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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I am new to the forums.

Brief background, I have been a dog owner for 13 years and my last dog, a wire haired dutch hound passed away last year.

I rescued my new dog, a 1 year old stray beagle, 3 months ago. He is a wonderful dog, extremely well behaved, loves all dogs and people (hates squirrels..) and open to everything.

Generally he has been fantastic and very obedient and quick to pick up o training. He is completely house trained and I did reward training with him (he has to do something in order to get playtime, food, pets and treats etc).

But now its all gone bad.

About 2 weeks, around 11 pm after his "before bed time" walk, he jumps up on my bed (hes not allowed on the bed and couch) and he pees. He peed on his walk about 20 minuted earlier and this was the first time he ever peed inside the house.

Normally if he jumped up on the bed or couch I would just say "DOWN" in a firm voice and clap the floor to get him down, but I got upset with him peeing on my bed and I gave him a little smack on the bum. He yelped and dashed into his dog house and stayed there while I changed the covers and that was that.

Wake up the next morning, do my normal routine. I get up, Jameson follows me out to the kitchen, I feed him, he eats while Im in the shower, I get dressed and I walk him to work (he comes to work with me everyday). But that morning as we are heading to the door he quickly changes direction and darts back into my room. I am confused and I follow him in. He suddenly seems terrified and when I go near him he starts to pee. I told him "NO" but he just peed more. I crouch down to put the leash on to try and get him out the door and hes basically peeing the whole way. I admit I got upset and I flicked his bum with my finger.

This has been happening every morning now the past weeks. Noon, afternoon and the evenings hes great and cuddles and plays with me, no fear or anything. Hes great in the office. Its only in the mornings.

I did some research as soon as this happened and its most likely submissive urination. To change this behavior I was told to not get mad or punish him for peeing, will only make things worse. But I think he can sense my frustration and that just makes everything worse. Now I cant even tell him "down" or "Wait" or any command because he just get terrified and pees everywhere. He "knows" that he should not be in my bed or couch but jumps up still and if I go to say down he pees so I am stuck there.

Every night he seems fine but every morning hes back to being scared. I am just really confused and I dont have time to clean up after him every morning while going to work and I dont want to have to leave him alone.

Also today he bit me 3 times (not hard but he snapped at my hand) when I went to put the leash on him, something he has never done before.

This is all just really sad and I dont know what to do.

Any advice?
 

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First of all, any change in behavior warrants a visit to the vet. Your dog could have a UTI.

If there is no medical reason for the change in behavior, it's you. You're scaring your dog. Your hitting him and hurting him and now he's reached the point of lashing out to protect himself. (Which is incredibly strange behavior for a beagle. They're used so much in medical research precisely because they are so very gentle.) You have to work on you. You have to work on not being angry and not hitting your dog.

To help you with that, I will say this: your dog doesn't know any better. He's not doing these things on purpose to piss you off. He's a dog. He does what feels good in the moment with little to no concern for the future. If you want him to act some other way, you have to motivate him to act that way by associating your preferred behavior with good things like treats and praise.

If you feel you can't do that, get a positive reinforcement behaviorist to help you out. But first, go to the vet. Right now.
 

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Hi JoHut,

I would definitely seek the help of a trained dog behaviouralist who can better assess what is happening here. From what I've researched, these are some things that could help, but again, this situation seems like it may escalate given that he is now biting, which is dangerous for you and others.

1. Continue NOT using physical/harsh corrections when he does things you don't like. Just ignore him when he does something unwanted, and he will get the idea. Praise praise praise when he is behaving well. This will help you focus on all that he's doing good, and not get so frustrated when he's misbehaving. I wouldn't use any corrections anymore. Just ignore the behaviour. Jumping is a common issue, and you can either address is by, again, ignoring him, and then praising him when he stops. OR, my personal favourite, ask him to sit in a nice voice, and when he sits, praise and reward him. He learns that sitting is far more rewarding than jumping.

