Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
greetings to all... ;)


First, the introductions (sorry for the novella, here):

I have a 4 year old, male, Black Lab/Chow mix named Duncan that is 99% absolutely perfect. I got him from the SPCA when he was 3 months old and he has been a wonderful companion for myself and my family for his entire life.

He is never been aggressive in any way (to the point of being a pansy), has no problems with welcoming strangers into the house (although strangers outside the house get a warning growl until he meets them).

He is absolutely WONDERFUL when it comes to boundaries... he seems to have been born with an innate sense of property lines and i often let him roam my acre of land while I am gardening or what-not, having no fear that he will wander off. (Neighbors were surprised to learn that I did not have an electric fence buried)

Other dogs in the neighborhood are annoying barkers at every car or passerby, my dog will quietly look at them as though they have lost their mind and continue with his business.

He loves to play, to roll in the grass with a silly grin on his face... and he uncontrollably pees all over the floor when i first come home.

Yeh, that last part is why I am posting here. Let me explain a bit of the history here;
My fiance' believes (and I often wonder if she is right) that there is something "not quite right" with Duncan. Not quite right in a Dustin Hoffman/Rainman sort of way. He is literally brilliant at learning new things but he is also brilliant at learning them wrong. Once he gets something in his head, it is almost impossible to get it out again. For instance, when I first got him, we had another dog in the house. He went to the other dog's dish to eat and i politely shooed him away from it, pointing him to his bowl in the other room. To this day he does not like to eat around us, waiting for us to leave the area...as though I was telling him that he couldn't eat if we were in the room. :rolleyes:

More to the point, over time he has been known to get our shoes or socks when we are gone and bring them down to the living room to... well, hang out with, I suppose. He doesn't chew them or harm them... just gets lonely, I guess. When he first started doing this, I got on to him. As he continued to do it, I became more forceful and eventually (yeh, I know...chew me out for this) i would go so far as to smack him on the nose with the slipper or whatever and became vocally and physically very intimidating.

Well, I don't think that he got the connection quite right. Now, if I come home and notice him in any way (no matter how positive), he loses control of his bladder in fear. He feels as though I am going to get onto him even if he has done nothing wrong. If I let him out to "take care of business" and let him calm down again... we are fine. Any other time we interact, we are fine. It is specifically when I first come in after having been gone for any period of time.

This is, naturally, becoming a serious problem. I have tried positive re-enforcement, I've tried ignoring the problem, I've tried getting on to him about it... I am completely at a loss.

Please help! I am very interested in any suggestions or commiserating stories that can help me undo this.
Thanks for listening to my loOOong story.

peace!
~tc.m
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
I won't chew you out for smacking your dog with slippers after coming home. This created the problem, and I think you know this, but I also think the numerous pee spots on your carpet should be "chewing out" enough.

This is a submissive urination issue. The most commonly prescribed remedy is to ignore your dog completely when you get home. Do not reassure him, do not say anything to him. Don't even look at him. He may still pee. Ignore it. Walk right through the room and keep going about your business. Under NO circumstance should you yell at him, touch him or assume any kind of intimidating body language. Remain completely calm as if the dog is not there. It may take awhile but with patience and consistency, this may help.

If you've tried the above method, have you tried crating him while you're away?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,184 Posts
You beat your dog, he's scared of you now. You have to make him like you again. That's all there is, it will be a long process. You can only keep rewarding him for good behavior. The scent of you was on the socks and shoes, he was only trying to be reminded of his humans and what he got instead was a beating. You have lost his trust and you must rebuild it. It could be a week or it could be never.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
There's nothing wrong with your dog. :) He's very smart and a quick learner. That's the good news.

We all make mistakes in training and you have made a mistake by teaching him to be afraid of you when you come home. Maybe by coming home to find a shoe in the living room and punishing him for it? In any case, he is now being submissive when you come home to prevent you from punishing him. That's the bad news.

Read rosemaryninja's post over and over and have your fiance read it, too. After some time (however long it takes) he will get used to the new routine.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
...Ignore it. Walk right through the room and keep going about your business...
thanks for the advice, rosemary and keechak (and FourIsCompany!)... I would really rather not crate him unless it becomes absolutely necessary. I did the crate thing when he was a puppy and he was heartbreakingly sad. absolutely hated it. we were all extremely miserable through the entire process.

