to go tinkle in the middle of the night... even if we kennel her. We are still working on... stay strong! Good Luck!

Cindy said...

This is really informative (and entertaining) thank you Abby. We used to have the same issues with my dog, but a stay at my parents house (I've dubbed my dad the dog whisperer) we do not have house training issues anymore.

Unknown said...

Rosie had a hard time with the pooping; she was perfectly trained to pee outside but would always poop inside. We just got her on a schedule and now she goes once in the morning and once in the evening! It works out well. We found that we couldn't treat her when she was potty training because she would pretend to pee to get a treat; so we just layered on the praise, haha.

Abby said...

Dear Friends,

Thanks for the kind words, and also thanks for the suggestions for my friend Molly! I hope she finds them helpful. Momma and I also agree that a routine is very helpful ... and going out on leash, on schedule, to do business.

Thanks again to all!