Italian Greyhound puppy and 8yo boy - what next?
July 16, 2013 9:48 PM   Subscribe

My son just got an Italian Greyhound puppy for his 8th birthday. This is his first pet other than a couple of goldfish, and neither my partner nor I have had a puppy since we were young children ourselves. Please help us do our best not to muck things up in the first few weeks.

After much nagging from my partner I've finally relented and we've just got our son a ten week old Italian Greyhound puppy for his 8th birthday.

I'm not much of a dog lover (but I'm a softie). When I was a child my family had dogs, but we lived on land and they were strictly outdoor dogs which I didn't play with much. Twenty something years later I've quickly got to work out how to train a puppy, and how to train my son to train his puppy, in an inner-city apartment.

Basic info:
  • 10 week male Italian Greyhound. Purchased from a reputable breeder.
  • 8yo boy. He's an only child, which was why I went against my instincts and agreed to get him a companion. My son's a gentle soul, and very interested in and good with human babies. Suspect the challenge will be to make him sufficiently authoritative/dominant. Highly unlikely to mistreat.
  • Decent size apartment in inner city Melbourne, Australia. Small backyard, but not directly accessible from apartment. Small balcony directly off main living area.
  • I work from home. I'm not much of an animal-lover, but I'm a big softie. I've been the stay-at-home parent for my son, and will spend more time with the dog than anybody else.
  • I walk my son to and from school - 2km round trip twice a day. Partner runs ~5km three times a week, in a dog-friendly park with lots of space to run away from traffic.
We intend to take the dog to puppy school in two weeks, once the immunisation treatment is effective. But what should we do before then? How can we help make this my "son's dog", rather than mine? What resources should I consult? Am I better off with authoritative generic dog books & websites, or Italian Greyhound-specific stuff? Any and all advice greatly accepted - haven't felt this out of my depth since my son was born.
posted by puffmoike to Pets & Animals (26 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A few things that worked very well for us when housebreaking our puppy and getting her used to us / our house (obligatory intense puppy photo action):
• We use R+ training, meaning only positive reinforcement. Highly recommended.
• I read "The Other End of the Leash", which really helped me understand dog psychology and generally get a sense of how to work effectively with our pup.
• Crate training - all food, water, sleeping, hanging out were all in her crate for several months. Food and water were exclusively in there for 3 years.
• Kept the puppy fairy confined for about 2 months, mostly having her out of her crate to go outside and then for 20-30 minutes of play. This was kind of a bummer, but her house training is rock solid.
• When out of the crate, our puppy was never out of our sight. I recommend attaching the puppy to you with a leash if he's out and you're working, etc. They don't want to pee next to you, and will get into less trouble generally.
• Lots of walks. Always walk before feeding to ensure that food is a reward for doing some work. Walks mean opportunities to do some obedience training, etc. I would get your son into the habit of walking with the dog as much as possible - good bonding time for all parties.
• Feeding can be done by hand, one piece at a time initially. We did this with our dog and I do think it helped form a bond with us. Also an opportunity to teach the dog to have a "soft mouth". You son could definitely do this, if he has the patience.

You'll get some more good advice here, no doubt. I do want to express my skepticism that this dog is ever really going to be "your son's" dog. He's going to be the family dog, I think, and the time you'll be spending with your new pet is going to form a bond. Especially through effective training, which I think only an adult really has the patience and vision to carry out. At minimum my guess is that you'll be the primary care giver and your son will love the dog and pay attention to it sometimes at least. Just my experience.
posted by pkingdesign at 10:07 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Before anything, make sure you're 100% OK with this dog not being "your son's" dog a la Ol' Yeller and Lassie. At 8 it is highly unlikely your son will be willing and able to give the dog all of the care, training, and attention it needs.
posted by Anonymous at 10:54 PM on July 16, 2013

Response by poster: A couple of reflections following pkingdesign's (and, on preview, schroedinger's) terrific comments:

I suspect we're not a 'crate' family. Despite protestations from the other family members I have stood resolute on not letting the dog sleep in our bed, so I'm already the 'bad cop'. But I think we're probably prepared for a looser regime with a bit more freedom (but tell me if you think I'm crazy). We certainly don't want a dog that bites people. And we'd strongly prefer raising a dog that is toilet trained and doesn't chew on clothes, furniture, etc. But we're not going to be distraught with the occasional toilet 'accident' (downstairs is floorboards).

