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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I hope you're well!

I have a 14 month old dachshund who is a great dog, until he is being told off. The main problem occurs when he pees, especially if he pees on the couch. He immediately knows that he has done something wrong, yet does it only when I am not in the room. When I notice the pee, I will often tell him 'uh uh' in a firm tone, and show him the stain he made. This elicits fear aggression in him, he will do the appeasement smile, growl and has even snapped if I move my hand too quickly. I understand that we are not meant to punish dogs eliciting fear aggression, but how am I to teach him that peeing on furniture in unacceptable whilst not enforcing the aggressive response? I also take him out on three walks a day (usually same time), and I believe this peeing is most likely marking rather than anything else.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Warm regards
 

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If you punish or correct a dog after the fact, they will not understand what you are punishing them for. This dog has learned to go off and hide in order to pee, or do it when you are not there, because y ou punished him for peeing, and since he did not understand that it was for peeing INside rather than for peeing in general, he now thinks he just has to do it when you are not around. That is why he is doing it when you are not there, NOT that he "knows he has done something wrong".

Do not ever scold him for this again. You are frightening him and that is why he is looking at you aggressively - he is afraid of you. The appeasement smile is also a show of fear. Please don't do this to your dog.

Now, what you need to do is go back to the very basics of puppy house training and start all over. The dog doesn't fully understand house training, so you need to go back to the basics. This means taking him out very, very frequently (every 45 minutes is good) and praising him to the skies, giving treats, and so on whenever he pees outside. If he pees inside, do not say anything to him. Instead, scold yourself for not taking him outside in time. :)

Also, block off the couch in some way so that he cannot get on it again. Simply making it impossible for hi to go there to pee will help with retraining him that it is only good to pee outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that! I do give him treats whenever he pees outside, but I definitely dont do it every 45 minutes. I'll start from the basics again :) I'm unsure why he is scared since I've never physically punished him, just told him off or given him a time out 💁‍♂️

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you punish or correct a dog after the fact, they will not understand what you are punishing them for. This dog has learned to go off and hide in order to pee, or do it when you are not there, because y ou punished him for peeing, and since he did not understand that it was for peeing INside rather than for peeing in general, he now thinks he just has to do it when you are not around. That is why he is doing it when you are not there, NOT that he "knows he has done something wrong".

Do not ever scold him for this again. You are frightening him and that is why he is looking at you aggressively - he is afraid of you. The appeasement smile is also a show of fear. Please don't do this to your dog.

Now, what you need to do is go back to the very basics of puppy house training and start all over. The dog doesn't fully understand house training, so you need to go back to the basics. This means taking him out very, very frequently (every 45 minutes is good) and praising him to the skies, giving treats, and so on whenever he pees outside. If he pees inside, do not say anything to him. Instead, scold yourself for not taking him outside in time. :)

Also, block off the couch in some way so that he cannot get on it again. Simply making it impossible for hi to go there to pee will help with retraining him that it is only good to pee outside.
Just quickly, if I teach him to pee every 45 minutes, will that teach him to pee inside when I'm going to work/have less bladder control??
 

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Thanks for that! I do give him treats whenever he pees outside, but I definitely dont do it every 45 minutes. I'll start from the basics again :) I'm unsure why he is scared since I've never physically punished him, just told him off or given him a time out 💁‍♂️

Thanks again!
You don't need to physically punish him. He can read your body language better than you can.

Genuine question. What's the point of showing a dog what it's done that's caused you to be angry? Especially after the fact. They don't understand. It's like showing a newborn baby its own dirty nappy. You're not the first person I've heard of that does this, and it's always baffled me.

Just quickly, if I teach him to pee every 45 minutes, will that teach him to pee inside when I'm going to work/have less bladder control??
No. They learn that they need to hold their bladder until they get outside.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You don't need to physically punish him. He can read your body language better than you can.

Genuine question. What's the point of showing a dog what it's done that's caused you to be angry? Especially after the fact. They don't understand. It's like showing a newborn baby its own dirty nappy. You're not the first person I've heard of that does this, and it's always baffled me.



