Blogs by Diana L. Guerrero
Molly, Molly, Molly...
2/20/2004 7:25:42 AM
Puppy student Molly lapses back into bad behavior and here is why.
Animal behavior is an interesting field. After twenty-five plus years I consider myself pretty good at it. Unfortunately I make it look easy when that is not true for the average pet owner.
When assessing behavior there are key components as to why an animal will laspe into bad behavior. Other than being a puppy and having the challenge of "puppy brain" (short attention span and forgetfulness) changes in diet, or surgery or medication can contribute to potty training hassles. Such was the case with my current star student, Molly.
A small black and white Shih Tzu, Molly is super smart, super bossy, and super cute. Several weeks ago she managed to find a needle in thread and promptly ate it. After surgery she was quickly back to her antics--and housebreaking horrors.
Some of my clients have my private number and so I got the call pleading for help. "Molly is doing great on most everything, but we need help with something--please call."
I anticipated that the puppy nipping was out of control since Molly retaliates if certain conditions are present. But no, that was not the trouble. Her bossy barking and naughty nipping improved, it was a laspe in her toileting habits.
There was a sigh of relief when I explained that it is normal for regression after surgery and that it was only temporary, but as I outlined the steps to gaining control again and suggested review of my puppy manual on house training my intuition told me it was more complicated.
Sure enough, when I got to the house I found that soft hearts were letting Molly off the hook. Sometimes pet owners love their pets so much that they cannot bear to follow through on directives. Four to eight weeks of effort pays off with a lifetime of pleasure and saves the carpeting. It just has to be put in to perspective.
I had a chat with Molly and explained everything. The main problem is that she is too cute and tries hard. She will survive puppy preschool and hopefully so will the carpet!
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