I accept that the best outcome is that Tim becomes our "family's dog". I just want to make sure my son is as involved (and emotionally invested) as is reasonably possible.
posted by puffmoike at 10:57 PM on July 16, 2013

I don't think you have to crate Italian Greyhounds, IME.

They are gentle and SUPER smart. So your worst problem is that the dog will manipulate everyone:)

Dog training classes are more for the humans, not the pup.

Love the sh$t out of your pup in the meantime!!


Unless your pup is an outlier, I think it is an easy breed. My experience is these are dogs that think they're human, so treat your dog more or less like a baby/toddler, and it will all work out.

Dogs that are more pack-oriented present a bigger challenge. Italian Greyhounds are pleasers. Teach yours to be pleasing.

Enjoy the ride!
posted by jbenben at 11:13 PM on July 16, 2013

Italian greyhounds are fragile, particular as puppies. Did the breeder explain that you should avoid letting the dog jump at all off any furniture until it's an adult, if even then? I have a good friend whose iggy broke both her front legs just jumping off the couch, which is not at all uncommon. They are also, unfortunately, challenging to house train.

Even more than with other breeds, you must always supervise your son with the dog to make sure he doesn't hurt it accidentally. I'm not saying anything about your child being rough with the dog - it's just that iggys are that delicate, particularly when puppies. Broken bones in a dog are extremely expensive.

Here is the website for an adoption group for iggys in Australia. I bet they would have a lot of helpful information for you on a more detailed level.
posted by winna at 11:15 PM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Oops. The pup WILL eat shoes and such if understimulated and undisciplined in the beginning - so child-proof your home like you would for a toddler.

After dog training and age this will no longer be an issue. For now it is.
posted by jbenben at 11:18 PM on July 16, 2013

Crate training is actually a pretty efficient way of house training your puppy. If you're extremely consistent with this, you will be able to let the puppy have free run of the apartment in months, and you can just let it sleep outside in its own bed when it's older. I'm a bit of a crazy dog lady, but my partner is a poor sleeper, so for our own comfort, we've never had our now 2.5 year old dog sleep with us. We've tried this once or twice, but our dog wakes up much earlier and snort-licks herself noisily in the pre-dawn hours, plus she burrows into us when she sleeps and shoves us to the side of the bed as a result. Things are just better in our household when nobody's sleep deprived and cranky!

One things that made it easier for us and our puppy was The Schedule that we never, ever deviated from. We followed the schedule drawn up here with some modifications: we did not feed our puppy in the crate, for one, and well, we got up at 7am, not 6am. As the months went by, she spent less time in the crate so by the time she was 9 months, she was never crated during the day, and she's had remarkably few accidents. I work from home, so I've always been able to supervise our puppy, and as a result, she's not a big shoe chewer though I lost two pairs when she was teething.

Good luck with your new pet!
posted by peripathetic at 11:31 PM on July 16, 2013

Response by poster: Specific question: Any undesirable behaviour we should specifically tackle pre-puppy training (and by extension what behaviour can we afford to turn a blind eye to in the short term)?

Should we be fussed that attempts to reward toileting on a puppy pad aren't going very well?

How should we deal with playful nips whilst trying to remain positive? (At moment we're trying simply to distract him if he nibbles at furniture, but hard to ignore him if he's nipping at clothing or skin whilst sitting in our lap. Currently saying 'No' in firm voice and putting on floor, but letting him back up until third strike.)
posted by puffmoike at 12:05 AM on July 17, 2013

Correction for nipping = loud yelp, turn away from him, playtime is over. It's meant to emulate what would happen if he got too rough with one of his litter mates.
posted by Fig at 2:33 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Something you might not think about as a new dog owner: it's important to get the dog accustomed to interacting with lots of different people and animals from the very beginning, so that he gets properly socialized and doesn't get defensive and/or freaked out by new people when he's older. Puppy school will be good for that. And then later, is there a dog park near where you are?

Also, remember that dogs get stressed and bored too. So if your normally sweet dog starts acting out, don't just get mad and punish him. Try and figure out what the root cause is, and try and mitigate that.

