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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. So now I am noticing that my pup is a submission pee-er. Because I noticed that the pup was a little bit nervous-ish when I met her, I made sure that we always entered the house calmly and without massive greetings. She does not pee when we greet her, though... although she does tend to display more deferential postures when greeting me (a guy) as opposed to my girlfriend.

She has not had all of her parvo shots, yet, so we are not getting her out and about. When the vet warned of the parvo epidemic here and to not take her out (where other dogs have been) until that last shot, I worried about her socialization.

She appears to love meeting people, though. I took her to a green house / garden center yesterday. She sort of rushed up to a man and did that semi-submissive curling near his feet... when he leaned over to pet her... she flips to her back a sprinkles a bit. She did that when another man bent over to pet her the day before, too. (this is why I decided to take her out to the garden center)

Unfortunately, most of the people who greet a puppy insist on squealing and get exceedingly dramatic. Although I try, I can't stop everyone.

When greeting me, it looks like appropriate puppy behavior. Nothing unusual.

So, with my intial philosophy of doing everything low-key: entering the house calmly... doing my own thing well before greeting her... my greeting is barely a greeting at all. This is going well. She doesn't get terribly excited. She is happy, but not barking to get out of the crate. In fact, she will sometimes do a little happy dance and then lay back down in her crate before I greet her.

However, if she gets to know me and my girlfriend as calm people, I might be setting her up to be more anxious around enthusiastic people.

Also, it is interesting that even after 8 hours in the crate (in the morning and after work), she doesn't sprinkle when I greet her. Her bladder, I assume, is fairly full at these times... so she is able to contain the pee even under those moments.

I don't know. She doesn't seem frightened of people. She rushes toward strangers (unfortunately) with tail wagging.

I would declare that it is excitement pee, but the manner in which she flips to her back before sprinkling looks like a submission display.... surely, it is partially combined with excitement, too.

Hopefully, this is part of her puppy era and won't last into her adulthood. We live in an area of very little human traffic, so I'll need to get her out there.

I haven't seen her pee when greeted by a female, but she's only been greeted by our female vet and one lady at the green house.

praying that this is just a puppy phase! (but will try to get her more exposed to safe, calm men)
 

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Maybe she'll grow out of it. My first dog only did that with my dad and my brother. He's a mini dachshund, and my dad and brother are pretty big, tall guys. He still does that with my dad, even though Harper is 3. But, he LOVES my dad, so I'm pretty sure it's excitement. He has to follow my dad and sit on his lap, and doesn't let him out of his sight when we visit my folks. :)

I would say to continue being calm in your home. When you meet people out of the home, you are still remaining calm, so your puppy will have that influence, at least. Don't let her run up to people in general, though. Keep her on a leash (actually, if there's a parvo epidemic, you probably are carrying her anyway, right?
Anyway, don't let her run up to random people to meet them. YOU can set the tone by having her "sit" before she's allowed to meet people. If she flops on her stomach, try removing her from the situation a bit, and then asking her to sit again. I know the point is to get her socialized and meeting people, but it kind of defeats the purpose if she is flopping on her back and peeing every time she meets a guy. Try to set the tone by asking her to sit, and keeping your voice and demeanor calm. Maybe the people she meets will follow your lead.
 

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The peeing may just be a puppy thing, as it's kind of related to bladder control. Running up to people is the part I'd worry about, since that's what leads to the peeing or other not so cute behaviors associated with excitement.

As I see it, this is the protocol to follow, and it's the same protocol as any kind of reactivity/excitement behavior

1) Avoid putting yourself in a situation where strange people may elicit the behaviors you don't want.
2) Work on it with known people first to get the dog up to speed.
3) Have a cop-out if people are making things spiral out of control. Usually I say, "Sorry, he's in training" and people immediately back up and give us space. It's polite yet direct enough to be effective.

Also, you can teach an alternate behavior that is incompatible with rushing up to strange people.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks folks.

Part of the reason that I have asked people to "be boring" originally was because I could see that she was a HIGH drive dog to rush up to new, novel faces.

