Monday, May 23, 2005

My Smart Riley

I always wondered how Riley would handle the nuances of housetraining, mainly the asking to go out. He's never had full run of the house, at first having to do w/ housetraining issues, and lately having more to do w/ the fact that he chases and terroizes my 18 year old kitty.

Neither dog can really be left unattended free in the house. Nicky treats the litter box like a cafeteria buffet. We had to get a special kind of litterbox for the upstairs cat, so that Nicky couldn't get to the contents. We got the booda dome, or "Booda Clean Step" litterbox:

It's a litterbox with a curved hallway inside. We have it under the bathroom counter, and turned so that the cat has to go almost around back by the wall to go in the doorway (and then down the inside hallway). This has kept Nicky out. But Sasha's box is more out in the open and so far we have not thought she needed the clean-step box.

The other thing w/ the dogs running free, besides terrorizing Sasha and eating cat litter poops, is the eating cat food and then getting diarhea from it.

So, the dogs enjoy the porch, the family room, the bedroom, and when supervised, all the other rooms.

Anyway, I got off track. I always wondered how Riley would let me know when he had to potty, since he could not go to the door. Well, he's started telling me by barking at me. Not that he doesn't bark at other times, it's just, when he barks AT ME (and not at his toy or at Nicky) and it's a certain type of bark, it means potty time. I'll then take him out and he goes straight to his business and then heads for the door to go back in. He's SO GOOD!

And what's funny is, if he barks at me, and I ask him "do you want [whatever] ?", depending on whether I got it right or not, he reacts a certain way. For example, If he is barking at me because he wants to play and I ask him "do you want to go potty?" he just barks again as if I didn't get it. BUT, if he has to potty and I ask him the same question, he runs at me, slams his two front paws against me, and then runs to the room gate. He does THIS when I get the question right. Like, say, on a Saturday morning he'll bark at me: "do u wanna go potty?" bark again, I got it wrong... "do you want to play with your toys?" bark again, I got it wrong... "Do you want to go for a car ride?" (as we often do on saturdays), THEN he'll run at me, bounce off me with his front paws, and run to the room gate or door. THIS TIME, when we go outside, he does not do his duty, instead he runs to the car and to the passenger side door! It's so funny how he runs at me, bounces off me w/ his two front paws, and then goes to the door when I guess his message right!

What an amazingly smart dog!


Blogger Lori-Lyn said...

That's so great. I've been wondering how the housebreaking hell we're in now (having to anticipate Woody's needs and take him outside constantly) would turn into him asking to go out when he needs to.
I hope he's as smart as Riley.

8:22 AM  

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