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Myka June 15th, 2010 11:32 PM

Bathing, barking & urine burn on lawn questions
Hey all, nowadays Peewee the Terrorist (5 yo Chihuahua) hangs out with me. I'm a truck driver, so he is my co-pilot. He is quite good at this having been used to it long ago. He isn't very well house trained, and he did have one accident peeing in the truck (I could have thrown him to the coyotes!), but has generally been pretty good. I do have a few questions for you guys that maybe you can help me out with.

For those who don't know, or don't remember Peewee is my SO's dog, but has been primarily raised by SO's mother who has a tendency to believe small dogs don't need training. Lucky for me (har har), I get to look after Peewee these days. Peewee was a spoiled little pain in the butt 8 months ago, and he has made a lot of progress since he has been living with me, but he is still a Terrorist. His biggest trouble is that he is very high strung, and has been allowed to be that way for his whole life. Since I have been working with him he is much calmer, and relaxes much more. He is a lot happier, and so am I.

We live in a camp setting where there are 3 of us sharing the same common area. We all get up, and go to work at different times. If I am awake, and Peewee is out in the common area with me, and someone comes in the door (from their shift or whatever) Peewee will bark many many times, and take a bit of time before he will calm down and stop barking. He will alarm bark like this for anyone (including me). Peewee is like this at home too, and even though his "usual daily barking' has really lessened he always alarm barks when someone comes to the door. This can't happen because people are usually sleeping. I have just been leaving Peewee in my room in his kennel until I am ready to go, and he will stay quiet most of the time. Sometimes he will hear something and start barking. How can I stop him from barking so he can hang out in the common area while people sleep? On weekends when we are all in the common area or maybe I am just here with him alone he will spend most of the day alert and quietly "woofing" like he is on guard. I have tried distracting him away by making him do something else like come and sit. I have tried quickly, calmly, quietly muzzling him right away until he stops barking, then tell him he is good. I have also tried a bark collar he has that emits some sound humans can't hear, and P could care less about that. None of these tactics are working for him. I have been trying for 3 weeks now, and I have made zero progress. Is there any way to teach a dog not to alarm bark when they have done so for 5 years of their life? Especially one that is high strung and particularly yappy??? :frustrated:

Where we work it is very, very dusty, and Peewee gets dusty and dried out from hanging out on/in the dust too. I know it is not good to bath dogs very often, and I don't even like to shampoo my hair too often either or it will dry out, but I have to get this dust out or my hair will get even drier. Rinsing doesn't seem to do the trick. I'm thinking it would feel nice for Peewee to get bathed once a week or so to get the dust out. Is this possible? I have Earth Bath Mango Tango shampoo for Peewee, would that be gentle enough? Or I was thinking of trying Johnson & Johnson Baby (human) Shampoo? Peewee does get Salmon Oil everyday, and eats Orijen and Tripett so his skin and coat are in good condition now, but I notice he is licking his front legs a lot lately. The girl at the dog health food store said she wouldn't recommend bathing him that often, but I could try, and just keep an eye on his skin to make sure I am helping instead of hindering. What do you all think?

One last thing (not related to Peewee), I have been told that female dog urine burns the grass, where male dog urine doesn't. Is that a load of BS? I have seen daily dietary "supplements" that use methionine which claim to stop lawn burning. Do they work? Are they healthy and safe to use?

Sorry for the book! I figured I would get it all out. LOL! Thanks for any help!

Tundra_Queen June 16th, 2010 02:48 AM

Female dogs usually burn the lawn cause they squat so they are closer to it. Put some horticultural limestone on any burn spots and that will fix it raises the ph level. I have used it for years and it works.

sorry i can't help ya with the other stuff though.

aslan June 16th, 2010 06:05 AM

myka,,yes you can bath weekly(not highly recommended) but if the need is there,,first if you're going to use a human grace shampoo,,ie..johnsons and johnsons,,mix it 1 part shampoo to 5 parts water, even baby shampoo is rough on a dogs skin..if you're concerned with drying the skin,,use a little conditioner after the initial bath,,,let it soak a few minutes, then rinse. Just a word of caution,,when needing info on a topic for your dog ask a person in that field..a dog groomer isn't going to know alot about spay and neuter surgery and a person working in a pet supply store isn't going to know squat about grooming. Safer and easier to ask the right person for your needs.

