Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: S. Ontario
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Thought I would chime in with house training, grooming, leaving him alone, and barking.
1) When Benji came home at 10 weeks, he was already using the pad if it was in view.
We took him outside (in the snow) at regular intervals, and praised him to high heaven and gave him a treat whenever he did his business out there. We also praised him when he used the pad inside, but did not give a treat.
We also tied a long cord to a bell, that he can tug on to let us know he wants to go out. We started by ringing the bell each time we took him out. Then had him play with the rope and whenever he made the bell ring, we opened the door and took him out, so he caught on. But we continue to make a big happy deal of it when he goes outside - and it has paid off big time.
We do leave a pad by the back door, and that does get used sometimes when we are away for several hours. It is nice to know he has that option, though it is seldom used.
2) I brush him almost every day, and he needs a bath every two weeks, though sometimes he has to wait three. He comes home from walks when it is wet out, a muddy mess, and needs rinsing off and brushing. My husband does the nails weekly.
3) It was heart breaking leaving him alone at first - we started with 1/2 hour, and slowly worked our way up - with his crate in an ex-pen and a pad and a stuffed kong. Luckily, we both work from home, so he is not on his own often. Now that he is a year old, it is not traumatic to leave him, though he would much rather come along, and is very happy when we return. He follows me around most of the day - and has his favorite places to curl up while keeping tabs on me.
4) He barks 2-6 times when the doorbell rings, or if he hears someone coming - something I was hoping would not happen, and all the training advice I have tried, has not stopped this -YET.
5) He is highly affectionate with everyone. Even those he barked at a minute before.
Ashti - Benji's