Desperate for help. Older dog has been urinating in house since he was a puppy.

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Desperate for help. Older dog has been urinating in house since he was a puppy.

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Old 10-17-2017, 06:43 PM
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Desperate for help. Older dog has been urinating in house since he was a puppy.

Please help. I’m desperate. I have an australian terrier who is 11 1/2. I have had him since he was 4 months and I got him from a pet store. I have had him since before I met my husband. We take him to the vet every 6 months, and last week they did blood work, a urinalysis and a full senior workup and even checked blood pressure. There was trace amounts of protein in the urine 6 months ago, but it’s all clear now. His blood pressure was high, but he almost got in a fight in the waiting rooms, so he was extremely anxious. No other health concerns in 11 1/2 years.

He has peed indoors in every place we have ever lived. I took him to a trainer as a puppy, and it took him a while to learn to pee only outside, not also in the house. He has gone months without peeing in the house, but he always resorts back to bad habits. He will pee in the house while we are home without barking to go out. I take him out multiple times a day, and my husband walks him three times a day. In our last home that we lived in for four years, we had a fenced in yard and we let him out there for an hour a time 4-5 times a day plus two walks.

At one point years ago (maybe 7 years ago), he lifted his leg and peed right on me while I was sitting on the floor doing my hair. He has stared right at me and lifted his leg and peed in my bed while I was across the room. He barks incessantly all day long to no avail, no matter how many times we walk him, change his food, play with him, etc.

We have two young kids, and he is only getting worse. The constant barking, peeing in the house no matter how many times we walk him, eating food out of their hands, peeing all over the house in different spots, ruining our carpets and hardwood floors, and generally being unaffectionate and rude is getting to the breaking point.

He was my first baby. I still love him, but none of this behavior is new, it’s just getting worse. He used to be somewhat affectionate and went up to a year without peeing in our house, but now it’s almost daily. He isn’t aggressive with the kids, but he’s not friendly or nice. He basically tolerates us. We just moved for my husband’s job, and the behavior is escalating.

I’m a huge animal advocate, and would never ever thought I would consider rehoming a dog, but it has gotten to the point that I don’t even like my dog anymore, and that is so terrible! It’s been 11 1/2 years!!! I’m not a quitter, and he’s my family, but I really am at my wits end. We don’t have family that could take him. Should we seriously consider asking friends or seeing if we could find a loving family?

Do some dogs really do things out of spite? I know they say they don’t, but he is just angry at me all of the time. He is angrily barking at me right now, and he has been walked, fed, bathed and cuddled. Please help.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:09 AM
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Always a good step checking with the vet first. Well done.

"Do some dogs really do things out of spite?"

No, they don't. They don't get angry either. What they do is act or react to their circumstances. Some of their actions are self rewarding and because they are self rewarding, they are repeated.

When a dog deviates from taught behaviour, in general, this is because either the behaviour has not been proofed adequately FOR THAT DOG, or because circumstances are creating uncertainty or anxiety.

Your message details that you have had him for just over 11 years and in that time, you have moved (maybe more than once), got married and had two children. He has gone from being your "first baby" to number 2, 3 then 4 and adjusted to house moves.

I feel that there have been instances where there has certainly been scope for uncertainty if not anxiety. How bad it is, will depend on the individual animal.

"it took him a while to learn to pee only outside" - that was at ONE house where there was, presumably, just you and him.

If I were in your situation, I would look at the basics of housetraining to start with. Look at trigger times, i.e., when he first wakes, after food and such; be in a position where you can reward his toiletting as soon as he's finished.

If you know he's empty, you can relax rules. If he's not "been", confine him in some way and try again later. Take him out, don't leave him on his own. Mark and reward each and every time he goes. Maybe he needs to relearn with each move.

Looking now at the children, you don't say how old they are. Babies, toddlers and young children all act differently with their peers, let alone an animal. I think we would need a bit more info before responding.

Instead of "eating food out of their hands", what would you LIKE him to do?

When he's barking, there may be a multitude of reasons. Can you please tell us how you respond to him.

What if he's barking to say "Mum, are we living HERE now, I don't know what to do?"

Whatever the reason, he's not angry. People get angry, dogs don't.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:14 AM
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Have a look at bubbaloo's comment in the thread "Dog anxious after moving" and the link to Karen London's article
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:36 AM
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Thank you for your response. I’m a SAHM with two young toddlers, so I’m home most of the day with him, and have been for 4 years since I had my oldest. He is not alone for more than a few hours at the most, and he sits in his crate voluntarily while it’s open most of the time.

He was neutered at six months, but tries to play alpha male and will hump most dogs, especially larger ones, and tries to bark and start fights with some larger dogs sometimes. He is not overly aggressive and has never been in a dog fight, but he has a napoleon complex. He used to stand on a picnic table and bark at the other dogs at the dog run when he was younger.

