Yep. Minnie Pearl the American Eskimo (Spitz) is back in action……and peeing in the house again.
She’s now about nine months old and potty training her has been one of the SLOWEST experiences I’ve ever witnessed. My former male dogs took to “normal” methods of potty training quite quickly, but our little girl has done everything at her own slow pace.
She’s super smart, but we realized her smartness has been the reason everything has been so slow. She tells ME when she’s ready to do things and I’ve had to adjust my needs for this very reason. And I’m okay with that. We all want our pets to behave well and do what we want them to do, when we want them to do them, however, we aren’t in full control over them like we think we are.
The key to training a dog is patience. Sure, we get frustrated with them and all their quirks, but we love them so we often have to let go of the frustration and go with the flow. This week I witnessed a girl getting angry at her dog (it was a hound dog sort-of a breed) for wanting to chase a squirrel when she was walking him. She called him a “dummy” quite loudly and then yanked him by her side and tugged him along. Even if she had trained him not to do this, he may have slipped up because, well, he’s a dog following his instincts.
Speaking of training not to do something……back to Minnie Pearl pottying in the house again.
We’ve been working hard at potty training and have successfully gotten her to go outside almost every single time she needs to go. To help myself through this slow process, I’ve been slowing reading through the book Training the Best Dog Ever . One of the suggested methods authors (Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz and Larry Kay…Dawn trained Bo Obama and other big name client’s puppies) reveal is keeping a potty log. Sounds ridiculous but it works! We were able to track Minnie Pearl averaging going potty (either #1 or #2) approximately 12 times a day. That’s when we realized she is still very young and still in need of frequent potty breaks. We also were able to start figuring out exactly when she needed to go, time wise.
We often forget to celebrate the little successes in life.
Instead of feeling frustrated that Minnie Pearl is still going in the house sometimes, I can now visually see her success ( example: she went outside 9 times and only went in the house 3 times!). The potty log helps you see the glass as half full instead of half empty. She had at least one perfect day this week! Yay! But then it turned cold the next day and she went on the floor in our kitchen even though we had taken her outside two times right before she did it. It seems cold weather tends to affect her behaviors. We noticed her being a little wild on her walks when the temperature drops too. I didn’t get sad about this event because I know she’ll get back on track. I also know someone else that has a small dog that had a similar behavior.
My mom has a long haired chihuahua named Flower who only would potty on a potty pad when she lived in a cooler environment. When my mom moved to Florida, Flower decided she’d go potty outside. Flower was around 9 years old so that proved to me two things: #1 Flower probably preferred the warm weather (I mean, I don’t think I’d like to potty outside when it was really cold either!) and #2 Old dogs DO learn new tricks!
Happy Friday ya’ll! Sending our light and love to anyone who needs it!