Willow is having trouble adjusting

I received a note from the family who adopted Willow and is having some trouble adjusting. Here is her note and my response:

I need some guidance on some issues with Willow. We have some major potty training issues. I have been walking her on a leash outside to go to the bathroom. I try to take her out 6-8 times per day and usually she goes, but she is still peeing in the house. I have limited her to the main floor, but she continually pees in the living room. Even outside it is hard to get her to go sometimes.

She hates the rain and doesn’t want to go. She’s also still scared of the wind and strange noises. She’s generally very skittish about everything. She’s still scared to death of my husband. He’s trying very hard to ignore her and just puts his hand out for her to sniff him. Today we tried putting peanut butter on his finger and she actually licked him for quite a while. We’re going to try that for a while.

She’s also chewing up a storm. We have toys for her but she loves to chew anything in sight. I try to exercise her outside, but she doesn’t want to play fetch and I have some foot problems and can’t run after her. She is jumping on the kids and tends to “clothesline” them with her outside leash so they are somewhat scared of her. Any suggestions on these issues would be greatly appreciated. We just love Willow to death and she is very attached to me and the kids, but we need to make some progress on these issues. I am looking into a training class. Thanks so much!

I’m gong to try to answer all your questions, there are a lot here! But first of all I’m glad you are in love with her. She is a sweetie and I think once you get through this all you will all be fine. But this will take time – remember to think in terms of months rather than weeks. Most of the rescue dogs I have had take a full year until they feel really “part of the family”

First of all, have you made sure Willow doesn’t have a bladder infection? Also, did her stool check come back clean? I would definitely rule out any physical cause for the accidents. A few of the puppies still tested positive for coccidia and whipworm at their 9 week check ups so it is likely she may still be infected, as she was the one who came with those parasites.


Benjamin Moore paint stands up to puppy grime

I have done the final cleaning of the puppy room. I used WAY too much bleach in the water and my poor hands (and sinuses and eyes) paid the price. I tried to ventilate but I really did use more than I should have. I really wanted to clean that room out good. Having two litters, back to back, made me concerned about transmitting illnesses. In fact, it seems we have a case of coccidia at our house. I hope my dogs won’t get it. I think most healthy adult dogs can clear it on their own but clearly we’ve got it. I think it came with Chloe‘s group but it could have been here from last summer from all I know (we had a dog with it last summer, that’s the only one who tested positive). These illnesses can last for a long time on surfaces and in the lawn….crazy, that.

Anyway, back to the bleach and the cleaning. So, the walls were gross. You may have noticed in some of the videos the film of dirt on the lower part of the white walls. You may have asked yourself, “why did she paint the walls there white?!” Well, I did it so I could see just how dirty it really was. I like white and light colored things for that reason – cuz when they are dirty you know it. But you also know when it is clean!! Anyway, I used a very heavy, wet rag and just soaked the walls with bleach water. I let the water sit on the walls for about 5 minutes and then scrubbed them hard. And I noticed what a great product Benjamin Moore makes…I always use Benjamin Moore paint because I like how thick it is, I like how it goes on, and I like how it holds up. But I did not expect it to hold up as well as it did! Not a bit of paint came off after all that soaking and scrubbing. And now my walls and nice and white again! Yeah.

walls before

walls before

walls after

walls after

So, the door is closed to the puppy room and after I do some research on coccidea and how long it lasts in lawns I’ll let you know. That will determine when our next litter can come, that and my need for peace and quiet. But that only lasts about 4 months…usually.