Tuck’s First Christmas. . .
or How Your Dog Too Can Spend Three Days in a Crate.
So much for happy holidays for the short guy. We’re not doing too well in the potty training department. I think the major problem with trying to potty train an adult dog is that they have much better control over their eliminations. Puppies are pretty much pre-programmed. If their legs are moving they need to potty. If they eat, they need to defecate. Easy. All you have to do is take them out when they need to go, praise the heck out of them when they do and always set them up for success. Not quite so easy with an adult, particularly a male. I have found that Tuck can go more than 18 hours without urinating. I figured I must have just missed him going, after all he is rather low to the ground. So I relented and let him run around a bit. He peed on the carpet. I applied rolled up newspaper to my head and Tuck went back in the crate. What should have been a fun-filled holiday weekend has turned into a guilt fest in my corner and a crate fest in Tuck’s. Not so fun. I got back from my family Christmas a few hours ago and let the dogs out with no results from Tuck. So back in the crate he went. However, about an hour ago we went outside and he urinated AND defecated. Happy, happy, joy, joy. Never have you seen an adult woman so elated over a little dog pooping in the yard. My neighbors are convinced I’m certifiably insane, and I’m happy that Tuck can run and play in the house for a while.
He and Libby have become good friends. They will run and chase for ages, slipping and sliding on the hardwood. I’m sure glad I work for a veterinary surgeon. I think I’ll be needing his skill soon. It’s not at all unusual to see them running throughout the house, Libby in the lead and Tuck holding on to Lib’s tail for all he’s worth. At one point I thought maybe Libby wasn’t enjoying this too much, so I called him off. Libby went right over to him and invited him to play some more. I guess she likes it. Weird. For all the resource guarding problems we had at first, he’s not bad about his toys or his rawhide. He is quite the rawhide thief and will steal one from Libby at any opportunity, but Libby can steal it back with no repercussions. Libby has also figured out that Tuck is short and can’t get on the bed, so she will take things up there to keep them from him.
On the training front we’ve not done much. Tuck’s sit is very good. Too good. When we’re outside and he knows I want something from him, he sits. Wrong. I want him to wander around, smell good things and potty! The more stressed I get the more he sits. (Note to self – become a better actor.) I thought we had a good recall building but was proven wrong. He at least knows his name now and almost always comes when called. I would have said always, but fate has a way of making a fool out of me. The other day I had taken the trash out the back gate and come in through the front door, leaving the gate open (dumb!). Then I let the dogs out back. Tuck was out that gate in a flash! I called him to “come,” he turned his head toward me but apparently heard the stress in my voice and decided I had turned crazy and should be run from. The more I tried to get him to me, the more he figured I was not to be trusted. Luckily Libby is well trained not to walk out of a gate without permission. She was still standing right inside the gate. Tuck saw her and went to her. Phew!!!! Disaster averted. (Note to self – become a MUCH better actor.)
I’ll be glad when we get this potty thing under control. Right now I’m spending way too much time either outside waiting for the short guy to do something or inside feeling guilty that he’s in the crate. It’s taking up almost all of my limited free time, time that should be spent playing with my dogs, or training, or both.
All in all, life is good. The dogs are good friends. I had been quite worried that might not happen. Everyone is healthy. I do have two cats that keep muttering something about mothers and army boots at each other, preferably in the wee hours of the morning, but that’s another subject. One of them is becoming quite familiar with the insides of Libby’s crate, as that is where she gets deposited upon the first volley of feline obscenities. Such is life in the zoo.
At any rate, here’s my early wish for all that the New Year brings health, peace, happiness, and joy to all.