12/23/2010 10:47:00 AM

The Katsu Diaries: Day 6

Do not let this picture fool you.

Cratetraining Katsu for housebreaking has been a roller coaster ride.  Generally, Katsu's been a very good boy in terms of doing his business outside.  Leaving him in a crate though while I'm away or going to bed is another story.  He employs what Shiba owners label the "Shiba scream" - a mix of whining, high-pitched shrieks and agonizing barks.  This morning, it was very very bad and (I am ashamed to say this) I got mad at him.  If I were raising him in a house, I would not be so anxious, but since I am in an apartment I'm always worried about his barking and screaming becoming a nuisance to the neighbors.  Moreover, I feel like people who don't know about the "Shiba scream" misinterpret those sounds as proof that I'm somehow abusing or neglecting Katsu, when that is not the case at all.  Shibas are drama queens, and Katsu in particular is very good at it!

My theory about why he was so bratty this morning is probably because I'm giving him too much freedom to run around in the evening. It will be a relief when the bigger crate comes in.  As hard as it will be for me, I will have to limit his freedom to the bigger crate until he is more well-trained.  I think if he's used to being in a more confined space, he may not resist so verbally when I do put him back in his carrier between my work hours, lunch, and getting home from work.  Also, he's starting to bark at strangers when he's out - for now he gets away with it because everyone things he's "oh so adorable" - but that's not going to be the case when he grows up to be a bigger fox-wolf hybrid. :P

If anything, the silver lining in this is that I am really starting to see my own deficits as a "strong, firm, and positive" leader.  Nothing like a rambunctious puppy to test the limits of your patience.  Please pray that I can positive reinforce Katsu to not be so "dramatic".  He's a good puppy, but obviously he doesn't know how much trouble it will cause if the neighbors complain!  I am planning to start puppy kindergarten with him in February (can't do January as I will be away the last week in Taiwan), but there's still a month to go in which I should have lots of opportunity to address his behavior.  If anyone has any tips for me, I would appreciate them!


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