Lately our dog, which travels in the bed of our pickup (tied), has started to pee while traveling. We stop often for him but he still uses the back of the truck as his area. We have traveled with him for several years and he has never done this before. He is a 6 year old beagle/shepherd mix. We love him but can not travel like this. Any suggestions?
By Czub from Pittsburgh, PA
He's an older guy- a lot of times there could be an underlying medical condition that causes a behavioral change like this--he could have something as simple as a urinary infection ( or a weak bladder--at his age, he's a Senior Citizen in doggie years now).
It could also be something more than those--really would have him looked at.
I agree...get him to the vet for a check-up. Also, with him being tied to the truck, I hate to think what would happen to him if you were in an accident.
6 years isn't that old at all but travelling in the back of a truck is not good even if he is tied. My dogs are all well above the age of 10 and we run...not walk but run for at least - you guessed it - an hour a day or longer.
Being part beagle, they should be small enough to fit just fine in the cab where it's safe. Vacuuming is a small but necessary part of responsible dog care. Having the dog ride responsibly in the cab might just fix your problem altogether.
However, the peeing sounds more like a separation anxiety problem than any kind of toilet training problem.
Long walks will do far more than frequent quick stops to help drain the dog. Quick pee breaks do NOT prompt the dog to pee much because there aren't all the comfortable sights,sounds and smells of long relaxed jogs.
Mix that in with very, very short desensitizing walks to the truck, tying up in the truckbed and letting him back out in a min or two, etc. Extend that after numerous repititions and start going for very short drives with treats such as a small hamburger at a stop for good behaviour.
It takes a lot of time and patience but you have to be willing to do the repetitions and make no big deal of good behaviour or of the setup/leaving in the truck. The idea is to get the dog to think of the truck as another boring part of the day.
You really, really should care enough about the dog to try keeping the dog safely in the cab with you. People who drive with animals in the truckbed (even if they're tied) really don't see the animals bounce about as they're driving because you're paying attention to the road. If you refuse to do that; please at the least get the dog a windproof, solid and secured structure they can retreat into when riding in the truckbed.
The dog could have had one or two bad frights back there which you aren't even aware of because you were watching the road.
Definitely have him checked for a UTI by your vet. It could also be his way of telling you that he no longer likes traveling this way. You sound like you love your dog, but this is a very dangerous way for him to travel. I once watched as a dog (untethered) came flying out of the back of a truck into oncoming traffic (Fortunately, everyone was able to slam on their brakes and avoid hitting the dog.) as the owner turned a curve. Although the dog appeared uninjured, can you imagine how tramatic this was for him. If he had been tethered, his neck would probably been broken. If your dog can't ride in the cab of the truck, please put him in a crate that has been secured to the bed of the truck.
Sometimes they are scared too. I agree of taking dog to vet to see if uninary infection. Movement can cause this too. Good luck and keep us posted.
Is it possible to put him in a kennel/crate when you drive? At least he might feel a little more secure and not pee. Maybe he's just feeling a little stressed from traveling in the open pickup bed. Good luck!
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