By now it feels like the life of a puppy (and its parents) revolves around two things: pee and poop. Every three hours we march Bagel outside to do just this. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Here is where it becomes tricky, though…
On a usual San Diego morning, I take her outside for potty time. As she neatly pees on the grass, I think: “She is really getting the hang of this!” Being a proud puppy-momma, I hand her treats and praise her for this impressive achievement. All we need to do now is wait for Number 2. I walk her up and down the grass patch a couple of times… nothing happens. I even fake going back inside, so that she realizes it’s now or never. This doesn’t work either. All Bagel cares about is heading back to the apartment, where she knows Lorry is waiting with breakfast-in-bed. I decide to give in and we stroll inside the building. The moment Bagel reaches the carpet, she has an epiphany: she actually does have to poop and this is the best place to do the deed (or maybe this was her plan all along!).
What now? The Puppy Bible says one needs to pick up their pup during said action and bring them to the designated spot to finish. Quick on my feet, I whisk Bagel away. But in all this commotion, half the poop flies onto the carpet. As I run, I can see the shock in Bagel’s eyes, those little black marbles peering at me like I am a crazy woman. We finally make it to the grass, but stubborn as she can be, she refuses to do any more business now that we’re here. All the while I keep thinking: “Help, I need to get back to that abandoned poop in the hallway!” Pup and I dash back inside the apartment and, low and behold, the poop is GONE. We were only outside for a couple of minutes! Did someone from the cleaning crew come by while we were outside? Did another resident feel like it was their duty to keep the building spotless? And did they just happen to carry around an emergency doggy bag?
I come back home and unload this mystery onto Lorry. He decides to go and inspect the area. Maybe it is still lying on the carpet and I simply missed it in my perplexity. He comes back with no results. Where is the poop, Bagel?!
Bagel is clueless and so am I.
Are you also a new puppy-parent? Here are some TIPS FOR POTTY TRAINING:
♥ Never get mad at your pup for accidents (even if the poop goes missing).
It is not their fault, they don’t know any better. Puppies look to us, their human role models, for the do’s and don’ts so make sure you take your puppy exactly where it is okay to pee. Laugh about the accidents that do happen, you can even start your own blog!
♥ Go outside with your puppy A LOT.
In the beginning, you need to go out every hour just to give your pup the chance to relieve themselves. Sometimes they’ll go, sometimes they won’t. The key is to remember (or write down) when they do their pees and poops and soon you will be an expert in your puppy’s bathroom schedule!
♥ It’s all about the treats.
Treat giving is key in potty training. This is how your puppy connects the desired behavior with something positive. I have special treats (Bagel’s favorite peanut butter flavored delicacies) that are specifically for potty training. As soon as your doggy pees or poops, mark their behavior by saying “good” or “yes” and then shower them with yummy treats.
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