Potty training

Igor et a les oreilles qui volent
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The second Igor arrived in our home (once he got done sniffing Luna and meeting the bellicose cat) he took a liking to our huge coco door-mat right inside our front door. And by « liking » I mean he peed on it. Twice. Within a few minutes of each other. That’ll humble a person. You thought you could handle a puppy, eh? Well try me he said! The thing is when he pees you can hardly see it, he bends his back legs slightly and lets it go. His bladder must be the size of a thimble so he has to go small quantities several times per hour. Plus he’s part Labrador and drinks constantly. Dog trainer said remove the coco mat, so I did. Now we have mud outside (a lot of rain this winter) and no coco mat. Our floor may never recover despite considerable scrubbing on my part. If you like clean floors, don’t raise a puppy!

But he’s a happy puppy and quite clever, and with kind persuasion on our part the « accidents » are getting far and few between. This is good because the first 12 days he peed inside 3-4 times per day. On day 13 all of a sudden he started holding it and peeing bigger quantities less frequently. Yeah for Igor!

What’s the secret? The one thing the trainer told me that I’d never heard before was don’t let the dog see you cleaning up his mess. Otherwise he thinks it’s cool that you’re paying attention to what he did. So a few times a day when Igor peed in the house I blocked him off in another part of the house and cleaned up when he couldn’t see me do it. Also there’s the obvious, when the dog pees and you didn’t catch it in the act, don’t yell, don’t make a fuss, don’t say anything actually, the dog will not understand. However when you do catch it in the act, yell NO and grab it in your arms and put it outside where peeing is encouraged, and when the dog goes praise with enthusiasm. Dog will not pee while in your arms (I’ve tested this many times, it’s true!) So here we are, Igor has been with us for two weeks and potty training is going great. So, am I done with potty training? Nope. Next time I tell you about the specific complications having to do with potty training for the guide dog, not as simple as what a family dog needs to learn.

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