It's been a few years since we've had a puppy in the house and I had forgotten all about the challenge of housebreaking in winter. Add on to that a 2 pound California born Chihuahua puppy that thinks behind the potted plant in the living room will do just fine when it's 38 degrees and raining. I'm not a big fan of puppy pads...I want them to learn to go outside. In the summer it's great. Doors are open. The yard is a pleasant place to take your time and watch a puppy meander around taking their sweet time doing their business. But in winter it is all about who can make it back to the door first.
I am very lucky though as most of the housebreaking and crate training was done by my son and goldilocks so Bijou has no accidents of the #1 kind but she was still having a few of the #2 kind...well a lot really. It was my fault, I wasn't paying attention. I know how to housebreak a puppy and have taught a few people to housebreak their puppies. When I did obedience classes at our civic center I used to tell people that if the puppy had an accident to roll up a newspaper and hit themselves on the head and say-I didn't watch the puppy, I didn't watch the puppy, I didn't watch the puppy. I would say it very dramatically like I was going to say to hit the puppy with the newspaper.....it got a laugh every time.
I wasn't watching the puppy.
Needing inspiration, I plopped myself down in front of the TV to watch my favorite dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell. She was at a rich couple's house on Long Island that had four little dogs that were pooing and peeing in the house. So imagine my surprise to see author, fellow blogger, and now TV celebrity, Terry Golson, and her clicker trained chickens. She gave the couple a quick lesson in clicker training using her delightful little hens. She was very funny...and I like funny.
Victoria didn't tell me anything I didn't know (it just sounded better with her lovely British accent) but inspired me to put Bijou on a schedule and set a goal of no pooing in the house. It has been working quite well. So far we have only had half an accident, if you can imagine that.
I've been watching the puppy.