I think you all have to participate in the early stages of puppy training so that it's consistent, and because your son is still a kid, a lot of the actual work may fall on you. But once your dog has the basics down, you might encourage your son to try and teach him some more commands and/or tricks ("sit," "stay," etc). That will give them a common project and a common bond, and will have the added value of helping entertain the dog. There are all sorts of resources for dog training out there; you could probably ask at puppy school for some suggestions.
posted by colfax at 2:56 AM on July 17, 2013

As a proud iggy owner also in Melbourne (Who was named here in the green!) I cannot emphasise how important it will be to sort out toilet training very early. Iggies are very sensitive to weather, and given that we're in the middle of winter now, will be reluctant to go outside to do their business, but if you want to train it to potty outdoors, you should be prepared to be *very* patient while it learns. When I got Levi, I lived in an apartment in the CBD, and trained him on a Pet Loo (a piece of synthetic grass over a tray that holds an absorbent pad) which was great at the time, but now that I live in the hills, it was not possible to train him otherwise, and he still uses the indoor loo. It's fine with me, but it is hard work and sort of annoying to clean all the time.

I wouldn't trade Levi for anything else in the world - He is one of the most loving, gentle, and attention-getting creatures I have ever encountered. While every breed and every dog is different, I can confidently say that through my experience, that they have a very different type of intelligence and set of motivating factors compared to other breeds, and if there was one thing that I would have done differently, it would have been to pay a lot more attention to training in those first precious 3-4 months when lots of habits get set in stone, and seemingly impossible to change.

I will also add that I think we used food too much as a motivating factor in training, and he is pretty much obsessed with treats now - Try to use it in moderation and see what other methods you can use. Again, they can be super smart in getting what they want, and if they only want food, it will be very tricky to get good recall, which has also been a challenging skill to train, especially in parks with bigger dogs where he doesn't know his own size.

Anyway, I could go on for ages about the breed - You're in for a real treat and a friend for life. Congratulations! Feel free to mefimail me if you have any other q's.
posted by LongDrive at 3:32 AM on July 17, 2013

I do love IGs, but the first one I knew well had real problems with toilet training. Make sure you reinforce early and often-- petting, compliments and treats for relieving himself outside, etc. Perhaps deliver treats for going outside in the first place; this will sweeten the pill for winter when he'll be less enthusiastic about the outdoors.

You can probably phone your breeder for advice on this pup's particular quirks.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:38 AM on July 17, 2013

something fun your son could do is to give the dog his daily treat. as the puppy gets older and you begin training like learning to sit you can teach your son to have him sit for a treat every day.
posted by wildflower at 4:39 AM on July 17, 2013

Should we be fussed that attempts to reward toileting on a puppy pad aren't going very well?

I've never tried to train a dog to use a puppy pad specifically, but more generally the key to housetraining is to remember that *emptying one's bladder or colon feels good.* Peeing and pooping are self-reinforcing behaviors, whether they happens on a pad, the grass outside, or the couch; the acts deliver their own perfectly-timed rewards. What this means in terms of training is that additional rewards (treats, praise, play) you can deliver when peeing happens where are not sufficient by themselves; it's really important to prevent mistakes. You can't ever let the dog wander around by itself out of sight in the house until it is housetrained, because it will pee in the wrong place, which will feel good and the dog will be even more inclined to do it again later. Crate training is really useful for this because the dog won't pee in its crate, so the crate becomes a sort of baby sitter where the dog can spend some time without constant supervision. You can go out to a restaurant, or go shopping, or sleep, without worrying that the dog will mess in the wrong place and entrench bad toilet habits while you're not there or not paying attention. Even if you eventually stop crating, it's a great help during housetraining.

Remember that any sort behavioral reinforcement has to be delivered virtually instantaneously. You can't tell the dog, "Here's a treat for that great thing you did 2 minutes ago" and expect it to have an impact on future behavior, because the dog doesn't understand your language. Think of the game where you try to guide someone to find a hidden object solely by saying "warmer" when they get closer to it and "cooler" when they get further away. Training is like that; the timing of reinforcements is critical.

When you get frustrated (and you will), don't take it out on the dog. Punishment is a good way to alienate the dog and make it fearful of you, but it's unlikely to make it behave the way you want.

