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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I adopted a dog about 4 months ago. I would really like to be able to have him off leash so he could come camping with us this summer.

However, I feel that we need to break a habit of his first. When he is outside, he wants nothing but to mark. He marks until he is out of urine, but still goes through the motions, and sometimes even poops on the fence or a bush in our back yard.

We have curbed this behavior when he is on the leash, but when he is loose he is so fixated on marking everything in the yard that he doesn't listen.

Any suggestions?

Dn

I also wanted to add that he had surgery before we got him. He had extensive damage to his genitals when the found him. Now he has just a hole, and he cannot really aim it very well.

So when he tries to mark a tree or the fence, his urine just dribbles underneath him, not effectivly marking what he is trying to mark.

He usually marks from one side, then turns around and does it from the other side.

Just thought this might be important information.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
a new high or low

So the problem, I think, has become more serious...

We took him to a dog park, and of course he was peeing on everything, then ran out of pee. Then he pooped a couple of places, and tried to pee some more.

Next thing we know, he is trying to poop so hard that he shot out a projectile stream of diarrhea (sorry for the description).

The next morning he pooed, and it was normal, so I am pretty sure it was caused by the effort.

I am worried that he is going to hurt himself, and am kind of apprehensive about taking him there until we know how to address this problem...
 

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Re: a new high or low

I've never heard of a dog SOOO obsessed with it that he'd start pooping, too. That is very strange. Have you asked your vet about it? It does sound like something you need to address one way or the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I haven't spoken to a vet yet. We are still trying to find a good vet. The one that the shelter recommended was garbage. The vet barely looked at the dog...Gave him treats when he jumped on her, and told us, when we asked about his occasional freak out, to give him benedryl!!!

So after that experience, we want to try and choose wisely.
 

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How is it that you got a handle on the dog's behavior on leash? If you were correcting the dog (either physically with leash pops and/or verbally to interrupt) it's possible that you extinguished the behavior on leash, but made it so the dog is more driven to mark off leash while it can. It's also possible that any increased attention and anxiety the dog gets from you when doing these behaviors is reinforcing it. If the dog doesn't get out to the dog park much, yet another possibility is that he is just very excited. All of our dogs spend a significant amount of time marking in off leash areas, and sometimes they will get the runs from their excitement. Have you tried rewarding the dog with his favorite treats and toys and praise for any attention he gives to you, and also by allowing him to sniff and mark when released? Often dogs who are ENCOURAGED to "go sniff" on cue as a reward stop finding the behavior so great afterall. Until he gets to that point, you might try some Bach's Rescue Remedy while he's out and about. Of course it goes without saying that ruling out true Obessive Compulsive Order and any other potential health problems with your veterinarian should be done before all else.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When we first got him he would try to stop and pee on everything while on leash too. We used a jerk on the leash and a cue word to let him know it was unwanted behavior.

We would also make stops and tell him "at ease", for me usually once a walk.

We try not to let him sniff on walks, b/c he starts to pull when he does.

We have a decent size fenced in backyard, and when he goes to the bathroom out there, he pees numerous times. Maybe we need have him spend more time in the backyard being used to being off leash in a familiar environment, which is hard for all of us right now with the weather.

At the park, when he came to us he was rewarded.
 
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