Monday, October 15, 2012
Not Quite on the Same Page Yet!
Day Three with Auggie our Westie and we're still trying to learn each other's rhythms. So far we've discovered that the little guy likes to watch TV. He's quite enthralled with what goes on on the big screen and will settle down on your lap for a good long stretch.
We've learned that keeping him in the big crate on one floor while we sleep on the other floor at night isn't working because he didn't make a fuss to let us know that he needed to go out. Instead he wet in his crate while letting me sleep through the night until 5. I'm a light sleeper and was awake off and on all that first night expecting him to bark or whine when he needed to go out but I didn't hear a peep out of him. We had the crate divider in, too, so he would have a small space. The prevailing theory is that a dog won't soil their sleeping space/den. Uh-huh. We now have him in the small portable kennel and are putting him next to my side of the bed and I'm setting my alarm for the wee hours of the morning to get up and take him out. It worked last night. He kept things dry and he stirred and woke me up again at 5 a.m. to let him out again.
I've read so many books on how to potty train/crate train/stop biting and nipping/etc. that I'm going cross-eyed. Apparently Auggie hasn't read those same books. I mean, the prevailing wisdom is that a puppy will need to relieve itself 15 minutes or so after eating. Auggie interrupts his meal to walk into the middle of the kitchen and let loose. And how the heck do you distinguish the difference between sniffing for a spot to "go" and just exploring the scents of new surroundings? Our little guy doesn't do the circling thing that my other dogs would do when they were ready to go. He just lets loose. Consequently, I'm spending LOTS of time running out with him to the dog yard.
Speaking of our dog yard........Auggie likes to eat rocks. He also likes to stick his nose down and tunnel through the mulch. He likes to dig in the mulch too and it doesn't take long before he is down to the landscape mat covering. Oy! He has also discovered our heat pump and all the wires and hoses leading out from it and is determined to chew on those. No matter how I redirect him, he goes right back to it. So I'm now having to take him out on a leash and stand out there holding the leash so he can't bother the pump and cords. As for standing out there, one book said to just stand there and not interact with your dog until he goes. That's hard to do when said dog is tugging on your pant legs or chewing on your shoes or biting your socks (and thus, your legs). I read in another book that you could try spraying mouthwash spray slightly ahead of his muzzle when he tugs on your pants and this should cure him. The Commander was out shopping tonight so I asked him to bring some back. He couldn't find any. I had to laugh when he asked if I thought the air freshener spray up in the bathroom would work just as well.
This is my first time trying crate training/potty training. Before we always set up a wired enclosure in our kitchen lined with newspapers and then would take the puppy out from that. This crate stuff is hard to figure out. It sounds like they are to be out only when you are watching them every second or if they just went potty outside. Then you can reward them with some play time. You have to potty them after a nap, after eating, after playing, and if a certain length of time has gone by. If they go, you can reward them with some play time. But wait, doesn't that mean then that you have to take them out again? Oy, maybe I should build a temporary little hut in the dog yard for myself. I'm out there enough, eh?
I just ordered one of those leashes that snap around your waist so you can tether the dog to you as you go about your daily activities. This way, he can't bounce off (and he moves fast) and get under furniture. He thinks he's made up a new game called "Hide and Go Seek and Make Mommy's Knees Creak."
Auggie does seem to have some tendencies that I think we could make work for us. The other day he grabbed a rubber broom and headed out of the kitchen with it. Now this is a tiny puppy and it was a big broom but he managed to grab it and drag it through the doorway and down into the living room. When we grabbed it from him, he streaked back into the kitchen and came bouncing out with the dustpan.
Butter my biscuits, if he didn't go around the room trying to scoop up his toys with the dustpan. Now if we could take those cleaning tendencies and develop them, maybe we could get him to wield a dust rag, too.
Guess where the broom and dustpan are now being temporarily stored? His nice, new dog bed is sitting on one of our living room chairs because he tried to rip it to shreds. Our living room curtains are draped over the Florida shutters since he also tried to eat those. Maybe he's part shark. Well, gotta go and finish reading some more of those training books. Baby's napping!