Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pup Failed Potty?

Chou Chou Briard is beginning agility lessons. She doesn't know the rules yet. 

Before she enters the agility field, she has to go potty. If dogs peed in the agility area, other dogs would want to sniff, not work. 

This is what happened last week:

I wanted her to do her business at her home potty spot, but nothing was happening. ("Well, I didn't have to go!")

It was getting late, so we had to get in the car without the potty. We crept through evening rush hour traffic, arrived slightly late, and she still had to go potty before she entered the field for her lesson.  

There is a potty area, a pen, off the field where all the dogs go before their lessons. I walked her in there. We walked around in circles, many circles, but she wasn't doing anything. ("I didn't have to go!")

The lessons are only 30 minutes. We wasted at least half that time doing this potty routine. She was much more interested in the agility teacher outside the pen, and a landscaper fixing a broken sprinkler, than doing her business. ("Oui! That's true!")

We could not start the lesson until she went. I was getting frustrated. ("Me, too! I did not like smells from other dogs! I wanted my own potty spot!")

I had an idea. There was a large, enclosed field next door to the agility teacher's home, where dogs can run and it's okay to potty there. Maybe if I took Chou Chou into that area, and she ran for a few minutes, she would go? Worth a try.

She entered the area and immediately headed straight to the fence. She trotted along the perimeter of the field. That's the way she finds her potty spots, never in the middle of an area. She squatted, pooped, peed. Instant success. ("It was a good spot! And then I had to go!")

We went back to the agility area. Chou Chou was now ready for her lesson. But our 30 minutes were over. We wasted the whole lesson on potty time! Our teacher was kind, but said Chou Chou flunked that agility lesson. I say Chou Chou flunked potty. ("And I say I did just fine!")

So next time, if she won't go at home, we will arrive at her lesson early and head straight to the field for a potty break. ("That could work! Maybe! But sometimes a pup just doesn't have to go!")

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photo of Chou by Janet Smith

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