Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > Dog training - dog behavior

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old May 26th, 2010, 12:37 PM
WitsEnd WitsEnd is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2
Please Help Me!

I have a 4 year old female black lab (Molly) that we rescued 2 years ago from a family that had purchased and trained her to use as a bird dog. They got her from a breeder and paid over $500.00 for her. However, she never quite "made the cut" with her skills as a retriever. So the husband abandoned her as a hunting toy and the wife took her over as a pet.

Molly was inside as a puppy, but they said that she defecated in the basement and sometimes peed there as well when they were away overnight. It wasn't a problem for them until they decided to remodel the house. Overnight, Molly went from an inside dog to a completely outside dog (she was about 15 months old at that point as far as I can figure).

Anyway the wife started feeling guilty about leaving her outside all the time (we live in Wisconsin so the winters are pretty bitter), and she started putting out feelers for a new home. That's where we come in...

We decided to give her the benefit of the doubt - that was pretty rude treatment she experienced, after all! We had a typical new dog experience - occassional accidents inside, barking at night, etc. I started her off as though she were a puppy: taking her out to pee every 30 minutes, then every hour, every couple hours, etc. spending one to two weeks at each interval depending on her progress (number of accidents per day). And of course, we always let her out after we fed her. This seemed to be working pretty well, and after about 4 months, she had pretty much stopped having accidents. I work at home, so I was able to be there to let her out whenever she asked - which she started doing at around the 4 month mark.

Then, all of a sudden, she started peeing on the rugs in our living room. We would come downstairs in the morning, and find a huge wet spot - almost always on the same rug. So we removed the offending rug, and she was okay again for another couple weeks, then she moved on to another rug - still in the living room. At this point, we took her to the vet to make sure nothing was wrong with her physically. Nope! Nothing doing on that front.

On the suggestion of the vet and a friend of ours, we tried crate training her. She already had a soft-sided canvas "house" in the living room, which she loved and went in voluntarily, but we got her a standard hard crate, as our friend told us that she would require a hard crate to keep her in if she decided she didn't want to stay there. The first time we put her in the crate (with a treat) she went crazy. She started bashing her head against the door and screaming. We had been warned that some dogs get upset, and to wait it out, but we were afraid she would hurt herself, so we let her out, and she settled down. After that, she refused to go into the crate again, no matter what kind of treat we put in there. So much for that idea.

We went back to Puppy 101, and again, it worked for a while, but the peeing (and occassional pooping) started again. By now, we have been through potty training three times and no longer have any rugs at all in our living room. Until last night, that was the only room she ever peed in. After the third training course, she had been accident free for two months, and we thought, "Well, if all we need to do to solve her incontinence problem is to keep the floor in the living room rug-free, then we can live with that!"

Then last night, right after we gave her dinner, which follows our daily walk, she squatted in the dining room, right in front of my husband, and exactly centered over three oriental rugs, and emptied her bladder, soaking all three. He of course told her that peeing in the house was not okay (in a soft, stern voice - we never yell at her or hit her with a newspaper or anything) and took her outside.

She is one of the sweetest, most loving dogs I've ever met, and we both love her to bits, but we can't keep going through this. I need help! Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated! We don't want to find a new home for her, but we may have to. If she is trying to give us some message, we certainly aren't receiving it! HELP!!!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old May 26th, 2010, 12:44 PM
Love4himies's Avatar
Love4himies Love4himies is offline
Rescue is my fav. breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boating in the 1000 Islands
Posts: 17,754
I don't have any suggestions, but there are some very, very smart doggie people that will be here shortly to help you.
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 26th, 2010, 09:29 PM
cassiek's Avatar
cassiek cassiek is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: High River, AB, Canada
Posts: 622
WitsEnd,

I can't offer any real specific advice, but I can try to help.

Did anything change in your lifestyle or home when she started to urinate in the house inappropriately? Sometimes dogs will start inappropriately eliminating in the house as a way of communicating that they are unhappy with a recent change that has happened in the home. It may not be something major to you - but could be to your gal.

Is she getting lots of exercise? Its not enough to simply let her out often - go out with her and give LOTS of praise (over the top - your neighbours may think you are nuts) whether that is treats, toys, or praise (or all three!) when she urinates outside.