I would like him to not take food off of the table or out of the girls' hands while they are eating, so we usually gently correct him and try to keep him in his crate while they eat. Our girls are 2 and 4, so they are young. They love him and always try to play with him, but he has no interest. Even friends of ours that have had many dogs over the years watched him once white we were away and commented that he is more like a cat, and he is very aloof, never cuddles, just does what he wants and is not social. He is the most unusual pet I have ever had. He seems to always want to be left alone, and it doesn’t feel like he likes us very much.

When he barks at me, it sounds like he is literally trying to talk and bark. I first pet and play with him, then I take him outside, then I check his food and water (he eats like a cat since he is the only animal in the house, so we use self-feeders). Sometimes I give him a snack. I take him outside again. I try to cuddle and play with him again. I give him a toy, then I finally get frustrated and ask him what he wants. Sometimes I yell out of frustration at this point. He will bark after lying calmly on the carpet with no other event happening or apparent trigger, so it’s quite unusual, but he barks all of the time now, about 10-15 times a day. I literally have no idea why he could be barking anymore.

I have moved a few times over the years with him. We used to take him on trips with us all of the time, but with longer trips and now with kids, we board him. He is very good with travel, and loves boarding. He is well socialized (I used to take him to dog runs and doggy day care when he was a puppy) and enjoys playing with the other dogs at boarding. We were in the first home with him for three years, and the other two homes for four years each, and we just moved to another state in June for work.

He has peed on me, and pees in different places in the house, sometimes right after my husband has taken him on a long 20 minute walk all around the neighborhood. If I leave my bedroom door open while I go to the master bathroom, he will immediately run in and pee on the carpet, regardless of whether he has just been walked. We keep our bedroom door closed at all times, because in the four months we have been here, he has peed in there 7 or 8 times. I never let him go more than 6-7 hours without peeing, and that is the max. I let him outside every few hours, but half of the time he refuses to pee and just wants to wander around the yard. He gets three long walks every day. In our last house, he had a fenced in yard of 1/4 acre, and he would go out whenever he wanted and stay out as long as he liked. Half of the time he would bark to come in two minutes later, and then stay in the house and bark at us. We would try to play with him or be affectionate, but he just walks away.

He has peed in every house we have lived in, even when we had a wee wee pad (he would pee right next to the pad or on the other side of the room instead of on the pad. He has gone as long as a year without peeing in the house, but he inevitably returns to old habits. I took him to a trainer when he was about a year old, but that did not help either. He doesn’t urinate in the house every day, it’s sporadic. When he lifted his leg and peed right on my leg (six or seven years ago) it felt very spiteful/vengeful, so that’s why I asked if there is any chance a dog can have spite or anger.

I asked the vet about anti-anxiety meds, but she said she doesn’t like to medicate dogs, and there is some natural supplement that might help, but she didn’t get back to me with the name of it.

Last edited by afk05; 10-18-2017 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:55 AM
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Lol sounds like you have your hands full! I cant help with peeing thing, but his general demeanor, the way you describe, sounds like he might have just been bred that way. Ive never bought a dog from a pet store, but have heard alot of them come from puppy mills who dont care what the health or temperament turns out to be.
As a side note, my ex girlfriend had a jack russell terrier her father bought for her.....from a pet store. I spent five years in the same house with that dog, so learned alittle about him.
He was a spoiled brat who was never taught any boundaries to start with....
But his overall demeaner sounds alot like yours. Constantly marking and peeing in the house, snappy and aggressive with larger dogs, thought he was the boss of the house etc.
I dont know what to tell you really but one things for sure. If you really dont like the dog he probably knows it, and that will definately affect his behaviour in a negative way
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afk05 View Post
I would like him to not take food off of the table or out of the girls' hands while they are eating, so we usually gently correct him and try to keep him in his crate while they eat. Our girls are 2 and 4, so they are young. They love him and always try to play with him, but he has no interest. Even friends of ours that have had many dogs over the years watched him once white we were away and commented that he is more like a cat, and he is very aloof, never cuddles, just does what he wants and is not social. He is the most unusual pet I have ever had. He seems to always want to be left alone, and it doesnít feel like he likes us very much.

When he barks at me, it sounds like he is literally trying to talk and bark. I first pet and play with him, then I take him outside, then I check his food and water (he eats like a cat since he is the only animal in the house, so we use self-feeders). Sometimes I give him a snack. I take him outside again. I try to cuddle and play with him again. I give him a toy, then I finally get frustrated and ask him what he wants. Sometimes I yell out of frustration at this point. He will bark after lying calmly on the carpet with no other event happening or apparent trigger, so itís quite unusual, but he barks all of the time now, about 10-15 times a day. I literally have no idea why he could be barking anymore.
Hello and welcome to the forum.

