June 18th, 2011, 12:03 PM
Hello all.. hoping I can get some good advice or insight from this forum!
I have a small toy poodle that we got out of the shelter about 2 months ago.
She is about 3-4 years old and had not been spayed.
She is now spayed and at first seemed perfectly housebroken.
The problem I believe started when she smelled cat pee in the den and felt like she could pee where the cats had unfortunately peed previously.
Our plan is and was to take up the carpet in that room and put down a wood floor but haven't been able to do it yet. In the mean time I cut the carpet up (leaving the pad and probably the smell) behind.
At first she would pee in the same place when we weren't home. Then I noticed that she would pee in the same general place anytime she hadn't peed enough outside. She sleeps through the night quietly without peeing for as much as 11 hours then we get up and I take her out and watch her pee and then she will come in and pee in that spot when Im not looking. And its obvious she didn't pee enough outside.
I also notice when I take her for her evening walk she wants to pee 100 times (marking I would guess) every time she smells where another dog has gone.
It's obvious to me that she is only peeing a little bit every time I take her outside at home and holding the rest to pee in that spot.
So my question (sorry this is so long) is
1. Do you think she will stop peeing once the carpet and pad have been completely removed from that room and there is no more smell (she has never peed anywhere else in the house). Is she just going to find another spot in the house to pee? (there is no other cat pee anywhere for her to smell).
and 2. Should I be letting her "mark" everyplace while we walk. I usually insist she walk and not stop and smell everything but I want her to empty out. Am I making it worse by letting her pee a little bit all the time and how can I teach her to just pee it all out at once?
I assume if she had been spayed as a puppy this might never have been a problem. She is very submissive and has no dominant behaviors (except this peeing thing). She is gentle and sweet with the kids, ignores the cats and does not bark. Really been the perfect dog until this started.
June 18th, 2011, 10:39 PM
Welcome to the forum, would love to see pics of your girl :)
What are you cleaning the pee spots inside with? In order to completely eliminate the odour you should be using an enzymatic cleaner. The enzymatic cleaner breaks down & removes the odour you can't smell but they can. Don't use anything with an ammonia base as that smells like the base properties in cat urine. You can pick one up such as Nature's Miracle or you can make one yourself using:
1 cup of water + 1/4 cup white vinegar + 1/4 cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol mix together in a clean empty spray bottle, spray the area, blot the area w/paper towel/clean rag, re-spray & let dry.
How much exercise is she getting?
As for the marking on walks, I've always allowed dogs to sniff & mark as they go, it's like reading the mail for them knowing who was there :D
Do you go outside in the yard with her or just send her out on her own?
My last dog was taught a command "go pee" for last trip out before bed/leaving for work etc and so he would pee on command.
When she goes out in the yard to pee try to associate the words with her action, when she looks like she's ready to go give the command "go pee" or whatever words you choose & praise when she does.
June 19th, 2011, 03:59 PM
The problem with the pee in the house is that I have cleaned it over and over and the cat pee smell has never left. I even pulled up the carpet and cleaned it from the other side. (I used the extra strength Natures Miracle for cats).
Since we are going to be replacing that flooring with wood (soon I hope) I have just been cutting up the carpet but I know the plastic backed pad still smells.
Now Sophie will just go the edge of where I cut the carpet up and pee there. Where there was no pee before.
I take her out into the yard when I want her to pee during the day and watch her.
She walks twice a day (just started the morning walks).
Today about an hour ago I figured it must be time to take her out and when I went through the den she had peed already on the edge of the carpet.
My worry is that even when we replace the carpet with wood she will still think it is OK to pee in that part of the house because shes gotten used to it.
Or go find another piece of carpet.
My husband is not happy.
June 20th, 2011, 12:04 PM
My female "kinda dominant" in nature also 'marks' occasionally and will cover the smell of my male's pee with her own. My male is a very laid back 'submissive' guy. Anyway, I also had a cat pee somewhere and BOTH my male and my female thought they should cover it with their scent. In that case I was able to completely get rid of the odour as it was on some blankets. My male did go through a period of marking all over the house and has completely stopped now, so don't lose hope that you can fix this. For the residual scent problem; you will have to pull up that carpet pad as the odour is embedded there and possibly even into the substrate below. You could have that portion of the plywood cut out and replaced (your husband will love that even more). I dont think a 'marking' dog is going to resist the urge to mark over the urination of the cat if it can still be smelled. If you already have that room 'ripped up' you may try temporarily covering the floor (and smell) with a huge (almost room sized) piece of plastic; then you wont be stressed about it while you are trying to correct this behaviour. As far as the 'going pee out of habit' part of the problem; I think you need to catch her in the act then interrupt and expressly disagree with the behavoiur. Good luck I know its difficult.