I've really been going with the whole "ignore him" thing as you suggest for a while now, it is obviously frustrating but good to hear some informed feedback that it may help. I'll keep up that tack but am certainly open to other constructive feedback here.

oh, sorry, Westhighlander. I forgot to include you in the conversation. "constructive", as in constructive criticism.
Code:
Definition:  	criticism or advice that is useful 
and intended to help or improve something, 
often with an offer of possible solutions.
I got the fact that I caused this. In fact, I believe I mentioned that. I came here for help because I'm open to fixing it, not being needlessly berated. Thanks for playing though. When you have a helpful idea or two, please share.

~tc.m
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
If you don't want to crate him, maybe you could dog proof the kitchen (no shoes :D ) and get a couple baby gates to keep him in there. It will limit the amount of trouble he gets into and keep the clean up easier.

A second thought is you could have a favorite toy or yummy treat in the car with you when you come home and toss it on the floor (without looking at him!) the instant you step inside the door. This will redirect his mode and make him curious about what you have brought him. If you do this every time, (or maybe just one time, since he's such a quick study) he will become curious instead of so extremely submissive. Change things up to get him out of the routine. Enter by another door. Be singing or whistling as you enter. Do anything you can think of to make your homecoming appear different to him. But continue the no talk, no touch, no eye contact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
The key lesson Duncan needs to learn here is that NOTHING bad is going to happen when you come home. Right now every time you get back, he expects you to hit him. He then pees -- a submissive gesture in canine body language -- to try to coax you into not hitting him. That's what submissive urination is. He pees because he knows he's done something wrong, but he doesn't know what or why.

How long have you been doing the ignoring thing? It will take awhile to kick in, varying from dog to dog. Remember, you should act as if you can't even see Duncan. Be aware of your body language. Leaning over him, reaching for him, talking loudly or deeply are all subtle actions that can intimidate him. If you work at it long enough, you will get to a point where he does not pee when you come in. Don't immediately go over to him just yet. Without looking at him, get a treat out of your pocket, toss it gently in his general direction, say "Good dog" and walk on. Baby steps are a central key to any kind of dog training.

You need to rebuild trust with your dog; not just when you come home, but in your day-to-day interactions with him. Right now, his impression of you probably goes something like: "On the whole, a cool guy, but can be unpredictable and SCARY." Try to reduce to a minimum (if not zero) the number of times you punish him. "Punishment" constitutes anything from physically beating him to tweaking his nose to shouting at him. To do this, try to minimize his opportunities to be bad. If he steals your slippers, put your slippers in a drawer or in a room with the door closed. You are the human, you outsmart him. :)

Edit: FIC posted at the same time that I did, but he (he? she? sorry! :p) has a good point about baby-gates. If you can confine Duncan to another room, and let him out of there when you get home, it may help. Dogs don't generalize well.

Can you describe in more detail what happens when you get home? Is he already waiting in the living room, and then you enter and he pees? Or is he usually in another room where you have to seek him out? Before, when you hit him with the slippers, would you take him to the slipper and hit him with it? Or take the slipper to wherever he was and hit him with it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
again, excellent posts, one and all...

to answer a few questions:
when i first walk in the door, most of the time he is excited to see me. doing little circles, wagging his tail, general joyful behavior. but if i do anything at all other than going to the back door, opening it and letting him out...he pees. i've tried being obviously happy. talking happy to him (good dog!, etc) with limited success... he knows the pattern. so, if i deviate from his expected pattern (like, don't open the back door, call him to me, even go into another room where he is)... it sets him off. Once he's been outside and comes back in, he seems to be ok (although i suspect the only reason that he doesn't pee then is because he already has). lately, his behavior has degenerated into not even being happy to see me all the time ...although seriously i can't think of what has caused this. he often goes straight into being afraid.

the slipper episodes were normally just me picking up the slipper from the floor in the living room, shaking it at him and (threateningly) asking him who's slipper it was (is this your damn slipper? I don't think so! Leave my stuff alone, dammit!) ...that sort of thing. It certainly did go so far as me popping him on the nose or forehead with the slipper on occasions, by that time I'm sure both of us were really stressed out. I know he was extremely intimidated by the whole thing, but I'm not sure he was making the right connection as to why. Eventually, we just removed his access to the bedrooms, etc. so it became a "non-problem".

