Thursday, January 20, 2005

Housebreaking Blues

Mackinaw is about three months old now and we're ready for her to be housebroken. She is a Golden Retriever puppy that we got in November. We started out taking her outside every two hours to do her thing, including in the middle of the night. It was just like having a newborn baby in the house again! We have her to the point where she'll pee on the newspaper in the kitchen if she pees in the house. Each morning she's pretty good at peeing and pooping outside right when she gets up. The thing we don't have down is her giving us any indication that she needs to go outside to go potty. If we're right in the kitchen with her and she has to go poop, she'll give a soft little whine by the opposite door that we go out of. If we happen to hear that soft whine that lasts only two seconds, we'll take her outside and she'll go poop there. If, for some reason (like we're talking or the TV's on) and we miss that little whimper, we lose and she poops in the kitchen.

In the evening, we let her into the living room to be with the family. We've caught on to her little trick of sneaking into the dining room to go poop. After we made the dining room off limits, she decided that the upstairs landing was a good place to do her thing. Now she's always on a leash in the living room if she hasn't done her evening deed.

All of the books say being between three and four months of age, she's right at the physical and mental developmental stage for everything to click. She's supposed to have good bladder control and her brain should be able to figure out what she's supposed to do. Well, we can't wait for her it all to click in! I'm tired of the once a night in the middle of the night, below freezing excursions to the back yard for her to go pee. My husband is tired of picking up the wet newspapers and mopping up the floor twice a day.

Despite all of that, she's a fun, happy dog. The kids love her, even with her tendancy to nip at them any chance she gets. T calls her "the cutest dog in the world" all of the time -- even when she's getting scolded. (I think she's afraid we'll get rid of her out of frustration and wants to remind us of how cute she is.)

We keep telling ourselves that this "terrible two" stage will last just a bit longer and then we'll be in the home stretch. It's fun having a new puppy, but it's tons of work!

No comments: