Can it? With several feet of snow on the ground, taking care of your dog can be quite challenging. It’s funny how everybody likes walking the dog when it’s sunny and toasty warm. When it’s 10 degrees and snowing, not so much. Unfortunately, tossing the pooch out the back door to take care of business on her own, doesn’t always work.
A client recently called to ask me what was wrong with her puppy. Apparently, when she lets the puppy out, the puppy will just sit by the door whimpering to come back in. When she lets her back in (thinking the puppy has taken care of business), the puppy will sneak off and take care of business behind the couch.
When asked if she went outside with the puppy, the owner said, “Oh heavens no, it was freezing out there.” I delicately pointed out to her that that might be part of the problem.
“Put yourself in the puppy’s paws.” I said. “If you knew you had a choice of where to take care of your business, which scenario would you choose?”
#1. You wake up in your nice warm crate. Your owner opens the crate door and before you know it, you find yourself staring at the wrong side of a sliding glass door. One step off the stairs and you’re up to your privates in ice cold snow. After an hour of laborious digging, you finally dig deep enough to stand on firm ground. Shivering from the cold, you now relieve yourself.
#2. You wake up in your nice warm crate. Your owner opens the crate door and before you know it, you find yourself staring at the wrong side of a sliding glass door. Instead of stepping off the stairs into Antarctica, you put on your sad pathetic face and start whining softly. After a very short time you are let in, picked up and hugged. Once placed back on the ground you are forgotten about. You now run to the kitchen, grab a coffee, grab the paper and head for behind the couch. With Dr. Phil playing softly in the background, you now relieve yourself.
“I gotta tell you,” I said to the client, “given those choices, I’m going behind the couch too.”
While the answer to this problem is simple, the answer stinks. The answer is: You have to put on your boots, coat and gloves – and walk the dog away from the house until she goes. If you don’t witness a pee and a poop, the puppy goes back into her crate for awhile. Don’t give the puppy the opportunity to be alone behind the couch. Trust me, not only will it be better for the puppy, it will also be better for anyone near your couch.
Hang it there, spring is around the corner.