Regarding these two matters, stealing food and barking, I think some basic training could go a long way towards helping him to learn what sort of behavior you do find acceptable. Sort of along the lines of what @Ptolemy82 was saying, I think, is that it's often easier to teach a dog what you do want than what you don't want. If you don't want him to steal food, teach him to do something else instead. I think you're on the right track with the crate, if that's your preference, but it could be his bed or a blanket or any spot you designate. Teach him to go to that place on command & down/stay until released.

Barking is kind of the same thing. There may not be a reason for his barking other than the fact that he knows it'll get him something. It gets him attention, both positive and negative because even being yelled at is attention; it gets him food and water and treats and a trip outside and toys. He's trained you very well. If you don't want him to bark excessively, you can teach him where the cutoff is; maybe it's after one or two barks, maybe 4-5, but you can teach a "quiet" command and implement that after the designated number of barks. I have a talky dog myself, so I know what I'm advising isn't necessarily easy, but it's an option.

This could also be an occasion where the "go to place" command is useful. If he's barking for attention, maybe it's time for him to have some quiet time with a frozen Kong or other long lasting treat on his bed. It's not a punishment, but a way of teaching him to entertain himself. Teach him that being calm and quiet also comes with rewards; better rewards than he'll get from barking.

All of this is assuming there's not a medical reason for his behavior. At 11, he's getting up there in age, even for a small dog, so if he's starting to have trouble seeing or hearing or maybe pain from arthritis or other medical conditions, those could also be reasons for the barking. A vet check to rule out medical problems may not be a bad idea.

As for his personality, has he always been aloof? If so, that may just be his personality. Dogs are individuals like people. If it's a change from how he used to be, again, vet check to rule out medical problems.

Good luck.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:52 PM
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Ryan996's link takes you to a site where you can buy a dog training program!
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:09 PM
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The natural supplement was probably Zylkene. I used it with my dog for a time and it worked a bit, but my dog's anxiety is pretty severe and he needed stronger meds.

I'd actually suggest a training class. He sounds bored, and he might enjoy it, and the trainer can help you troubleshoot some of the main problems you're having one on one. My mother had never been to a training class before but I convinced her to go with me to some - I'd never personally done it, either, before Chisum - and she was surprised at how much she enjoyed it.

As for the marking, he'll probably need to be supervised and let out much, much more frequently - likely every half hour or so. But being that he's already 11 and this is an ingrained habit that is driving you insane.....check out belly bands. I use the Teamoy brand (you can buy right off of Amazon), slip a incontinence pad into them, and put them on my boy who became a chronic marker when my family brought another male home. It's not the most optimal solution, but it will save your house.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:16 PM
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Talking preventing PEE indoors: wrap that rascal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by afk05 View Post

[Our] Australian Terrier is 11 1/2. I [bought] him [at] 4-MO... from a pet store. I have had him since before I met my husband. We take him to the vet every 6 months - [his last exam was extensive, with no clinical concerns]. ...

He has pee'd indoors in every place we've ever lived. ... it took him a while to learn to pee only outside, not also in the house. He's gone months without [indoor] pee, but he always resorts back to bad habits.

He will pee in the house while we are home without barking to go out.
I take him out multiple times a day, and my husband walks him three times a day. In our last home where we lived for four years, we had a fenced yard, & we left him outside for an hour a time, 4 to 5 times a day, plus two walks.

[Once], maybe 7 years ago, he lifted his leg & pee'd on me while I sat on the floor, doing my hair. He's stared right at me, lifted his leg, & pee'd in my bed while I was across the room.
He barks incessantly all day long to no avail, no matter how many times we walk him, change his food, play with him, etc.

We have two young kids, & he's only getting worse. The constant barking, pee in the house no matter how many times we walk him, eating food out of their hands, peeing all over the house... ruining our carpets & hardwood floors, & generally being unaffectionate & rude, is getting to the breaking point.

He was my first baby. I still love him, but [this old] behavior is just getting worse. He used to be somewhat affectionate & went up to a year without pee indoors, but now itís almost daily.
He isnít aggressive with the kids, but heís not friendly or nice. He basically tolerates us. We just moved for my husbandís job, & the behavior is escalating.

Iím a huge animal advocate, & would never have thought I'd consider rehoming a dog, but it's reached the point that I donít even like my dog anymore, & that is so terrible! Itís been 11 1/2 years!!!
Iím not a quitter, & heís family, but I really am at my wit's end. We donít have family that could take him.

Should we seriously consider asking friends [to take him], or seeing if we could find a loving family [to adopt him]?

