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Trying to Get my Dog to Pee

March 9th, 2011, 11:06 PM
My dog won't pee, and it's driving me nuts. :wall:

I know exactly what the problem is -- he and I moved recently, and for the first time in some time, he's in a home without other dogs to emulate. He's still not used to the area, so I think he gets confused as to what's "outside" where it's okay to pee. And it's not a bladder problem -- after a while, if he hasn't gone, he'll relax and start peeing where he's lying. He ruined a mattress that way the other night.

I'm trying my best not to get frustrated. He's a rescue (black lab/greyhound), so he's extremely timid, and I don't want to make him think I'm angry at something he's doing. I haven't had him very long, but he trusts me. And while we were back at our last home, I could trust him to sit at the back door and whine to let me know he needed to go, or wake me with a lick and a whine. But now, even if sometimes he whines at the back door and lets me know he needs to go outside, he won't find a place to pee and he'll come back holding it.

I've been trying to praise him like crazy -- not with lots of excitement but with lots of "good boys" and treats and telling him he did good at going pee -- when he goes, and he's finally taken to pooping on walks, but peeing is a different matter altogether (he steadfastly refuses to pee on a leash). He hasn't peed since early this morning, dribbling a little while he pooped, and he hasn't truly gone since last night. We've been on walks twice, and I just took him outside and spent more than half an hour just walking around. I've tried taking him to places he's gone before -- I even deliberately left a little piece of stool so he could smell it and know where it's okay to go. I've taken him to grassier areas, like where he used to go outside at the old house, but to no avail. I've run laps with him, trying to shake it out, but when I stop, he immediately sits and waits for whatever I want him to do next. I tell him "go pee," but he hasn't actually done it enough for me to tell him when he's done good at it.

I want to praise him for peeing so he can get used to the command, but, more importantly, I want to keep him from leaking on the floor or bed. And I have no idea how to make it happen.

Any advice?

March 9th, 2011, 11:30 PM
I would stay out with him until he pees. It will be time consuming at first, but if you stay out until he goes you'll be able to catch the behaviour you want and reward it. Also, I would have him examined by a vet, because not urinating or difficulty urinating can be a sign of infection. So even though he is going sometimes (ie. when he "relaxes") I would have him checked out just in case. Urinary tract infections can have some weird symptoms sometimes.

Also, "holding it" can cause urinary tract infections, as well as increasing the incidence of kidney stones, because there is urine sitting stagnant in the bladder. From holding it he could also be not eliminating fully (more stagnant urine and again increased risk of kidney stones).

Good luck!

March 9th, 2011, 11:34 PM
I appreciate the help... the only problem is that, after a while, he literally stops doing anything. He'll sit at my feet, and if I move, he'll follow me like a shadow and then sit there. I can't encourage about-to-pee behavior when he never starts, no matter how long we stay outside.

March 10th, 2011, 08:34 AM
I've had difficulty with dogs on a leash before. Try walking around public places with posts and hydro poles. It will definately encourage him/her to pee. I am very suspicious of a bladder infection though, holding it is a sign, it probably hurts to pee. I would be checking that out with a vet.

March 10th, 2011, 11:22 AM
There's plenty of poles and places to mark around here... he's simply not interested. However, I am taking advantage of some other quirks I've noticed -- he was eager to go two nights ago when I took him out and the sprinklers were on. I'm not sure if the ground being wet seemed to make a difference, or if it was just the sound of the water, but last night, I took him out after the sprinklers, and it worked like a charm.

March 10th, 2011, 01:18 PM
Does his pee smell bad? Is it oddly coloured? Cloudy? I would at the very least catch some in a margarine container or a pyrex dish and look at his urine to make sure it's clear light yellow, not cloudy, not funny smelling.

March 10th, 2011, 10:27 PM
I've been checking. It's clear, normal colored, and smells just as it has the entire time I've had him.

March 12th, 2011, 05:42 PM
If you can collect his pee from inside the house with a paper towel and place it in the designated area where you want him to urinate outside he might catch on. Good luck.

March 13th, 2011, 06:43 PM
I have no idea if this will help but with horses you shake straw under their bellies and whistle. I think it is supposed to sound like their own pee hitting the straw and encourage them to go. I have seen it work on a horse who would not pee in the barn. Anything is worth a try.

