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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, I'm new here and haven't joined any discussions yet. Hope it's OK for me to start with a couple of questions.

My husband and I got a new rescue dog a week ago. He's a 2 year old hound mix and up until today has been a pretty well behaved guy. We didn't really have to do any potty training. I guess he had been an inside dog before and he just never pottied in the house. He has never asked to go out or indicated in any way that he needs to go out I just take him out fairly frequently (every 3 hours except for a longer gap at night) and all has been well.

For some reason that changed today. He has peed in the house twice. The incidents were fairly close together, within 2 hours of each other. I'm not sure why he's doing this. I took him out after each incident and he has had a bowel movement each of those 2 times as well even though he had already done that earlier today. So 3 times in one day which is not his norm. I'm almost inclined to just assume that he's having some some kind of stomach upset and just chalk it up to that, but something else changed today as well. I got him a new no-pull harness today. He really doesn't like it at all. It seemed to make him a little miffed to be honest. He was very subdued when we returned from the first walk with the harness.

Is it possible that he's really upset about the harness and is acting out by peeing in the house or am I reading too much into this?

Also, any suggestions for how to proceed if the behavior continues tomorrow would be very much appreciated.
 

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Hi. Welcome to the forum.

For the peeing in the house - I'd recommend taking him to the vet for a check up. It could be that he has a bladder/urinary tract infection.

As for the harness, how did you introduce it? If you just flung it on him and expected him to be fine with it, that's where you're go in wrong. Is he used to harnesses in general? If so, it could be that style of harness.

Either way, he's not acting up or "taking revenge" for the harness by peeing in the house. Dogs just don't think like that.
 

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I agree with LMH - Dog's don't 'take revenge' in that manner & if there has been a sudden change in his bathroom habits as well as his 'demeanor' a vet check is definitely in order.

As far as the harness goes - what type of 'no pull' harness is it? Some work by making it uncomfortable for the dog when he pulls, and if he's not comfortable on his walk, perhaps he's not fully relieving himself when you're out? Even if it's not designed to be aversive in general, since you've noticed that he doesn't like it, you need to take several steps back & reintroduce it so he forms positive connections with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi. Welcome to the forum.

For the peeing in the house - I'd recommend taking him to the vet for a check up. It could be that he has a bladder/urinary tract infection.

As for the harness, how did you introduce it? If you just flung it on him and expected him to be fine with it, that's where you're go in wrong. Is he used to harnesses in general? If so, it could be that style of harness.

Either way, he's not acting up or "taking revenge" for the harness by peeing in the house. Dogs just don't think like that.
T
Hi. Welcome to the forum.

For the peeing in the house - I'd recommend taking him to the vet for a check up. It could be that he has a bladder/urinary tract infection.

As for the harness, how did you introduce it? If you just flung it on him and expected him to be fine with it, that's where you're go in wrong. Is he used to harnesses in general? If so, it could be that style of harness.

Either way, he's not acting up or "taking revenge" for the harness by peeing in the house. Dogs just don't think like that.
Thanks for your thoughts. I suspect that he has allergies so I already had a vet visit scheduled for Monday. I will talk with the vet about this as well.

I didn't think he was revenge peeing, just worried that the harness was so uncomfortable that he had decided he'd rather not go for a walk. I still feel that might be the case, but I'm going to stop using it for the time being while I try to sort this our. He hasn't had another accident inside today, but he did have another bowel movement this morning, so, 4 in about 24 hours. That doesn't seem right to me, but again we'll talk to the vet about it.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this. I do appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree with LMH - Dog's don't 'take revenge' in that manner & if there has been a sudden change in his bathroom habits as well as his 'demeanor' a vet check is definitely in order.

As far as the harness goes - what type of 'no pull' harness is it? Some work by making it uncomfortable for the dog when he pulls, and if he's not comfortable on his walk, perhaps he's not fully relieving himself when you're out? Even if it's not designed to be aversive in general, since you've noticed that he doesn't like it, you need to take several steps back & reintroduce it so he forms positive connections with it.
It's a Freedom no-pull harness. I suspect that you might be right about his discomfort, so I will stop using it at least for now. Vet visit Monday.

