It seems every week we have some new breakthrough with Rosie. Generally, these breakthroughs have little to do with Rosie learning a new command or a trick. It usually involves us altering our behaviors or her environment in some way to accommodate her nature. For example, the first week or so Rosie had several accidents in the house. Of course, we didn’t realize it right away because she was doing it out of our site. All that time we were patting ourselves on the back for how easily she was housetrained.
Our solution to that problem was to never let her out of our sight. We barricaded her into a three-room space in our house where we could always see her. For the first few days, she still had accidents. One day she peed on the living room floor while I was using the bathroom. Go figure. Now, she lets me know when she needs to go out.
Lately, she’s a raging maniac all afternoon barking at everything going down the street. We tried to embrace the barking. She barks. I go to the window, look out it, tell her ‘good girl’ and reassure her that everything was OK. While that works, it’s a pain on especially nice days when everybody and their brother is out walking their dogs.
So, it occurred to me today that the answer is making her world smaller. We have Rosie’s rapt attention inside the confines of our home. But, once she steps outside, she’s all dog. Looking out the living room window has the same effect. Until we can train her to give us her attention when we’re outside, we have to keep the blinds closed.
Since I closed the blinds, Rosie is a little angel. It’s amazing. She trots over to the window and whimpers every now and then, but then she comes and sits by my side. The blinds won’t stay closed forever; just until we can work on her outdoor manners a little more.