Of course, we rarely see people where we are... so it's difficult to arrange a barrage of human contact.

Regardless, I would need to have an excellent, competing reinforcer for her to not-run-up-to-strangers.

At this stage in the game, I do not have that measure of stimulus control over her "sit" or "stay". With her current enthusiasm for novel faces, I would count myself as a the supreme trainer if I were able to get a "sit" under such extreme distraction. (just kidding... well, kinda)

With a puppy, I am seeing that it is damn near impossible to get people to NOT squeal enthusiastically as they reach to touch the dog.

For the urination, I would not think that the happy contact would be such a problem if she were fully immersed in such greetings daily.... but the contrast between my low key philosophy with her and the sudden squealing enthusiasm from others is just so darn great.
 

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That's the challenge with certain kinds of behavior mod, getting enough reps in. If we could all make people and dogs appear and disappear our job would be so much easier, but simply getting a session set up is a lot of work. Unfortunately there is no substitute for repetitions if we're to get good at something.

Training in real-life at real-time is just about impossible. You can do it using choke chains or prong collars, but at that point you're more so controlling than you are teaching and the long term effectiveness is questionable. If you and dog are clicker savvy, you may be able to make progress in real-life training situations, but it's a bit of a risk if something happens too fast for you to handle cause then you'll be back at square one. Early on I used dogs behind fences and invisible fences to work on dog reactivity as I was able to control that situation. I p!ssed off one cranky old guy who came out yelling at me. Screw him, I did it again and again anyways. It was a public sidewalk. The guy clearly found yelling at people reinforcing.
 

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Thanks folks.

Part of the reason that I have asked people to "be boring" originally was because I could see that she was a HIGH drive dog to rush up to new, novel faces.

Of course, we rarely see people where we are... so it's difficult to arrange a barrage of human contact.

Regardless, I would need to have an excellent, competing reinforcer for her to not-run-up-to-strangers.

At this stage in the game, I do not have that measure of stimulus control over her "sit" or "stay". With her current enthusiasm for novel faces, I would count myself as a the supreme trainer if I were able to get a "sit" under such extreme distraction. (just kidding... well, kinda)

With a puppy, I am seeing that it is damn near impossible to get people to NOT squeal enthusiastically as they reach to touch the dog.

For the urination, I would not think that the happy contact would be such a problem if she were fully immersed in such greetings daily.... but the contrast between my low key philosophy with her and the sudden squealing enthusiasm from others is just so darn great.
If you have her on a leash, it should be very easy to stop her from running up to strangers. If you don't have her on a leash, she should be carried (at her age, and with limited recall at this point). Plus, if you are concerned about parvo, and her shots, she shouldn't be down on the ground where other dogs or animals have have been anyways.

If she was on the leash, you could just shorten the leash so that she had to stay right by you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Doxie... I just replied to you, but I don't see my reply here...so I'll try again.

At the moment, I have these ideas on the leash:
I do not have complete control of her yet. I do not want her to become "neck tough", so I don't want to give her any practice pulling hard on the end of a leash. I'd rather not use the leash to restrain her if she is bizerk for the distraction in front of us.

Therefore, I have three choices when there is a powerful distraction ahead of us:
1) I can snatch her up into my arms. Not a bad idea...but not without problems (don't want her to start predicting my snatch and evading me)
2) Seeing the distraction before she does, I can get her attention, reward, and then send her toward the distraction (another reward)
3) gee... I can't remember now:redface:

She doesn't get her last Parvo shot (among others) until the 26th of this month. It drives me crazy losing all of this precious socialization time during the best time of her life for this.

In the mean time, I have this idea. Tell me what you folks think:

Put her in a cart at home depot, Lowes or some such place where men are. Bring a bunch of tiny hotdog and cheese bits with me. Roll her to areas where stinky, worker men hang out.... if any man volunteers to greet her, I'll ask that they give her a treat if she is upright and reasonably calm (not squirreling over on her back).