Do you have any recommendations for a harness that will give me a little more control during out walks? He's good for the most part, but gets very excited when he sees other dogs. Treats are not an adequate distraction when he wants to say hello to another dog and I need to be able to redirect him somehow, but I feel terrible now thinking that I might have harmed him.
 

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It's a Freedom no-pull harness. I suspect that you might be right about his discomfort, so I will stop using it at least for now. Vet visit Monday.

Do you have any recommendations for a harness that will give me a little more control during out walks? He's good for the most part, but gets very excited when he sees other dogs. Treats are not an adequate distraction when he wants to say hello to another dog and I need to be able to redirect him somehow, but I feel terrible now thinking that I might have harmed him.
Freedom is a good harness, and the front clip attachment point should give you some additional control during walks. If he's acting 'shut down' when you use it, then I'd recommend just letting him get used to wearing it indoors, or outside in a low distraction area (yard perhaps?) with lots of treats given for interacting with you - even looking in your direction is treat-worthy at this point.
When you're out on a walk, try very hard to maintain a distance from other dogs that allows you to redirect him (using very high-value treats at this point) and regain his focus on you. If he won't take high value treats this tells you that you're too close to the distraction (other dog) and you need to increase distance. I like to train a cue of "Let's GO!" Which is my dogs' cue that we're doing an abrupt change of direction (they need to catch up to me for an awesome treat)
If the vet appointment gives you an 'all clear', then it's an emotional (rather than physical) issue & you might need to explore a few more force-free training options with him. Hounds can be VERY sensitive (in spite of their general 'exuberance for life' attitude)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Freedom is a good harness, and the front clip attachment point should give you some additional control during walks. If he's acting 'shut down' when you use it, then I'd recommend just letting him get used to wearing it indoors, or outside in a low distraction area (yard perhaps?) with lots of treats given for interacting with you - even looking in your direction is treat-worthy at this point.
When you're out on a walk, try very hard to maintain a distance from other dogs that allows you to redirect him (using very high-value treats at this point) and regain his focus on you. If he won't take high value treats this tells you that you're too close to the distraction (other dog) and you need to increase distance. I like to train a cue of "Let's GO!" Which is my dogs' cue that we're doing an abrupt change of direction (they need to catch up to me for an awesome treat)
If the vet appointment gives you an 'all clear', then it's an emotional (rather than physical) issue & you might need to explore a few more force-free training options with him. Hounds can be VERY sensitive (in spite of their general 'exuberance for life' attitude)
These are things I've been trying to do. Lots of treats and at this point just working on getting him to focus on me when there's another dog around. There has been progress, but he does this weird thing where he swings his back end around if I'm trying to turn him and bumps into my lower legs, seemingly trying to get me to move in the direction I'm trying to get him away from. It's hard to explain, but he's a big boy and his strategy is effective. The harness did give me more control, but ever since I used it he's been acting just as you say, "shut down". He's mostly recovered from that today, but then again I haven't used his harness today.

It's kind of strange. He's so compliant in every other aspect of his behavior. Just really a great, happy, respectful dog. It's just this one thing for some reason that he's determined to do his way, and he's definitely sensitive, no question.

Thanks for your comments. Maybe I'm just expecting too much progress too soon. I've only had him for a week. We will keep working on it, and if the vet says there are no problems I guess I'll give the harness another run and see if I get the same reaction.
 

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These are things I've been trying to do. Lots of treats and at this point just working on getting him to focus on me when there's another dog around. There has been progress, but he does this weird thing where he swings his back end around if I'm trying to turn him and bumps into my lower legs, seemingly trying to get me to move in the direction I'm trying to get him away from. It's hard to explain, but he's a big boy and his strategy is effective. The harness did give me more control, but ever since I used it he's been acting just as you say, "shut down". He's mostly recovered from that today, but then again I haven't used his harness today.

It's kind of strange. He's so compliant in every other aspect of his behavior. Just really a great, happy, respectful dog. It's just this one thing for some reason that he's determined to do his way, and he's definitely sensitive, no question.