June 20th, 2011, 10:41 PM
We will be putting a wood floor down in the den so I don't think there will be any odor left at all.
I have caught her twice peeing and yelled NO and she just looked at me and kept peeing. I picked her up and marched her out the door saying NO but I dont think she got it.
I guess the only thing I can do is wait and see once the new floor is down. Taking her for an extended walk in the morning seems to keep her from peeing during the early part of the day.
Thank you everyone for your answers.
June 20th, 2011, 10:53 PM
Have you had a urinalysis done to rule out a UTI, Melora? There might be an underlying physical cause, so taking a urine sample in for analysis would be a good idea.
Before installing the new floor, make sure any layers underneath are ripped out and replaced or fully deodorized, or she may still detect the scent of urine. If you put down a real wood floor, urine may cause black staining that is very difficult to remove--so you'll want to make sure everything is scentfree before laying the floor, clean up any accidents right away and deodorize the area immediately. Being diligent about removing the scent cues will go a long way in helping you eliminate the behavior.
June 21st, 2011, 10:31 AM
If there is odour left in the plywood floor, a dog will probably be able to smell it after you put down new floors. In most hardwood floors there are spaces between the boards. Just to be sure, you could wipe a bit of bleach/water on the plywood before the hardwood goes down.
June 22nd, 2011, 04:24 PM
Down here is So California our floors are cement under the padding. And the pad that is under the carpet is plastic backed so nothing has leaked through that.. thank goodness!
I would probably say it's not a UTI since its only when I haven't taken her out and I dont get to her before she decides its easier to pee than stand at the door.
June 22nd, 2011, 04:49 PM
Is it that she finds it easier to pee than to wait, or is it that she has a sudden urge and can't hold it while she's waiting. The only way to rule out a UTI is with a urinalysis.
Once you've ruled out the UTI or found it and had it treated, you'll still need to do some retraining. She's in the habit of peeing in inappropriate places and if it's to stop after the new floor goes in, she'll need help breaking the habit. If it were me, I'd start now with an enzymatic cleaner everywhere she's gone and everywhere she goes from now on in the house, and immediately start over with her housebreaking. Tethering her to you can be very helpful, because it keeps you right there to see her signals or interrupt her if she tries to eliminate in an inappropriate place--correct her only if you catch her in the act and praise her if she successfully goes outside.
July 1st, 2011, 10:15 PM
She was checked and does not have a UTI.
I have been walking her in the middle of the day and that seems to help (Instead of just taking her out in the yard) but if I dont do that she will simply get up from a nap, walk to the SAME spot and pee.
I notice when she is taken out she wont pee very much and if that's the case, she WILL come in and pee in short order if not watched. If she pees a long time and really empties out she wont pee for another few hours.
I guess I will have to see what happens when the new floor goes in.
July 3rd, 2011, 08:41 AM
A new floor should help a lot.
Most dogs have an instinct to pee on an absorbent surface and/or develop a preference to a specific type of texture based on experience and training.
Change the floor and you will alter her expectation of "appropriate pee surface."
In re-training, make sure you reward her heavily for peeing outside. Dogs get instant gratification from being able to pee inside (obviously, it's easier than having to go out). You are competing with that, so try to make "outdoor peeing" even more awesome.
July 4th, 2011, 10:58 AM
You have ruled out the UTI, so that is good. How much does she drink each day? We brought a 4 year old rescue home (spayed as a pup, BTW) and she had some housetraining issues. She also drank excessively. Her problem ended up being medical. While being kenneled and waiting for adoption, she drank excessively due to stress and flushed the salts from her body. She was always thirst and urinated frequently.
Since this is happening in one room only and you know there is an odor, I also expect it is a marking behavior. Is there anyway to block her from this room? Put up baby gates, close doors, etc. If you can't block access, try the umbilical leash where you keep her leash on her inside and clip the other end to your belt loop. Given her problem, I wouldn't allow her free access in the house at this stage and basically re-start her housetraining. Take her out every two hours or so and don't allow her the chance to have accidents. I bet she will learn quickly. I know you are addressing the carpet change-out. Good luck.