Potty training

It has been 24 hours since Cash went to the bathroom. Cash is a 2.5 year old king shepherd with a stubborn streak almost as wide as mine. We’re in a stalemate.

When people ask me how to get a dog to go potty in a specific point in the yard, the answer is always, “Pen them up, take them out to that specific place when it’s time to go, and if they don’t go, pen them back up.”

Well, watch as the dog trainer follows her own advice. 😉 I live in an apartment building, and I would really like the dogs to go potty on the woodchips right under the stairs so I don’t have to take them way out at night. Lily has no problem with this. Cash, on the other hand, would rather pee in the ivy. He and I are now in stand-off mode.

Let me first tell you, I messed up. The other night I was leaving, and when he refused to go under the stairs I gave in and took him out to the ivy. Now, he thinks he can outwait me — it worked before! Yesterday afternoon around 2:00 I took them out to play. That was the last time he peed. After that I started taking them to the woodchips. When Lily goes potty there, I praise her enthusiastically and tell her she’s wonderful. (I think she thinks I’ve lost my mind, but that’s okay!) Cash looks at me, extremely unimpressed, and refuses to go.

That’s fine. I can wait him out.

I let him out last night. I let him out this morning. He’s been out every few hours. He’s still refusing. He did finally sniff where Lily peed, and I praised him for that, but otherwise he just looks mournful. That’s okay, too! He has a choice: it’s his choice to hold it and be mournful.

Sometimes, people ask me if it’s good for a dog to hold it this long. No! Of course not! But you know what would be worse? If I broke down, and tried again tomorrow, and once more he holds it for 24 hours. Better that he holds it for 30 now and then stops than have him hold it, regularly, for as long as he can.

Now, Cash isn’t penned up. My apartment is verrrrry small, so he really can’t sneak off to go pee somewhere, but if you’re doing this with your dog, it’s VERY IMPORTANT to make sure they can’t go off and relieve themselves in the house. You don’t want that habit to develop! Either pen them somewhere small enough they won’t soil it, or keep them with you at all time. I recommend putting a leash on them and just tying it to your belt; it only takes them a few minutes of you being distracted to go pee, after all.

Now, I think it’s time to take Cash back out. Cross your fingers that he’ll stop crossing his legs. 😉

J

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