We’re about 48 hours into bringing home our new puppy, Maya. Coming from a farm and then being at the shelter for only a day or two she’s had no training whatsoever. That said, however, she’s doing great.
Again, the #1 RULE FOR RAISING/TRAINING A PUPPY is really quite simple; WATCH THE PUPPY! When Maya needs to go outside she starts pacing and fussing a bit. The window of opportunity is small, but it’s just enough for us to get her out the back door and into the yard.
We also anticipate her needs. Just took a drink of water or ate your food? You know you’re going outside in the next 10-20 minutes. Just woke up? Outside. Just finished 30 minutes of playing in the living room? Outside. It’s been more than an hour or so since you’ve been outside? Outside.
Next step is to extend the time between visits to the yard.
We’re 4 nights into it and potty training is doing well. Maya already seems to understand that when it’s time to go she needs to get outside. She’ll whimper a bit while running around and that’s how we know she’s looking to get out. We’ve shown her the dog door but she’s still a bit too small to use it.
In just over a week Maya is getting herself through the dog door and going outside on her own! We’re pumped. She started by going to the door and whining a bit, and we were happy with that. We’d then lift the dog-door flaps and help her through. She first became comfortable coming IN the door – the catalyst was when she ran from the ‘big mean dog barking next door’. It was funny. She shot right through the door without a hitch. It was a couple more days before she took herself out through the door – but she’s done it at least 3 or 4 times now.
With the progress it’s even more important to not let up now. In fact, the very next day after taking herself out she got lazy and took a squat on the downstairs carpet. More to the point, WE got lazy. She woke up from a nap, and I was moving laundry from the washer to the dryer, so as she headed for the stairs I thought she’d go up and outside, but instead she figured it was easier to go BEFORE heading upstairs. Dang it, dang it, dang it… 🙂 Lesson learned.
(Creative Commons photo courtesy Bad Apple Photography, Flickr)