2. Use a different command than down or wait. Instead of wait, use "hold on" or something, and instead of down, use "off". Off is actually more accurate than down in this case, because you don't want him on the furniture. Down just means, lying down.

3. Do some major handling/gentling exercises with him. He's a rescue, so his background maybe a bit unknown (i.e. how he was handled before, etc). Here are some examples:
- Grab his collar gently, and treat. Let go of the collar.
- Touch his paws/all over his body/head/tummy/teeth, treat and praise

4. never use the leash to correct him. Dogs can become leash reactive if you are using it to correct him during walks. If he pulls, simply stop walking and he will learn that he can only move forward with a loose leash. When he is walking nicely, treat handsomly.

Hope this helps
 

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I agree with the above -- consult a vet about a possible UTI, and, if necessary, consult a behaviorist.

If there isn't anything medically wrong, then you would need to start over with this dog.

The first time he peed was probably just an adolescent accident. At one year old, he's kind of still in that "forget what I learned when I was a puppy" stage. You got to continue to reinforce behaviors, and understand that accidents happen. When you smacked him, he likely didn't understand why he was being punished. He could have thought you were mad because he was on the bed in the morning, or that he was peeing in front of you, or a number of other things that you likely would never think of. The message "don't pee in the house" or "don't pee on the bed," probably didn't register. He knows you were mad; he probably doesn't know the real reason.

He's obviously very, very confused. He's not sure exactly what you want.

What I suggest is starting from the very beginning with housetraining (there are tons of links on DF about housetraining techniques you can look into). Treat him like a brand-new puppy.

Also, close your bedroom door. If he can't get to the bed, he can't pee on the bed, and he can't be scared of you coming towards him as he pees on the bed. Eliminate the bed from the equation, and that's half your battle. As for the couch, you need to train a better "off" command using positive techniques. If he's only skittish in the mornings, do your training at night. Cover the area you are working with a few old towels to lessen the mess if he pees. If he does pee out of some kind of fear, ignore it. He can't control fearful peeing. It just happens. Reacting to it does no good, and it's not a housetraining issue. Just keep going with your "off" training.
 

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Sounds like you have a soft dog and the damage has been done and he views you as someone to be feared now. It's going to take a lot of work to earn his trust back and NO hitting or any sort of physical corrections ever again. I'm sure others will chime in with what you need to do to earn his trust back.

Stories like this make me so glad I have a hard dog as I did have a few impulsive reactions when I first got Jubel that resulted in me smacking his rear in response to a nip or something similar. Fortunately for me he couldn't care less, I think I was more upset over it than he was. He reacted more to the fact I was upset than the fact I hit him in the heat of the moment. In all reality he gets smacked around harder as we play wrestle (and loves every second of if) than I ever did the few times impulse won and I hit him; years of fighting with my brother has made hitting back impulse I had to learn to control.

Basically you're going to have to start over from square one and earn his trust which can be really hard after you've lost it but it can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Amaryllis, thank you for the quick reply!

You make it seem as if I beat and hurt my dog on a regular basis which in NO WAY is true. I pretty much only use positive reinforcement in all my training with him and he responds extremely well which I explained in my post.

He does not have UTI, his only symptom would be the time he peed in my bed, but he has not displayed any other problems or symptoms. However I am planning on taking him to the vet anyway to see of theres anything else wrong. But like I said after 10 am he is back to his old self, this is my confusion.

He is only frightened in the mornings and when I go to take him on our morning walk, which in itself has never been an issue.

And yes I know he is not doing this to piss me off, but its hard to not get frustrated and he can sense my mood which does not help. Show me one person who genuinely enjoys their dog peeing infront of them on the floor or in their bed and I will go to a to psychologist to help ME out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for all the responses.

The situation is just so frustrating because I know what needs to be done but I almost afraid to do anything with him at home because I dont want him to urinate. I know he does not do it on purpose or that he even knows what he is doing, but I dont want to be the cause of it.

I dont think this is a house training issue at all since he does not pee in the house at all during any other time we are home or on the weekends.

