It is extremely hard to know which advice to follow and which advice to toss out the nearest window. Especially on the internet where suddenly everyone becomes ‘experts’ in whatever topic you have asked about.
It’s daunting and frustrating. And when the advice starts to clash with each other your head starts spinning and you’re getting one hell of a headache and just want to throw up your hands and say “FORGET IT!”
I’ve been having a problem with my Anubis and her eliminating in our bedroom. She is crated (I call it her den) at night, although she’s not to happy about it at first. She does well once she reluctantly walks into her ‘den’. It’s more of a “But I still wanna play despite the fact I have flopped over on the floor because we’ve been playing for awhile now.” type of reluctance to her den.
She used to be really good at going outside, but she isn’t a talker, which I think is at least some of the problem.
She learned early on that we won’t pay attention to her if she whines or barks, especially if she’s in her den. This is something I was very firm on as I know from experience that once you pay attention to them when they do a certain something, they’ll keep doing the something to get you to pay attention to them. She only barks if I’m playing with her or she sees the fat squirrel. Sometimes if she sees someone she doesn’t know and isn’t sure about. Generally she’s a person lover so I have no hopes of using her as a guard dog. Although once when hubby came home from travel in the early hours of the morning she sounded like she would rip him limb from limb and she was barely three months old at the time. It’s what woke me up.
Anubis will stay where ever she is until you come and get her. Every morning I feed the cats meat and I let Anubis lick the can (it has no sharp edges as it’s specially made) once I’ve dished it up. I’ve got it to where she will wait (impatiently I may add) at the kitchen door until I have placed the cat’s bowls on the ground and then walk to her. We go into the unused bathroom and I put the can down and shut the door. I know if I let her be, she’d sneak into the kitchen for a better taste. Problem is, she never says a peep. She once was in their for an hour as hubby had no idea she was in there and I didn’t get a chance to tell him before getting caught up in work. The only reason I knew she was still in there is that the bathroom we do use is right across the hall and I heard her move the empty can while I was using the bathroom.
Before anyone freaks she has water in there that isn’t the toilet bowl. There’s no water in that toilet anyway.
She does the same thing when she’s outside. She’ll relax in her chair or on her ottoman until one of us opens the door. She doesn’t bark to be let in, she will sometimes sit by the door (we have glass doors with floor to ceiling windows and her chair/ottoman is by one of these windows) and we’ll let her in when we see that. Otherwise she sits outside until the door opens.
She’s a very quiet dog, which I like and appreciate and I am more than sure our neighbors appreciate it as well. Even that one who has a yippy little dog that has on occasion barked through the entire night. Those nights we sleep with the windows shut and the fan a little louder.
I decided to Bing (microsoft’s google) “My dog won’t go potty outside” (I have to jump in here for a moment as when I typed ‘my dog’ into the search, Bing gave me suggestions. Every single one of them was “my dog is as smelly as dirty socks; just what mama needs…” and then some different words. WTF? Yes, I will be seeing what the devil that actually is later). Of course I got pages of sites that will offer me some insights to the information I am looking for. Some were actual articles found on various pet training websites, some on pet owner forums, wiki how (which is always so useful….nope) and a few on Yahoo (which I always ignore because most of the answers found there are absolute rubbish anyway).
The trick now is to sort through the rubbish and find the gems. And there is A LOT of rubbish. It also seems many people have problems getting their dogs to go out in the rain to go potty. I’ll assume you don’t need me to utter ‘duh’ to this as none of us are really inclined to go outside in the rain to take a piss or shit. Not that most of us do this when it’s not raining….but who knows, maybe you do. I’m not going to judge.
Sadly it’s not easy to tell from the search page right off if the advice contained on the link is rubbish until we click on it and start reading it. And even then sometimes one has to read through quite a bit before getting to anything remotely what you were searching about and it’s annoying to find that the advice means shit.
Now I understand we all have our own opinions on what needs to be done. Like with humans, some of the stuff will work with some dogs but not all.
What grinds my nerves more than anything are the people who insist that their way is the right way and then try to guilt you into believing their way and ignore what you already feel. There is ALWAYS more than one way to do any thing.
The first thing that pops into my head is an article I found on Today.com that was linked from a site I rather like. The article has no author listed, it is also listed under news. It’s old, 2006. It starts off alright. Talking about walking your dog and the best training methods.
After a couple of paragraphs the mysterious author tells us that we shouldn’t use choke chains or prong collars, that doing so is hurting the animal and perhaps you shouldn’t have one.
It’s called training because that is what it is. Yes, I use a choke chain as it has taught Anubis that pulling and trying to get in front of me just isn’t going to happen. Yes, she pulled hard and choked herself and sometimes still does, but I’m not a horrible person to allow her to do this until she passes out nor is she stupid enough to do such a thing to herself.
The same goes with the prong collars although I like them less, the training is still the same. Once the dog realizes that it’s much more fun to walk beside you they’re not choking themselves or making the prongs dig into their skin. Until they forget themselves of course.
I also use the pack walk method of walking. All this means is that Anubis NEVER leads. She is either by my side or a little behind me. NEVER EVER IN FRONT. I also do not allow her to go through doors or gates before me. Why? BECAUSE I AND NOT HER IS THE ALPHA. I choose where we walk. I decide when we stop. I choose how fast or slow we go. I am her pack leader and she must know this or you’ve already lost the dog.
Watch a pack of wolves sometime. Probably on a nature channel if there is any left on air. You can tell who is the alpha, beta and who is the lowest ranked member of any pack. Anubis is neither alpha or beta. That spot is for me and hubby, and yes he and I argue about who is which (I’m so totally the alpha).
Keeping this in mind, the author goes on to say that one shouldn’t use retractable leashes..at least not at first. Save them until they have learned to walk beside you. How the devil does that make ANY sense?? If they have learned to walk beside you, why the hell would you need a retractable leash??
Keep the same length of leash at all times. To keep your dog from pulling on his leash, you must teach him that he only has a certain length of leash available and that you’re in control of it. It’s a mistake to use a retractable leash in the teaching phase, giving him a longer leash anytime he wants it. Save the retractable leash for the everyday phase of walking, once he has learned how to walk correctly by your side and not pull you down the street.
When you hold the leash with your hand, it’s easy for your dog to pull away by forcing you to extend your arm. It’s also important that both your hands are free, assisting you in planting your body when he’s pulling. So wear a sturdy belt, slip the loop end of the leash around it, and fasten it snugly around your waist.
You don’t want the dog to pull you down the street, but by having the leash on your belt, how are you to control your dog???? You need your FEET to plant yourself, not your hands. Unless you’re pulled off your feet because your dog got excited and you were stupid enough to put the leash on your belt.
They of course go on to contradict themselves and making me shake my head to rid it of the crap.
How did I go from looking for advice about potty training to leash walking? Uh. I get distracted of course.
Even though I spent years as a certified veterinary technician there is always new things to discover and learn. Even if it’s the wrong thing to do. Most of the time however you have to try different things to find the magic one that works for you, and in my case Anubis. So far, taking her out every two hours (I’ve got a timer going) as well as keeping an eye on her and rewarding her with treats when she does piddle or poop seems to be working. Just need to keep this up until I don’t have to worry about keeping an eye on her all the time.
Until next time, animal parenting is a lot human parenting when it comes to people wanting to give you advice. It’s not a bad thing as long as you can freely decide whether or not to use the advice given. The problem comes when someone insists this is how it is done and there is literally no other way to do it. That’s when you are allowed to cry bullshit and laugh in their face.