Tag Archives: housetraining adult dog

Dog Voodoo?


Oh, Picchu

Oh, Picchu

Am I a victim of dog voodoo? At the very least, I am a victim of dog doo. (And I hope that my ex-husband, who doesn’t like dogs because “they are dirty and don’t belong in the house,” does not read this.)

This morning, moments before taking her out, Picchu soiled the entire living room rug. This was way worse than just “an accident.” I’ve never seen such a mess, even on the street, where, fortunately, almost all clean-ups occur.

Doo, or voodoo?

Doo, or voodoo?

These things happen, pets will be pets, so after taking the dogs out and then gating them in the bedroom, I spent a half-hour scrubbing the rug with vinegar. Finally I sat down for a first sip of tea, turned my head, and what did I see, on the WALL? On. The. WALL. Three or more feet off the ground. How is that even possible? Is no surface safe?

Bob and I have cleaned up a lot of messes in the past year and a half, and not once have we had to scrape off anyone’s car, or the side of a building, or for pete’s sake a passing pedestrian. No vertical surfaces at all. For which I am now, I suppose, feeling quite grateful. 

I’m all for pet parenting, whole hog, challenges and all. I’m just not sure what the lesson – or message – is in this case. All I know is, I don’t want to hear again that the dogs are “just dogs.” If I am being tested for “real” parenthood, I consider myself passed. And Picchu, if you’re trying to communicate something, please use alternative methods. 

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Filed under Grooming & Health

Welcome Home, Sesame!


Picchu getting as close as possible to Sesame, in the crate, on his car ride home

Picchu and Sesame

On Saturday we picked up our third whippet, Sesame, from the whippet ranch! At last our pack is complete. Our first discovery: Sesame is a great car dog! He settled right into his crate in the back seat and went to sleep. No panting, no pacing, no barfing. Off to a good start!

And we're off! The whippet train departs...

And we're off! The whippet train departs...

Sesame, Biski, Picchu and Bob on top of Schnemunk Mountain

Sesame, Biski, Picchu and Bob on top of Schnemunk Mountain

We went hiking up Schnemunk mountain on our way home. Our second discovery: all that dog show training has paid off, Sesame is fantastic on the leash! No pulling, no wandering, no bolting. Even when Picchu and Biski, who were off-leash, went sprinting past Sesame, he just looked on.

Bob and Sesame blueberry-picking

Bob harvesting wild blueberries with Sesame

Near the top of the mountain, we stopped to snack on wild blueberries. Sesame waited patiently, but I could tell he was thinking, “Good grief. Are these all the provisions we have?!” He didn’t know yet that we always pack Zuke’s peanut butter Power Bones

When we got back to the big city, Biski and Picchu couldn’t believe their gentleman caller was coming home! They rolled out the whippet welcome wagon with lots of licky kisses. At night, Picchu gave up her Pita Bed to Sesame, just as Biski had given the Pita Bed to Picchu on her first night. 

Three girls & a boy

Shira with the whippet pack: Sesame, Picchu and Biski

The only problem so far is that while Picchu played the game of “I’ll only go to the bathroom on the living room rug” when she came to live with us, Sesame is playing the game of “I won’t go to the bathroom at all.” Who knew a dog could hold it – hold everything – for 24 hours, then restart the clock for another 24 hours? 

Sesame joins the Real House Whippets of NYC

Sesame (rear) joins the Real House Whippets of NYC

On the street, three beautiful dogs get even more attention than two. And at home, our neighbors are utterly confused. I walked out of the building with our handsome Sesame and our little Picchu, and a neighbor greeted them, “Hello, Ladies!” Sesame fits right in as a Real House Whippet of NYC.

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Filed under Adventures, Getting a Dog / Adding to the Family, Real House Whippets of NYC

Housetraining an Adult Dog

The only issue we’ve had with Machu Picchu is she was not entirely housetrained. Her favorite place to go to the bathroom is the middle of the living room rug.

Picchu: "Biski, you're lying on my bathroom spot."

Picchu: "Biski, I've been waiting in line to use that bathroom spot..."

This is understandable, because this is at least her 6th home since January (counting her original owner, family #2, family #3, Whippet Rescue foster home, the breeder, and us). Both her environment and routine keep changing. Plus she isn’t used to big city noises, smells, traffic, and a constant stream of company on the sidewalk (“in the bathroom”).

Our mistake was not being as vigilant as we had been when we brought home C-Biscuit. Biski, too, refused to go to the bathroom on the street at first. We kept her in her crate and kept taking her out every hour or so until almost 24 hours later she finally went. She had a couple accidents in the house after that, but they were our fault for not knowing things like she has to go after taking a bath, even if she went right before the bath. In other words, she had to go and we didn’t know it and didn’t get her out in time.

With Picchu, it’s different. She just prefers the privacy of the rug, period. We walked her for an hour, figured she didn’t have to go, got home and – sssss, on the rug.

Once they go in the house once, the habit is 10x harder to break. (Although cleaning up with Nature’s Miracle really seems to help.) And she’s crafty about it: Even once we started closely monitoring her, the second we turned away, she went on the rug. I felt like my grandma when she explained driving her car off the road: “I just closed my eyes for a second!”  

Breaking this habit is all about eliminating any opportunity to go inside. Housetraining tips say to “limit your dog to one or two rooms of the house.” Well that’s where living in Manhattan comes in handy: I’ve been limited to two rooms for the past 10 years (when I moved up from one room). Continue reading

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Filed under Dog Training