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Posted on 04-16-2013

"My puppy is still having accidents in the house", that is a very common phase I hear.  I always seem to have the same response, watch your puppy more closely to avoid accidents from happening and reward them for eliminating appropriately.  I now know that is easier said than done!  I start to wonder how I ever trained by previous dog Lexie with a busy household, work and 3 kids.  Rue is a challenge, she is able to sneak in an accident almost daily ... I start to wonder if the problem is her or me.  I think me!

I have a sectioned area of my backyard with pea "pee" gravel that is used as a potty area.  Rue knows that this is where we always go to eliminate and she seems to do it well on command.  I say "YES" and reward her for going.  So what is the problem?  She is crate trained and I put her in there when I have to do a chore where I cannot supervise her.  It is the other moments that my eyes are off her that accidents occur.   She can be playing with a toy and I turn my back to look at something or take some clothes out of the dryer 5 feet away.  All of a sudden I turn around and there it is ... a puddle.  After being frustrated beyond belief, I have decided it is time to go back to housetraining 101 and see what I am doing wrong. 

Today is day 2 of potty training boot camp and so far so good.  I purchased a hands-free leash that has a clip to attach around my waist or to the chair leg to keep little Rue is sight at all times.  Now it is my job to keep my eyes peeled.  Whenever she stops what she is doing and seems to head to the end of the leash, we go out.  Even if it has been only 5 minutes between trips.  She doesn't always go but at least she has the chance.

My problem was that I felt guilty that she had spent much of her day in a kennel when I was at work and I thought she needed to have some free time.  I thought I was watching her.  It was my problem not hers.  It is only with training that she will earn more freedom.  We do spend time off leash chasing balls and playing with toys but never with my eyes off her.  If I fail at training, she is the one who loses.  Potty boot camp is for the owners and well at their pups.

Rue and I are bonding more now, it is like we are joined at the hip ... haha, we are!

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