It was a very nice day so I decided to take Fred outside and let him get to know his surroundings. Also, I wasn't sure when he peed last, and I didn't want to have an accident indoors yet. We stayed out for quite some time, he napped, looked around, peed (good dog) wandered about the yard. He was so little that even slightest change in the grass would send him tumbling over, but it got hysterical.
I swear the little guy had tenacity, out of nowhere he'd be down, on his side, bewildered for sec, then he'd hoist himself onto all fours and go about his navigating. It was like he never went down, just part of his day. Wobble flop, back up and so on, sometimes it would take quite an effort to get himself righted again, hard to watch too, but he manged. God it was cute, I tried to keep my laughing to a minimum, he was really working hard just to stay upright, and this was serious business for him.
Finally, it was time to come in, I figured I had about twenty minutes after he ate before we would go back out, timing is everything. Sure enough, 20 mins. I took him out and we had bathroom success! I clapped and praised, and I am positive he had no idea why I was acting that way, I don't think he even knew he had peed. There would still be a little time before he could put 2 and 2 together, so for the most part I was the one that was "potty trained". At this point he couldn't even step down the one little step to go outside it must've seemed like a cliff to him, I had to help him. This little googly eyed, smoosh faced manatee like creature truly needed my assistance for everything, and I loved it! The toilet training went well, he's a smart little guy and he didn't really want to "go" in the house. My problem was that when he needed to go out, he would walk to the back door out of my sight and wait quietly, like I said earlier, he's not a barker, I needed to pay attention when he left the room. He still does that to this day, except now he can hold it, until I finally realize he's not around me. I have thought about a bell on a rope or one of those dingers you use at reception areas to get the clerks attention, I've seen other dogs that are trained that way, it's not hard, but for cripes sake, he could bark a little and I'm not a mind reader. So most of the cleanups were at the door, a little spray of carpet cleaner and a another spritz of Zero Odor (good product), and all was well. I couldn't get mad at him, he did everything right. Speaking of getting mad at Fred, it's impossible, and really for the most part, unnecessary. I have never spanked him or used a newspaper on him or anything. I may have given him a finger flick for the worst of infractions, even that was usually not needed. All I had to do to correct his behavior was say a firm "NO' and look at him with a disappointed look on my face, and maybe a deep exaggerated "harrumph" like snort, and he was soooo sorry, my gosh, the eyes would get huge, he'd sit down fast and then...THE LOOK OF REMORSE. Holy crap, that look could melt cold steel. It was extremely hard for me to keep MY look while he was giving me HIS look. It was very much like the blinking game you played as kids except here, the first one to break their look lost. I always lost, I dare anyone to try not to break into a smile after seeing the "look" from Fred. I still lose at that game, but my point is always made and understood. He was a breeze to train right from wrong. I am still trying to find new things to teach him besides parlor tricks, but those will have to wait for another post for now.
It's been a big day for little Freddy, that milk bone by his paws is the smallest one they make.