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
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After training my dog to go outside for a month after we got him, he rarely had any accidents.
After a couple months, it all came back. And it got worse.
My dog should now be physically be able to hold it for up to 8 hours (or at least 5 since he is now 7 months), but it seems like everytime he feels like it, he would simply walk downstairs to our basement and go there (that's also where his crate is at).
And he would sometimes go poop outside, but he mostly goes inside, so my dad (I'm 14 btw 😂😂) set up 350$ worth of dog fences linked together with zip ties and the metal rods it came with, hoping he would eliminate in there when we leave him there.
Its major drawback is that he does bark at everything, and that its not easy to get him to go poop as often as he pees.
Hello Kien, First of all get him checked out by your vet for a urinary tract infection. That can make him have to go potty very frequently. If he has one he probably also has a bad habit of peeing inside now too, but it probably started as him not being able to help it. Once that is solved or if your vet decides that he does not have one, then start some more potty training. Most dogs only poop one to two times per day by seven months of age, and it typically happens about thirty minutes after eating or after exercise. If he is not peeing inside the fence, then to get him to stop barking check out the video that I have linked below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7lyzbgTXjU&t=126s You can also use a Pet Corrector for barking in the crate. Use it on the side of the dog not his face. If he is having accidents in the fence, then he needs to be crate trained for longer. I would highly suggest getting him checked out by the vet though. It sounds like something else like a urinary tract infection or food allergy could be going on. If he is taking steroids for anything that can also cause excess peeing. To crate train him follow the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since Lucky is older, crate him for four hours and then take him outside. If he goes potty let him be free with supervision for two hours inside. After the two hours, put him back into the crate for two more hours, until it has been four hours since he last peed, then take him back outside again. If he does not pee when you take him, then put him back in the crate and try again in one-to-two-hours. Repeat this process until he goes potty. If it is a time when you know he also needs to poop, like after eating, and he pees but does not poop, then put him back in the crate and take him back outside thirty-minutes to one-hour later to poop. Repeat this until he poops. When you take him, tell him to "Go Potty" and if he goes, then give him four small treats, one at a time. The command and treats will help him to learn to go faster in the future and want to go potty outside instead of inside. Since he will be spending so much time in the crate, you can also stuff a large Kong or other hollow chew toy with dog food and a litter peanut butter, liver paste, or cheese, and give it to him to entertain him in the crate. You can also make the Kong last longer by putting the dog food in a bowl with water and letting it sit out until it turns into mush, then mix a little peanut butter or cheese into it and freeze it. You can make several frozen ones ahead of time if you have more than one hollow Kong also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We have had our dog for 2 and a half months now and he understands potty training but he continues to mark all over the house! We are pretty sceptical about any type of implant/surgery. He was rehomed because he marked all over the house so we think its a habit already. Is there any way we can train without any type of surgery?
Hello Grace, To deal with that behavior, use crate pup when you can't supervise and have him tethered to you. When you are home and able to supervise, keep him tethered to you while he is out of the crate between potty trips using a 6 or 8 foot leash. Have him wear a belly band - which is a sling/diaper for male dogs that catches urine, and when he tries to lift his leg to mark, clap your hands loudly three times. If the clapping isn't effective after two weeks, I suggest squirting a small puff of air at his side while calmly saying "Ah Ah", using a Pet Convincer. (Only use unscented air - no citronella, and avoid spraying in the face). Use a cleaner than contains enzymes to remove the smell from any new or previous accidents - since lingering scent will only encourage more marking and only enzymes fully remove the smell. Look on the bottle for the word enzyme or enzymatic. Many (but not all) pet cleaners contain enzymes. The belly band will keep marking from being fun and successful for him and stop the spreading of the smell - which encourages more marking (and keep your things clean). Attaching him to yourself with the leash will keep him from sneaking off to pee uninterrupted, and clapping will make peeing unpleasant for him without it being too harsh. Reward him with treats when he potties outside so he understands that pottying outside in front of you is good, it's only inside where he shouldn't do it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Thank you so much for your time!
