Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror/Mirrored - When there’s two of you, you can blame each other. When there’s one of you, blame anything.
The dog that didn’t know how to sleep on her bed properly has recently shown that adult dogs can learn new tricks. ;)
She now spends her time equally between her baby cot mattress and her cushion bed and has been properly resting her head off the floor. Well, except for the times she decided she should sprawl entirely on the floor, but I digress. As I was saying, the dog has become very comfortable with her new bed, so very comfortable in fact that she thought the bed needed a bedroom…
… apparently our bedroom will do just fine. The bed is not choosy.
Unfortunately for the bed and its canine bed partner, I am.
She’s trying to look like one of the furniture while I pull the bed back out into the corridor again.
On a separate note, we have made great progress with her fear of the big black plastic tray right there beside her.
We were originally advised that she was newspaper-trained, but newspapers were not the cleanest way for elimination at home. At the time, it made sense to us to get a tray on which to lay the newspapers so that it could collect any seepage. We could also easily push the tray under the sink so that the common toilet could still be used by house guests without the yucky feeling of dog pee on the toilet floor. Unfortunately, Donna decided she had a fear of the tray. I guessed the plastic tray slipped when she used it for the first time.
She is no longer afraid of it now and readily steps into it and does her tricks on it. It took a lot of encouragement, praise and treating to get her to even walk near the tray at first. This video helped me a lot in learning how to approach counter-conditioning her reaction to the plastic tray.
And we did have to go step by step from encouraging her to come near the try to trying to place one paw, two, three, etc on the scary tray. She struggled as I encouraged her to place one paw on the plastic tray. Her paw hovered up and down as she struggled with whatever conflicting doggy emotions she had. So in the end, I tried encouraging her to place her paw on my hand which I rested on the border of the tray. It took a lot of courage from her and a lot of clapping and praising on my end to get her there.
But once she willed herself to physically go on the tray by herself (I was already on it). She realised and was assured the tray was stable and that it was not going to slip with her on it. Slip-resistant mats and non-skid foam pads under the tray helped stabilise it well to build that assurance. Positive praise and encouragement did the rest of the job in securing her confidence.
So for now, the tray is staying in the corridor so that she gets very used to it, before we move it to the toilet and test if she is comfortable to eliminate on the newspapers and pee pad laid on it.
The newspapers and pee pad set up is still not ideal. Sometimes she gets her bottom and paws all wet which means she continues to drip and smear pee on the floor outside the toilet, sometimes all the way to the living room. But one step at a time, we thought we’ll solve our current problem first before introducing other home-elimination tools, such as raised pee trays that supposedly help eliminate the problem of wet paws from pee, etc.
Do you live in a flat/apartment? Do you have a set up that works for you and your medium or large dog at home? We would love to hear your recommendations!
Note: We usually take her downstairs to do it on the grass, but toilet training for the home is still necessary for emergencies e.g. throwing up or cases where we are not able to take her down for her regular loo breaks.
As for how the bed actually got there. The dog was having the time of her life getting high on her own antics, which involved hopping around the bed, wrestling with her towel and in general trying to dig a hole in the bed. I imagine the digging pushed the bed into the room.