Dog urinates- anxiety?

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Dog urinates- anxiety?

This is a discussion on Dog urinates- anxiety? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; This issue deals with the dog my boyfriend's family owns. She is about 10 years old, a possible Chow-German Shepard mix, and her name is ...

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Old 04-08-2011, 10:20 PM
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Dog urinates- anxiety?

This issue deals with the dog my boyfriend's family owns. She is about 10 years old, a possible Chow-German Shepard mix, and her name is Jazzy. The family took her in when her previous owners moved away and couldn't bring her along. She has high anxiety with loud sounds that has progressively gotten worse. The tap of a fork on a plate or the sound of a soda can opening makes her flinch and she trembles at the sounds of thunder/fireworks. Now, in the past few months, she has been urinating on the floor. The urinating doesn't happen with loud sounds, rather when my boyfriend's mom (who the dog is very attached to) leaves the house to spend an hour or so in the garage. The dog has no problem during the normal work day hours when Mom isn't around. She only urinates on the floor (in the same spot) when Mom is home for a while and then goes into the garage for a few hours. I'm thinking it is a separation anxiety issue. When Jazzy knows Mom is home but is unable to be close to her she pees. She has peed on the floor in that spot when Mom was IN the house several times as well, but only after those periods of garage time. Mom recently went out of state for several days, returned home, then left again three times for work and Jazzy had no accidents on the floor during her absence, but when Mom came back home and went into the garage for an extended amount of time, she urinated. She is a very sweet dog and the family have no clue what to do now. Punishment of course won't work. Jazzy hardly even notices the pee once she has done it and with her nervous disposition punishing her would only cause more fear. I'm wondering if maybe Mom should not give too much attention to the dog when she leaves to go to the garage? Mom will often make trips back into the house for the bathroom or snacks. I wonder if the short amount of elevated attention from Mom and then her sudden disappearance again is the trigger here? Should Mom ignore Jazzy completely when coming in and out from the garage?
The most painful part of this situation was over half a year ago the family had to put down a very, very old dog (15-16+ years) who was urinating and defecating all over the house. It was so bad that the dog, when crated, still messed all over itself. When restricted to a large gated area, the dog still stepped all over its feces and even laid in them. It couldn't hold its bladder for more than 3 hours, was almost completely blind and deaf and very grumpy. They tried medication (some sort of doggy Alzheimer's drug) but it had no effect. They struggled for a year with the constant, daily clean ups. The dog had become very mean in the past few years. It would bite Mom and Dad even though it had never done that before. When they finally euthanized the dog, it was very difficult for Mom. Now that another dog is having urinating issues, she is very emotionally troubled.
Jazzy has been brought to the vet and they haven't found anything abnormal. They tested for Cushing's and it was negative. She doesn't have any infections. The family isn't able to spend more money on large vet tests and with the very specific conditions in which she pees, I don't think it has anything to do with her physical health. They have tried tranquilizers, but they are expensive and yield little or too massive results (there is no change in behavior with smaller doses, but with any more of the drug Jazzy can't hardly walk). Mom really loves Jazzy, but they are running out of hope.
She also has peed when guests have come over since the urinating has started, but on those occasions it has been the situation where Mom had been in the garage for an extended amount of time prior and came back inside.
Any help would be highly appreciated!! Jazzy is so gentle and a well behaved dog besides this issue. Please help!!!
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:51 AM
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Hi there!

I've had similar encounters with this issue too. I had a friend who has a 2 yr old golden retriever who would urinate when he gets too excited(i.e when anyone greets him and pets him excitedly upon arrival). This has been happening since he was a puppy. The only way to prevent him from peeing out of excitement is to ignore him for a bit when they reach home so he gets to calm down for a while, before they greet him.

My puppy of 4 months has the same issue too. He would spray when we greet him happily at the door but when we just ignore him, he would be okay and not urinate.

Maybe you can try not making Jazzy too excited? Hope it works!
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:54 PM
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Hi there!

I've had similar encounters with this issue too. I had a friend who has a 2 yr old golden retriever who would urinate when he gets too excited(i.e when anyone greets him and pets him excitedly upon arrival). This has been happening since he was a puppy. The only way to prevent him from peeing out of excitement is to ignore him for a bit when they reach home so he gets to calm down for a while, before they greet him.