March 15th, 2011, 01:18 AM
Well, we've been doing better the last few days.

In my effort to recognize some of his quirks, like the aforementioned sprinkler thing, I've been trying to just stick to a schedule of taking him outside and encouraging him to pee. To a point, it's been working like a charm. He's even decided to pee while on a leash, which made walking today much more productive.

The only problem now is that he's peeing again, he's falling off his house-training. Unfortunately, he starts dribbling whenever he sees my roommate and then just empties his bladder. Now, thankfully, I've figured out the way to shoo him outside that gets him to stop, so I can tell him "No" and "Outside" all the way to the door without a trail, then I can take him out to finish after and praise him for going outside.

But now we're locked in a vicious cycle -- he knows that most of the house is the roommate's territory, and he's scared of getting caught doing something bad whenever the roommate comes home. But because he gets scared and pees, he inevitably IS caught doing something bad, and no matter how gentle I try to be about getting after him, it's self-perpetuating. Thankfully, thanks to me mastering the "Stop peeing until we get outside" move, he's not emptying his bladder, which is a step in the right direction. And I think for a while, I'm going to try to have him outside when the roommate gets home, so if he pees it's no problem and he's a good boy. It's just incredibly frustrating.

March 15th, 2011, 01:49 AM
So, yeah, we're headed in the right direction, but as of right now, I'm going through more wet-Swiffers than I can afford, and it'd be nice to have a conversation with my roommate that doesn't involve me cleaning up pee. Any advice on the new form of the problem would be much appreciated.

March 15th, 2011, 01:56 AM
What started this submission urinating when he sees your roomie? Can your roommate do some trust building work with him? Can you take him out to empty his bladder before your roommate comes home?

Maybe you need to go back to the basics with your dog. Do you have a crate? Start house/crate training all over again, and work on the trust with your roommate. This has obviously become a pretty stressful situation for your dog. I'm not sure what else to suggest except not to scold him-this could be contributing to him getting more and more stressed?

Good luck. Hopefully others will have some suggestions. I would really consider a vet visit and maybe some work with a trainer as well.

March 15th, 2011, 02:08 AM
I have no idea what started it... when we moved in, he liked my roommate a lot, and we just met our second roommate, whom the dog LOVES. In the meantime, I have been trying to take him outside before people get home, but my roommate works odd hours and is a little unpredictable.

I am trying to re-crate-train him. He's a typical-rescue bundle-of-nerves, and the fact that I've had him a month and moved him across the country in the middle of it hasn't helped, I'm sure.

March 15th, 2011, 03:39 AM
Yeah if you only had him a month before the big move he would have been just starting to settle in and then his whole world changed again. Do lots of confidence building with him, including just working on basic commands again. If you spend some time doing the things he knows that will help him. What is your schedule like? Is it conducive to putting him on a schedule for a while (ie. walks, trips to the park, whatever all happen at the same time each day?) Having him on a schedule and able to anticipate what comes next might help? Also, is he getting enough exercise? That could be contributing to his anxiety. I think there are also Bach flower remedies that are for continence and stuff.

March 15th, 2011, 06:08 AM
would it be possible for your roommate to carry a treat in his/her pocket and each time they see the dog or come home from work , treat the dog (no talk or touching) and then just walk on by as if he/she didn't see the dog?

March 15th, 2011, 07:37 AM
You have Vetted him, right? To rule out a medical problem? Certainly there have been stranger co-incidences. He might have a UTI. Plus, it's not as common, but male dogs get neuter incontinence just as girl dogs sometimes get spay incontinence.

March 15th, 2011, 01:17 PM
Yes, there's a vet just down the street that a lady in the complex recommended to get him microchipped, and he's doing fine. As the days go on, I'm sure he's just getting acclimated, and so we're working on the basics of training again, and I'm going to try to make sure that any time he comes in contact with my roommate, it's a neutral-ground thing where nobody gets in trouble. In the meantime, the imposition of a schedule is working wonders on his bladder. And he is getting exercise -- we go on multiple walks a day, we play with his toys, and we're working on playing catch.

Today, actually, has been a great day, in which he's run into my roommate without peeing and emptied his bladder on a walk, so I'm very hopeful that this too shall pass. :thumbs up