Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Paper Trained? My Butt.

When I last reported on the comings and goings of one Miss Sadie Marie (Marie being the name that came out of my mouth during one particularly frustrating moment of doggy discipline), she was "paper trained". I only said this because the breeder told me she was, and I was periodically able to get her to relieve herself on newspaper, and once she tried to use a pile of papers in the livingroom. However, it was a difficult process, and she could hold it for a lot longer than your average 11 week old puppy, and she did not quite get the idea that some things she did were "good" and resulted in "treats".   She much preferred the living room carpet, or even the rug in her pen, and that's what she used as soon as she got the opportunity.

I had given up on paper because newsprint is not very absorbent, and frankly, if every time I peed it just ran all over my feet I wouldn't want to do it either. I had puppy pads from a friend, and when we left for the vet on Monday morning, that was what we had been trying to use.

And then the vet tech told me to forget transitioning her to outside, and just do what you want her to do in the long run. I explained that I wanted to use doggy litter, and she just said "I've heard of that, but don't know anything about it," and gave me the same "you're crazy" look I've been given by just about every other person I've mentioned it to. (I didn't even tell the breeder; I just smiled and nodded when she explained when to take her outside.)  So, as soon as we got back from the vet, I put the litter box in the pen, filled it with litter, and commenced with training, the same way as before, but with litter instead of paper.

I'll spare you the details, but as of last night when I got home from work, Miss Sadie is well on her way to being litter trained. When I tell her to "go potty" she jumps in the box and pees. When I say "use your papers" she jumps in the box and poops, most of the time, when she needs to. Sometimes, not even half an hour apart, unlike before when she would hold it for hours and hours and hours. We have not had any accidents at all in two days, in the livingroom, or in the pen. She slept through the night last night, too.

She has figured out that sometimes I say things, and if she does the right thing, she gets a treat, which is no longer some strange food but instead a most welcome nibble. She will also often climb into her crate when I tell her to, for which she also gets a treat.

She's so very smart, and so very stubborn. Just like the rest of the family.

ps. She's not puking in the car anymore. Tonight will be our first trip to PetSmart!


Colleen said...

Yippee!! Sounds like you two have things figured out! Congrats!! Good luck with the rest of training and keep posting pictures. Has she been introduced to your knitting stuff yet?? ;-)


Anonymous said...

I wish I would have thought of litter training my dog. We both would enjoy the winters a whole lot more!

Jenn said...

Very cool idea to litter train the dog! I had heard about it, but never knew of anyone who had ever done it. It sounds like you two are well on your way to being trained (don't forget you get training, too :))

It was great to see you, and I look forward to seeing more pictures soon!