Make sure she is getting lots of physical and mental stimulation. Especially being a high energy breed, she really requires a "job" - a sense of purpose in life. I like stuffing a kong with my dog's breakfast or supper to make them work for their food. Some dogs have the job of walking the kids in the home to the bus in the mornings. There are lots of neat ideas out there for how to fulfill a dog's physical and mental requirements.

I would go back to the crate training again. Obviously you don't want her to hurt herself, but try introducing it slowly. Leave the door to the crate open and once in awhile when you walk by leave a treat or something tasty for her in there she can't resist. Feed her in it. Make it as positive as possible, and never use it as punishment. Start with small intervals in the crate, gradually increasing the time. I know you were concerned with her safety when she was in the crate before, but unfortunately by letting her out you taught her that if she puts up enough of a fit, she gets her way (let out of the crate). Start it off slowly and it will come.

You could also try some umbilical training... tying the dogs leash to your waist while you are at home. This will not give her the opportunity to wander off without supervison and urinate in the house.

You sound like your on the right track. Don't get discouraged! I know it's hard, but unforunately placing her in a new home will not improve the situation. If anything, it will probably make the issue worse.

Let us know how things go!
__________________
My babies: Sassy - Maltese X (9), Furby - Shihtzu X (7), Brynn - Boxer (3), Diesel - Boxer (1)

"Many of the Earth's habitats, animals, plants, insects, and even micro-organisms that we know as rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability, and the responsibility. We must act before it is too late." - Dalai Lama
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old May 26th, 2010, 11:13 PM
hazelrunpack's Avatar
hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
Moderator
Chopper Challenge Champion, Mini KickUps Champion, Bugz Champion, Snakeman Steve Champion, Shape Game Champion, Mumu Champion, Mouse Race Champion
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just east of the Hazelnut Patch, Wisconsin
Posts: 49,723
Have you taken in a urine sample for analysis, WitsEnd? It might be something as simple as a UTI... Whenever there's a major behavioral change, it never hurts to eliminate medical causes first.

Welcome to the board, btw!
__________________
"We are--each of us--dying; it's how we live in the meantime that makes the difference."

"It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!"

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 27th, 2010, 11:03 AM
cassiek's Avatar
cassiek cassiek is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: High River, AB, Canada
Posts: 622
Hazel, mentioned a good point that I forgot, defaintly a second opinion from a vet is a great idea.


I know my gal has a condition called 'spay incontinence'. It occurs when a dog is spayed (usually quite early in life), and because the hormones are no longer there that control the muscles around the bladder, the dog will leak out urine. It sounds as if your pup is urinating quite a large quantity though, and this is typically only a small amount that occurs when the dog is resting, laying down etc. But it really won't hurt to get another opinion and have any medical conditions ruled out first!

Good luck!
__________________
My babies: Sassy - Maltese X (9), Furby - Shihtzu X (7), Brynn - Boxer (3), Diesel - Boxer (1)

"Many of the Earth's habitats, animals, plants, insects, and even micro-organisms that we know as rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability, and the responsibility. We must act before it is too late." - Dalai Lama
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old May 27th, 2010, 11:20 AM
WitsEnd WitsEnd is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2
We did take her to the vet about 6 months ago and had him do a urinalysis. She was clear at that point, but we're more than willing to take her in again if you guys think we should.

I was afraid you might suggest trying the crate training again! We will sure give it a shot, though. You gave some great, solid tips on it, so maybe it will work this time. I'm sure she's forgotten the experience by now since it only happened once a year ago and the crate is now out in the barn. I'll keep you posted on results!

Thank you!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 27th, 2010, 11:38 AM
MyBirdIsEvil's Avatar
MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,720
I'd like to start with this:

Quote:
She started bashing her head against the door and screaming. We had been warned that some dogs get upset, and to wait it out, but we were afraid she would hurt herself, so we let her out, and she settled down. After that, she refused to go into the crate again, no matter what kind of treat we put in there. So much for that idea.
Did you research how to introduce her to the crate? You did it incorrectly and that's your issue here.