My puppy of 4 months has the same issue too. He would spray when we greet him happily at the door but when we just ignore him, he would be okay and not urinate.

Maybe you can try not making Jazzy too excited? Hope it works!

Thanks for the reply.
Unfortunately this isn't a case of excitement and then urination. When people do visit or come home she gets excited and has never peed from that excitement. It is later in the evening after Mom has left her in the house to spend time in the garage that Jazzy urinates on the floor. I've searched the internet about Jazzy's urination and I can't find anything that is similar, so I think this is some sort of anxiety/behavior issue.
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:14 PM
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It may be a urinary track infection. I recommend taking her to a vet.
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:36 PM
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I think it is def. more anxiety related so I would work on making when Mom leaves a good thing instead of a negative. She should try taking her out so she empties her bladder and then give her a kong with nummy stuff inside, a pigs ear or a bully stick whichever she likes and she can switch them out so it's stays interesting for the dog. Then she should make sure to not make a big deal about her going out and ignore her when she comes and goes so the dog doesn't get overly excited or anxious.
Is the dog crate trained? If she is I would put her in the crate or just have her lay down in there when she goes out to the garage the so the dog is somewhere she feels secure and she can just enjoy chewing on her yummy stuff.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:09 AM
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I think it is def. more anxiety related so I would work on making when Mom leaves a good thing instead of a negative. She should try taking her out so she empties her bladder and then give her a kong with nummy stuff inside, a pigs ear or a bully stick whichever she likes and she can switch them out so it's stays interesting for the dog. Then she should make sure to not make a big deal about her going out and ignore her when she comes and goes so the dog doesn't get overly excited or anxious.
Is the dog crate trained? If she is I would put her in the crate or just have her lay down in there when she goes out to the garage the so the dog is somewhere she feels secure and she can just enjoy chewing on her yummy stuff.
Ditto this!!!
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:10 AM
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I think it is def. more anxiety related so I would work on making when Mom leaves a good thing instead of a negative. She should try taking her out so she empties her bladder and then give her a kong with nummy stuff inside, a pigs ear or a bully stick whichever she likes and she can switch them out so it's stays interesting for the dog. Then she should make sure to not make a big deal about her going out and ignore her when she comes and goes so the dog doesn't get overly excited or anxious.
Is the dog crate trained? If she is I would put her in the crate or just have her lay down in there when she goes out to the garage the so the dog is somewhere she feels secure and she can just enjoy chewing on her yummy stuff.
Thanks for the suggestions!
She isn't crate trained and we suspect her previous owners kept her locked up in an outdoor kennel for long periods. We think this might be the origins of her anxiety because she has no front teeth! Probably chewed at the metal so much they broke.
Everyone in the family lets Jazzy out very often. She still manages to keep some in the reserves for later. I think I will suggest the kong thing. They use to give both the dogs treats this way. Now they give the dogs doggy chicken jerky. I bet Jazzy would keep herself occupied trying to get that out of a kong!! I will propose the idea to Mom and see if she will give it a try. It would require changing their routine a bit, but if it works it's totally worth it!

Also, yesterday Jazzy urinated on the floor in the usual place, with the usual circumstances. I was on the couch right next to her when she started. When I saw her squat and begin urinating, I immediately scolded her and nudged her with my hand. She instantly stopped urinating and then we let her outside so she could finish if needed. Should I scold her like this if I catch her in the act or should it be ignored? Sometimes when she urinates on the floor she leaves small amounts and other times it is large puddles (which is terrible for the carpet!!). I know scolding her after it's over won't help. I've read on other forums that you should scold a dog when it is doing its business in the house and reward it when it does its business outside. Should this rule apply in this situation? Usually when the dogs come in from outside we give them a small dry biscuit anyways.


Thanks for the help so far!
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:24 AM
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Your Welcome,
Hopefully mom will be willing to change her routine a bit so that she and jazzy can live a little more harmoniously.

With the scolding or not I would go with not. It is good to catch her in the act but I would try to just interrupt her by saying her name or a low "ah" and then walk her straight outside. Once she finishes outside it should be a little party with treats and praise. I think she would respond much better to that since she is already a bit anxious and she will learn going where she is supposed to is great because she gets really good stuff.
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