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Peeing Pekingese needs consistent training

Q. Two years ago at Christmas we got a puppy Pekingese. She was a dream come true for my kids. The problem is for two years we have battled her to go potty outside. We have taken her to obedience classes. We walk her every day. We take her out about every two hours and still cannot trust her! She will wait until we leave the room and go. We have to keep her on her leash inside the house so we can monitor her and we crate her when we leave and at night.

A. It sounds as if your dear Pekingese was never taught to mind her pees and cues. She was thrown into a busy household and expected to figure it out on her own. Sure, you take her out but do you reward her when she goes?

You want the dog to figure out that it’s a good thing to do business outdoors. Do you keep her in her crate all the time and take her outside immediately when you release her? You should.

You also should reward her extravagantly — with a high-test treat such as a freeze-dried liver chunk or a small piece of chicken — for doing business outside. She’ll figure it out promptly but you have to help her. Somebody has to be in charge of her training.

Q.

I was shocked to hear a fellow teacher at the school where I work say that when her dog dies she will go out that same day and find another dog. “I can never be without a dog,” she said. Jeepers, I love my dog too but this seems extreme.

A. Yes, in fact when Dog Lady goes away for a day or two and leaves her dog in the care of others, there’s always a little relief — probably the same as when a child is being cared for by a good baby-sitter or when a bigger child leaves the nest.

Responsibility for another creature is a full-time job and, with a dog, there’s no break for years and years.

However, Dog Lady will never be without a dog in the long run because, as the late comedian George Carlin once remarked, “Life is a series of dogs.”



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