- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


My dog is marking all over my house!

September 16th, 2008, 08:48 AM
Hi everyone,
I've been having a problem with my dog, Guinness. He's 7 years old, neutered (was at 6 months) and in good health. He was housetrained when a puppy and never marked in the house until recently - when my son started potty training, and our newborn daughter showed up. We caught him marking in the house twice, so he stopped, but then started marking at night when we couldn't catch him (he's clever).
Here are some important details:
- We're obviously a busier family than we were when we got him, so, yes, he isn't getting as much attention as he used to, though we're doing our best.
- We can't crate train him. We tried but he broke out of several crates and is extremely anxious in the crate - he definitely doesn't see it as a den.
- He's always been an anxious dog - has always separation anxiety issues, though his destructive behaviour was curbed back when we got our second dog, Gryphon (female lab/border collie, 6 years old)
So, can anyone offer any suggestions? If you have ANY ideas I'd be thrilled!

the gang
September 16th, 2008, 02:41 PM
a belly band, and maby a little one to play with brenda.

September 17th, 2008, 08:19 AM
a belly band, and maby a little one to play with brenda.
Thanks Brenda. But a belly band means MORE "diapers" to wash. :D

September 17th, 2008, 08:23 AM
You are not going to like this but if you tether him to you this will help. I find that this usually 're-trains' dogs and it will allow you to correct him immediately. He gets it - he is just going through a rebellious stage due to a possible change in your home.

Also, ensure that he does not have a medical problem such as a urinary infection - this could be possible as well.

Does he drink more water than usual? Has he lost weight? How is his appetite?

September 17th, 2008, 09:01 AM
His health's okay. We took him to the vet in the summer. The nighttime marking had been going on for about a week when we took him and they checked him for any urinary infections.
His eating and drinking is the same. Weight's fine (he's a biggie - about 110 pounds).
Thing is, he only marks at night or when we're not around. I'll go out shopping for an hour, let him out before I go, and will still find a little pee somewhere in the house. Since we caught him doing it in the day and reprimanded him each time (NO!! Outside Guinness) he won't do it when we can see him.
So would the tethering help in this case? (I'd try it, though, if you think it might help.)

September 17th, 2008, 09:04 AM
They call it umbilical cord training. This is effective, however if he is doing it only when you are not around, obviously this will not work. I would absolutely do this even at night. I do this with fosters that I get that are not house trained. Though I am almost perpelled into the wall when they get up - it does work. I tell them lie down and they usually go back to sleep.

I do not want to get personal, however can you specify the resent changes...anything no matter how small. Also, does he go often to the same spot?

September 17th, 2008, 09:35 AM
He does go in the same spots - he has about a half-dozen of them in the various parts of the house that he's allowed in (the "public" areas - bedrooms are off-limits).

Two big changes in our house that I'm sure triggered it all were the birth of our daughter several months ago, which was coinciding with my 3-year-old son learning potty training. My son had "accidents" in the house during this time and Guinn would pee near the same spots (on our family room rug, by the dining room table), but he's also picked out a few spots on his own (e.g., on our upright vacuum cleaner, and in the back of the kitchen).

I'm a work at home mom, and have been working at home since we got Guinness, so he's used to me being at home with him. As I mentioned in an earlier post, he had a lot of separation anxiety and used to be very destructive whenever he was alone, but improved once we got our second dog (a female named Gryphon).

It may help to add that Guinness is a very smart dog (I know... all owners think their dog is smart). He's a German shepherd/Collie cross. He's got a vocabulary of probably 80 words - commands like sit, down, etc., but he also knows the words we use when anyone in the house is going out (go, going, out, deck) and he gets up and starts following us around whenever we use them.

I'm really at my wits end about him. He's kind of like my "special kid" because he ended up being bigger than we expected (he's 28 inches at the withers!), had separation anxiety and destructive issues, and has strong guarding instincts (look out anyone who comes to our door). My husband and I actually wonder if Guinn hadn't come into our lives, how many people would have given him up to the humane society and how many times he might have been rehomed.

I know he's missing the attention that he used to get. But I've got a young daughter, a 3-year-old son, another dog, my husband works 60 hours a week, I'm back working part-time, up at night with the baby ...

Anyway, I think that covers a lot.

Thanks for your help so far and I'm looking forward to your reply.

September 17th, 2008, 10:01 AM
You certainly have your hands full! Infact, many would have given up. Hats off to you for sticking through thick and thin....I wish others would take your lead.

Ok lots of changes. Can I suggest putting away the vaccum cleaner #1.

Whenever I deal with dogs that mark the same territory - I shift furnature around that blocks the 'spots'. Wherever he is marking - try to remove it.

There is hope. This is a temporary set back and everything will resume back into routine...once routine is established once again with everything that is going on with your 'new' life. The dog sounds smart so this is his way of saying that he is a little bit upset about the change in his routine.

While you are home, do tether him to you. It is a pain in the *** but you will be able to control his 'habit'.

Just to put you a little at ease, I am fostering a 9 year old 'puppy mill' female that obviously knows nothing about the do's and don'ts of a home environment. I have had her for 3 weeks - and we still have a long way to go, but it is moving forward.

I totally get your frustration, but please do try moving things around if possible. Do it one thing/area at a time - I think you will see a difference.

Please let me know.

Also, there is a member here that is fantatistic called Bendyfoot - try to reach this person with some suggestions.

September 17th, 2008, 10:10 AM
Thanks very much for your suggestions, Benmax. Is there a good book/website where I can learn more about tethering? Or is it as simple as: get a 6-foot lead, attach one end to human waist, other end to dog collar?;)

September 17th, 2008, 10:24 AM
I use (believe it or not) a horse lunge. You can however get a very long thin leash and tie it to your waist. Wherever you go, the dog goes. If he wonders to leave your side, you will obviously feel the tug. You are able to monitor him this way. If you catch him in the act, you take him IMMEDIATELY outside and praise him for 'pee outside' or whatever else....(use the words that you normally use).

Good luck - I know this is a pain, but it works...really it does.

September 21st, 2008, 10:27 PM
I know you are a busy mom but if you can fit in two walks a day at the same time every day I bet that will help. Dogs need consistency and exercise which I am sure your schedule has sure changed with a new baby and toddler ripping around! I bet it will help him greatly.

September 22nd, 2008, 11:22 AM
I notice you mention the separation anxiety a lot. Something I did, that worked for my dog, was to stuff a Kong and give it to him just before I left. I also have one of those balls that treats fall out when they roll it around.
He loves it when I'm getting ready to go out!
I don't use the Kong much anymore, but just hide a treat in the kitchen for him to look for.

September 24th, 2008, 07:46 PM
I agree with the tether option...basically, back to step 1.
I think that would be the most effective way, as you will be able to correct him immediately every time you see that leg coming up :eek:
Regarding when you go out...can you gate him somewhere?