Monday, August 20, 2012

A Weekend of Positives and One Big Negative

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. 

It’s very disheartening because, like I said, now I feel like she’s really not getting the whole housebreaking concept at all.  And I know that some of you are going to say that I need to watch for “signs” that Margot needs to use the bathroom, but it is very difficult because she walks around with her nose to the ground most of the time anyway, whether she has to use the bathroom or not.  She also doesn’t spin in circles or seem to be trying to find a spot when she has to go, nor does she have a preferred spot in the house where she usually has her accidents.  One second she’s playing, and literally the next second there’s an accident, which happens so quickly that by the time you catch her, she’s already finished.  I’m not really sure if it’s just a matter of her still not being old enough to figure out how to ask to be let outside, or if I’m missing a step and not training her properly.  My gut has been telling me that she’ll figure it out eventually, as she is still only 9.5 weeks-old and it is rather rare that she has an accident indoors, but after those two incidents on Saturday night, I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s something else I should be doing to help her understand. 

In other, more positive news, Margot had another great check-up at the vet with Dr. Ellis this weekend.  She weighed in at a whopping 15 lbs., although Justin and I had predicted she’d weigh over 20 lbs. simply because she seems to have doubled in size over the past two weeks.  I love this comparison photo of her 7-week and 9-week check-ups.  Look how long she’s gotten!  Not just her limbs, but her little snout has also lengthened.  As sad as it is watching her grow out of puppyhood, it’s also really interesting to watch her transformation.  She’s already a pretty girl, but I think Margot is going to be a beautiful adult Doberman someday. 
Also in more positive news, Sam tolerated Margot napping with/on her several more times this weekend, and Margot finally performed “lay down” on command for the first time yesterday!  It’s not perfect yet, but she’s getting there.  Sometimes, she will just lower her upper body and forearms to the floor, but leave her butt up on the air, which is so cute I can hardly stand it.  I always press down on her butt to make her lay completely down on the ground before I reward her, of course, but Kristy suggested I train Margot to do this butt-in-the-air pose under the command “downward dog,” which is a yoga pose.

By the way, speaking of my brother’s girlfriend, you guys should really check out Kristy’s blog.  She’s amazing.  She completely transformed her lifestyle about 7 years ago and has managed to lose and keep off about 70 pounds!  At some point in our lives, we’ve all heard about how important it is to live a healthier lifestyle, but for many people that just doesn’t seem possible or even realistic.  What I love about Kristy’s blog is the fact that she doesn’t just preach health and fitness or regurgitate a bunch of exercise and diet tips that she’s learned over the years.  She simply talks about her own everyday life, which also happens to include a lot of nutrition and health (including “financial health”) information because those things are a part of her life now.  In other words, by sharing with the world her day-to-day routines, Kristy is actually leading by example.  Like I said, she’s pretty amazing, and I highly encourage you all to check out “Kristy’s Health Revolution.”


  1. Yay on the bite inhibition! That's really great that it's improved! frustrating. Even if she gets something intellectually, though, she is still a baby. She might not have the level of body control that her understanding allows. Stick with it, though, they match up eventually! She is a pretty girl.

  2. Awww! That's the sweetest! Thank you so much! P.S. I think Margot is sooooo pretty and sweet. Yesterday I couldn't stop talking about what a sweetheart she was being each time I stopped over.

  3. They say that dogs will not be fully potty trained until at least 6 months old. So she'll still have accidents.