Don't Shoot the Dog (which is about training almost any animal, not just dogs) does a great job of explaining how to shape behavior using positive reinforcement.
posted by jon1270 at 4:42 AM on July 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

First off, Italian Greyhounds Are Weird. They all seem to share this core of very odd traits that aren't particularly dog like. Like their random afternoon freakouts, or their proclivity for taking food out of their dishes, walking across half the house, dumping it and eating from the floor. There's also their weird vocalization/growling they do when playing. They're also extremely treat oriented. With that said, I wouldn't trade our two for the world, they're amazing companions for me and my wife.

I'd also like to nth what everyone else has said about the breed being particular when it comes to toilet training. I found that you must be extremely consistent, even more-so than with other breeds because of their particularities. The breed doesn't like going outside in the rain, or in the snow, or if it's too windy, or if the ground doesn't feel right. Despite our best efforts 100% compliance in going out has been out of reach.

As mentioned above, IG's are intense people bonders, and I would really reconsider your stance on crate training as well, this helped us with separation anxiety for our pups. This will also allow you the option of litter training your pup if so desired. Also, it's pretty much the only way you're going to guarantee that the dog doesn't end up in bed with you, especially during the winter.

As soon as you get your new pup, make sure to get some sweaters/jumpers for the dog. Anything below 30C is going to be pretty cold to her. We live in Florida and our two IG's still spend most of their time in the summer under blankets curled up next to us because they're cold.

I highly suggest getting a martingale collar or harness for your dog, and also, never, NEVER, let this breed off-leash in an non-enclosed area. NEVER. Got that? I know you're thinking that you know best right now, and you say you have this, and that your dog is so well trained. But, don't ever. You can't catch a spooked greyhound. Even in an enclosed fenced area, and they do spook, and they do run.

And two last things, remember my first point-- IG's are weird, and idiosyncratic. And, where's the puppy pictures?!?!
posted by nulledge at 4:57 AM on July 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

Here are some quick tips for new IG owners, and here's a site from a breeder with some tips for living with an IG, potty training, and resources. Iggy Planet has a message board and chat, which might be helpful. I'd probably pick up a breed-specific book, though it looks like there aren't a lot of them. Italian Greyhound 21st Century seems like the one that is most recommended, but is also expensive/hard to find. This site offers it for less than the resellers on Amazon, and is mentioned as the place to find it on a couple of IG sites.

These more general dog behavior books really helped me a lot when I got my dog (not an IG, nor was she a puppy):

"The Culture Clash" and “Dogs are from Neptune” by Jean Donaldson, and "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell. (I have others from Patricia McConnell, but they are about specific dog-issues... getting a rescue dog, separation anxiety).

Patricia McConnell also has "The Puppy Primer," which I would certainly buy if I were to get a puppy, and I've heard many good things about Sophia Yin, who has written "Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy off Right."
posted by taz at 5:47 AM on July 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Should we be fussed that attempts to reward toileting on a puppy pad aren't going very well?

Yes. Absolutely. House training is a habit. The dog must not form the habit of peeing or defecating in the house. How often are you taking the dog out? It's a 10-week-old puppy, he has about 2 hours of bladder control max. At 16 weeks it will rise to about 4 hours. So the dog needs to be taken outside every two hours, after every nap, after vigorous play, and after eating or driking in addition to the standard schedule. He also needs to be taken outside the instant you wake up (like before you pee or brush your teeth) - I used to wrap ours in a towel, cradle her (less likely to pee on their backs) and race downstairs in a trench coat like an insane woman. Welcome to puppy training!

I completely get that crate training is a very American thing that isn't so much a thing in other places. We did not do it, and won't. However, the dog cannot be unsupervised when house training because it provides too much opportunity for accidents. This means tethering - keep the puppy within about 5 feet of you on a lead, probably on a bed with some toys. If you catch the dog peeing or pooping in the act, you say NO, grab the dog and race outside. In your pyjamas. Again.

Every time the dog goes outside, praise it, pet it, and offer it a treat.

How should we deal with playful nips whilst trying to remain positive?

With a single strong and emphatic "NO!" and an immediate cessation of play. Pick the dog up and move it a few feet away. It is important that you set firm boundaries from the off, starting as you mean to go on. There is no chance the dog isn't going to love you folks, so worry less about that and more about the boundaries at this stage.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:52 AM on July 17, 2013

Congratulations on the new member of your household! It is a lucky pup.