All of our floors are hardwood, with an area rug in the living room...so there isn't much rug damage to worry about at all... just the cleanup. the gate idea would have otherwise been great though (actually, we have doors in the house that could isolate him to the kitchen/foyer).

I like the idea of the treat as I come in the door and otherwise completely ignoring him until he comes to me. this is an extension of what we have been trying and it at least gives me some hope that this will work out.

"On the whole, a cool guy, but can be unpredictable and SCARY."
rosemaryninja, i think that you are right on target with this. in any other situation, he and i are as thick as thieves. we just need to find a way around this.

thanks again for all the continued interest!

~tc.m
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
One rule of thumb: Dogs do not associate past with the present. They cannot see a slipper and think "oh, that's the slipper I brought downstairs just now." Even if he chews a slipper and you find the chewed up slipper two minutes after, and go over and scold him with it, he has no clue what he's done wrong. Dogs live in the present. If you punish them, you are punishing them for whatever they are doing at that moment, not ten seconds ago and certainly not two hours ago. I'm telling you this not just so you recognise that shaking the slipper at him is useless, but also as a piece of general knowledge to apply to the rest of your interactions with him.

As a result of this piece of psychology, Duncan has no idea that bringing slippers to the living room is wrong. He does know that the sight of the slipper very often means he is being scolded. (Go show him the slipper, right now. Chances are he won't be thrilled by it.) If he's smart enough, he may also know that slippers in the living room means he gets scolded. It doesn't matter if he put the slippers there or not. In other words, if you put the slippers in the living room yourself, he'd still feel as guilty and fearful as he would if he had taken them there.

The next time you come home, have something really yummy with you. I don't mean a Milkbone or a piece of his kibble. I'm thinking an eighth of a cooked hot dog. When you come in, and he is there, drop it on the floor near him and MOVE ON. Do not bend down, do not turn to him and feed him the treat -- this will most likely spark off a "wait, what's happening, why is this different, what's he going to do" kind of reaction (ie, peeing). Drop the treat on the floor, let him eat it, but walk to the back door like you always do and let him out.

Like I said, Duncan sees you as a nice guy, but one who is unpredictable. Why doesn't he pee when you head to the door and let him out? Because it's predictable. It's a routine. He knows what your next course of action is and what's expected of him. So stick to it, but start incorporating rewards. When he relieves himself outside, give him another treat (it doesn't have to be another hot dog this time). When he comes back in and approaches you, you break the "Duncan doesn't exist" routine, talk in your happiest happy voice, give him a rub behind the ears and a back scratch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,184 Posts
thanks for the advice, rosemary and keechak (and FourIsCompany!)... I would really rather not crate him unless it becomes absolutely necessary. I did the crate thing when he was a puppy and he was heartbreakingly sad. absolutely hated it. we were all extremely miserable through the entire process.

I've really been going with the whole "ignore him" thing as you suggest for a while now, it is obviously frustrating but good to hear some informed feedback that it may help. I'll keep up that tack but am certainly open to other constructive feedback here.

oh, sorry, Westhighlander. I forgot to include you in the conversation. "constructive", as in constructive criticism.
Code:
Definition:  	criticism or advice that is useful 
and intended to help or improve something, 
often with an offer of possible solutions.
I got the fact that I caused this. In fact, I believe I mentioned that. I came here for help because I'm open to fixing it, not being needlessly berated. Thanks for playing though. When you have a helpful idea or two, please share.