I figure being in the cart, she is less likely to do the roll over... she is not so low on the ground and not being towered over by men as they lean over to touch her.

What do you think?
 

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Absolutely you can put her in the cart. I have seen and heard of many who do that. In fact, at the Home Depot or Lowes or similar place, she is probably safest in the cart, as they (depending on your location) do allow dogs. So, if you are worried about parvo, letting her down on the ground isn't the safest bet.

And, similarly, having her unleashed is against the law in many states, even in stores. I would be worried about her getting free from your sight, someone gets in your way, and she takes off, and then it's a scramble to find her. Not to mention that not everyone loves dogs, and I can imagine that some shoppers don't take kindly to a puppy wandering without a leash, especially if they are afraid of dogs.

Leashes are not that bad. And, I have never heard the term "neck tough" on Dog Forum in my years being a member. I understand what you mean by it, but, to me, keeping your dog safe, and keeping people safe far, far outweighs the fact that she may become accustomed to pulling on the leash.

In any event, there are ways to teach puppies/dogs NOT to pull, in fact, there are several stickies on loose leash walking and "being a tree."

So, my personal opinion is, taking a puppy to a store should be done in a cart or on a leash. Teaching her not to pull on the leash can be done in conjuction with this.
For instance, if she pulls, she just never is allowed to get closer to the trigger, or "distraction". In fact, you can absolutely turn and go the other way for a few steps until she stops pulling and can sit calmly. THEN, you can try again, getting a bit closer. Or, when she pulls, you step in between her and the distraction, and get her focused.

In any case, that's what a leash is for, right? To keep your dog restricted from running/roaming free.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for that.

Actually, I'm fairly pleased with her progress around the house. I have a big property and we can go for a heck of a walk without ever leaving home. While there, I do all my "be a tree" type stuff and turning the other way.

I guess I'm self conscious about engaging in overt dog training in shopping areas... it's tough to manage the variables.

For instance, if I "be a tree"... but the other person approaches the dog anyway, then I've got a dog thrashing at the end of the leash AND getting rewarded for it. And I'm not about to say, "stay away stranger! I'm training a dog over here!".

I wouldn't let a dog roam free, necessarily, but if I see the dog's target... I may send the dog toward the target (who is only 10' away).... and then easily re-obtain control of the leash which is now dragging on the ground. That's the plan anyway. The dog would get to greet the target and then, once the romance is over, I pick the dog up and think of some other strategy. I wouldn't allow the dog to just fool around all over the place.
 

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Thanks for that.

Actually, I'm fairly pleased with her progress around the house. I have a big property and we can go for a heck of a walk without ever leaving home. While there, I do all my "be a tree" type stuff and turning the other way.

I guess I'm self conscious about engaging in overt dog training in shopping areas... it's tough to manage the variables.

For instance, if I "be a tree"... but the other person approaches the dog anyway, then I've got a dog thrashing at the end of the leash AND getting rewarded for it. And I'm not about to say, "stay away stranger! I'm training a dog over here!".

Actually, lots of folks DO say something, like "we're training, if you'd like to help us, you can give her a treat IF she sits calmly" or even just "oh, I'm sorry, but we're training her to be calm, please don't come too close". I mean, she is your dog.

Dragging the leash is a good idea. Just be aware that, as you say, the variables aren't always in your control when you are out and about, so there is always something that can ruin the best plan! :) Like another dog in the same vicinity, or someone that scares her and she takes off, etc. But, dragging the leash will give you a bit of time to jump in and grab it! :)



I wouldn't let a dog roam free, necessarily, but if I see the dog's target... I may send the dog toward the target (who is only 10' away).... and then easily re-obtain control of the leash which is now dragging on the ground. That's the plan anyway. The dog would get to greet the target and then, once the romance is over, I pick the dog up and think of some other strategy. I wouldn't allow the dog to just fool around all over the place.
Responses in bold......
 

