Monday, February 1, 2010

Year of the Dog, V: Can Boxers Be House Trained?

We are beginning to doubt it, and we are saved from flights of cursing only by our long-term (and pre-Boxer) plans to remove carpet from the lower floors of our house. Carpet mixes poorly with wheelchairs, and so we knew it would be perhaps only a year before the carpet here began to show ugly wear.

But Daisy, the Boxer, is inordinately difficult to housebreak. We have finally arrived at the stage where she seems ashamed of her misdeeds. When the offending mark is pointed out with a "Bad Daisy, bad girl!" she attempts to hide (ostrich-like, since she's too big to crawl completely beneath it) under the bed.

Boxer afficiandos say "You cannot housebreak them until they're five or six months old." Daisy turns six months today.

Another Boxer owner said, "Put a bell on the door. Boxers are fascinated with bells." We have a bell on the door, but we still have wet spots on the carpet.

The oddity is that Daisy will whine at night, knowing that she'll be let out to do her business (and receive her treat). I've taken to letting her out each time she makes a noise during the day, and of course, praising her extensively and treating her royally post-bladder-void.

We had her spayed last week. Perhaps that will change her metabolism for the better.

1 comment:

Ross Eldridge said...

Hallo there, Gary,

I'm thinking I was very fortunate with my Cailean who was housetrained before he reached ten weeks. I never told him off for accidents, and always rewarded him with a "chocolate button" (not real chocolate, the special dog treats) and a "Good lad!" when we came back inside. Careful not to say "Good boy!" after he'd peed as many people say that to him in casual conversation. "Good lad!" is for peeing (or pooping). I still, almost two years on, reward him with a choccie.

You may well have more success with Daisy now that she's been spayed. Let's hope so.

I was advised that dogs (often) crave attention, so by widdling in the house and being the subject of "Naughty Dog!" conversation they can connect with you. So the puddles I had for a few weeks went totally without comment.

Time for a mug of tea!