How My Puppy Trained Me!
Getting A Puppy!
It was Christmas Eve 2012 and I had just got my gift, a puppy! It was not something that I had planned for, I had not had a dog since I was living with mom and dad many years ago. Still, I was very excited to take on this new challenge and it would be nice to have a female around the house again. I named her Evie, being that I got her on Christmas Eve and Christine did not sound like a good dog name.
I immediately began making plans for our life together, which would naturally begin with some solid training. I was intent on having the cutest and most well trained dog around. I even had the brilliant idea of writing a hub detailing my training methods to aid other puppy owners in their attempts to duplicate my success. This was going to work out great all around, or so I thought.
The Training Begins
After some quick research on the internet, I felt confident that I had a grasp on the methods of potty training a puppy. After all, how difficult could it really be?
Ready to Learn
It seemed to me that the logical first step would be to take her outside every two hours and right after feeding, since she was just a puppy. This would help her associate being outside with doing her business. So, after she finished eating, we went out in the backyard to begin and I had her full attention. She listened to my every word and then did her thing, running, rolling around, picking up sticks, everything but going to the bathroom.
Clearly this was going to take just a bit longer than I had thought. My thought process was that after a few minutes outside, I would pat her on the head and say "good job" for doing her business. Instead, we headed back inside with the mission incomplete. Then it happened, right on the kitchen floor. I could not believe it.
Time For More Research!
It was easy to see that my beloved puppy Evie had not been reading the same books that I had been studying. So, I began to research more, reading other websites, asking other dog owners for advice, I turned to every resource that I could think of. I had a smart puppy, she was quick to pick up other lessons, I was determined that should would also master the art of waiting until she was outside before taking care of business.
The common theme I found through out the different methods of potty training a puppy seemed to be consistency. Pick a method that you are comfortable with and then sticking with it. This allows the puppy to learn what needs to be done and will not be confused about the situation. So, this is what we did, building a routine.
It was a simple routine, I take the puppy outside and she runs around the yard playing with sticks, having a ball. After about fifteen minutes, we head back inside and she goes to the bathroom in the kitchen. Now this might sound like a failure, but I choose to look at it from a more positive point of view. I now have newspaper laid down by the door and this is where she chooses to do her business, but only after first going outside.
My Dog Has Me Trained Well!
It seems that perhaps the trouble I have had with this puppy training bit is that I have under estimated my opponent. I am so consumed with the act of training my puppy, that I never realised that I was the one being trained all along. My sweet little puppy has been teaching me how she wants things to be.
In less than two months, Evie has learned that she can get what she wants by simply giving me those puppy dog eyes. We all know that look, those sad eyes that are next to impossible to deny. Its all alright, because the love and companionship is worth the trials and tribulations. If I had it to do over again, I would happily make the same choice.
© 2013 Christopher J Wood