13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination
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Thread: 13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

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    13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

    I have a 13 week old Golden Retriever puppy, and this is my first time being solely responsible to train a dog.

    She has been happy and healthy till now, and was starting to sit by the door and look at me when she needed to go out to urinate. She had one or two accidents in the house every day.

    In the last few days, she has begun urinating constantly in tiny amounts all over the house, probably about every 10 minutes. I was concerned that this problem may be related to a urinary tract infection, but she does not urinate at night in her crate, or whine to be let out. She does not appear to be in pain when she urinates. Sometimes she urinates outside, and then urinates again indoors within 5 minutes.

    She has never been allowed on the couch, but has begun growling, barking and biting when we move her off the couch. She is also approaching people and biting their hands, legs and clothing more frequently than normal, even though we have been redirecting her to toys from 8 weeks when we got her.

    Other pertinent information is as follows:

    -She recently injured her leg when she got tangled outdoors, and it seems to still bother her occasionally, but she runs, walks and plays normally throughout the day and does not appear to be in constant pain.

    -We do not punish her for urinating in the house.

    -I do not leave her water dish out, but make sure she has plenty to drink throughout the day and after exercise.

    -She has had a few run-ins with my 5 year old, but does not seem to be afraid of him or urinate our of fear/submission when a specific person is nearby.

    I am wondering if she this behavior is typical of a 13 week old puppy or if I need to take her to the vet.

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    Senior Member Hambonez's Avatar
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    Re: 13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

    I'd take her to the vet to make sure she doesn't have a UTI before you start any behavior modification things. Did she have the leg checked out at the vet? I wonder if it doesn't hurt her to jump down off the couch.

    When you take her off the couch is she getting a reward for getting down? While she's on the couch her reward is that she's on the couch, but if she gets down she has nothing, so why should she get down? If she gets a super yummy treat when she jumps off the couch, then getting down is awesome!

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    NRB
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    Re: 13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

    ditto take her to vet to check for uti and leg. But other than that sounds like normal 13 week old puppy. Which I'd not allow access to the entire house. I may be the only one, but I'd never expect a 13 week old pup to be house trained. I think that a house trained dog is one that hasn't had an accident in the house for 6 straight months.... my newest addition is 12 weeks old today. I've had him one week. He gets to hang in an ex-pen (with newspaper) attached to a crate when unattended. He's earned access to the dog room (where his ex-pen is), and the adjoining kitchen when I am present. After an outside potty break he can snuggle and hang with us in dining room or living room... but not for long... just so you dont think I'm draconian, I'm a stay at home mom and the pup spends @ 3hrs a day galavanting about the fenced in yard with me and my older dog.....

    puppies are like kids, they learn something, appear to get it, then forget it, then re-learn it. So potty training with dogs (was the same for my human child) is all about 2 steps forward, one step back and etc. It's give and take, and over time, eventually it becomes a solid behavior (pottying outside only)

    the biting thing; goldens are retrievers and can be super mouthy critters. I think that approaching people and biting at them is normal puppy behavior... just re-direct, I personally give a verbal command, like "off" and then redirect. Any time teeth hit human skin the pup gets ignored for a minute. The person can yell "ouch!" and walk away. More teeth on skin after that gets pup left in ex pen with chew toys. sort of a time out.
    Last edited by NRB; 04-18-2012 at 02:03 PM.

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    Re: 13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

    Thanks for the replies. After my puppy began trying to urinate multiple times in multiple places outside within a one or two minute time period, I decided to schedule a vet appointment. Hopefully it is just a UTI and will clear up quickly.

    Hambonez, I do praise her for obeying, but I haven't given her treats for getting off the furniture because I didn't want her to start jumping up there more often so she could get treats after getting down. It's something I'll consider, though. Maybe it would help.

    NRB, I do not allow her access to the entire house -- she has just been urinating all over the rooms where she is allowed. She occasionally follows my kids into a restricted room and urinates there. I realize that she is nowhere near house trained, but my concern was that training was going very well till she suddenly began this behavior within the last few days. It's very abnormal compared to how she has behaved in the last few weeks, which seems to indicate a problem.

    If she has some sort of medical issue, maybe the growling (which has also been a strange change of behavior within the same few-day time period) is related to it and will stop after she feels better. Thank you for the advice on biting, as well. It sounds exactly like what we have been doing with her (except we leash her in the door area if she gets too mouthy, since we don't want the kennel to be associated with punishment. We used an exercise pen, but she can already jump out of it.) Hopefully the increased biting is just a phase and if we continue consistent training she'll learn not to bite.

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    Re: 13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

    Quote Originally Posted by shimmer_glo View Post
    Thanks for the replies. After my puppy began trying to urinate multiple times in multiple places outside within a one or two minute time period, I decided to schedule a vet appointment. Hopefully it is just a UTI and will clear up quickly.

    Hambonez, I do praise her for obeying, but I haven't given her treats for getting off the furniture because I didn't want her to start jumping up there more often so she could get treats after getting down. It's something I'll consider, though. Maybe it would help.

