I recently took in an abused female, maybe a Bluetick, who had been running for a week in a high-traffic area with a collar, but no tags. 4 weeks later, after being treated for pneumonia, she had a litter of 7 pups.
I don't know whether Shekinah had ever been an inside dog before (this is a popular area for hunters) and we had just been making strides housebreaking her when the pups and motherhood intervened.
A long intro to my current problem: Shekinah is now peeing on her/our bed (the pups are 9 weeks now and she's separated from them), settling into being an inside dog along with my Blue Heeler. Worse, maybe, she'll do this after having spent a long while outside. Having followed her around sometimes out there, I see that she's ever with her nose to the ground, but I almost never see her peeing.
I still have 6 of the pups and am trying to housebreak them too, but in a sequestered area. I'm losing my bearings, trying to cope with their mom's peeing also. Shekinah's been abused, as said and is easily scared, but trusts me. I try to be gentle with her, but that king-size comforter has been through my laundry 5x in the last week.
Oh, she'll pee in other places inside as well, but I don't understand the "where she sleeps" urination. I also don't understand why she fails to pee outside. I read through all the past postings here about this, but nothing is quite relevant. Please help?
By Nica from Big Bend, WV
Possibly her bladder is weakened and she can't seem to help it or just the overwhelming of motherhood is getting to her. Have you thought of Simple Solutions Washable doggie panties (amazon.com) sells them and they make them for both males/females; just insert half a Kotex pad in before putting on the dog. This helps some, but you will still need to check her often.
If you don't want to buy into this idea, try a boy or man's pair of undies and cut a hole in the backside for her tail. Insert a pad and she's ready to go. Since they come several in a package, you can buy a couple for the price of one Simple Solutions. TIP: Try putting a pair of family member's on her to see if you think it will even work. it'll help guide you toward the right size.
I agree it may be a medical problem that would be easy to fix with just a pill once or twice a week. My dog has had leaky bladder syndrome for 11 years and used to wet on our bed. The pill (DES) took care of it immediately. Maybe having the pups affected her ability to hold urine. Once it is determined that the pills work (if that's the problem) you can get them much cheaper online (such as Drs. Foster & Smith). If it turns out to be a behavior problem, you may have to start over, just like you are doing with the puppies but I'm sure she is worth it. Good luck.
You guys are great! Thanks for the suggestions so far.
Shekinah is a marvel, & I'm so please with the huge strides she's made so far. That she trusted me from the beginning, & is so sweet in general, after what I sense had been a life of neglect & perhaps active abuse for 1-1/2 yrs is just pretty amazing to me.
Sometimes it's the old adage: For every step forward, two back. So I'm as gentle with her as I can be, though I admit to losing some self-control in verbal corrections from time to time ... seldom, but still too much. She knows it's wrong, & piddles/poos inside anyway.
Here's what you guys -- as well as some other related threads here -- have suggested in terms of possible *proximate* causes & what to ask my vet:
*** DES for leaky bladder, if that's a post-litter problem?
*** Cystolamine for same?
*** Check into possible Cushing's Syndrome (had a Shih Tzu once w/ this lifelong disease)
*** Elavil/Amitriptylline for stress?
Anyone have (further) comments on any of this stuff, before I talk to the vet on Tuesday next week?
For my research, according to what I've read here, DAP is supposed to work something like Feliway spray/diffuser for calming cats. I've tried Feliway, but can't really tell if it made a difference at all for my felines.
Also I'll check into possible clicker training techniques, though I rarely catch Shekinah in the act.
Ah, I will also have her spayed. (Even though my male dog is neutered, I've just had an electronic fence installed for both, & other dogs of course can enter into that perimeter. BTW, Shekinah took to that surprisingly well. It's Ben I'm having a problem with in terms of his comprehension of how it works. He's afraid of even venturing near it.)
Thanks again, really! Please continue to help me on this, since I need as many suggestions as I can get. (My vet is non-communicative so it's hard to work w/ him, but he's all I have unless we want to drive 1+ hr to find another.)
I would recommend doing some crate training with her. After checking out the medical issues already mentioned, she may be needing some sense of security. Having her own space that she can go to (as well as sleep in) might help. That is also a way to housetrain dogs.
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I, too, rescued a dog. I have had him for a little over 2 months and he is about 11 months old. He was in a crate for most of his life I believe and not treated well. It took him a while, but he is now very comfortable in my apartment and I love him dearly.
