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Please help me... My wife is at her last nerve and I can't listen to it anymore, nor do I know what's going on or how to fix it.

I have a 10 year old male eskipoo that has been peeing all over the house for years. Here's the scoop: He was housebroken at one point, when it was just myself and him (back when I was single). My wife and I got married at some point around his 3rd birthday, and in addition to my wife, she brought her dog into the house (who is a year older, a female American Eskimo). Now they have known each other since they were puppies due to the amount of time I spent with my wife, but didn't actually live together until we were married. Soon as wifey and her dog moved in, he starts peeing through the house. I assume this was marking or attention based. It was halfway corrected, or I should say corrected to the best of our ability, but it was never stopped. At the time my wife and I both worked, so both dogs were alone during the day. Not only would he pee when he was alone, but he would also sneak off when we were both in the house and pee on furniture in another room. I should mention that my wifes female Eskimo is the alpha dog in the house.

We moved to a new home, and it still continued. 4 years later we moved again. Then came our first-born, then our second. He is still peeing everywhere, and now it's at a point where he is peeing on the kids chairs and toys. My wife is at the verge of getting rid of him because no matter what we do, it doesn't stop. I have tried to reinforce outdoor peeing with praise and treats. I have tried to give him more attention at home and give him more exercise. I have taken him on longer walks to make sure he gets it all out of his system. It's not working.

He is walked throughout the day and not brought in from his walk until there's literally drops left. He gets a lot of love at night, but I'll admit that during the day it's hard to give them much attention because of the little ones running around (4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old). He does cuddle with me through the day when I'm there, and sleeps in bed with us at night. He has been to the vet and he is 100% healthy. His behavior is erratic and lately it's like he just doesn't care about authority anymore. In addition to the peeing, he's jumping on the table to eat scraps, he's chewing up socks, tissues, toilet paper, etc. Things that he used to sneak off and do out of sight he is now blatantly doing right in front of our face now, like he just doesn't care.

I completely understand I probably could have done a better job or housebreaking him in the very early stages, but this is the situation I'm at right now and I need to know what's causing it and how to stop it. Please help. I hate to crate him during the day and confine him to a crate while our other dog is roaming freely around the house.

We can't afford doggie-day-care nor can we afford a trainer at this time. Please help. He is my best friend and hate to see this going on, but I also can't have my 1 1/2 year old playing in pee.
 

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I think the peeing has become habit now. You'd have to go back to step one and treat him like a puppy. Don't let him out of your sight, if you can't watch him crate him. Chewing things, it's possible his stomach is upset. Many dogs will lick and chew things when they have an upset stomach. Also look into canine cognitive dysfunction. Also forget all the alpha/pack leader stuff. It's been debunked. It's not how dogs work or think. That mentality can actually make problems worse for some dogs.
 

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You need to go back to housetraining 101 and completely start over with him. It may be marking behavior but it could also be that he's formed the habit of pottying in the house.

First get yourself a black light and locate everywhere he's peed. Black lights cause urine to glow. Use it at night and turn off all the lights then shine the black light on the floor, furniture, and walls. Clean all pee spots with a good enzyme cleaner like Nature's Miracle to remove all of the lingering scent that will tell him that the house is the place to potty.

Next you need to treat him as you would a new puppy, he should get no freedom unless you are watching him like a hawk. By that I mean that you need to be literally watching him and he should have no chance to wander off and pee on something. When you cannot watch him you need to confine him, you can crate him (you need to crate train him if you haven't already before using one), tether him to you or near you, put him in a very small room like the bathroom, or in an exercise pen. Whatever works for you so long as he cannot wander off and pee in the house. Only let him have freedom if he just pottied outside and you know he's on empty.

Put him on a potty schedule, you can start with every 20 or 30 minutes, then add time as you learn how often he actually has to potty. Give him a very high value treat, I'd use real food like chicken, hot dogs, or cheese, as soon as he finishes pottying and when he goes back inside he gets some freedom. You can let him loose till the next scheduled potty break. If he does not potty then you need to confine him, wait around 10 minutes then try again. If you notice that he's only peeing every hour then you can take him out every hour.

To get him used to holding it once he hasn't had any accidents for a few days on his schedule start tacking on 10 or 15 minutes to the schedule.

If you get really desperate you can try belly bands for him so that he's not able to pee in the house while you re housetrain him. If you use them you'll need to keep him clean like you do your baby so he does not develop urine burns.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good advise so far. The time allocated to start from scratch it tough, with the children always around and demanding every second of attention. My fear with crating him is that it will cause depression, especially being that our other dog is free to roam. Is this possible? I know this sounds stupid but I don't want to upset him or cause any depression. It breaks my heart if I have to.

