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spraying, walking and socialization issues. Please help!

1000 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  icemaiden
Hi, I am new here and really hoping to get some help and practical advice for my situation. Here goes:

I have a female dog, my friend has a male collie dog (both neutered). They get on great, so I am not so much worried about that side of things. Friend is having house issues and decided they are unable to keep him. To stop him going back into a shelter (he is 3 and they got him aged 1 from a shelter) I said we would take him. The shelter he came from had previously said they would not take him back (dont ask). Here are my potential problems:

1. He sprays in the house. Marking behaviour, not needing to go, and not in their house, only other peoples. I have never dealt with this before, but thought maybe lead and close supervision and a NO and outside would be the way? (same as housetraining a new dog but more intensive?) Does anyone have advice on this/tips? Last time he came over and sprayed he was off lead and I said NO but he was already pretty much done and didn't pay attention (? because I am not his person and friend was in other room?) advice appreciated! Also, what is the best cleaner to use? I use dettol for my dog, but she has only ever had accidents, not scent marked! Anyone ever used a belly band? Does it help?

2. He gets pretty stressed around new people, do any of those calming spray things actually work?

3. He is not so good on a lead. I have never used a head collar before, which ones are good? I am thinking walking him on his own to train and I cant deal with 2 dogs and one that wont walk nicely! Mine is so excitable she's a handful on her own though she doesnt pull as much as when I got her. Also, he is scared of new people and they currently dont walk him for this reason, has anyone dealt with this before?

Thank you so much for any help!
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Spraying can be a sign of insecurity and it seems the fact that he is nervous around people confirms it. Cleaning up urine need to be done with an enzymatic cleaning solution or a solution of biological powder – the stuff you use in washing machines as these have enzymes that break down the odour molecules, thus removing the smell.

He only sprays in other people’s house – well, hopefully, once he realises that your house is his house, he will stop. If not, close supervision, perhaps even have him on a lead attached to your waist to prevent him from practising the behaviour. Distract him as soon as he starts showing too much interest in one particular place, before he starts lifting his leg.

I haven’t used belly bands, and I don’t think I ever would. They don’t cure the behaviour and they, apparently can lead to kidney problems. Keeping the dog’s mind occupied might be a better option – so stuff a kong, plenty of suggestions online and there is a recipe enclosed with the Kong. Also plenty of physical exercise to tire him out – does he like chasing a ball?

Mental stimulation is absolutely essential for collies – they are intelligent and love learning new things.

2) Nervousness around people – some dogs respond to Adaptil plug ins, collars, sprays. However if he is quickly and easily aroused he will not respond. So, again, training, getting him used to people at his pace, with positive reinforcements so he learns to see new people as friends rather than something to worry about.

3) Walking - very important that dogs get out of the house/garden/back yard and can do what dogs need to do – sniff, scratch, pee, poo, run, chase balls, paddle, swim, dig, play with other dogs. Some people find head collars useful, others prefer harnesses. Either of those must fit correctly so they either don’t ride up into the eyes, or chaff under arms. So perhaps take him to a pet shop and see if there is somebody competent to advise you on the best option.

I think you are beeing very kind to your friend but you are taking on a lot of problems. Why hasn’t your friend worked on sorting them out for the last 2 years? Perhaps they could offer you some help with the dog once they hand him over to you?

I wish you the best of luck, and please keep coming back to keep us updated.
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