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Rescued a male 1.5 year old cocker spaniel with some issues.

He is really underweight.
Has separation anxiety (he was abandoned with no food in a rental house till someone found him weeks later)
The lady that took him in 'stored' him in an outside kennel with other dogs till somone got him (us).
Seems to be crate trained (at least does not go in crate so far).

He has had 2 accidents in the house so far over a few days. One was right after I sprayed him down for fleas (he hates the stuff and tried to rub it off on the carpet then peed)

And just now - he walked right up to my wife in the kitchen - hiked his leg - and peed on her.

I know that is probably a dominance thing. She was shocked - and didn't react - I swiftly leash corrected him and marched him outside and put him in the back yard for a while - and scolded him verbally just after he did it.

Suggestions on that? I googled it - and that seems pretty bad behavior for a dog - which I agree upon. We've been trying to do everything right - and we have treated him at the vet, are feeding him right, are walking him, taking him out, etc.

This is our first dog.

Thanks for suggestions
 

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The lifting leg and marking is NOT a dominance thing. It is simple marking behavior common to male dogs.

It sounds to me like you have a dog that needs to be housebroken. You can use the crate to do this. Put you dog on a feeding and inside/outside schedule. Feed him and then 1/2 hour to an hour later, take him out. He may both poop and pee. When he does this outside, praise him and give him treats. I always say the words when my dog does either (eventually the dog will do what you say which can be handy).

When he is inside, tether him to you (so you can watch him like a hawk). If he starts sniffing like dogs do to mark, interrupt him and take him outside. When he pees outside, praise him. If he pees inside, and you see it, interrupt him and get him out.. and praise him as he finishes up. If you find pee or poop in the house and you do not catch the dog in the act, clean up the mess and then clean the floor with an enzyme cleaner such as Nature's Miracle so that he won't be attracted to using that spot again.

If you cannot watch him, crate him. If you want to get him to like the crate, throw treats in there (with the door open) and let him go in and get the treat and come back out. If you cannot watch him (go out or into another room where the dog is nto allowed, crate him. Never let him out of the crate if he is crying or barking. Only let him out when he is calm and quiet for at least 3 seconds. This teaches him that silence will give him what he wants.

NEVER scold him or hit him for going to the bathroom. ALL this does is teach him it is "dangerous" to go to the bathroom in your presence. Dogs that learn this will go continue to go to the bathroom in the house, just not when you are where you can see them. You don't want that... you want to convey to him it is a good thing to go to the bathroom outside.

Since this is your first dog I recommned a book, "The Complete Idiots Guide to Positive Dog Training" by Pamela Dennision. I also recommned another book that will give you some insight as to why dogs do what they do.. "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell.
 
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