Thanks for your comments. Maybe I'm just expecting too much progress too soon. I've only had him for a week. We will keep working on it, and if the vet says there are no problems I guess I'll give the harness another run and see if I get the same reaction.
A week is very early on! He's still figuring out pretty much everything in his new world. He might not have gotten many (or any!) leash walks in his previous home, so not just getting to run around & 'do his own thing' when outdoors could be a completely new experience. Super high-value treats (chopped up steak, hot dogs or chicken - something really good!) every time he sees another dog will help him learn that this is the time to focus on you, rather than going to "say Hi".
If he is dog friendly, though, you might want to think about finding an outlet for him. Perhaps if you know other people with friendly young dogs you could arrange to meet up for a play date? Actual dog parks are a mixed bag (some good, others very much not so good) so utilize those with a lot of caution.
He sounds like a really nice pup! Congrats on the addition to your family.
 

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A week is very early on! He's still figuring out pretty much everything in his new world. He might not have gotten many (or any!) leash walks in his previous home, so not just getting to run around & 'do his own thing' when outdoors could be a completely new experience. Super high-value treats (chopped up steak, hot dogs or chicken - something really good!) every time he sees another dog will help him learn that this is the time to focus on you, rather than going to "say Hi".
If he is dog friendly, though, you might want to think about finding an outlet for him. Perhaps if you know other people with friendly young dogs you could arrange to meet up for a play date? Actual dog parks are a mixed bag (some good, others very much not so good) so utilize those with a lot of caution.
He sounds like a really nice pup! Congrats on the addition to your family.
Thank you so much for your help! I'm trying, but I'm just finding that I'm not very good at this. He's so smart and sometimes we take two steps back when I realize I've inadvertantly trained him to do something I didn't intend to, sigh, but that's my fault not his. I think (hope) we'll get there.

And yes, he needs to be able to socialize. My nerves can't handle a dog park, so I'm going to give him a couple of days a week in doggy daycare if he's suited to it. Just trying to decide whether it's too soon or not.
 

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I think I'd wait a bit before looking into any doggy daycare. Give him at least a few weeks to settle into your household routine & to decompress from the shelter & transition.

You might also want to look into finding a good local trainer. They might not be doing in-person classes right now due to Covid, but having a professional to call on & consult with who can meet with you in person can be very valuable. S/he can also help you with activities that will increase your bond & ability to communicate with your pup. (and give you tips on gaining leash walking skills) Just make absolutely certain that whoever you choose, they use only modern, science-based positive reinforcement training and are not "balanced" or otherwise utilizing punishment/correction based methods or equipment (any mention of 'Alpha', 'Pack Leader' or 'Respect' -- run far away, fast!)

Also, as a hound mix, you might want to think of ways to incorporate nose work into your life & routine. There are classes you can take, but even if you just Google "nosework games for dogs" you will find tons of ideas & activities you can play at home with him.
 

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Just dump the harness. Put a collar on the dog and your job is to not pull back when he pulls. Yes. It is a lot of work. There is this thing in dogs called Oppositional Reflex. Tension on leash or collar creates pull in the opposite direction. I see it in on leash tracking. I see it in people walking their dogs. I see it in reactive dogs. As the dog walks ahead and pulls, the owner pulls back and the dog pulls harder.. and speeds up.. and the owner tries to hold the dog back even more firmly and the dog pulls even harder and goes even faster... and that is the cycle of leash walking and oppositional reflex.

You can be far more clear in your leash communication and in your control with a collar instead of a harness. I get push back here about that from the Harness fans, but if you really want to train a dog, dump the harness. Once he understands how to politely walk on a leash it won't matter what you use (even a harness).

You have had him a week. About now is when he will start to change or revert in his behavior to what he is. This dog may not even really be house broken. You don't know the details of his past. i suggest a crate, starting him like a puppy and making sure peeing and defecating outside is well rewarded.
 