You can't just stick the dog in the crate because they're not used to it. You need to slowly introduce it by allowing them to go in on their own and giving treats.
You should make feeding time in the crate (with the door open) so they get used to being in there during feeding time.
Only after the dog is completely comfortable with going in and out of the crate and sleeping in it and eating in it with the door open should you lock them in.
Look at it from her eyes. It was a brand new item and you just put her in there and locked the door. She didn't know what was going on so she freaked out.
And then we get to the next part where you messed up: You let her out because she was throwing a fit.
Well, now she knows she'll get let out if she throws a temper tantrum (it was pretty unlikely she would have become seriously injured). So if you ever do decide to introduce the crate again you're working against that. You should NEVER let the dog out when they throw a tantrum (unless they actually do injure themselves) because they're training you to let them out when they want out. You wait until they've been quiet for at least a minute and then let them out.

Quote:
but we got her a standard hard crate, as our friend told us that she would require a hard crate to keep her in if she decided she didn't want to stay there.
You don't know that because you didn't try the soft sided one first. If she was already comfortable with it she may not have tried to get out. It really depends on the dog. I do know people that use soft sided crates with no issues. So if she's already comfortable with that you may want to try it.
She is less likely to soil the crate she's already comfortable with also because it's sort of a den to her. Dogs don't like to soil their sleeping area.

Quote:
Then, all of a sudden, she started peeing on the rugs in our living room. We would come downstairs in the morning, and find a huge wet spot - almost always on the same rug. So we removed the offending rug, and she was okay again for another couple weeks, then she moved on to another rug - still in the living room.
I do have to ask if she's fixed. It is a possibility that she's marking and it is more common in unspayed females, though it does happen with spayed females also.
Spay incontinence, as cassiek mentioned, is not that uncommon also.

I also would like to mention that incontinence issues are a fairly common thing in adult female labs. Do you ever notice her pee in her sleep or anything?
The urinalysis may not have picked up on the issue she's having. Do you know every single test that the vet did? There are some kidney issues that definitely may not have been picked up by the vets tests.

Quote:
Then last night, right after we gave her dinner, which follows our daily walk, she squatted in the dining room, right in front of my husband, and exactly centered over three oriental rugs, and emptied her bladder, soaking all three. He of course told her that peeing in the house was not okay (in a soft, stern voice - we never yell at her or hit her with a newspaper or anything) and took her outside.
This is not an expected thing for her to do if she's already been through potty training and can hold it. Most dogs after having gone through potty training will at least go toward the door and squat. You mention it was after her eating, so I kind of wonder if the extra stuff in her belly pressing on her bladder caused her not be able to hold it for some reason.

I notice you haven't mentioned her pooping in the house anymore. Usually if it's strictly a potty training issue, as in the dog doesn't understand to go outside, you will have at least some accidents other than just peeing. And she seems to be holding her bowels overnight, no? It's just the bladder issues? So that kind of leads me to believe you're looking at some kind of medical issue here.
Peeing after a long walk and a meal isn't real surprising when incontinence issues arise, because the the long walk can wear the muscles a bit and make it harder for them to hold it...then along with the food in her belly pressing on her bladder...you see what I'm getting at?

I would definitely try some kind of crate training again. Do try the soft sided crate first, she may be just fine with it and not destroy it. If she has trouble with trying to get out, only then would I try to introduce the hard sided crate again.
If she soils her crate then you know you definitely may be looking at a medical issue.

And I would keep nagging the vet about the bladder issues (sometimes it takes a lot of nagging for them to look into doing other tests) and maybe talk about going to a specialist.

Overall it sounds like you've been doing ok as far as training and at 4 she should have caught on and been able to hold it for a long time. That's why I'm thinking she just CAN'T hold it for some reason and the vet needs to figure this out.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 27th, 2010, 11:48 AM
happycats's Avatar
happycats happycats is offline
Senior Contributor
Hexxagon Champion
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ontario
Posts: 4,665
Fisrt off, I just want to thank you and hubby for giving this poor dog a second chance

instead of a crate, Is there a room in your home (that wouldn't get damaged) you could use instead?

And as the others mentioned, maybe she has some sort of bladder control problem, and needs a second opinion at the vet.
__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What is man without beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.

~~Chief Seattle (Duwamish tribe)~~
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 10.00%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:13 AM.