View Full Version : OT- an odd dog question for those of you with dogs
07-14-2003, 07:21 AM
This is really perplexing me, and I wonder if some of you who have dogs might have some insight. Last night, our two-year old terrier wet our bedroom. Yes, the whole room. He wet the floor, our bed, and even us. He has NEVER had an accident in the house, and can hold it for hours on long car trips. My first thought was of a physical problem, but he is his usual happy self - has a cold nose and wagging tail, is eating well, playing, etc. Then, it occured to me that DD slept back in our room for the first time in several weeks last night. She has been in her room in the crib, but we have company, so moved her in with us for the night. About an hour after we put her in the pack-n-play, the "great flood" happened. Do you think this could be an example of territory marking by the dog? He marks every mailbox on our walks, and he is not incredibly fond of the baby. I know that cats will spray when angry, but have any of you had experience with a dog doing something like this? Thanks for any help you can offer!
Edited to add that both of our dogs sleep in dog beds on our bedroom floor. They slept with us until we found out we were expecting a baby last summer, and then we transitioned them to the floor. Once in a blue moon, we let them sleep with us, but they are usually in their beds.
07-14-2003, 07:59 AM
Wow! I feel for you. It definitely sounds like territory marking to me. Is he a possessive/dominant type of dog?
I would talk to your vet and see if he/she has any ideas (some have a lot of good info on animal behavior and some are pretty worthless in that area). And moving forward, you may want to try and have your DD sleep in your room periodically to ensure that your dogs "know" that that is her space too.
And get your carpets professionally cleaned. We bought a house once that a dog had previously had an accidient in, and our dog kept "marking" a spot until we got the carpet cleaned AND lifted the padding and cleaned the subfloor with a bleach solution so get rid of the remaining odor.
07-14-2003, 08:13 AM
Don't rule out a physical problem - bladder infections can show few symptoms (except accidents), and your vet can test for this pretty easily.
But if he doesn't have a bladder infection, it sounds like a territory issue. Is he neutered? If not, run, don't walk, to the vet to have his neutered.
Also, ask your vet about this new product (I don't remember the name but could find out) that you plug into an outlet. It releases calming "stuff" that is supposed to help dogs with lots of different problems. Perhaps it would help your terrier get over his issue with the baby - or at least give you time to retrain him (talk to a professional trainer) without dealing with nightly floods.
It is frustrating, isn't it??
07-14-2003, 11:17 AM
He really has not been a dominant dog, and actually is the submissive one among our two (other one is a mini dachshund). The only posessiveness I've seen is with rawhide bones. Because of that, we've stopped giving them rawhides. It must be territory marking, but it's just SO ODD!
We won't be able to clean the carpet for a few weeks, but I went out and bought Febreeze this morning.
Thanks for your advice!
07-14-2003, 11:20 AM
Yes, he is neutered, and has been since he was six months old. I think we will try to be more conscious about giving him (both dogs, actually) more attention. We have continued to play with them and walk them, but not as regularly as usual. He has a lot of energy, so he may be frustrated.
I will call the vet and see if he has any advice.
Yes, it is very frustrating to wake up as you are tinkled on! Waking up to a crying baby is one thing, but dog TT????
07-14-2003, 11:37 AM
I feel for you! I may just be that, a territory thing (I hope). We id have a female dog that was very house broken & all of a sudden started to urinate inside. She had a bladder infection & later learned she had diabetes too. It wouldn't hurt to have the Vet take a sample or check things out.
EDD - 7/26
07-14-2003, 11:40 AM
That was my gut too...atleast to "rule it out"...
My cat recently pee'd on the bed out of nowhere, and we change T there so I wonder if his pee might have been present in some capacity. But none act dominent so I don't know...
Keep us posted!!!
07-14-2003, 12:30 PM
well, the way you describe it, it really does sound like a marking thing!