~tc.m
Now you know how your dog feels. You should have offered him "a helpful idea" of what to do if you didn't want him do whatever it is you don't like. I'm treating you exactly the way you treated your dog. Do you really understand how much damage you inflicted on him for him to pee like that? I don't think so. So you want help or just someone to tell you it was ok and he'll get over it? You can do what all the other posters tell you but you may never be able to fix this. If he is peeing, and not just hiding he is seriously afraid of you. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Now you know how your dog feels..
Westie... you are a piece of work. I'm not going to regale you with a slew of adjectives or nouns that describe the sort of person that I believe you to be, i'll let someone else that seriously cares about your inane banter do that.

This has absolutely nothing to do with what I want to hear. It has to do with the way that you are attempting to ride rough-shod over someone who is asking for help without actually offering any.

I came to this forum with an open, honest request for assistance in undoing what I (by my own admission) have done by attempting to chastise my dog for his misbehavior.

You, on the other hand, have done nothing but berate and criticize without offering any sort of true value to the conversation. In the vernacular of my trade, you are titled a "troll" and when not being outright ridiculed, are more often than not completely ignored. Your posturing is absolutely pathetic.

I have no idea if this is some sort of superiority/inferiority issue with you or if perhaps you are incapable of offering any real assistance or if you are merely an ass. To be honest, I simply do not care. If I did care, I might suggest that you take a pointer from your (obviously wiser) forum-mates and attempt to spend your time helping the current situation.

If your platitude-laden posts are any indication, you empathize strongly with the plight of animals and at least I can applaud you for that. However, if you truly were interested in helping, help me put a dog's mind at rest and stop him from being so scared that he pees on himself. Actually, nevermind. Forget that. I've already gotten plenty of intelligent feedback.

rosemaryninja didn't hesitate to point out that i had caused this. Neither did FourIsCompany. Nor did I deny it. But the similarities between their advice and your babble ends there. Stop trying to lash out and whine about the damage done and you may have a breath left for helping with the solution.

I did nothing out of malice, I made mistakes that are regrettable and I'm trying to make it right again. oh dear gawd, the humanity of it all! The drama! Perhaps you would rather just come to my house and beat me like the evil bastard that I am? :rolleyes:

Damn, look at that; I did have a few adjectives and nouns for you after all.

As this post is borderline abusive, it is possible that I may not be posting here anymore (well worth it). If so, then I would like a moment to sincerely thank the other posters for their help in trying to undo this. I will certainly take your advice to heart and I hope that it helps. If I am able to continue with you, I will be glad to offer any further relevant information on this issue that you need.

Thank you again for all of your input
~tc.m
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,184 Posts
Westie... you are a piece of work. I'm not going to regale you with a slew of adjectives or nouns that describe the sort of person that I believe you to be, i'll let someone else that seriously cares about your inane banter do that.

This has absolutely nothing to do with what I want to hear. It has to do with the way that you are attempting to ride rough-shod over someone who is asking for help without actually offering any.

I came to this forum with an open, honest request for assistance in undoing what I (by my own admission) have done by attempting to chastise my dog for his misbehavior.

You, on the other hand, have done nothing but berate and criticize without offering any sort of true value to the conversation. In the vernacular of my trade, you are titled a "troll" and when not being outright ridiculed, are more often than not completely ignored. Your posturing is absolutely pathetic.

I have no idea if this is some sort of superiority/inferiority issue with you or if perhaps you are incapable of offering any real assistance or if you are merely an ass. To be honest, I simply do not care. If I did care, I might suggest that you take a pointer from your (obviously wiser) forum-mates and attempt to spend your time helping the current situation.

If your platitude-laden posts are any indication, you empathize strongly with the plight of animals and at least I can applaud you for that. However, if you truly were interested in helping, help me put a dog's mind at rest and stop him from being so scared that he pees on himself. Actually, nevermind. Forget that. I've already gotten plenty of intelligent feedback.

rosemaryninja didn't hesitate to point out that i had caused this. Neither did FourIsCompany. Nor did I deny it. But the similarities between their advice and your babble ends there. Stop trying to lash out and whine about the damage done and you may have a breath left for helping with the solution.

I did nothing out of malice, I made mistakes that are regrettable and I'm trying to make it right again. oh dear gawd, the humanity of it all! The drama! Perhaps you would rather just come to my house and beat me like the evil bastard that I am? :rolleyes:

Damn, look at that; I did have a few adjectives and nouns for you after all.

