Well, I can say with certainty that Margot's play-biting has improved, but I really don’t know if credit should be given to the bean bottle or the fact that she’s just learning on her own that no means no. Since that first night of the “bean bottle experiment,” when I shook the bean-filled bottle while saying, “No bite!” several times, I honestly haven’t had to use it much more. That experience seemed to have been enough to at least help Margot understand the whole “no bite” concept. She will still mouth and bite people, but her bites are more inhibited now, and she is much more willing to redirect and chew on one of her toys instead. In fact, she seems to have discovered that it is much more fun to chew on her Nylabone if someone else holds it for her while she’s chewing it, and she will gladly do this for a really long time without getting bored.
Housebreaking, on the other hand, is apparently not going as well as I thought. Margot has always understood that going outside means that she is supposed to use the bathroom. She also knows that when I ask, “You gotta go pee?” that means we are going to go outside. However, I don’t believe that Margot understands that A) she’s not supposed to or allowed to use the bathroom indoors, and B) she needs to ask to be let outside if she needs to use the bathroom.
The perfect example of this happened on Saturday evening. Two different times, as soon as Margot awoke from a nap, I immediately asked if she had to go pee. I then got up, opened the back door, and waited to hear Margot come running, which she usually does. However, on both occasions, she did not immediately come running, and when I walked back into the living room, I found her peeing on her doggy bed. I told her, “NO! Margot go pee outside!” then immediately took her outside and sat her in the grass while saying, “Margot, go pee.” On the second occasion, after I sat her in the grass, I left her in the yard for a couple of minutes while I went back inside to clean up her mess. After I let her back in, she played for about a minute, but then I just happened to catch her mid-poop in the foyer when I got up to go into the kitchen! At least this time I was able to get her outside in time for her to actually finish using the bathroom in the yard so I could praise her like crazy for finishing outdoors, but I still just do not understand why she chose to poop in the house instead of while she was outside just minutes earlier.