I agree it's almost habit forming. As far as chewing things, it's not a digestive issue, as he has been doing it all his life. Mainly with Kleenex and socks. It's like part of his diet at this point lol. I understand I wasn't the best in training him after the marriage. I had him very trained when he was just a puppy, but with all the additions to the family and all the moves, it just went out the window.
 

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Dogs don't really get the "authority" thing. Dogs don't actually understand why humans have such a problem with eliminating indoors, eating food left where they can reach it, chewing up paper items and the list goes on and on. Dogs are dogs and the fact that they can live in our world at all is because they've learned how to adapt to our crazy rules. If we teach them, and positively reinforce them, the good behavior will continue. If we don't, they don't see the point. Dogs do what works.

I agree that you'll have to house train all over again. Crating is a better option that getting rid of him. You say you're worried about him becoming depressed if he's crated. How would he feel if he suddenly found himself in a shelter? Older dogs have a very hard time finding new homes. Especially older dogs that urinate indoors. Are you willing to accept that not doing what it takes to train him may mean he is euthanized?

Spending time with a dog isn't just about cuddling and walks. Do some training with him. Use treats to train some tricks. You don't have to spend hours a day. Carve out fifteen minutes. Look up 101 Things to do with a box. Your kids will enjoy watching you train, if you can get the younger one to stay still for that long :). Make it fifteen minutes of family time and training combined. If training isn't fun, you won't keep it up.

Don't punish him for the things he's doing that are driving you both crazy. Punishing doesn't teach a dog what to do. Carry some yummy treats around with you in your pocket. When he's being good. Toss him a treat. Ask him to sit. Toss him a treat. He's laying down being quiet. Toss him a treat. Reward behavior you want to see repeated. Keep tissues and socks and food completely out of reach. Yes, I get that it's not easy when you have two young children. Training a dog is for life. Dogs are kind of like kids in that regard. You don't teach a child for only a little while and hope the lessons stick forever. Dogs need training all their lives. That's the bottom line.

It's obvious you love your dog. I understand how frustrated you are and how upset you and your wife are with the peeing indoors. Having two young children and two dogs is a lot. It's doable though if you set some simple goals. Be consistent. Be aware of where your dog is at all times. If you can't watch him, put him in the crate with a stuffed Kong or some other lasting chew toy.

Get the book Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. Read it out loud to your wife.
 

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No worries Grabby, the dog would never end up in a shelter... I would never allow that to happen. But I do understand what you're saying. Where I'm confused is, if I do this to him, do I have to reciprocate and do it to the other dog as well? For example rewarding him for his eliminating/urinating outside with a treat, do I have to give a treat to our other dog for the same thing (especially since they do everything together, our other dog is always around). Or can I isolate the praise just to him?

I've never had an issue with any other dog I've had. My previous dogs have literally been trained to be off-leash... i would walk them along the busiest of roads and never had a problem. Food within reach wasn't even looked at. Granted I feel like I was easier on my current dog with the training, and it wasn't as thorough, so I can see where a lot of it has slipped.

So back to the question, crating is an option, but I don't want to cause depression. Giving the dog up would never happen, and it's not an option. I would rather do what it takes to re-train the dog properly than to see anything happen to it. That said, can I isolate the treats and training to one dog without including the other, even if the other do is constantly there? Or am I looking at separate walks, separate time spent, etc. I literally can't do anything without the second dog always there in our face. And God forbid I have a treat, it's a circus with the two of them.

Could it be attention related?
 

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It may be attention related if you're referring to the behavior you don't like. Even negative attention is attention. You may find spending the time to do some fun training does two things. Gives your 10 year old dog some one on one time with you. Also gives him some mental stimulation. Dogs really do need that as much as we do to stay mentally fit.

That said, yes you can treat both dogs. I do it all the time. My three dogs are pretty accustomed to getting treats for good behavior. I also don't give a treat if a dog doesn't offer a behavior I want to reward. The dog that didn't get a treat is more likely to offer the behavior the next time. Use very small pieces of food for rewards. The treat should be about the size of pea.

Teach both dogs to enjoy some crate time. If you need some pointers on crate training, look in the behavior and training section. Lots of good articles on how to make a crate a positive experience.


I do think you can do this. :) If your wife will get on board, it will go much faster.
 

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Doesn't have to be a two dog circus when treats are involved. :) One way to avoid that is to let the dogs know you have treats but don't give them any. Just hang around doing whatever you'd normally do but with the treats. Reach in your pocket now and then and don't get a treat out. Treats are reinforcement for behavior you want. They'll get that if your consistent.
 
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