We really don't want to take him to the vet
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About at 8 months, maybe 9 months, our blonde male cocker spaniel Magic started marking/spotting some similar spaces each day in our condo. Bottom of and seats of two chairs that our other dog hangs out in all day (10 year old female cocker). He also does it on the vertical boards in a wooden hallway. I don't often see him do it but when I do, I tell him "No" "Potty outside" and take him to our deck on the condo where there is a grass pea pad. I then spray with a cleaner from the pet store that has enzyme as one of the ingredients. I do take him out to go "potty" about once an hour, maybe every 2 hours. And we walk about an hour each day. Any ideas. It's driving us "mad." Thank you.
Hello! Individually and in combination, the following strategies can help stop the marking: 1. Employ management. The first step in correcting a marking issue involves diligent management in an effort to stop the rehearsal of unwanted behavior. Keep a close eye on your dog – no unsupervised time! – so you’re able to immediately interrupt all attempts to mark and redirect his efforts to “go” outside. When you can’t supervise, consider confining your dog to an x-pen or crate, or use baby gates to create an area small enough to deter soiling. If marking is limited to a specific room, restrict access to the area for at least a month (the same benchmark as housetraining). Some clients report success moving their dogs’ food and water to the problem area, as most dogs won’t mess where they eat. Often, employing diligent management to prevent the behavior is enough to offer long-term improvement. 2. Reduce stress. Identify events in your dog’s life that might create stress. Some stressors can be tricky. For example, many owners think showering their dogs with endless treats while requiring little in terms of basic obedience is a wonderful way to convey love. Unfortunately, a lack of basic structure often contributes to anxiety, especially in multiple-dog households. While I’m not a fan of rigid “leadership” protocols, I believe dogs do best when taught a basic skillset designed to create a working partnership with their humans, whose job it is to ensure the well being of everyone in the household. If marking mostly happens when you aren’t home, your dog might be anxious being alone. Be sure to keep departures and arrivals low-key to reduce the tension of an already emotional event for your dog. Teaching your dog to accept time away from you – even when you’re home – can also help reduce anxiety when you leave. Also, be mindful of potentially scary noises that might be causing anxiety – for example, the ear-piercing back-up beep of the garbage truck on trash day. Often, once you’ve identified the trigger, you can successfully counter-condition your dog’s emotional response. Anxiety can be a tricky issue to overcome. Some dogs respond well to homeopathic remedies or flower essence blends designed to reduce anxiety. Another option is Adaptil, a pheromone-based product available as a plug-in diffuser or a collar. Adaptil products release pheromones involved in the attachment process between a nursing dog and her offspring, offering an olfactory message of comfort and security. In some cases, pharmaceutical intervention might be necessary. 3. Clean soiled areas. Use an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle to thoroughly clean urine spots in the home. Avoid ammonia-based cleaners. Urine contains ammonia, and such products can encourage further marking. If moving into a new home formerly occupied by dogs, consider professionally cleaning or replacing the carpet to reduce your dog’s desire to mark over existing animal scent. If this isn’t possible, use a black light to search for potential problem areas. 4. Consider neutering. While not a guaranteed fix, neutering your dog, especially before he reaches full sexual maturity (12 to 15 months), is likely to reduce or eliminate his tendency to mark by stopping the influence of hormones. 5. Discourage all marking, even outdoors. In some cases, the act of marking becomes a well-practiced habit that remains even after removing environmental stressors or choosing to neuter (especially among dogs neutered later in life). In such cases, I recommend drawing a hard line when it comes to marking, even outdoors. When on a walk, give your dog an opportunity to fully void his bladder, then quickly but casually interrupt all subsequent attempts to leave his calling card throughout the neighborhood. It need not be a dramatic interruption; simply keep walking as your dog attempts to mark, almost like you hadn’t noticed. 6. Most importantly, don’t punish! Remember that inappropriate marking is a stress response. Calmly interrupting a dog as he’s marking is one thing. Reprimanding him after the fact will make things worse. Unless you intervene as it’s happening, your dog won’t connect your displeasure with his marking. He might look guilty as you reprimand him, but that look is an attempt to appease you in that moment – not because he realizes his marking, which took place however long ago, is unwanted.
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