This post is sponsored by BarkBox.
YO FELLOW DAWGS. CHECK OUT MY NEW CRIB.
So we're not the only ones who got a new house. In preparation for moving Ceiba into a place chock full 'o carpet (because Ceiba likes to pee on carpet, loves to pee on carpet, is valedictorian of peeing on carpet), we decided to try re-crate training her while still at the old house.
I admit I wasn't really sure how to go about crate training an older dog, especially since the LAST THING I wanted to do was stress her out right before the move came along and CHANGED EVERYTHING ABOUT HER ENTIRE LIFE. And obviously our first go at crate training her as a puppy wasn't very successful, since if there's anything she enjoyed more than peeing on carpet, it was peeing in the crate. (YO DAWG WHY U SO GROSS?)
So I read some tips online and then focused on making the crate as cozy and pleasant for her as possible. We moved her bed inside and left the door open, then gradually started closing it at night, or while we were out for very short, then longer periods of time.
We also made sure she had plenty of treats and rewards throughout the process, mostly thanks to BarkBox.
This. Was. So. Fun. You. Guys. It's like a monthly beauty subscription box, only better because it's full of amazingly delicious and fun or useful things for your dog. And these days I personally find my dog MUCH more amusing than my aging complexion. (And there's an awesome discount at the end of this post, BTW.)
I customized our first BarkBox to Ceiba's wee little size and was absolutely thrilled with everything that arrived. I tend to get overwhelmed at pet stores and never really know what toys/treats will go over well (or get completely ignored), so it was really fun to just have a bunch of new things for her to try. And even if she liked just one or two, the price of the box was more than paid for, since everything is full-sized and the brands and ingredients were top-notch, grain-free, minimally processed, etc. (Plans start at $19, and I've easily blown way more than that on fewer items at boutique-type pet stores.)
The theme was "Space Camp." And since I'm weirdly obsessed with reading about what people receive in their various subscription boxes, here's what we got:
1) Bixbi Peanut Butter Pocket Trainers. Really generously sized-bag...we still have a TON of them, well over a month later). Grain-free, four calories each, perfect for rewarding Ceiba for peeing on things that are not carpet or her crate.
2) Crunchy Duck & Sweet Potato Bar, which reminded me of astronaut food, so it fit the theme nicely. But I dunno, I'd totally eat a human version of anything crunchy duck and sweet potato flavored, because that sounds kind of amazing. (Submission for that weird potato chip flavor contest next year?)
This was perfect for keeping Ceiba occupied in the crate during the day, without leaving desiccated gummy husks of rawhide all over the place, because she ate the whole thing over the course of a week. Will definitely be getting more of these.
3) Space Shuttle Squeaky Toy.
Oh yeah, she loved this.
(Max, on the other had, was unimpressed.)
UGH TURN THAT THING OFF, HUMAN.
4) Orbee-Tuff Cosmos Ball.
Here's where I have to admit that okay, you know what, my dog is not the smartest dog. You throw anything for her to "fetch" or even chase after, at best she might turn her head in the object's general direction, then look back at you like, WHOA WHERE DID IT GO, MAGIC WIZARD?
So instead of fetch, we simply pumped this toy full of peanut butter and watched her chase it around in amusing circles for awhile.
5) Space Rover Bandana.
(The box and packaging also contained enough over-the-top dog word puns to keep ME solidly entertained for a good 20 minutes.)
So how's Ceiba doing now? Pretty terrific, actually. I wish we'd gotten her a crate ages ago, because beyond the accident control issues, she's just so much...CALMER now. And not in a puppy-to-old-dog way, she's just less on edge and determined to defend our house from such terrible threats as...the mailman. That person walking their dog there. That truck parked over there and OMG IT'S A PLUMBER HE'S COMING INSIDE BARK BARK BARK BARK LKDOFHGLAKNDFLAEHFROHDFLKADEFL.
Some of it is definitely the new house: There's just less self-inflicted pressure on her to protect us, I think. We're set much further back from the street so pedestrians/neighbors/kids don't feel like trespassers. It's easier to get her more exercise in the big backyard, and she's more relaxed out there because we're not right next to the neighborhood dog-walking path, like we were before. She's gotten much better about finding us and giving us SOME KIND OF SIGNAL that she needs to go outside or wants a walk. And she goes happily and willingly into the crate whenever we ask, along with her Space Shuttle and a peanut butter treat.
YAY FOR CEIBA, TINY SPACE CAMP VALEDICTORIAN OF NOT PEEING ON CARPET!
UR WELCOME. WHEN NEXT BOX O' BARK STUFF ARRIVE FOR MEEE?
(HERE MY SUPERDOG IMPRESSHUN ALSO CARPET FEELS NICE ON TUMMY.)
Use the code AMALAH and get a free month added to a new BarkBox subscription! (Purchase a 3-month plan, you'll receive 4 months of BarkBox, if you purchase a 6-month plan you'll receive 7 months, etc. MATH!) Follow this link to enter the code and claim your discount, first 30 readers only.
Thanks to BarkBox for all the treats and for sponsoring this post.