This event happened a few weeks ago. I’m happy to report that Maggy is practically 100% house-trained. But she will still wail and rend her garments if she believes a treat is due and not delivered.
We still have our plott hound puppy, Maggy. She may be with us long term as her new routine of exercise has strengthened her to the point the vets want to hold off on surgery for at least a few months.
Maggy is happy and eager and food motivated without being food aggressive. She is a dream to train. She can “sit” and “crate” and “leave it” and, the ever important, “go potty”.
She is still not completely house broken in part because puppies can’t usually control themselves for the duration of a night. If we get a successful venture outside right before we go to bed, she is accident-free until that luxurious hour of 5:30 when one of us inevitably wakes up.
But last night she was not. She would not do #2 during her last round up of the evening and by morning it looked like #56 all over her crate.
…Come for the nonsensical jokes, stay because they’re not funny!
So while we have moved on to intermittent rewards for “go potty” (click here to read about intermittent reinforcement in training and why it is useful), when I took her out this afternoon I made sure to grab a few treats to reinforce good behavior.
We went out the back and she held it all the way to the scraggly grass by our electric pole (2 feet). The potty she performed was not the one I was suspicious of her needing to do, so I simply said, “Good girl” and tried to move on towards the main sidewalk where we could walk a block to a more residential neighborhood.
(To the Vilas County Title Company – we owe you a fruit basket! We pick up after her 100%, but your lawn is my favorite “Go Potty” place and sometimes I wonder if there is a Pavlovian rush to the facilities when your windows are open and you can hear my encouragements.)
Notice I said, “Tried to move on.” That is because while I blithely “good girl”ed and proceeded, Maggy was a rock. Or perhaps The Rock. And she had smelled what I was cooking, performed the appropriate trick, and yet NO TREAT WAS IN HER MOUTH.
She was not just stubborn. She was FORLORN. This dog, that eats four meals a day and has trained OTHER SHOP EMPLOYEES/OWNERS TO BRING HER FAVORS, was going to die of starvation right then and there because MAMMA IS NOT BEING FAIR.*
We’re often asked how we’ll be able to give foster dogs away in the end. And with some, it is harder than with others. She will be one of them. However, there is no way I would keep her. Spike already gives me enough competition in the Drama Queen department.
*If you think she got a treat, you are mistaken.