Thursday, September 23, 2010

the art of potty training.

Claire entered training classes as soon as she got all four sets of shots from the vet. In the beginner's class (which tends to be more play time for the dogs, and training for the owners), we focused on potty training quite a bit, as most of the dogs were from 3-6 months old. The trainer constantly reminded us to focus on positive reinforcement and consistency. Let me pause now to make an important point: after Claire and I had spent a few weeks together, I realized that, not only is she extremely intelligent, but she also has quite a mischievous streak.

One afternoon, as we were on our way to the dog park, I rolled the windows down so that Claire could stick her head out of the window. She was sitting in the front seat, which benefited me because I could keep one eye on her and one eye on the road. however, I had just stopped at a red light and was looking at her little puppy face lovingly, when she turned around and LEAPT out the window. I threw my car into park in the middle of the road, turned on my hazards, slid over to the passenger's seat, flung open the door, and started yelling for her to get back into the car. As I was freaking out, terrified that she would get hit by a car or that the light would turn green and traffic would start moving again, I watched as she just trotted between the cars over to the grass on the side of the road and... peed. She just looked at me, as if to say, "What?!?! I'm only doing what you've been telling me to do for the past few weeks! Would you rather have me go in the car?!?!" By this time, the light turned green, but no one was moving - they were all watching my dog (and my hysterics, I am sure). Once she finished, she just walked back between the cars and hopped back into the passenger's seat. I could feel my face turn bright red as people started honking their horns and clapping for my puppy.

When we got to the dog park, a guy came up to me and said, "Hey, I was behind you at that red light. I'm just wondering: how did you ever train your dog to do that?!" Really?

I can never say that training class didn't work for Claire in helping her get potty trained. But, needless to say, we never drive with the windows down anymore; it's AC all the way.


  1. The never-ending adventures of it!

  2. I'll never forget that story!!