Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

So far everyone has been adjusting really well to our recent move.  Everyone except Julius.   He doesn’t have his usual perch by the window to see all the action on the street.  He lost his dog door privileges so he has to be walked first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

There is hardwood everywhere, making it more difficult for him to jump up/down on the bed and couch without sliding across the room or falling.  This Knit Pouf (made by Curver) was an accidental find at The Container Store.  It’s hard (made from polypropylene and thermoplastic rubber) and usually used for outdoor seating.  It took a few days to train him to use them like dog stairs – we simply lured him with treats.

Curver Knit PoufAn alternative to Dog Stairs for the bedroom

The main issue with Julius (who will be 13 in March) is that he has been barking nonstop when we leave.  At first, we thought we could re-crate train him.  Bad idea.   So then we let him have full access to the house again.  Better, but he pees everywhere.  I have spent a good chunk of change on dog products over the last month and thought I would share my experience.  Pretty much everything I bought was on Amazon; you can support The Actor’s Diet by shopping these affiliate links.


  • Crate – I saw the same dog crate at PetCo for 3x the price!  Even though Julius doesn’t like being in here alone, it works 100% at keeping him inside.  Also, he likes to play with his ball in it when we’re at home, and it’s stayed in tact through some crazy digging.
  • Padded Pet Bed – This goes in the crate, and cleans up nicely after a couple accidents.  My only complaint is that it sheds like mad, but that’s probably because my dog is a maniac.
  • Nature’s Miracle – Tried and true when it comes to getting out stains and smells!
  • Dog Monitor App – We use this to keep track of Julius while we’re away.  The app on the computer watches him, and the app on my phone lets me check in and see when he’s barking.  You also have the ability to talk, but I find that he doesn’t listen to me.  Note – it costs money for each time you have to download the app.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medication – Julius’ vet prescribed Trazodone, which took about 2 weeks to see a significant difference.
  • Belly Bands – Since he cannot be trusted by himself any longer, we wrap him up in these semi dog diapers.  I insert a fresh maxi pad each time (he is mortified that I’m telling you all this) and it has already prevented two accidents.  They don’t leak and wash easily.
  • Waterproof Furniture Cover – I still can’t believe I spent $135 on this blanket.  I had to get the largest size for our sofa, and supplement it with two painters canvas drop cloths for maximum furniture protection.  (Sidebar – it takes about 3 washes to get the crazy weird smell out of the canvas drop cloths.)

Did Not Work

  • Pot Biscuits – I read an article in the NY Times about giving CBD to dogs.  It was so convincing, I had to get a pot prescription (another story entirely) to buy these Treatible Biscuits for my dog.  They did not work, but they did make his breath smell like he had just taken a bong hit, which still makes me giggle.
  • Thundershirt – I know people swear by these, but it didn’t seem to make a difference.  Though I will admit that Julius looked SUPER HANDSOME wearing their rugby jacket.
  • Particular Paws Dog Calming Aid – He liked the taste of these.  But they did not work one bit. Luckily there was no issue returning them.
  • Citronella Collar – This seemed to work the first day, then the collar malfunctioned.  They sent a brand new one (it took a few days) but that one was broken as well.
  • No Bark Collar (Vibration) – Did not work whatsoever.  Julius happily barked his head off the whole time without feeling anything.

7 thoughts on “Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

  1. Amy

    Have you ever considered getting a second dog? That’s the only thing that worked for my stressed out beagle – got him a *dominant* (very important) girlfriend and he’s happy as a clam. : )

    1. Lynn @ The Actor's Diet Post author

      Unfortunately Julius is such a JERK around other dogs…when my upstairs neighbors had him up here with their dogs he still barked his head off when left alone!

  2. Cindy

    Poor thing. I hope I don’t have to move again with Moseby. It’s so hard on him…the whole process. The sound of the tape, the boxes, the unpacking, breaking down the boxes, and everything new. I have small, non-slip rugs in front of the sofa and my bed because of the hardwood floors. I also have one in the kitchen so his feet don’t slip when I give him his morning treats. I’m totally stealing your pouf idea as Moseby is getting too old to jump up and down from the bed, and the pet stairs/ramps are sooooo very ugly.

Comments are closed.