He is so scared to go out, it makes me sad. I have to carry him to go out and he is scared to death of every little thing and tugs to get back home. It is terrible. He will not go out and I do not know what to do.
By Jenny from New York, NY
Patience. 2 months is a very short amount of time. Good for you for taking him in. (04/13/2010)
If this were my dog I would carry him out and sit with him in my lap and snuggle. Don't ask him to walk or leave your arms (except to potty) the entire time. Stay out for a few minutes and then carry him back in. Do this as many times a day as you can and when you've put him down for potty time and he seems to want to stay down for awhile you'll know you're on the right track. Don't try to rush it. As you say, he's scared and doesn't need the pressure. Dogs are funny under stress. My little Penny didn't bark for the first 4 months I had her and she's a Doxie (a barking breed!), but once she felt at home she hasn't shut up! I'd go slow and easy. (04/13/2010)
I rescued my dog as well and it sickens me to think what people have done to this dog to make them so scared of humans and anything else. My dog was older when I got him; almost 5. I have had him almost 1 year now and he still has accidents in the house. When he gets excited or nervous, he just goes wherever he is and then runs and hides while shaking. I guess he thinks he is going to get hit. I clean it up and tell him it's okay. He is too old to try and re-train. But your dog is still young. I know it hurts to see him scared when you take him out and you just want to pick him up and take him back in, but you can't do that. If you want him to learn, you have to be patient, but persistent.
Abused dogs are harder, too. I would suggest spending more time outside rather than just taking him out to potty train. You don't want him to think that the bad outside = pee. Allow him to get used to the outside and play, run, etc. with him. Slowly incorporate using the bathroom outside. If he becomes more familiar and okay with the outside, being able to link potty time and outside will not be a huge ordeal. Patience and time is key. Good luck! (06/22/2010)
My dog is a Silky Terrier. He is almost 2 years old and afraid of everything. We rescued him from being abused. He loves our whole family, but he pees everywhere. If we try to pet him, he pees. If we are walking him towards a pole, sewer, tree, car, any large object he freaks out. 50% of the time he pees because he is afraid and we can tell because his ears go down. The other 50% is the fact that he just goes up to my mom's nice furniture and lifts his leg and pees in front of us.
We ask everybody what to do. Everybody says he is marking territory, because I also have a Bishon. I need to get him to stop peeing. One last thing, my brother doesn't abuse him but he does play rough and chase him everywhere.
By brayrocky from Sparta, NJ
My take on it is he's not marking his territory (unless he's NOT fixed, then maybe he is!) but that he's afraid. My adult son's roommate rescued a large dog with the same problem. Every time he gets a tiny bit excited, he pees. This has tapered down just a bit over the last 4 years, but he still does it when he gets excited or someone raises their voice around him.
On the TV show (on national geographic) "The Dog Whisperer," Caesar Milan (the host) says that it's MUCH harder to teach a scared dog than it is to train a mean dog. He says it usually takes a long, long time and a whole lot of patience to help a dog like yours. (They have examples just as you've explained on the show.) I'd recommend you find a good dog psychologist in your area to give you some pointers and it might also help you to watch his show on Fridays on the national geographic channel. I've learned a lot from it! (06/01/2009)
You need to raise the dog's confidence level. Try some agility training. Or even just some training, with LOTS of praise when he/she does good. Walk on a leash, sit, stay, down, shake, sit pretty. All good things to teach him/her who's the leader of the pack. Remember the praise. Also, you might consider crate training. The crate should be his/her safe place. Maybe partially cover with a towel or blanket for privacy/security. Good luck. Clicker training is good. Terriers are smart dogs with lots of energy - keep him/her engaged and active. They are not the lap dogs they appear to be. (06/03/2009)
This dog knows he's the bottom of the pecking order, he's saying "don't hurt me," even now that the abuse has stopped. Imagine how you'd feel. It takes a long time to build trust in a rescue dog and loads of patience but so worth it. I take it your brother is young, could he be encouraged to be a bit more gentle? Best of luck, I've been there. (06/03/2009)
First, stop your brother from adding to the dog's stress by chasing and frightening the poor dog. Secondly, I would suggest seeking an animal behavior person. They would be the most effective socializing your dog with other dogs, people and getting it to overcome its fear of large objects.
