a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Housebreaking Auuuughhhh

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Housebreaking Auuuughhhh

I don't know that we're really getting anywhere with housebreaking. Boost certainly goes outside on her own many times a day for a variety of reasons, but I haven't noticed that any of the reasons are primarily to go potty. For example, first thing in the morning she chases Tika out into the yard when I first open the door. Coincidentally, she stops and pees halfway across the yard before continuing to chase Tika.

The last couple of days I waited on the deck to see whether she'd go off and poop on her own, because she always does it first thing in the morning, but nooo, she eventually wandered back to see what I was doing. So I stepped out into the yard and she then headed towards the back 40 to do some #2.

I mostly have been letting her free all day recently, with only some monitoring. But I've still been trying to walk her outside at critical moments.

This morning, around doggie breakfast time, after she had been out in the yard for quite a while but had recently come in, I headed upstairs to get dressed, with a phalanx of dogs preceding me up the stairs. Two steps ahead of me, Boost got to the top of the stairs and immediately squatted and started to pee. I grabbed her, yelled "no!", hustled her out to the yard, and repeated the request for her to "Hurry up", which she then did.

So, after taking 10 minutes to clean up the wood floor and one corner of the large throw rug (probably too big to fit in my washer), I got dressed (jeans & t-shirt day), took the dogs out back and threw toys for Jake & Tika while Boost chased them for maybe 5 minutes, then went back into the house for doggie breakfast.

Since she always pees and poops right after breakfast, I decided to wait and see what she'd do. So I went down to my desk and opened a document. Puppy played nervously with a variety of toys, so I was watching closely. Then she started to sniff around in that slightly urgent manner, so I quickly shooed her away from the wall-to-wall carpet and said something like, "OK, let's go outside," turned around for a moment to save the document--and heard liquid tinkling behind me. Fortunately she chose to pee on the 2-tile-wide border around the carpet rather than on the carpet, but I wasn't able to catch her before she was done, she was that quick. So I hustled her outside again--she showed no interest in doing any more Hurry Up but sniffed around like she was going to do #2, and I went back inside and cleaned up again.

Apparently she did #2 on her own and came back in to see what I was up to.

This follows after one day last week where I caught her in the act of starting to pee on my bed (she jumped up, I tried to grab her because she's not suppposed to be there, she skitterd to the other side of the King bed, I dashed around to grab her, she skittered to the other side, sniffing all the while, I threw myself across the mattress just as she squatted, yelling "No!" and grabbing her and hustling her outside--where she peed and got praised, but I still had to go back and clean up the small bit of pee on my sheets.

And after one day last week where she kept peeing on the plastic drop cloths that we had taped all over the deck and deck carpeting for painting. At first I tried mopping up and spraying with Nature's Miracle, but half an hour or an hour later there'd be another puddle in the same area. (And this is with me allegedly watching her closely.) So I threw away the drop cloth, then we repeated the process with the 2nd drop cloth and then a third one. So then I just left the deck bare--we'll have to put down more plastic when we pick up painting again; this just makes it more of a hassle to get started. I mean, even when I was *right with her* and grabbed her the instant she squatted, yelled "No!", took her out to the lawn, praised her when she finished peeing there--which I did 2 or 3 times, I think--she still wanted to keep peeing on the drop cloths on the deck. (At least I don't THINK she's peed on the carpet on the deck since then--but it's not as easy to see as a puddle on plastic.)

So I'm feeling a bit discouraged at the moment.

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