So now I've been in my foster home for an entire week. It's been pretty fun and I'm happy. My foster mom thought this might be a really good time to talk about my potty training. I know. Embarrassing, right? I can't believe I have to talk about this, but my foster mom thought a bit of detail might help my new family know how to best help me with this. For the record, I haven't had an "accident" in a couple of days and they really weren't my fault anyway, so I don't know what all the fuss is about, but whatever.
The biggest challenge to potty training (other than I've never done it before) is that I've been in a kennel for quite some time. I don't know if you know how nasty that is. That means I have to pee and poop in the same place that I sleep!! Yuck! I am a very tidy dog. I don't want to be near pee or poop. They're gross. (My foster brother, Leo, doesn't even notice if he steps in it. ICK!! He's a big slobbery lab. So that explains it, right?) But anyway, in a kennel, you can pee whenever you want. You never have to hold it. So now, I am learning that I only have certain opportunities to pee. At first when my foster people would take me outside, I wouldn't go right away, so they had to wait. But I'm better about that now, since I'm learning what I'm there for.
The other tough part is that these people expect me to pee in GRASS!! I think I might have mentioned before that grass is weird tickly stuff and I DON'T LIKE IT!!! So it's hard to think about peeing when your feet are in icky grass. But I'm doing it. My foster mom took a video of me today going pee in the grass. (I know, right?!?! How embarrassing is that!!?! There must be a law against posting stuff like this on the internet!! Jeez!) But here it is.
So that was taken at 11:30 this morning. Do you want to hear my basic pee schedule? Really? You do?! Wow. Humans are obsessed with the weirdest stuff!
Ok. Here goes. So for the first week, I woke up and the people scurry me outside to pee. What a lame way to start the day. Go in the wet dewy grass and pee. But then I got to go in and have breakfast. Then the people took me outside for another pee/poop break. My foster mom seems to not be satisfied unless I have peed 3 times and pooped once. I think she might be a bit of a control freak and a bit overly obsessed with toileting habits. But I love her anyway. In any case, if my foster mom wasn't convinced I was empty, she would watch me like a hawk and if I started to sniff around she would take me out again. It was a bit annoying. But she seems to be relaxing more now. She's making good progress.
After I got more into the habit of peeing right away when she took me out, it started to get easier. She still took me out more than I really needed to go, but sometimes I would tell her I didn't have to go, just so I could get out of the icky grass. But she seemed to be pretty patient.
For the last couple of days, my foster mom has mixed it up a bit. I overheard her saying that she wanted me to learn to "hold it" so she has started waiting until I look like I really have to go. I don't really like to scurry out of my crate in the morning to pee. Sometimes, I really don't feel like I need to go until I've moved around a bit. So for the last 2 days, my foster mom has fed me before I went out. That was fine with me, but my foster mom watches me super carefully before I do my first morning pee. That's for sure!
Now when I'm at work with my foster mom, I have to go out whenever she has a minute. So like today, I peed and pooped after breakfast at 7:30. Than we all went to work. When we got there, I peed before we went in at 8:30. Then I went around the office on a leash and visited people. Then I got to play with Chester and Rudy. Then I got to chew on a bone and nap for a while. A couple of times my foster mom wanted to leave the office for a few minutes so she put me in my crate then, but I didn't mind. Then at 11:30 she took me for a pee break (that's the one she videoed.) Did I mention that it's WICKED EMBARRASSING!!?! Then a guy came into the office and they had a meeting. I hardly barked at him. Now I'm having a nap (it's 1:00 and my foster mom's having lunch.) She says she doesn't plan to take me out again until 3 or 4 PM. You might be wondering how I'm writing this and sleeping at the same time? If so, you're thinking too much. :)
Just so you don't think that my foster mom ONLY takes videos of dogs peeing, here is another video of me today at work.
Anyway, I don't really ask to go out yet. My foster mom doesn't give me a chance to cuz she takes me out WAY more than I need to. I guess that might be why I haven't had many accidents. A couple of times I've started to squat in the house and she scoots me out the door super fast. (One time I only wanted to sit down. I wasn't peeing at all. Jeez! I get it! You want me to pee in the grass. Did I mention that my foster mom's a bit crazy?)