Good luck. I hope this little dog gets the help it needs. (06/04/2009)
This little dog has been traumatized so the trust factor will be a very slow process to rebuild. Your brother has no idea, he is adding to the dog's insecurity by chasing him, I'm sure. Talk to your veterinarian and they can help and refer you to other help. Bless you for rescuing the dog. I think if someone will abuse animals, children are next. (06/04/2009)
Abused animals need gentle handling, plenty of exercise and routine consistency to feel secure. I think your brother just needs to be informed how to handle your pet. I also rescued a cocker spaniel 7 month old pup. She was very traumatized and neglected, maybe abused also because she would just stare into space, no communication or response. It would take over a year and a half for her to become stable emotionally. She also would pee from excitement but it can be controlled. I usually don't make a fuss when she greets me at the door but put my things down calmly and quickly let her outside as soon as possible to urinate and praise her every time she goes outside for pee or poo (she goes on command now!).
If people are visiting I go outside with her to greet them before they come into the house so she pees outside. It took a little time and patience but she is so much more secure now at 6 years old and occasionally will have an accident. Training your dog to come, sit, stay and other commands is worth the patience because they learn what to expect and how to communicate. Here is Sassette with "her" kitty cat companion. She is such a smart girl, knows lots of tricks/commands and is very agile. Good luck with your dog! (06/04/2009)
Don't let your brother play rough with him or chase him. This is a lap dog. Pick him up and cuddle him often and reassure him and he will feel more secure. If your brother wants a dog to play rough with, he needs a big dog like a lab, not a frightened silky. He is urinating because he is frightened and nervous. Take him to your vet and tell him what is going on with the dog. He will give you excellent advice and possibly some medication to temporarily calm the dog. He's been through a lot. Get on the internet and read up on silky terriers so you will know how to deal with your dog. You didn't say if he's been neutered or not. They mark less when they have been neutered. (06/04/2009)
If he checks out okay at the vet for bladder or kidney problems I would start Benadryl at 1 to 2 mg. per pound of body weight up to 3 times a day. I would not do the three times a day but the two times a day. The dog needs a chance to rest. Start making him have a fun but strict schedule and don't deviate from it. Have treatment of him be very gentle and regimented.
Feed him at a certain time. Treat him at a certain time. Teach him marker training or clicker training. This is so fun for little dogs. See leerburg.com. Make the schedule something you stick to every day. Buy some special toys and enforce a nap or quiet time each day with a special stuffed animal only given to it at that time.
Have a time when you hold him and whisper to him. Take him to the mail box at the same time each day in your arms. Take him to the store or such in the evenings and bring him a cheap treat. He needs something to look forward to and trust in. I hope you start making wonderful memories together and I feel for you. As far as the peeing, I might consider crate training, because as much as they protest, they need to know there are limits and crate training might settle him down and they usually won't wet where they are laying. leerburg.com is great and it deals with all sorts of issues. It applies to all dogs! God bless you and lots of love. (06/06/2009)
By Robyn Fed
Above all is patience. I love the Dog Whisperer too, I really admire his patience. It has helped me with my dog, and I know for sure the next dog I have will be raised properly from the start, now that I have the knowledge.
I did housebreak my little girl, but I do have the luxury of being home 24 hours, so it is easier to stick to a schedule. In the beginning I took her out every hour, lots and lots of praise if she did anything. She slept in a crate overnight or when I had to go someplace for longer than an hour. She is getting to be an older lady now, and hasn't had an accident in years. But even when she did get excited about a strange person, she peed on my daughter's boyfriend's lap (since he is old news now we all laugh about it). It's pee, so what, you clean it up and go along with your day. No big deal.
Over the course of a life as a woman you have to clean some rather disgusting things, but a little pee or poop from a little doggy isn't too bad on my sicko-meter. Keep the little tyke safe overnight in a crate, it's like a den to them. Make sure it is nice and cozy even put a blanket over it, and give him a little plush toy as a cuddle buddy, and first thing in the morning take him/her out. Soft voices. A schedule will turn everything around. I bet you will see a difference after a few weeks.
Watch "The Dog Whisperer" on National Geographic and "Dogtown," my favorite shows. Good Luck and Blessed Be. (06/17/2009)
I love your dog, racer7, she looks a lot like mine. She has cocker spaniel in her and or bichon frise. They are little angels when they sleep, aren't they? (06/17/2009)
My Lucy. She's a Momma's girl! (06/17/2009)