No. They learn that they need to hold their bladder until they get outside.
Fair point I will definitely give it a shot. To answer why, it has to do with classical conditioning. Pairing the smell and sight of urine on the couch, with an aversive stimulus, like saying 'uh uh' and shaking your head. Theoretically the dog should pair that pee on the couch results in an disapproving/upset owner.

Thanks for the tips
 

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When you reward him for toileting outside, make sure your reward is immediate, so that it is clear that it is for toileting and not for anything else.

Pairing the smell and sight of urine on the couch, with an aversive stimulus, like saying 'uh uh' and shaking your head. Theoretically the dog should pair that pee on the couch results in an disapproving/upset owner.
Hmm. But that isn't pairing the aversive stimulus with the act of peeing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Will do! I know, but it's the closest I could do if I couldnt catch him in the act 💁‍♂️ I wont do it anymore though, it clearly isnt working 😅
 

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Ding ding ding ding ! The dog doesn't know what you're mad about, only that you're mad!

And that makes you angry and unpredictable in their mind! Which means, basically, they can't trust you.

This is the appeasement look that many think is the dog feeling guilty. It isn't, but people think so. Patience and time make it clear to the dog. They aren't trying to be bad, they just don't understand your agenda!

Calm, patient help is what they need...

And the kicker is, you'll get what you want faster too! Be calm, be clear, and help your dog learn!
 

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Just quickly, if I teach him to pee every 45 minutes, will that teach him to pee inside when I'm going to work/have less bladder control??
No, it won't have that effect.
What you are doing is showing him that it is good to pee outside, and by doing it so often you are multiplying the reinforcement of this. He has the bladder control, being old enough. He just has to learn how to use it.
 

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Fair point I will definitely give it a shot. To answer why, it has to do with classical conditioning. Pairing the smell and sight of urine on the couch, with an aversive stimulus, like saying 'uh uh' and shaking your head. Theoretically the dog should pair that pee on the couch results in an disapproving/upset owner.

Thanks for the tips
The thing is, all he can decipher from this is that the smell and/or presence of pee is bad. It is not specific to the pee being on the couch, for the dog. Dogs take the most obvious thing first, as do human beings. And since you cannot add words they will understand, the dog will get the idea that pee is bad, but won't go farther to wonder if pee in the couch is bad.

That theory you are wondering about isn't existent with dogs. You might think it's existent with people, but imagine you are in a foreign culture and there's no way you can decipher the language, but someone is clearly upset with you for something. You don't know what for sure, but you will think it's the most obvious thing and go with that. If it is something subtle about that, you won't understand that.

I always like to put myself in the dog's paws to help me understand how to approach a situation with training....try to see it the way the dog might see it.
 

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Thanks for that! I do give him treats whenever he pees outside, but I definitely dont do it every 45 minutes. I'll start from the basics again :) I'm unsure why he is scared since I've never physically punished him, just told him off or given him a time out 💁‍♂️

Thanks again!
The punishment doesn't have to be physical. The verbal disapproval when he doesn't understand the why of it, is more than enough for this dog, it appears. some dogs are more sensitive than others. I am of the opinion that dogs shouldn't ever even be scolded; although I know it can come out sometimes, I don't think it should be an often used tool.
I suggest that while you are re-training him you also do things to re-build trust, in case he has lost some trust in you. Do bonding things. that might even help with the potty training. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The thing is, all he can decipher from this is that the smell and/or presence of pee is bad. It is not specific to the pee being on the couch, for the dog. Dogs take the most obvious thing first, as do human beings. And since you cannot add words they will understand, the dog will get the idea that pee is bad, but won't go farther to wonder if pee in the couch is bad.

That theory you are wondering about isn't existent with dogs. You might think it's existent with people, but imagine you are in a foreign culture and there's no way you can decipher the language, but someone is clearly upset with you for something. You don't know what for sure, but you will think it's the most obvious thing and go with that. If it is something subtle about that, you won't understand that.