I always approach him happily and I never scare him or approach him fast etc. Always talking to him nicely and praising him on everything he does good. I will see what its like when I come home today, I left him at home for the first time in 3 months with a friend because of how he reacted this morning.

Just to reiterate: In the mornings he is frightened and does not respond to me at all, midday to evenings everything is fine and dandy. He eats well, pees and poops outside, drinks, plays, runs, sits, sleeps etc etc
 

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I agree, anytime there's a change in behavior, with seemingly no reason, a trip to the vet is a good idea. There ARE some non medical things that can cause potty training setbacks or behavioral changes, including changes in your routine, changes in his routine, changes in the environment (even something as simple as getting new furniture or re-arranging old furniture), etc.

In my opinion, the biting stems from you smacking and flicking his butt. He is unsure of whether he can trust you completely now, so he feels he may need to defend himself. Plus, the last time you flicked him was about the time you were trying to put his leash on to get him out. So, there's some negative association going on there.

The reason for the first pee on the bed is up in the air. I don't see how that could be submissive urination, as the smack and scolding didn't happen til AFTER he peed. You didn't even have time to tell him "off", right? He jumped on the bed and peed. That's not necessarily submission urination unless you had just scolded him about something.

So, I really doubt it's all related to submissive urination. Now, he may be sensing your emotions, and peeing because he's fearful.

If I were you, I'd PREVENT him from getting up on the couch or bed by supervising him more closely than you had been. Every time he gets close, call his name, or ask him to perform a certain behavior, like "sit" or "down" or anything he knows. That way, you're not scolding him, or reprimanding him, you're just REDIRECTING him BEFORE he does something you don't want him to do.
 

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It sounds like, from what you're telling us, that he got the message "you are angry with me in the mornings." The fact that you are probably now tense with him in the mornings because you know he's scared reiterates this feeling. The beginning of him relaxing is you relaxing. You have to try to take everything in stride, no matter how he reacts in the morning. Just go about feeding him, initiating play, going about your regular routine, as if he was acting normal. If he doesn't respond, then try again the next morning. Tempt him with treats to get him to come to you, or to get him outside to use the bathroom. Make sure lots of awesome things happen for him in the mornings (treats, new toys, etc.). Make the mornings fun for him. And keep at it. It will take time.
 

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maybe switch things up, take him outside first before food, let him eat/you shower, then walk to work? You said he doesn't respond to you in the morning, if you are by the door with a piece of hotdog or something awesome he wouldn't come? maybe try something like that
 

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Just wanted to chime in here.

We had a similar problem with our dog, zoey. At first, we didn't realize it was submissive urination. We didnt hit her or punish her for peeing, never did that. We couldn't figure out why she was doing it....and basically only doing it when my husband was home.

The thing is...dogs arent people. If your voice/body actions seem mad, they think youre mad..they cant tell the difference.

For example...if my husband is trying to make a point, or in an argument with someone (not angry), his voice rises. To us, its typical and we are used to it. But to the dog...if he raises his voice even a little bit, she feels is, and would pee (or slink away, head down..or both).

He had to REALLY work on that....on not raising his voice at all. It took a couple months and she is now fine.

But just to say...to YOU, you may not sound "mad"....but your dog could be reading you differently. If you are upset, it might be good for you to go to a bedroom or something for a few minutes to calm down.

I hope things work out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
maybe switch things up, take him outside first before food, let him eat/you shower, then walk to work? You said he doesn't respond to you in the morning, if you are by the door with a piece of hotdog or something awesome he wouldn't come? maybe try something like that

Nope, I have chicken liver (that he goes CRAZY for) that I have given him every morning since the weekend, but this morning not event that has worked. Its seems that the more I relax and ignore his behavior the more scared he gets. This morning was just super strange. My friend just texted me and he seems as happy as ever. Obviously its me, but I just dont know how I can not make myself feel frustrated with him. I need to go to work and I am never stressed but I get stressed when he pees and it takes 30 minutes to clean up and whatnot. He scared and then he pees, I get frustrated and he get scared. never ending circle
 

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If you have the attitude, going in, that it's impossible not to show frustration, then it really is going to be impossible for you. You need to work on you, because your dog is reacting to you. Whatever you need to do to remain calm, do it. Yoga in the morning, calming music, whatever. Pee happens. It's not the end of the world.