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Just dump the harness. Put a collar on the dog and your job is to not pull back when he pulls. Yes. It is a lot of work. There is this thing in dogs called Oppositional Reflex. Tension on leash or collar creates pull in the opposite direction. I see it in on leash tracking. I see it in people walking their dogs. I see it in reactive dogs. As the dog walks ahead and pulls, the owner pulls back and the dog pulls harder.. and speeds up.. and the owner tries to hold the dog back even more firmly and the dog pulls even harder and goes even faster... and that is the cycle of leash walking and oppositional reflex.

You can be far more clear in your leash communication and in your control with a collar instead of a harness. I get push back here about that from the Harness fans, but if you really want to train a dog, dump the harness. Once he understands how to politely walk on a leash it won't matter what you use (even a harness).

You have had him a week. About now is when he will start to change or revert in his behavior to what he is. This dog may not even really be house broken. You don't know the details of his past. i suggest a crate, starting him like a puppy and making sure peeing and defecating outside is well rewarded.
Thanks for your advice. Under normal circumstances he actually doesn't pull very often. He's aware of the leash and for the most part is fairly well able to match my pace and keep the leash loose. He's a good dog. It's just that when he sees another dog he looses his cool. We had a pretty amazing breakthrough today though. We saw another dog and I was actually able to get him to sit, accept a treat and a few pets and then he walked away from the other dog with me. He did this twice today. It was amazing. We saw a third dog and by then he was just too excited he wouldn't calm down for me at that point, but I feel like two times was great. He enjoys his walks so I'm kind of trying to use that as a reward for him. If he sees another dog and keeps his cool, the walk continues. If he flips out we turn around and go home and try again later. He seems to be catching on.

As for the house training, I believe he is potty trained. I don't think that was related to the harness. Turns out my husband was feeding him extra, secret sympathy meals because he thinks the dog is too skinny. I was already giving the dog extra food to account for a bit of weight gain, but as it was he was getting a lot of food, way too much. I've changed that and also gotten him a better quality kibble and we'll go from there. I think he was just getting so excited he wasn't emptying his bladder or pooping enough to account for all that he was eating. We're making more frequent trips outside where we just stand in the yard in one spot until he does his thing, and this seems to be helping. I also wait for him to pee at the beginning of the walk before we proceed. There haven't been any more accidents. I'm just taking it one day at a time at this point, and making sure he gets plenty of opportunities to do the right thing so I can reward him for that. I think we're getting there.
 

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I think I'd wait a bit before looking into any doggy daycare. Give him at least a few weeks to settle into your household routine & to decompress from the shelter & transition.

You might also want to look into finding a good local trainer. They might not be doing in-person classes right now due to Covid, but having a professional to call on & consult with who can meet with you in person can be very valuable. S/he can also help you with activities that will increase your bond & ability to communicate with your pup. (and give you tips on gaining leash walking skills) Just make absolutely certain that whoever you choose, they use only modern, science-based positive reinforcement training and are not "balanced" or otherwise utilizing punishment/correction based methods or equipment (any mention of 'Alpha', 'Pack Leader' or 'Respect' -- run far away, fast!)

Also, as a hound mix, you might want to think of ways to incorporate nose work into your life & routine. There are classes you can take, but even if you just Google "nosework games for dogs" you will find tons of ideas & activities you can play at home with him.
Thank you I am considering a professional. It couldn't hurt. We had a pretty big breakthrough with the leash training today. I described it above in a post to another forum user, so I wont go into that again, but I was very pleased with the way he behaved and have a lot more confidence now that I'm getting through to him. I honestly didn't expect him to be able to calm himself as much as he did any time soon or maybe ever. He also got a clean bill of health today at the vet as well, so great day!

Also, you're not kidding about the nose work. I've never seen anything like he. He definitely needs an outlet there as well. He gets a little bonkers with scenting things at times.
 

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Congratulations! It sounds like you're making amazing progress in the short time you've had him. He sounds like a very sweet dog.

If it seems like he's too excited or too close to the other dog to be able to calmly sit & relax, you can always do a 'treat on the fly' - Instead of stopping, just turn him around so you're moving away from the other dog & feed him treats as you increase the distance.

Well done! Give yourself a treat too. :)
 
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