Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Potty Police

I have no life.  And when Brian and I are together, we have no lives.  Hadley has regressed to only pooping on the living room floor and usually at times we're not around to see it.  I know that I can't correct any behavior after the fact...I must catch her in the act.  So we watch and we wait...and we wait...and we wait.  We know that every poop that we didn't witness is a missed opportunity to correct and so...we wait...and we wait.  We spent all of this past weekend afraid to take our eyes off of her and yet, one kiss and a cuddle that diverted our attention for a few minutes was all it took!  Clearly this method is not working.

My next step is to change her feeding regiment.  Up until now, she's been free-fed.  I researched this topic...I researched every topic before getting a dog.  Free-feeding is healthier for a dog because it allows them to eat small amounts, more frequently throughout the day.  This cuts down on bloat, gas and other stomach discomfort.  It also has two draw-backs.  Some dogs will overeat, of course, and others need the pack leader/behavior control of waiting for their food.  Neither is an issue with a sweet-tempered little doggie who'd rather play than eat.  Since I've had her...she'll play for a while, run into her pen for a drink of water and maybe a few nibbles of the puppy kibble always in her bowl, run back out to play, etc.  Half the time she doesn't even finish the daily ration she's given which explains why she occasionally looks like a pipe cleaner with ears :)  In other words - no issues.

But free-feeding doesn't allow me to time her bowel movements.  Dogs usually need to poop about 15 minutes after a meal and that knowledge helps with housebreaking.  Since my biggest problem is that I can't catch her in the act because she's unpredictable, I will have to resort to a feeding schedule.  I really hope to be able to go back to free-feeding once she's trained...

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