OTOH, sudden indoor messing by a house-trained pet is a strong sign of illness. i had a foster dog who peed everywhere and i was cross with him b/c i thought it was marking. i was his 3rd home in a short period, he was blind, and i had 3 dogs of my own, so it really didn't surprise me, but still, all the cleaning & enzyming was killing me. one morning, after i watched him let go a voluminous pee outside, we came in and he immediately let go another flood in the living room before i even got the leash off, i knew something was wrong even though he seemed perfectly well & happy with a wagging tail & cold nose. turns out, he was diabetic and his blood sugar was over the max reading on the glucometer! it is definitely worth a trip to the vet to rule it out. my beloved samoyed also twice had a bad bladder infection though she seemed otherwise perfectly well. it made her pee like crazy, but she tried to hide it b/c she knew not to urinate in the house, hence there were some 'surprises' places other than next to the door.
febreze will mask the odor for you but he will still be able to find his spots and may keep going there. it is worth buying some enzymatic cleaner at the pet store to tide you over until you can have the room professionally cleaned. many swear by nature's miracle, but IMO it has too much alcohol. i usually get nilodor powder and mix it as needed. my recent fave is BioKleen Bac Out which you can get at a Whole Foods or other natural foods grocer. it did a miracle, and i mean miracle, on doggie vomit in my car upholstery that we hadn't noticed until it got hot. i couldn't even drive without all the windows open, and i poured some on in the parking lot. in less than 5 minutes, the smell was gone. also good for diapers!
terriers do need a lot of stimulation. the best brain-stimulating dog toys i've found are the Kongs & the Goodie Ships. you could also try the treat cube & a latticework rubber "ball". each of these is $8-$10 well spent! you stuff them with treats and leave them around the house. the dog will work on them throughout the day-- they have to figure out how to get the yummies out. they are all available at petco, but www.petedge.com is my favorite place for pet supplies -- wholesale prices so your $$$ go a LOT further.
you mentioned that he is "not incredibly fond of the baby". have you done/are you doing any conditioning with him so he will associate baby with good things? such as copious verbal praise if he goes near her, yummy treats for being tolerant, etc? if not, it's worth asking your vet for a behaviorist (not trainer) referral so you aren't faced with escalating problems and a terrible choice to make later. 'baby' is one of the top 3 reasons a dog ends up needing a new home (moving & divorce are the other two). now is a good time to start... particularly since you have small dogs, when baby starts crawling & toddling, they may feel threatened as a large, unstable baby approaches. babies can be relentless trying to get to the doggie, and little dogs get super stressed if they can't escape. i've had way too many 'i just dont' understand, my sweet dog suddenly snapped at the baby!' conversations. it just doesn't occur to many parents that from the dog's perspective, the baby is the equivalent of godzilla!
hope this helps! let us know what you find out from the vet!
feel free to email me if you want to talk dog some more.
07-14-2003, 01:28 PM
Sounds like jealousy to me! I tried one of those plug-ins from the vet and we didn't notice any difference at all in Gordon's (our hound dog) behavior. We got it for his barking and occasional movement of our items (didn't destroy, just moved a sock or something else small to another room in the house)when he was bored. It could be a fluke and your doggie won't do it again but you should start to condition the dog to "love" your little one. We do this by lots of talking and saying what a good boy Gordon is with Ryan. We also bring Ryan over to him a few times a day and let Gordon smell him and when I am in bed nursing we let Gordon come up too. He will lie down at the foot of the bed and doesn't think anything of it someone else invading his space. I am sure if I forbade him from coming up on the bed we would have some serious jealousy problems but so far after 5 weeks we have not had one incident. When we notice that we are doting over Ryan in bed we make sure to just say what a good boy Gordon is. Gordon sleeps in a chair in our room and he just stares up at us all the time and doesn't seem bothered as long as we pay attention to him verbally. Of course we are careful and don't leave the two of them together without one of us being there but I have run to the bathroom or to get laundry and Gordon is just lying there and seems non threatened.
Best of luck with all of this. I could imagine how stressful it is. We worried about this for months before Ryan was born since Gordon had never been around babies before and does display slight jealousy at times if he is not getting enough attention. We are dilligent every day with Gordon and the attention we give him since he is part of our family!
07-14-2003, 02:56 PM
Just talked to the vet, and he said to watch the dog and see whether he appears to be straining or in pain while urinating. If so, or if we have a repeat of last night, he suggested bringing in a urine sample for testing. Don't you know that will be fun to collect!
We have been doing lots of positive reinforcement with him when he sniffs the baby, sits near her, etc., so I think he is making progress. I'll let you know what happens . . .
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