Then this weekend I was home alone with just one of the kids and when my foster mom came home she found a poop on the mat in front of the door. Jeez. I was at the door. WATCH ME GUYS!! LOOK! OVER HERE!! I HAVE TO GO OUT!!! But my foster mom was a bit disappointed since she had taken me out to pee right before she left and she was only gone for an hour. But I didn't think about pooping then. I'm still not used to the concept of holding it and voiding all at one time. And I had already pooped once in the morning. So all things being equal, I prefer if you take me out too much and watch me the rest of the time. I'm easy to watch. I like to stay right with my foster mom. She knows that if I'm not right next to her, I must be sniffing around. Sometimes I'm just looking for food, but if I'm sniffing, she takes me out. I guess it's ok. I've only been working on potty training for a week so I think I'm doing pretty well, right. Didn't it take you longer than that to learn where to pee? :)
Update - 5-28-2010
So it's been a full 2 weeks of potty training and I am doing really well. I'm on a pretty regular schedule now. Here it is:
6AM(ish) - my foster mom takes me out of my crate and I go for a quick pee. Then we come back in the house and I get breakfast. Than My foster mom takes me out and I poop and pee again. She doesn't believe I'm empty in the morning until I have peed 3 times totally and pooped once.
8AM (ish) - I get in my traveling crate in the car and we go to work. My foster mom expects me to pee again when we get there before we go in. If I've already peed 3 times this morning, she doesn't push it. Usually I pee right away and we get to go in to work. If I don't pee right before we go in, she keeps me on a leash the whole time I'm there except when we're right in her office. She's really neurotic about making sure I'm empty at work. But I've never had an accident there, so I guess it's ok. My foster mom says that her work people will develop an attitude about helping socialize us foster dogs if we pee in the building. So we have to be really careful.
12:30 (ish) - My foster mom takes me out to pee. I usually go right away.
4 (ish) - We leave work. I have an opportunity to pee, but I usually don't go and my foster mom doesn't care. Then I jump into the car and get into my traveling crate and we usually go home.
4:30 (ish) - We get home. My foster mom checks if I want to pee before we go in. I usually pee either before we get in the car or after we get to the house. But if I don't feel like it, she doesn't care. She just watches me like a hawk (sometime keeps me on the leash, because it's hard to watch me when she's getting home to all the chaos.)
5PM (ish) - All 6 dogs get to eat. We all eat together. My foster mom gets all the dishes ready and then we get fed in order of age. Or size. I'm not sure how she decides. But old Toby and little Maria get fed first. At first I wanted to try to take their food. But I've learned to wait. Then Lucy and Leo (they're really big) get fed. Then Chester and I get ours. If anyone gets excited about feeding time, my foster mom just stops and stands there and waits for us all to settle down. So everyone has learned to sit politely and wait for their food. The others used to get really annoyed at me when I used to get excited. But now I get it. I don't get anything if I'm pushy. Then after dinner we all go out. I pee a couple of times and poop once. My foster mom plays ball with the big dogs. Chester and I play some and it's really fun.
9:30 (or right before my foster mom goes to bed.) - Chester, Maria and I go out to pee. Then my foster mom puts me in my crate for the night. Usually I don't mind because I'm tired, but sometimes I cry for a couple of minutes, because I really would rather sleep with the rest of the people and my foster mom. My foster mom just ignores me.
My foster dad often gets up at 5AM and I wish he would come and get me, so sometimes I bark or cry a bit when I hear him moving around and letting the other dogs out and stuff. But he doesn't take me out. I have to wait for my foster mom. And she won't come if I'm noisy. So I usually settle back down after a couple of minutes and wait until she's ready to get up. My foster mom tries not to let me hear her moving around or talking before she's ready to take me out, because she doesn't think that's really fair. Chester likes to sleep late. I'd sleep late too, if I were in that big comfy king sized bed. He's always the last one up. :)
This week I've only had one accident. My foster mom didn't let me pee after work before doggy dinner on Tuesday. I would have peed either at work or at home before we went in, but she didn't give me a chance. So I peed while she was dishing out food. She knew I probably was having an accident because she noticed I wasn't right by her side. She called me and I came right away, but she knew that I must have peed and went looking. She found my puddle. :( Oops. But I really had to go! All she needed to do was let me go before we went in the house. But she still thinks that only one accident on my second week of potty training is pretty good.
Anyway, that's the drill. Hope you liked hearing about how I am being potty trained.