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Discussion Starter #11
She is 17 weeks old today... that's still a pup: 4 months ... but not having a terrific amount of success on the "sprinkling" when introduced to new people. Today, I was holding her in my arms (to help matters) as I entered a store, but this bearded man could not restrain himself from giving her a squealing, thrill greeting... and the dog piddled about a tablespoon on my shirt. (it was a stained garden work shirt anyway.)

I was surprised that she would do it with me holding her... granted, she was absolutely wriggling with electricity as he greeted her... but I was expecting that my hold ...and the fact that she pee'd just 10 minutes earlier in the yard, was going to eliminate her need to piddle at that point.

There are probably some contexts that make it more likely...and a stacking combination of these make it very likely:
A) if it is a man
B) if she is just being released from her crate and immediately sees the new person (so she is pent up with excitement)
C) if the new person is very animated upon first greeting her

Good lord, I hope this is a temporary puppy thing. Granted, nothing sends her through the roof more than a new face. For instance, I probably couldn't make her pee no matter how thrilling I tried to make things on my own. Well, possibly if I were gone for a loooong time and immediately charged up on her with squeals when I returned.

What has me worried is that I would say that she has pretty good bladder control. I can be gone for 6 hours, come back to let her out... and she will actually wonder around a sniff for a few minutes before peeing. So, clearly, she isn't busting at the seams even after 6 hours.
Most importantly, it indicates that she does not have notable bladder control issues across all contexts.

Shucks. This is one of those training issues that aren't easy to reinforce or punish directly. For emotional "problems" like this, those techniques aren't quite appropriate.

Reinforcement would be delightful, but this is a problem of finding a reinforcer that competes against the squealing person wanting to greet her.

Most people wouldn't want to take the time to wait her out. For instance, I could use the "new face" as the ultimate reinforcer for calmly approaching, but it would take a lot waiting for the correct behavior (initially) in order to get that "new face" reinforcer.

My thinking at this point, is to improve her "stay" under less powerful, reinforcer/distracters. That won't be too hard, but I am certain that a "new face" is 1,000X more powerful than any distractor we could use for practice....generalization, then, will be weak.

This summer, we will be visiting family... not looking forward to the embarrassment of having her piddle when petted. If the house is full of people coming and going, perhaps she will be numbed to the "new face" issue in that context.

At 17 weeks, not sure what to expect from the pup anyway.

Under close supervision, we have had 3 peeing-in-the-house accidents and 1 excitement piddling (much less pee) in the house.
 

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I think that your "slacker training" method may need a ramp up that includes self control and impulse control training outside in distracting environments. Although it's best for training to be application specific, an overall improvement in self control can have a rough general purpose benefit. You can practice stuff everyday like loose leash walking, teaching dog to look at you before he gets to do something, whatever you might like. As your pup gets less cute, don't forget the line "Sorry sir/ma'am, we're in training right now".
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"less cute"... sounds like you've been there.

And actually, as puppies goes, this one is not all that darn cute! It would be better for me to go to Lowes/HomeDepot when they are mobbed with people rather just a few people with tons of time to greet dogs.

Oh, I am guessing that there is another formulation that makes "squirting" more probable:
When going from a context in which almost no one is present to a situation in which a new face is present. So, when going down a few isles in which we see no one and then.... we make a turn and someone is there, she becomes particularly thrilled.

But if we are cruising by a just a couple of people and we see a new one, the thrill is not nearly as great.

I say this because it may have something to do with the contrasts between relative isolation and the appearance of a new face. So, it's not just about desensitizing her to new faces, because there's this contrast thing that has to be considered. It's not just the new face.

So, if I were in Grand Central Station, this dog would be chill in just a minute or two. This isn't the problem. My guess is that this is an important part of the issue with many dogs.

The best thing to do, I think would be to repeatedly expose her to this contrast with a great reinforce or alternative behavior to establish. I'd think that this would be nearly impossible without great effort.

I'll have to do something that is second best, then... as you say... to get a rough, general benefit.
 

