Thursday, April 01, 2004

Another good day/bad day. The good day lasted until around 9pm or so. Mojo was great, we left him alone, and though he was barking when we came home he was OK.

Then after 9 he woke up from a nap, and peed on the floor. Huh? Then at 10:30pm Ela brought him to the puppy pad. Nothing, but then he walked over and peed on the floor again. What was going on?

Yep, dog trainers know what happened - Mojo was trying to take over as the alpha dog. We had been lulled by Mojo's compliance and were cutting him too much slack. We also were cleaning up his pee in his sight, which is supposed to be a no-no (Ela doesn't believe this whole theory, but I think it fits). Basically, Mojo was acting like the top dog - peeing where he wanted to, doing what he wanted to.

I told him to drop his rawhide bone, and he refused. When I took it away (by prying his lips open) he growled. Whoa. He went off towards the kitchen, and squatted down to pee, and we stopped him in time by yelling his name. Yeah, I know it's bad, but at that point he was just annoying. That stopped him, and I carried him over to the litterbox/pads.

Then he got put through the "learn to earn" program, which is what we did as a puppy. No freedom, no toys, and everything he gets he gets after we make him sit or otherwise bend to our will. I gathered up all his toys, and put him through a training excercise - sit, stay, come here, give him a toy, tell him to drop it, etc.

He got worse when he needed to go to the bathroom again. He went upstairs, and refused to pee or poo on the pad. It was like he was a baby again - he'd hop out, we'd put him in, he'd hop out, etc. Eventually he peed, then he poo'd, with lots of growling and trying to escape. Then he went to bed (we put him in his crate).

The lesson? That the alpha dog stuff isn't bullshit in the dog world. It's unbelievable that our now 8-week old (4/1) puppy was trying to run us. Those behaviors in the books are real. I felt like someone on "good dog u" asking Jay (or whatever his name is) for help - "our puppy freaked out on us, what's the deal?"

I'll ask the trainer more about it on tuesday, or at least what we should do if it happens again. But for now, it's back to strict supervision. Sigh.

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