You'd known for a while the dog was scent marking, but you didn't realize things had got to this stage. It seems you had gone nose-blind to the background smell of pee. It was only when the house was shut up and the stale air built up, that you were awoken to the awful truth... your house smells.
What to do about it?
However, certain factors, such as being an intact male dog, will ramp up the provocation to scent mark. Indeed, reducing stress as a whole, along with desexing the dog are both constructive ways to reduce the problem.
Any crucial eliminate is taking down those 'posters' with effective cleaning, so that the dog isn't tempted to go back and reinforce the message.
We have been finding urine in CC's crate almost everyday when we leave. It does not matter if she is walked immediately before we leave and we return an hour or two hours later- we find urine in her cage. I once left her there 30 minutes and returned and she'd peed in her cage. All of these times, she had gone outside already. She has been examined by the doctor and they did not find anything wrong with her. She has separation anxiety and when we leave her in her cage, if there is anything in there she will tear it to pieces. She is becoming a very difficult dog to deal with and I can not be cleaning up urine and bathing her every day.
Hello Laura, In order to stop the peeing you will need to deal with the Separation Anxiety. If you are able hire a local trainer with experience with Separation Anxiety, this is an issue that would be easier to address with the help of a trainer. If you tackle the issue on your own, then here are a few things that you can do. First, most Separation Anxiety actually begins before you leave the home, as soon as the dog detects that you are leaving when you start your leaving routine. This routine might include grabbing your purse or keys, fixing your lunch for work, putting your shoes on, and anything else you do habitually when you get ready to leave. As the dog watches you prepare to leave, that dog's anxiety level begins to climb, and by the time you are actually gone that level is so high that it is very hard for the dog to calm back down on her own. This leads to destructive behavior, barking, crying, peeing, and other symptoms of anxiety. The first step is to start changing the order of your leaving routine and to pretend that you are leaving and then not leave. This will help the dog not to view that routine as an indication that you will always leave, and to prevent her from becoming as anxious. Practice your routine when you do not have to go anywhere, and leave but then come right back inside, or do your routine but never leave, or do your routine out of order or very gradually over a long period of time. Make things unpredictable for your dog. The second step is to set up a video camera, where you can spy on your dog from outside. A Gopro and an app on your smart phone for viewing will work, as well as two smart devices with Skype or Facetime on mute transmitting to one another, or a video baby monitor and receiver or video security camera with a viewing app on your smart phone. Once you have your camera setup, place her into the crate and give her a Kong chew toy stuffed with food, and then go outside where your dog cannot see or hear you. You might even want to start the car and drive away a couple of houses, and then walk back over, so that your pup thinks you really left, if the car is a trigger for her. Watch her on the video and as soon as she shows signs of being relaxed, like laying his head down, becoming quiet if she normally barks, chewing on the toy, going to sleep, or ceasing trying to escape the crate if she normally does so, then go back in when she is calm, go over to the crate and silently drop a few treats inside, then ignore her while she is in the crate for ten minutes. When it is time to let her out, slowly open the door, and if she tries to rush out, quickly close it again. Repeat this until you can have the door open and she will wait inside the crate. When she is waiting, then tell her "OK" and encourage her to come out. When she comes out keep everything boring and do not pay attention to her for awhile. You are trying to make the crate as unemotional as possible, which means avoiding excitement too in this case. General obedience training with a lot of emphasis on independence, structure, rules, and distance commands can also help because that will address the insecurity behind the Separation Anxiety. When you interact with CC be matter of fact and calm to address her general anxious and excited state. Also make sure that you clean up any accidents she has with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes because only the enzymes will break down the poop and pee enough to eliminate the smell, and if the smell remains that will encourage her to eliminate in that same spot again. You can also do this training in an Exercise Pen if the pen will contain her in her anxious state. Using an Exercise Pen while also doing this training can help to break the negative association she has with the crate, and might yield quicker results. The first time that you leave her in the Exercise Pen, do it with the camera watching her during a training sessions. Only use the Exercise Pen during training sessions to prevent the negative association she has with the crate from occurring. Do this until she has learned to view the Pen as a relaxing place. At which time you can leave her in it with a food stuffed Kong toy for longer periods of time. During this training period, before she is ready to be left in the Exercise Pen for longer periods of time, when you have to go off for longer periods use the crate still and expect to have to clean up an accident when you return. It is inconvenient but waiting until she is ready in the Exercise Pen will hopefully prevent long term accidents there, which will be worth the inconvenience of temporary ones. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?