Echoing high for Sophia Yin's "Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy off Right." Easy read and precise advice. Videos on her blog site are also very helpful.

I also have to echo the importance of crate training. Training him to love his crate now is so easy and so useful. It becomes a "home away from home" so he can be calm no matter where he may have to be over the next 10, 12, 16 years of his life (travel, staying at a relative's house, at a strange vet, visiting your son at university). Also, it means you can have houseguests (or workmen) of any kind over, including people who may be terribly allergic to dogs. He just curls up happily in his crate with a yummy frozen Kong and then dozes off to sleep.

You may find Ian Dunbar's Dog Training for Children video useful. Please be sure your son comes with you to puppy and obedience training classes. Your son will need to behave as a leader for your puppy, and the best way is to observe and mimic good trainers.

Once your dog is about 18 months old (when bones are mature), you may wish to investigate agility training. Our Bandit (part IG) gained a great deal of self-confidence and his timidity lessened after just a six week session. It also very much strengthened the human <> dog bond.
posted by apennington at 6:32 AM on July 17, 2013

Congratulations on your new Gaze Hound. As a former Afghan Hound companion, let me just reiterate, NEVER let your dog of the leash outside. Not unless you want to run through the neighborhood calling it's name in a weary sort of voice. Hounds are FAST!

They also are lap dogs and very lazy, so you can get complaisant.

I think your son will get a kick out of being the main "puppy handler" especially in puppy training class. Also, have your son train your puppy to do tricks. This will be rewarding for both of them.

Crate training isn't mean. Dogs actually like their crates and enjoy having a space to themselves, especially if they get overwhelmed. So don't view the crate as a punishment.

Do you have a dog park nearby? When your puppy gets stronger, he may enjoy romping with other dogs. So check that out.

Also, dog tummy aches can be helped with Pepto Bismol. Have some hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to induce vomiting.

Your new family member will bring you hours of entertainment, boundless love and a lifetime of hilarious stories.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:45 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

As soon as your dog is immunised take it out a lot. Have a lot of people over especially children, you want your dog rock solid around kids and the best way to do this is to have it exposed to a wide range of them.

As mentioned by other Italian Greyhound pups have pretty delicate bones so keep play and roughhousing pretty gentle until they are older.

You will get a lot of advice about crate training on here as it's a big thing in the US, I was raised in Australia never crate trained a dog, moved to the US and have two dogs here, which much to my US friends and families horrors I have never crate trained. They are fine, happy, well adjusted, house trained and secure dogs.

If your dog isn't sleeping on your bed with you guys, which is fine get it it's own bed that it can go to. Italian Greyhounds feel the cold so make sure it is a nice thick bed and maybe have a blanket or 2 it can snuggle up in, I like polar fleece as it washes easily. You can decide if you want it in the room with you or not, I rather like the reassurance of having the dog in the room with me at night. The dog will be fine and you can train it to go to bed. One of our dogs when we first got it would hop up on the bed for night time snuggles and then we'd go "night night" and he'd hop happily down into his own bed for the night. We trained him to do this by giving him a treat in his bed as we said "night night" the first week or so we had to get up and take him back to bed what felt like a 1000 times a night but he got the idea quick enough and was no worries about it after that. Even now we have a bigger bed and he can sleep with us he still often goes and sleeps in his own bed.

The main thing you want to do with house training is routine, set a routine and stick to it. With a puppy I'd recommend every every hour or so and praise like crazy when they pee outside. I say every hour or so as you want to have as many chances as possible to catch them doing right, once they seem to have gotten the idea you can slowly stretch out times between pees. Times you really don't want to miss. First thing in the morning, last thing at night, right after a meal, whenever the dog has been left in the house for a while (and while a puppy after every nap). The after the meal one is a key pooping walk, so you might want to make sure you stay outside for 10 mins or so and walk around slowly to encourage pooping.

Lots of praise, like crazy amounts to the point you feel silly, every single time they pee and poop outside. Buy a good enzyme cleaner for the accidents, and there will be some, I use an enzyme based laundry powder mixed with water as it's cheaper than the specialist pee cleaner uppers and what my vet recomended. Do not scold the dog if you catch it going in the house, just calmly take it outside. I made the mistake (I was having a shitty day) of yelling stop without thinking at one of our rescue dogs when he started to cock his leg inside, he became a secret pooper and pee-er and we'd find his presents in the back of closets and everywhere days after the event. Calm with lots of positive reinforcement works best.