As this post is borderline abusive, it is possible that I may not be posting here anymore (well worth it). If so, then I would like a moment to sincerely thank the other posters for their help in trying to undo this. I will certainly take your advice to heart and I hope that it helps. If I am able to continue with you, I will be glad to offer any further relevant information on this issue that you need.

Thank you again for all of your input
~tc.m
I have offered you help, it's just you can't see it. From your post here, I gather you are someone who can't control their emotions and are prone to anger. Dogs will pick up on that. Fix yourself first, otherwise your dog will continue to have the same reaction to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
"anger" ?:confused:

oh dear lord, somebody close this thread before westie pops!
:D

i'm leaving before this turns even more maudlin.
thanx again to the rest of you.
peace
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
tc.m, I would ignore Westie. There is no way they can tell what kind of person you are from the internet. For one thing, they come off condescending, and they probably aren't like that in person to person communication, so by the same logic, you are probably not in need of anger-management!

You know your faults in the situation with your dog and you recognize the need to fix what you did. There is a lot of great advice in this thread and others, so I hope you don't leave! I've noticed from the couple weeks I've observed this forum, that you get an array of personalities that don't always mesh.

I think that with a lot of work, you will be able to regain your dogs trust and can start over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
tc.m, I would ignore Westie...
thank you for the thoughts. i also had a PM from another forum member who said similar. it's nice to see that there are also considerate, helpful individuals here.

I said in my PM reply that I perhaps should not have allowed westie to irritate me as much and i meant it. hopefully the assistance that i have received will resolve the situation. if not, i would be glad to return to gather help for the next step.

thank you again
peace
~tc.m
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
I once fostered a submissive pee-er. I believe if you follow the advice in this thread it will get better, it just takes time and consistency. It took about three weeks for the pooch I fostered to stop 100 percent. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,385 Posts
I think one thing you need to remember is dogs do not speak english, so they will not understand what you are telling them if you have not taught it to them.

It's like, if your dog doesn't know off, but you keep saying it because you think they will do it, it's kind of pointless, unless you've taught them that off means, well, get off haha.

Instead of pointing to something and thinking he will know what you mean, lead him to whatever you want him to do and show him what to do.

Start practicing some N.I.L.I.F..it's a sticky in the training section. It will help with his confidence and help give some manners and work that brain!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,277 Posts
Thanks for the entertainment. Always a good time when a new member gets into a bitch slap (can I say that on TV?) with a long-time member.

Anyhoo. This was actually a very good discussion on the topic of submissive peeing, cattiness aside (can I say cattiness on a dog forum?). Our dog did it from the day we got her as a pup. We followed the advice presented here and she got over it in time. She'll still occasionally pee when she sees someone she hasn't seen in a while, but I've come to know the signs and can almost always distract her enough to prevent it.

In all the drama, I'm not sure if I saw that bit of advice here, i.e. once you get to the point where the dog isn't peeing every time he greets you and you know the signs that he might, it's time to start working in a little distraction. I used to do a lot of things to distract my dog, including saying "let's go!" and moving rapidly away from her. She would get excited that we were going somewhere (usually to the back yard or for a walk) and immediately come out of her squat to follow me. It worked at doggie daycare, too, where she loved the people so much that she peed every time she saw them. She practically came out of her skin to get to them, so I know it was an excitement-based pee and not fear-based. Other times I would ask for an immediate sit or down before greeting, which stopped the peeing. And I asked everyone she greeted to keep their voices low and calm, to not use high-pitched tones, etc.

Blah blah. Others have said it much better so I'm done. It can be fixed. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,184 Posts
Winnie, yours was excitement pee which is different than submissive urination. Excitement pee is much easier to overcome and managed. Submissive urination from fear is much harder especially when the trigger is the owner and not something or someone from the past they won't see again.

I think this is more of an owner problem. Someone who loses control so easily needs to fix themselves first. Dogs know better than to trust someone who could once again could resort to hitting them. No amount of treats will change that. You might not like me but I don't condone animal abuse. Sometimes sorry is not enough.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top