Yes a females urine will burn the grass,,as TQ said part of it is how close they are to the ground,,,also a females urine is a little more acidic than a males.

I'm not sure you want to totally stop Peewee from barking as he could forwarn you of an intruder..if i'm understanding what your saying,,you use your hand to muzzle him then tell him he's good? So basically your praising him for the initial bark? You need to distract him right away,,get his attention,,,give a firm NO,,don't praise him unless he's calm and quiet. If worse comes to worse you can use a citronella collar but i personally don't like them,,it would be like being sprayed in the face everytime you tried to speak.

Myka June 16th, 2010 04:50 PM

Ok, thank you both for your answers on the lawn question! :)

Aslan, I do have the Earth Bath shampoo which is an "totally natural" dog shampoo from the doggie health store. I was thinking the Johnson & Johnson would be more gentle than the Earth Bath...maybe not? [url][/url]

That is not the technique I am using with Peewee for his barking. He has a dog muzzle. When he barks I put the muzzle on until he is quiet and calm which takes about 5-10 minutes, then I take it off. I did that for a week with no verbal commands. The last week or 10 days I have tried doing this with verbal commands "quiet", then muzzle, wait until he's quiet and calm, then "good boy", then remove muzzle. The muzzling isn't working.

Also, no I don't want him to bark at an intruder. That is what the alarm system is for. :) My dog (now deceased) that I had from a young puppy was trained not to bark for the most part. She would only bark if you told her to, or sometimes if she saw a dog out the window, but it was always just one big BWOOF!

Peewee requires a lot of training...he is frustrating to work with because he is so high strung, nervous, timid, scared, confused, etc. He has really come a long way in 8 months, but he is SOOOOOO slow to figure things out. One of his biggest issues is that he is not overly personable, and he has no food motivation. I really haven't figured out how to motivate him. He is so self-indulged and worried about the world he couldn't give two bits about someone trying to teach him anything. A "firm NO" doesn't do anything for him, it won't even interrupt his gaze.

Right now he is laying on the floor with his muzzle on, and has been barking for about 5 minutes because someone (who he knows) came in the door. I can't distract him. Food doesn't work, telling him to sit doesn't work, trying to get him to chase his ball doesn't work. It's really quite pathetic because he seems to think that his legs don't work when his muzzle is on. If life were always predictable, and no one ever came in on him, he always went in on others, then he would be a happy dog. He is happier than a pig in poo riding along in the truck. For the most part he has quit barking when people come up to the door of the truck.

I don't know... *sigh*

Myka July 6th, 2010 11:03 PM

I have not made any more progress with Peewee's barking in the camp house. He will hear people in the yard or in their rooms or half the time he is halucinating I think, and he is woofing, and alert barking. He is driving me nuts. Is there any way to stop this?

luckypenny July 6th, 2010 11:23 PM

What do you do now Myka, when he barks?

Our youngest dog can be quite the alert barker (I swear, she hears a mouse in a field 2 miles away :rolleyes:). I let her bark 3 or 4 times and then say "quiet" (without yelling) and she immediately stops and re-directs. This is pretty much what we've done with her with much success...


Maybe it can work for you and Peewee too :fingerscr.

Myka July 7th, 2010 06:27 PM

Thanks for the link, I would like to try that out, it makes sense, but it won't work in my situation away from home. I don't have time for it. I work (with Peewee with me) 15 hours on, 8 hours off, 15 hours on, 8 hours off, etc. 5 days a week, then I travel 500 kms home for the weekend.

I have been ignoring his woofs, which seem to help because I think they are "look at me" woofs. His alert barking I gave up, and have just been holding his mouth shut since nothing has worked so far, and he [I]can't[/I] be barking or he will get kicked out of camp. He is on an umbilical leash at all times or I can't catch him to shut him up.

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