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We are expecting a baby next month, and in order to ease the transition for everyone and make life a little easier, I have been trying (for the past 6 weeks) to get the dogs into a routine. Zoey has taken to this with flying colors. She eats her food as soon as it's put down, and potties as soon as we get outside, every time.

Maggie on the other hand only occasionally eats her food, usually she likes to guard it from Zoey for 5 minutes, eat a few pieces and then wander off. We have been picking her food up and making her wait until the next meal time to eat it, but she just does the same thing. I am thinking maybe we are feeding her too much, I have reduced her to only 1/4C 2x a day (Maggie is a 15lb lhasa/bichon), the bag says she should have twice that amount. She has always been a very thin dog as well, so I am just not sure about this. We rotate kibble each bag to keep them from getting bored as well.

Maggie also likes to take 5-10 minutes to find a spot to pee. Our yard is fenced, but there is no deck leading off of the patio doors for them to access the yard themselves, so we have to take them around on their leashes. Sometimes we let them off lead to potty in the yard, sometimes we keep them on.. it doesn't seem to make a difference either way. Maggie will start searching for "the perfect spot" and then she'll get distracted by a smell, or a sound, or a leaf, or.. air. I don't know, she is sooo easily distracted. We have the cue word "go potty" which she knows, and as soon as it is said she starts searching for a spot, (and boy can she search! she can run around looking like she is JUST about to go for the longest time) and then she gets distracted again.

I am currently doing the same kind of thing with potty time as I am with the food.. if she doesn't go in just a few minutes outside, we go back in and she has to wait until the next potty trip about 4 hours later. She won't potty in the house, so that's not a worry, but she does come up and tell me she needs to go out, which breaks my heart, so I take her, but if she doesn't go in that same time frame, we come back in and I make her wait again.

I would really like to get her GOING as soon as we get out.. this is our first baby, so I'm nervous about how stressful and how much work it will be and I would just like to get things as easy as possible before then. I don't feel comfortable with the idea of leaving the baby inside for 10 minutes, unsupervised while I take the dogs out, and I'm not comfortable leaving the dogs out unsupervised either. The only solution I can come up with if this doesn't work is to bundle up baby and take her with us.. but that worries me a bit too as I would have to carry her out in one hand and have both leashes in the other hand. My thoughts are that it would be easiest if I could set the baby in her rock n' play sleeper, which I can see from the front yard, and if the dogs just took a second to potty, we could be right back in.

Any tips? I don't know, maybe I'm just freaking out. :-/


Zoey

and Maggie
 

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Gosh, just from your post I can tell you are going to be a great mom. Congratulations. I like the idea of having the baby in a carrier inside, rather than trying to carry the baby and handle the leashes. That way you will know the baby is safe. It may be good idea to get one of those portable playpen-type deals that you could set up and have the baby carrier inside of it. I guess I am sort of a safety freak but I think that is what I would do. Best wishes.
 
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