You may also want to try some calming techniques on your dog. Perhaps purchase a thundershirt that, when worn, helps some dogs with anxiety. Slow, steady piano music can also help dogs relax. While you're working on your frustration, you can at least make the environment calmer for the dog. Make your home a very calm place to be, and that could assist the process.

Finally, why don't you confine your dog to a smaller area in the mornings? Maybe one with a hard surface floor that is easy to clean? Feed him in that area, give him yummy treats in that area, put a comfy bed in that area, etc. At least then, if he pees, it'll be easier to clean up and maybe you won't be so frustrated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you have the attitude, going in, that it's impossible not to show frustration, then it really is going to be impossible for you. You need to work on you, because your dog is reacting to you. Whatever you need to do to remain calm, do it. Yoga in the morning, calming music, whatever. Pee happens. It's not the end of the world.

You may also want to try some calming techniques on your dog. Perhaps purchase a thundershirt that, when worn, helps some dogs with anxiety. Slow, steady piano music can also help dogs relax. While you're working on your frustration, you can at least make the environment calmer for the dog. Make your home a very calm place to be, and that could assist the process.

Finally, why don't you confine your dog to a smaller area in the mornings? Maybe one with a hard surface floor that is easy to clean? Feed him in that area, give him yummy treats in that area, put a comfy bed in that area, etc. At least then, if he pees, it'll be easier to clean up and maybe you won't be so frustrated.
Thank you for this. I will try the techniques you suggested. Another issue that I did not mention is that he is crate trained, he loves his crate and sleeps there every night, goes in there to rest and sometimes play etc.

Its also his safe haven and he runs in there every time I walk for the door to leave for work/take him for his first walk. He follows me to the door and I nonchalantly just pick up his leash and open the door, turn around and ask him to come "walkies" (which I say before every walk and he is fine with that ever afternoon/evening responding happily) but now he just turns and run into his crate. I have gone up 45 minutes earlier these past days so as not to stress if he pees. Problem is I need to leave and he wont come out of his crate when I call for him, try and give him hi favorite treat and toy. I even leave him for 10 minutes to see if he comes out but he just stays in the corner of the crate. Thats why he bit me today because I had to reach in to put the leash on. I dont want to leave him in his crate all day and I cant really afford to have a dog walker every day and one of the reasons I choose to get another dog is because I can take him to work.

I "have" to take him with me every morning but its just proven so hard. I try to confine him to the kitchen but he wont eat his food then, and thats pretty much the only place I can have where its easier to clean up after him.

I am at my wits end and I just feel so sorry for him.
 

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Is he too heavy to lift? Maybe you could leave a little early for work, lift him in his crate, put him in the car, and take him to potty and let him eat there at your work. Maybe he's more comfortable there. At the least, if you did this with any level of success for a week or two, it would break the negative habits he's gotten in to.

It could be that he is just having this automatic reaction in the morning because he's associating it with something bad. You know like....at dinner time, dad puts out the dish and I eat. At walking time, dad gets out the leash and I walk. At morning time, I pee on the floor and hide in my crate. Sometimes things like this could be a learned behavior.

I actually had this problem with my daughter when she was younger....but Ive also read several books where dogs had the same issue. The thing is, you've got to somehow break the bad habits and replace them with happy/positive stuff.
 

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Well, the terrified part is probably from being hit by an angry human. That could cause submissive urination. The biting is likely from the same thing. I would take him to the vet and make sure there's not a medical reason for the urination (urinary tract infection, stones, diabetes, etc. etc.) If he gets a clean bill of health, go back to housetraining 101, and don't give him access to the bed.
 

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If you're having this much trouble, and you don't think a lot of the suggestions we made will work, then contact a good dog behaviorist. Do some research, find one, call him/her up, and start the process.
 
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