They say the first step to fixing a problem is to admit you have one, so here it is: I'm not potty trained. Well, I mean, I kind of am now, but it's still a work in progress. Let me explain...
When I first got to California and was staying up at the barn, they noticed that I would pee in my bed a lot. I had just been spayed and had a slight UTI, so I was on medication but after that was done I kept on peeing my bed. I would go outside, too, but I really had no problem peeing on my blankets and then sleeping on them. They call that being a "dirty dog" but I didn't see what the big deal was.
When I went to go stay with Ana, she knew I had this problem and began a puppy potty training protocol. At work, we would go outside to the right spot many times a day, especially a short while after drinking water or eating. But the problem is that the world was too exciting, so I would go out and sniff, sniff, sniff, then we would come back in and I would promptly pee on my bed. This lasted a few days, but Ana was patient and very consistent in the routine. She never yelled at me for peeing inside, just made enough noise to interrupt me, and then would take me outside really fast. If she didn't notice I had peed until after the fact, then she wouldn't say anything at all because she knew I would not make the connection that what I had done was bad. For a long time, I would hold it all day or pee on the bed.
At her house it was much easier, since the yard is very small, it is not very exciting so I don't get distracted. Many dogs have peed there before, so I knew what to do. Even though I kept peeing on the doormat, Ana would throw a big party for me and tell me how wonderful I was. I guess she figured the doormat was better than my bed and that I needed to make an association to the word "potty." Every time I would pee or poo on the doormat, she would get really excited and then we'd play a game and I'd get scratches (and then she would curse about how much Nature's Miracle they were going through).
Finally the big day came at work... I peed in the right spot outside of work! Oh man, was that a big party or what! After I did it, I got so many scratches, and we went running up and down the sidewalk. Sure I've made a few mistakes since, progress is never a straight line, but I pretty much know how to potty in that spot now and I'll even do it for other people besides Ana if she's too busy to take me out.
Back at home, Ana decided I was reliable enough that it was time for me to learn to potty in places other than the doorstep. Sometimes feeding a dog where you don't want them to pee is a good way to teach that, but since I eat in my crate, and am still willing to pee there, that was not an option. Instead, she stood on top of my spot. At first I was really confused because I couldn't get to my spot, but after about 20 minutes I finally broke down and did it somewhere else, where I was supposed to. Man, there was a big party then, too!
All these parties are slowly working. Just this week I went potty twice in novel locations: I pooped in Sacramento and I peed in a front yard. These may not seem like big accomplishments for the average dog, but for me they are huge. I'm not totally potty trained yet, but this is progress.
Since this is a stinky process, the other day I got my first bath. Here I am before I knew what was going on.
And this was me after
I love life, can't you tell?