It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Cause and effect

House-training continues.

For Romeo, that is. Right now no human child is potty training in my house. Tyler is done, and no one else is ready to start. A small breather.

We had hit a bit of a wall in the puppy version. See, while Romeo certainly seems to have grasped that we DO want him to pee outside, he did not at all understand that we did NOT want him peeing inside. We’d been keeping the house relatively puddle-free by dint of hourly pee-breaks, but Romeo? Was not with the program. It is safe to say that he was totally oblivious that a program existed.

What to do? Consult my all-knowing internet dog guru, of course! “Introduce treats to the training!” she said. If the consequence of a pee in the house is a startling “NO” and being whisked outside, while the consequence of peeing outside is delirious joy and a TREAT… well, it won’t take him too long to make the distinction.

Makes sense to me!

Romeo likes this new twist. Very much. Now, having peed outside, he will sit and look up at you expectantly. “See? I’m a GOOD BOY! Aren’t I a GOOD BOY??? Treat, treat, treat, treat!!!” all the while his wee tail going a mile a minute.

We’ve seen progress, too. Indoor accidents have dropped by 50%. YAY!!

Which is why I was a little flabbergasted the other day, as I stood in the kitchen, chopping stuff, to look down and see Romeo, PEEING AT MY FEET!


And then, when he was done, he sat down, his wee tail going a mile a minute. As if he’d done something GOOD. As if he expected to be praised. As if he were about to get a…


The chopping board holds a small pile of dog treats. Dog treats which I was chopping into teeny, Romeo-bite-sized morsels, suitable for use as Motivating Rewards.

Rewards for what?

Well, peeing.


January 26, 2011 - Posted by | my kids, potty tales | , , , ,


  1. LOL!

    I’m sorry, I shouldn’t laugh but I totally did not see that coming.

    Yes, please do laugh! And I’m delighted you were taken by surprise — it’s what I was aiming for! Yay, me. 😀

    Comment by Sylvia | January 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. Thanks for bringing a chuckle to my morning. 🙂

    You’re welcome. It brought a chuckle to my evening, once I realized what was going on.

    Comment by Marci Baker | January 26, 2011 | Reply

  3. Bwa, ha, ha! Oh the visuals I had on this one. I could see the expression on your face. Thanks for the chuckle. That’ll learn ya.

    Yup. From now on, all treat-chopping happens under cover of darkness, with the puppy in a different room entirely.

    Comment by Darcy's Mom | January 26, 2011 | Reply

  4. My sister paper trained a puppy, and the first time she left him free rein of the house while she was out was also the first time she got back late. He had tried to be good. He’d found paper to pee on. On top of her desk.

    He was good. It was paper!!! They are pretty straightforward critters, dogs. It’s we humans who complicate things. I mean, why hide the piddle papers on top of her desk?

    Comment by My Kids Mom | January 26, 2011 | Reply

  5. That dog will go far with his proactiveness.

    Comment by suza | January 28, 2011 | Reply

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