    Actually, what I'd suggest is a command for getting off the couch. We use "off". The thing is, just as with any command, you have to teach it and practice it. So, when she is on the couch, hold a treat near the floor, look at the floor, point. She will likely jump down to investigate the treat. Say "good off!" in a very happy voice. One she knows it, you DO run the risk of creating a chain, like you said, which is when she figures it out and will jump up simply to have you say off so she can get the treat. BUT, the way around that is, after she does jump off, and gets one treat, you move quickly on to something else, like a quick game of fetch or tug, or offer her a toy, or run through a couple other commands like "sit" and "down". That way, you are distracting her and not giving the option to jump back on the couch.

    And really, most dogs do not like to be picked up, or physically pushed off something. Much more reliable to have a command for it, and teach it, which includes rewards.


    NRB, I do not allow her access to the entire house -- she has just been urinating all over the rooms where she is allowed. She occasionally follows my kids into a restricted room and urinates there. I realize that she is nowhere near house trained, but my concern was that training was going very well till she suddenly began this behavior within the last few days. It's very abnormal compared to how she has behaved in the last few weeks, which seems to indicate a problem.

    Puppies do have setbacks in potty training. It can happen for a variety of reasons. For instance, when they first come to your home, they aren't on a regular schedule yet, eating and drinking, I mean, because everything is different at your house, maybe even different food and different schedules. So, she may not have needed to pee/poop as often, making it seem like she was doing fairly well. As she settles in, she's really starting over.
    Also, any changes in routine can affect potty training, as can teething, or illness.


    If she has some sort of medical issue, maybe the growling (which has also been a strange change of behavior within the same few-day time period) is related to it and will stop after she feels better. Thank you for the advice on biting, as well. It sounds exactly like what we have been doing with her (except we leash her in the door area if she gets too mouthy, since we don't want the kennel to be associated with punishment. We used an exercise pen, but she can already jump out of it.) Hopefully the increased biting is just a phase and if we continue consistent training she'll learn not to bite.
    I responding in bold. In general, though, that is very normal behavior for a 13 week old. They are so young, like human infants. They don't even always KNOW they have to pee/poop as their bodies just aren't that developed. And, they aren't born knowing what is ok to do and what isn't. Chewing, by the way, is how puppies play and learn about their environment, similar to how human babies always put things in their mouths.

    For potty training, even if she is in the same room as you, it helps to keep your eyes on her. It's similar to when a baby is learning to crawl, you tend to follow along behind them, so you can see where they are and what they are doing, and you can quickly come to the rescue if needed. It's the same with potty training, keep your eyes on her, if she gets up from what she's doing, follow. Better safe than sorry, because the more she pees inside, the quicker it will become a habit.
    And, clean every mess with an enzymatic cleaner. Regular household cleaners, even if they say they are for pet stains, don't do the job.

    For biting, check out the sticky "The Bite Stops Here." Very good advice. Everyone in the house has to respond the same way, though, and you all have to respond the same EVERY time she bites, otherwise you send mixed messages. It takes time, because you aren't just trying to get her to stop biting, you're trying to teach her a forever skill of bite inhibition.

    Oh, and growling gets a bad rap, in my opinion. Growling is a communication tool, it's the only way a dog can communicate with us. They growl for many different reasons: to tell us they're not comfortable with something (as when a child might come too close to them or too close to their face, or hug them, [most dogs don't like hugging]); to tell use they don't feel well; to tell us something hurts, to tell us they're scared; or in play. The play growl sounds different, though! So, growling is her telling you something.

    Now, if she's telling you "I don't WANT to get off the couch!" that's really not ok, but take the growl as communication, and train her to get off in a positive way, instead of punishing or correcting the growl. It's like a kid who says "I don't wanna go to bed!!!" Well, they can SAY that, and you don't punish them for saying that, but, you tell them it's not their choice, and teach them to do it anyway.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by doxiemommy; 04-18-2012 at 05:22 PM.

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    Re: 13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

    Quote Originally Posted by doxiemommy View Post
    Actually, what I'd suggest is a command for getting off the couch. We use "off". The thing is, just as with any command, you have to teach it and practice it. So, when she is on the couch, hold a treat near the floor, look at the floor, point. She will likely jump down to investigate the treat. Say "good off!" in a very happy voice. One she knows it, you DO run the risk of creating a chain, like you said, which is when she figures it out and will jump up simply to have you say off so she can get the treat. BUT, the way around that is, after she does jump off, and gets one treat, you move quickly on to something else, like a quick game of fetch or tug, or offer her a toy, or run through a couple other commands like "sit" and "down". That way, you are distracting her and not giving the option to jump back on the couch.
    This is more what I meant, but I had a nutty puppy repeatedly jamming a rawhide into my side and had to keep it brief.

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    Re: 13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

    Lol I'm glad mine stay out during the day lol. They only come in at nite, so they can jaam their toys into each other & not mine.

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    Re: 13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

    doxiemommy, thank you very much for all the helpful information. We do use a command to tell our puppy to get off the furniture, but she doesn't usually obey, so we move her rather than repeat the command a hundred times. I had not thought of putting a treat on the floor to see if she would get down herself. I will give it a try.

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    Re: 13 week puppy - biting, growling & constant urination

    Also I have also found that keeping a standard length leash on the pup when indoors so if she doesn't e off something you can use the leash to redirect her without having to grab at her collar, which might also cause her to get growly. If you use the great on the floor method, I would quickly follow up with a game of tug (no its not bad as long as you end the game, not the dog ) so she doesn't associate the treat with getting down.

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