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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I originally had three dogs, Mini Australian, Belgium and German Shepherd. We took in a chihuahua that another soldier was gonna release to the pound, but the pound was full so we know what that means. Had him for a year in Colorado. Small pee spots here and there. (Seemed to be marking) kept oustuff off the floor, problem almost completely vanished.

we move to Washington a year ago and the problem moved to furniture and random areas, but I could keep up with it. It has progressively gotten worse. Now the two other males are unloading their bladder on every spot he marks. We keep our stuff picked up, doors shut to our room. I have tried many different cleaners and no marking sprays. Leaving them outside for most of the day. Not letting them see outside windows (people and dogs walking past). Walks together to try to get chihuahua to be part of pack.Different types of diapers, they always seem to weasel out of them even the harnesses. It鈥檚 becoming very unsanitary especially since I have a two year old.

im praying someone has seen something similar or knows what to do.

thank you 馃檹

(chihuahua-male 7yrs\ Australian-male3yrs\ German - male 5yrs\ Belgium- female 10yrs. All spayed and neutered)

Super Moderator
4,087 Posts
Honestly the best approach to this is probably treating them all - but especially the chi - like they're baby puppies. Potty breaks every couple hours (more if you're still finding urine inside) where you go out with them individually, possibly on lead, and reward the moment they finish pottying with a great treat and praise (if they like praise). Potty breaks after waking up from a long nap or a lot of active play. Confinement when you can't supervise them in individual crates, pens, or spaces in the house where they do not mark/have anything to mark on. Even if they get along great, I would not confine them together - especially the chi with the others - just due to the size difference. If someone gets too rambunctious or cranky in close quarters where the chi can't get away, he could get really hurt even accidentally, by being stepped on or knocked over, for example. Confinement if you know they haven't pottied in a couple hours, taking them out every 5-10 minutes until they earn their freedom by emptying their bladder.

This doesn't have to be forever, but it's important you're super consistent with it for maybe even a few months. Yeah, it's a huge pain, especially with three dogs and a toddler, but you've got what's probably a seven year long ingrained habit here, and you have to break it by reinforcing appropriate potty behavior and preventing inappropriate potty behavior. Punishment won't work here, because in most cases, dogs just learn that it's bad to pee indoors in front of you, and will sneak off to pee when you're not watching, or in places that are hard to see (and find later, and clean up after...)

Have you tried a belly-band style diaper for your boys, or just ones that look like diapers? If you can get one that works and stays on, and use it whenever your dogs are inside, you might be able to breathe a little easier about them practicing the behavior and reinforcing the habit. Many of these are washable and work by both being there to absorb pee, but also discourage a dog from peeing because the wet urine is uncomfortable (but definitely check regularly so they don't get stuck with pee on their skin too long - though I probably don't have to tell you that, having a human kid!). I'm also seeing a product called the 'Peekeeper' that claims to be an escape-proof diaper, but I'd start with the belly band style if you haven't tried it before.

It might be worth getting one of those blacklight flashlights that will cause pee spots to glow brightly when you shine it around in a dark room, so you can be absolutely sure you're finding all the pee spots and cleaning them effectively. Get an enzymatic cleaner and clean really, really well when you start this routine change. Cleaners won't break a habit on their own, as you've discovered, but if you thoroughly remove all 'doggy signpost' pee smells from their environment and are also keeping a very strict, consistent potty schedule that prevents them from peeing inside, it will help eliminate the habit faster by minimizing their urge to pee on their old marks. Get enzymatic, because they actually break down the urine to such a degree that dogs can't smell it anymore with their vastly superior noses - other cleaners might make things smell fine to us, but aren't enough for dogs. Nature's Miracle is a commonly suggested brand, but there's a ton out there these days, even ones that are specifically for upholstery.

533 Posts
can I see your dogs? I haven't seen a BSD that wasn't of the Malinois type in quite a bit.

I second everything Daysleepers has already said.

2,966 Posts
Agree with what has already been said, but I will add this:

Marking in the house is a deal breaker for me.

The Chi would be gone and I would work on the other two by following all that Day Sleepers said. The other two would have NO freedom indoors at all.. crate and rotate and all that entails.

I know that sounds harsh and you are welcome to try (because that is what we do) but be aware that the end solution may be sending the Chi to a rescue with full disclosure of the marking issue.

The Chi might have a chance if he was an only dog and the owner was totally on top of things. Even then.. maybe not.
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