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Actually, the lack of control during submissing peeing or excited peeing isn't the same as potty training control. Does that make sense? In potty training, you are trying to teach her to "hold" it, and pee in the right spot. BUT, with submissive or excited peeing, it's different. When she does an excited pee, it's not because she couldn't hold it in the normal sense, but something outside of her control affected her ability.

Here's a human example: a teen or adult is, barring any health conditions, "potty trained", right? They can be trusted to hold it. BUT, if something scares them badly, I mean really badly, they can lose control, even though they have awesome control in normal situations. Also, women who've had children often experience "leaks" due to the effects childbirth can have on their bladders. It doesn't mean these people aren't "potty trained", sometimes situations outside their control affect their normal abilities.

So, building up control isn't really what you're looking for. HOWEVER, building up tolerance for new and excited situations or people, now that seems to be more what you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh I hear you.

I describe this dogs very respectable ability to "hold it" just to ensure that the reader understands that this dog isn't the type that can barely contain her water.

If she were the type that had to be let out every three hours, I would be less anxious. In such a case, I would think, "oh, she has poor control anyway and just a bit of happy-happy makes her trickle. I get that.".

However, because she has pretty darn good bladder control (can go all night), I am focusing on a potential problem that may follow her into adult years....if it is, indeed, purely a hyper-sensitivity to the new-person greeting. Lord knows, I've entered plenty of homes and provoked a puddle of wee wee in greeting someone else's dog. I just don't want the same problem.

I'm assuming that puppy-excitement-piddling is due to the combination of two things: 1) deficits that are always associated with all puppies ability to manage their bladder, and 2) too thrilled when meeting new faces.

That may be exactly what it is. Perhaps I'm giving her too much credit on her bladder control.
 

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"less cute"... sounds like you've been there.
Well sort of. My dog was about 1 when we got him but he remains as cute as he was before, maybe even more so now since he was a sickly piece of mess at first.


So, if I were in Grand Central Station, this dog would be chill in just a minute or two. This isn't the problem. My guess is that this is an important part of the issue with many dogs.

The best thing to do, I think would be to repeatedly expose her to this contrast with a great reinforce or alternative behavior to establish. I'd think that this would be nearly impossible without great effort.
Yeah, this is right. In the beginning we lived in an apartment in downtown and in order to get outside to pee, we'd usually always have to cross paths with a ton of people. In the beginning he would rush up and jump on anyone. Overtime, and with a lot of impulse control training, he became desensitized, or simply bored, of people and so walking down the street with plenty of people was never a big deal anymore. These days, now that we've moved to a more suburban area, if we are on a secluded road and there is one lone person, he will just stare. I think it's two things, 1) we haven't done as much walking around that many people these days, and 2) one lone person on a quiet road is a different situation than a lot of people in a crowded environment.

In conclusion, I think repeated under-threshold exposure to all scenarios is the best way to maintain a calm demeanor in those situations. That's the best, since then we don't have to use treats to create and maintain an artificial behavior. The dog is never a nuisance because he feels no need to react. As it is realistically, for those of us who don't have the resources to do this kind of extensive socialization, we need to find another way, and that's what we all know as "training". Some people get lucky and have a dog who naturally reacts in a harmonious way to all new situations. Some of us are not so lucky, but hey, those people aren't as sharp at training as those of us who actually work at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Half jokingly, I have this thought to ugly her up a bit for our excursions out.

If I could give her the look of having mange or some sort of wet, icky skin condition, perhaps I can cruise her through while nobody gives her a second look.

It would be wonderful if I could get her to a point that she's other people as boring.

It's actually curious: How is it that a young pup can develop such a fascination with the entrance of a "new face"? You'd think she'd be more worried or tentative. I'm wondering if her time in the Humane Society cage developed this glorious love of new people. Perhaps each new face gave her another chance to enjoy some contact in an otherwise lonely condition.
 

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Who knows why. Another idea that I toyed with in the past, was to put one of those training vests on that says something like, "Training, No Petting", but as his LLW got more disciplined and he walked by my side, people stopped rushing up to him anyways.
 
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