Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

And so, more about poop. When the supervisors were here last week, we talked about Rockwell’s poop schedule. I had had such a difficult time getting it normalized and so that he didn’t have to go in the middle of the night, I was quite pleased with the way it had turned out. Which is to say, he pooped right after breakfast, a second time on his morning walk later in the morning (any time between 9 and noon) and then finally right before bedtime, when I took him out for another walk around 10pm.

I was told that when dogs learn to poop during a walk, it can be very difficult to change this behaviour and that can flunk a guide dog. Guide dogs must never poop while guiding and preferably never poop on any walk. Well this set me back a little. So that morning, after they left (it was still early), I determined to “fix” Rockwell’s pooping. Before our late morning walk, I let him out in the yard and asked him to “get busy”. He promptly obliged by producing a lovely poop. Then we went on our walk and he didn’t have to go at all.

In the evening, I also asked him to “get busy” in the yard and he pooped there too! I had thought he had to “walk it out” but apparently not. Since then, he has been most accommodating and has only pooped in the yard. I realize that it has only been a week since we fixed this issue but it has been a hectic week and he has maintained the no-poop-on-a-walk rule very well. Even when my father walked him by himself when he was visiting, Rockwell pooped before the walk in the yard and didn’t go again. Also, I know that dogs are opportunists and they will often surprise you with a poop when their schedule says otherwise and so this may still happen. But I will be pleased to report this progress to guide dogs on their next visit.

7 Comments:

At 12:15 PM, December 28, 2005, Blogger Zoom! said...

What a smart dog!

 
At 12:29 PM, December 28, 2005, Blogger JuliaR said...

Oh Zoom, if only you knew! We just came back from a "walk" that was a struggle from start to finish. Some things he learns, some other things - not so much. :)

 
At 3:35 PM, December 28, 2005, Blogger M-Fax said...

those labs, just when you think they are the smartest, they throw you for a loop. Sometimes I wonder if Bosco has brain cramps just like people. Some days he just doesnt get his brain going.

 
At 2:16 PM, December 29, 2005, Blogger JuliaR said...

MFax, I blame it on his Golden genes! :)

 
At 6:13 PM, December 30, 2005, Blogger IndyPindy said...

It would have been nice if they had told you that at the beginning!

I was taught to poop before my walk. My mom read that it was important to potty training to handle it separately from a walk.

Rockwell sure poops a lot - I am almost always a once-a-day pooper!

 
At 10:46 AM, December 31, 2005, Blogger Katherine said...

How can you train a dog NOT to mark on a walk? My neutered lab Sampson insists on marking during our daily walk. I have tried to get him to pee in our own yard before the walk but the dog is just too smart. He WILL pee but apparently "holds some in reserve" because he still has plenty to mark with on our walk! This is driving me crazy...

 
At 3:26 PM, December 31, 2005, Blogger JuliaR said...

Indy, I think Rockwell poops about three times a day now. We're trying to narrow it down to twice a day - once after each meal. But he has always had problems with digestion and subsequent bowel movements so I think it will take a long time.

Katherine, I don't know how you keep a dog from marking his territory. My female didn't do it. I am working on getting Rockwell to pee before we leave the yard for a walk, so that he doesn't think about peeing during the walk. We'll have to wait and see, especially after he is neutered.

 

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