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10yr old dog started peeing in house.

(5 Posts)
Itsonkyme Fri 27-Oct-17 15:47:36

This is sons family dog (Border Terrier) they've had him from a pup. He had Separation anxiety as a pup but grew out of it years ago.
He has the same hour long walk through the country side every morning and is only usually left from about 11 to 4, if at all. His peeing in house started about six months ago. My son thought he must be ill but all tests at vets are negative.
He 99% of the time pees up a large plant pot, it's not a little wee it's a full one.
They've tried ignoring it, chastising him (gently) and have cleaned the area with preparatory dog pee removers (luckily not carpet). It's EVERY TIME they leave him now.
My son has asked my advice as a long time dog owner and I asked him what has changed in the last 6months, before he is left, as I guessed some sort of anxiety.
He couldn't think but then remembered that they'd removed the baby gate and since that time Rooney sometimes went up on their bed and got the bed dirty, making his partner pretty annoyed. So he started closing all the bedroom doors before he left the house and that is when it started.
I told him that the dog had become confused and his "safe place" had been taken away. He said he also started going in the box room where my son keeps his clothes and jumping up into an open shelf and sleeping on his tee shirts.
So this all seems to go back to #1. Removing baby gate at top of stairs, Rooney then goes on bed and on box room clothes) .
#2. Closing all upstairs doors.
Rooney starts peeing on plant in living room.

But what is weird is that when the baby gate was there he had the run of the stairs, the hallway, the living room and kitchen and was fine.

So today, I said to leave the clothes/box room open and see what happened.
He got back! Rooney had been on clothes! Plus! Massive wee on plant pot!!!!

I've said to leave him Garage (entered from hallway) but son reluctant as he feels Rooney will treat this area as outdoors and pee to his hearts content.
I've also suggested a crate but as a doggy family none of us have ever had crates, so Son not very keen.

Please! Doggy people! Any help or ideas?

missbattenburg Fri 27-Oct-17 16:04:24

House training is really just habit: as a result, new habits can be formed all the time for all sorts of reasons. He has the habit of peeing now when left. He will have done it enough times that it just feels 'right' to him now to pee when left alone. Breaking the habit means changing all the circumstances that surround it to give him chance to form a new, better habit.

Personally, I'd be using a crate as you suggested. It doesn't have to be a crate, of course, just a secure safe space the dog has been 'trained' to enjoy spending time in. A pen with a nice bed would work just as well so long as it is small enough to put the dog off soiling it. As you will no doubt know, many dogs (inc mine) bloody love their crates and choose to go in there when they want to sleep.

I'd also be totally changing the routine used when leaving the dog alone. That might mean keeping coats etc in the car for a little bit and putting them on outside the house or putting the dog in the pen and closing doors 10 mins or so before leaving. Anything so that he doesn't have the carry any baggage over from the leaving routine in the past.

Finally, I think I would also be treating this as if it were anxiety based and assuming the dog was distressed when left (might be worth borrowing a camera to record him when left for reference) and practising leaving him for just 60 seconds or so repeatedly, slowly building up the time until it got to 30mins successfully.

That's how I'd tackle it, anyway.

Itsonkyme Fri 27-Oct-17 19:07:21

missbattenburg! Thanks for your input. I hadn't thought of ingrained habit. I think you could be right.
My old dog was trained to never go on the furniture. My Granddaughters let her go on the settee when I wasn't around.
They had taught her! So even if they were not at my house, as soon as I left the room she would sneak into the settee and when she heard me coming back slink off it into her bed.
I tried EVERYTHING to stop her and the only thing that worked was when I got a new suite and told her "No" right away.
By then the girls were older and did not stay often and knew the problem that they had created. She has never gone on furniture since!

missbattenburg Fri 27-Oct-17 20:43:42

You are very welcome and your sofa example is a perfect illustration.

Good luck!

Lushmetender Sat 28-Oct-17 20:42:57

Check his kidneys. My dog started peeing in house and that was the reason because his kidneys weren't functioning properly. Might not be it we just had to put our 10.5 year old dog down. Wishing we'd caught it earlier (also get a pee sample)

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