Do some dogs really do things out of spite? I know they say they donít, but he is just angry at me all of the time.
He is angrily barking at me right now, & he has been walked, fed, bathed, & cuddled.
Please help.

to answer the last Q 1st, it's not spite, whatever else it might be.

his pet-store origins & late purchase [4-MO] mean that he lived in close quarters with his own excrement for the 1st 16-weeks of his life; i suspect this is a major factor, as it destroyed his innate preference to void AWAY from his sleeping / resting areas. That he couldn't escape the wire-floored cage of his puphood isn't his fault; his resignation to living with his own urine & feces isn't his fault, either. He had to give-up & "live dirty" or go nuts, trying to either retain his urine or stool for torturous periods, or scream his head off trying to get someone's attn & get out to void.
All pups have an instinctive desire to move away from the nest to void, as soon as they are mobile-enuf to get out of the nest - even by crawling. Circumstances made it impossible for him to escape.

At over 11-years age, forget expecting any great changes in his toilet habits WITHOUT considerable outside help; he can't do it solo.
The 1st task is to break the cycle -
buy at least 2 all-cotton belly bands to prevent pee indoors, & some cheap house-brand panty-liners to put in them. ONE belly-band will be in use; the other is back-up, if that one gets dirty or wet. Be sure that the elastic is fully covered, not tacked-down on the fabric with the elastic against his skin - that can cause rashes, but even worse, it can pinch thin skin or pull out hairs as the elastic flexes. Pain will make him hate the belly-band - he needs to be comfortable & relaxed, not anxious & expecting random pinches & painful yanks.

this is a sampling of belly-bands -
https://www.ebay.com/b/Cotton-Male-D...373/bn_7687663

If U think he's likely to try & wriggle out of it, consider a panty-style -
http://tinyurl.com/y7g3xdau

just BE SURE it's designed for male dogs! - a panty designed for Fs will be too short from front to back, & won't cover his prepuce; he could wear it, & pee unobstructed.

The purpose of the belly-band / M diaper is to give a consequence when he pees indoors: to his shock, he'll get wet, & he probly won't like it.
U have a different job: to set him up to pee outdoors, & reward him for every ounce of pee that he voids, outside.
Don't be cheap - use high-value tidbits, not kibble; pea-sized is plenty, even half-pea is fine; quality is important, not volume.

When U take him outside to pee, he needs to be on-leash; take off the band / diaper, take him to a familiar spot where he's voided B4, & patiently await results. // Don't chat on the phone, fidget, make cross remarks sotto voce, sigh dramatically, impatiently urge him to hurry up... play video-games, text the spouse, _____ . STAND STILL, be quiet, & wait; watch clouds, smile at passersby, think about tomorrow's menu or the to-do list. When he begins to pee, warm quiet low-pitched praise, & as soon as his leg drops, REWARD is under his nose - he doesn't take 1 step B4 it's presented. He needs immediate feedback to understand what's being rewarded.

The leash keeps him close, as U must be able to see how much he voids, to have some idea if he emptied his bladder [as Fs usually do] or merely drained 2/3 of it, as most Ms do, reserving some for marking. M-typical behavior, but it can be a PITA.

A stopwatch can be very helpful - TIME how long he pees, from the start of the stream until the urine stops.
The size of a mammal bladder is a linear function of body size; no matter how small or how large, all mammals take about 20-seconds to completely empty their bladders.
Whether U are a shrew in a Pennsy hardwood forest or a blue whale in open ocean, 20 seconds to pee is the rule.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1310.3737

If he stops peeing after 10 to 12 seconds, odds are good that he's retaining urine to mark later [[ unless he's taken out so often, his bladder never fills ]]. // The belly-band or diaper make marking impossible, but it's good to know that he's holding a reserve, nonetheless.

If he succeeds in moving or removing the belly-band / diaper so that he CAN mark, make sure it's properly snug & fitted, then secure the overlap with 2 diaper-style oversized safety-pins "before" the velcro, so that he can't pull the velcro apart to take the band / panty off entirely, nor can he push the loose 'waist' down his body to slither out of the closed garment.

- The disposable pad is changed morning & night, at LEAST - whether it's damp or dry.
1st trip out in the morning, & last trip B4 bed at night - insert a clean pad.
- Damp pads are changed every time, with *no* comment - verbal, nonverbal, frowns, stomps - nada.
- the belly-band or panty goes back on BEFORE he enters the house, every time; that prevents opps to mark or pee indoors.

It may take months to re-train his habit of indoor-pee, or after a decade-plus, he may need a panty for life; that's OK, too. The pads are cheap - CVS, Walgreen's, etc, all have house-brand panty-liners that go on sale regularly - BOGOs are frequent, stock up & save.
As long as the house isn't being sprinkled with urine, who cares?


I'll post about nuisance-barking & food / kids later.
- terry

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