Thursday, December 29, 2011

Snow is here and so is the cold

Puppy people around the province are suddenly noticing that well house trained puppies don't know that snow is a good place to potty. Cold toes, unknown surfaces, new sounds, and anxious humans all contribute to the issues. Not to mention bodies physically react to cold. The need to potty can vanish in the cold. Then it returns right after warming up. In and out is often the name of the game as the puppy works through this.

Natural? Yes. Frustrating as all get out? Yes.

I'm sure there are lots of brilliant trainers out there who never have set backs. I have never professed to be a trainer though - and set backs seem to be part of the learning curve for house training around here.

Set backs I now expect:

Weather - pottying in rain, snow, extremes of heat all affect systems!
New surfaces - any change poses a question - grass is not mulch is not concrete is not stone etc
New places - my classic classic example of this was poor Rufus (our first golden).We were visiting my Dad's apartment and Rufus needed to go out. Rather than indicating in any way at all he quietly snuffled around until he found a tree (a tall indoor houseplant) and very happily watered it. It was his only house training error ever with us but it looms large in my mind and means that every where new I am I am diligent about  making sure all dogs know where the correct place is to potty -no matter how much I trust their cleanliness generally!
New diet - or change in activity level... both of these affect frequency - if you aren't aware you can put your dog in an uncomfortable position .. you will learn your own dog's habits ... I promise

and the grandfather of all them -complacency! Once a dog seems to "get" it it's very easy to let up on the vigilance and that's a prime time for mistakes to occur.

** and thanks to those I worried - yesterday's pictures are ones I managed to get over the holidays - just don't have some pictures of somethings I am very grateful for - cousins, mum, in law siblings, god sons,friends and other furred and feathered family - the core group of us is together ... see Wordless Wednesday is tough for me.. should have left title at Gratitude ...which is what it started as....

1 comment:

Laura and The Corgi, Toller, & Duck said...

Still no snow here in Minnesota!!! Yay :)

Of course with winter puppies you have the opposite problem as they search for the last little bit of snow to pee on in the spring!