I'd avoid training the dog to litter or pee pads in the house as Italian Greyhounds can be a little hard to train and that might just confuse the issue for the dog.

If the dog nips a high pitched yelp and pull your hand or whatever away and turn away from the dog and ignore it for a few minutes. This is what it's siblings will have done and your puppy will quickly figure out what has happened.

To have your dog bond with your child, take him along to dog training classes with you. Eight is not too young to learn dog training. I had my niece at about that age helping me train my dog to roll over and two weeks later when I went to visit them she'd trained her families dog to roll over all by herself. Involve your son in the feeding, maybe he gives the dog one meal a day or helps change the water. Take your son with you when you walk the dog, make him go every day, this is a great time for families to bond with each other as well as the dog and one of my favourite times of day, rain hail or shine.
posted by wwax at 7:43 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

As mentioned above, Italian Greyhounds tend to be very fragile. Your son needs to be extra gentle with the puppy. The puppy should also not be allowed to jump off of furniture. My friend's Italian Greyhound broke both of his front legs after jumping off of a couch.

For your son's job, what if he fed and gave water to the dog? You'd have to check to make sure the water bowl was always full and the dog does get fed the right amount of food, but it could be a good bonding experience for your son and dog.
posted by parakeetdog at 7:58 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Whether you do crate or not, it's nice for the dog to have their own comfortable spots wherever the family congregates. My dog has her comfy rug by my work desk, her comfy rug (where she sleeps) by our bed, her pillow in the living room, and her cushion in the kitchen, and these are all "safe" and comfy spots for her where she feels especially secure. I think it's nice to leave them be when they are in their personal place (like if you want to play, call to them instead of instigating something while they are relaxing in their own spot), so if they need a place to retreat and tag out, they can do that without having to leave the family group.

I've introduced her special spots to my dog by inviting her onto the rug/cushion etc., petting her there, then leaving a treat for her there a few times, and putting one or more of her toys there. She's always caught on right away, so now the only crisis* point is when I have to wash one of them, so I have an extra cushion thing to replace whichever one I'm laundering.

* not really crisis, but definite unease
posted by taz at 8:08 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Most important is not to let the puppy jump up on people, ever. It is fine and fun when the dog is a puppy, but the behavior sticks and now you have a grown dog with nails jumping on everyone.
posted by JujuB at 8:14 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, I loooove iggies, you are so lucky! I think your son will enjoy his new puppy. Taz's links are all great -- and one thing besides fragile iggy bones to keep in mind is that they have terrible teeth -- it's really important to start brushing their teeth and taking care of their dental health early on, get them used to it.
posted by emcat8 at 9:55 PM on July 17, 2013

Response by poster: Here's a couple of apparently obligatory photos of Tim and Tim with our son (for pkingdesign, nulledge and anyone else who likes cute puppy photos).

Thanks for so many great answers. Don't feel remotely qualified to mark some as 'best answers' but I've read them all more than once (although still to follow a few links) and they've already given us lots of help.

What's working well so far is sleeping. The first night we locked him in the bathroom and he cried half the night. The second night we had him in a caged area in the main living area and it wasn't much better. But since them we've let him sleep in the bean bag which takes pride of place in the living room floor (which is the only furniture we'll sit in when giving him snuggles) and he's adopted it as his own (especially if I wrap a hot water bottle in a towel). Doesn't follow us as we head up the stairs to bed, and is sitting in it when we come downstairs in the morning. Without any obvious signs of destroying the house.

Of course during the night he's left us a few 'gifts'. Thankfully he has never soiled the bean bag, or the rug. But it sounds like our immediate priority is to work out how we're going to toilet train him. Time to look at doggy doors…
posted by puffmoike at 10:25 PM on July 18, 2013

He's a cutie.

Time to look at doggy doors…

Just don't imagine that a pet door will be a substitute for active housetraining. Simple access to the outdoors is not going to communicate to him that he should only make such deposits outside.
posted by jon1270 at 3:22 AM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

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