Sunday, October 09, 2011

Figuring Out Puppy

So I've decided that getting a puppy (at least here in China - don't know what it's like in America) is like adopting a toddler who doesn't speak your language (so you can't communicate well with her) and immediately trying to potty train her. Except there are no diapers to prevent accidents. And there isn't really a potty, except our porch which she can't get to on her own.

I've been back and forth on the best way to do this the last few days, which I'm sure confuses our little Scout:
First, let's take her outside.
But we'll block the stairs because we don't want her going up there.
Oh, but then she can never go on her own.
Unblock the stairs. She can't climb up anyway.
Oh, now she figured out how to get up two steps, but she can't get back down.
Block the stairs.
Maybe when the vet said she can't go outside, it really means not even on the porch.
Set up a puppy bathroom in the corner with lots of puppy pee pads (do they make these in 6' square?)
Start teaching her to go in the corner.
Be stunned when she not once, not twice, but three times tries to use her pillow as a bathroom. I thought they never wanted to get their home dirty??
Order an enclosure to put around the puppy pads so she can be contained while she thinks about it
Cancel the enclosure because we decide we'll just take her out (since she'll need to be taken down in the elevator once she CAN go outside so she'll need to be used to being taken)
Rethink the enclosure to put around her crate at night so she can come out and go potty if needed
Wonder how on earth a puppy can go until 11 am and still not have pooped

I have to admit, so far the whole puppy experience is leaning quite heavily on the "work" side as opposed to the "fun" side. I don't feel like I can relax until I've shut her in her crate, which I don't want to do too much or she doesn't like it. She's happy to be in there if the door is open, but that means the second one of us moves she's inclined to follow. She doesn't seem to realize that I am an introvert who really appreciates the times when there's no one else in the room. But I have to say that, even given limited experience with puppies, I know that we have a good one. She seems to have slowed down her frequency of peeing during the day and I'm happy to say we've had no accidents today (although it's only been 4 hours!). She has periods of time when she's more active (the first hour or two of the day) but other than that, she's fairly calm. If she's like this as a puppy, will she move at all as an adult? I don't know, but I guess along with everything else we'll figure it out. 


Maggie Bruehl said...

I've been there and the crate is the best idea. Potty it; play hard with it and then put it in the crate to rest. 2-4 hours later, do it again. If you get it on a schedule and it gets use to being empty, it's easier than trying to catch them.

However, that said, remember how long it took to potty train kids when you did speak the same language? Remember how you tried to keep them on empty? It's the same philosophy. Have fun!

Rachel said...

Good luck learning puppy! It's fun reading about this new adventure.