I always like to put myself in the dog's paws to help me understand how to approach a situation with training....try to see it the way the dog might see it.
That does make sense, but the theory was founded on work with dogs. Pavlov's Dogs being the original example and genesis of the theory, where the dogs would salivate at the ring of the bell because it signified food coming. But again I wont be telling him off for it anymore as it does not seem to work.
 

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I think you are mixing up your classical and operant conditioning theories though - the salivation from Pavlov's dogs was reflexive, it was not a conscious choice. You want your dog to choose to toilet outside, so you will use operant conditioning, by way of positive reinforcement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yep I've been giving him treats when he pees outside too, however he still would pee on the couch. I will up the amount of times I take him out like you suggested. I was also just trying to pair pee on the couch with disapproval, which you're right, is more like operant conditioning.
 

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Yep I've been giving him treats when he pees outside too, however he still would pee on the couch. I will up the amount of times I take him out like you suggested. I was also just trying to pair pee on the couch with disapproval, which you're right, is more like operant conditioning.
Have you cleaned the couch with an enzymatic cleaner?

If not, then the smell of the pee itself is drawing him back to that area. In which case, it's really not his fault that he's peeing on the couch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Have you cleaned the couch with an enzymatic cleaner?

If not, then the smell of the pee itself is drawing him back to that area. In which case, it's really not his fault that he's peeing on the couch.
Yep sprayed and washed multiple times, he's getting better but must have become a habit
 

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In that case, as suggested, stop the telling off as he doesn't understand why your behaviour is unpredictable (and it is making things worse, not better) and a good regime of regular trips outside with immediate and generous reward for toileting outside.
 

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Yep sprayed and washed multiple times, he's getting better but must have become a habit
That is why I suggested that you block off all access to the couch. This should be easy to do since he is a dachshund and therefore not good at jumping over things. If you simply make it impossible for him to get to the couch, he cannot pee there and that will help with the retraining. You have to break the bad habit (by preventing it, not by punishing) while you instill the good habit.
 

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For true behavior reinforcement and true behavior theory to work you have to actually stop him in the act of peeing inside, not after the fact
When I first adopted my dog over five years ago, the first day he was in the house, and once in the pet store, he smelled pee from a prior dig and started to lift his leg to pee inside while on a leash with me. I was with him on the leash and instantly said no bad! And took him outside fast and made a big fuss out of praising him for peeing him outside.
So he got the "positive punishment" or negatu reinforcement bof an instant correction of me reprimanding him the second he started the unwanted behavior then we immediately went outside where I told him go pee and when he did, I told him good pee and tons of positive praise and rewards.
Nothing abusive and he knows the command go pee and go poops and us very fast about going if I tell him.
He's never had one single accident over five years later because he's smart and learns fast. He loves praise and tests and learns new things very quickly that way.
What's funny if he doesn't have to go when I take him, he sits down and looks at me and then I day you sure? And he sits again and we go back inside.
Definitely clean with enzymatic cleaner to remove all traces if the smell so he's not tempted to mark
But saying no only works if you make the correction immediately y catch them in the actual act otherwise it's completely useless. I also stopped my dog and dogs I watch from jumping on me and biting/playing too roughly. I just say no off then immediate have them sit and praise the sit so they learn a positive thing to do in order to get attention and treats and pets instead.
It's worked on many dogs I've watched as well as my own dogs. If you don't have perfect timing you should start house teaming again from scratch.

But dogs absolutely can learn from ge take corrections and positive praise. That's how they teach each other as puppies from each other and their mothers and when dogs interact with each other they set limits with play behaviors all the time. My dog gives off a sharp bark and growl to tell other dogs not to hump him and they always listen then they go back to playing and getting along fine
There's nothing wrong with setting a limit in a gentle respectful way and using praise to reinforce good behaviors and it absolutely works and dogs still bond strongly with and trust people as I've learned from my many years with them, as well as cats and training horses
 
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