Dear god help! (need advice! badly!)

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Whisbone2010, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Whisbone2010

    Whisbone2010 New Member

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    Hello all! i'm new to the forums, i've read them for years but never had registered until now for some reason... But I come to you now, seeking advice desperately, as my wits and patience are deteriorating and I feel like everything is spiraling out of control.

    I am the proud pet parent, of a 1.5 year old Jack Russel, Rat Terrier mix. named "Jack" He looks practically like wishbone, thus the nickname, as my friends and I sing the theme song to him now and then.

    Ever since I brought Jack into my family when he was just a pup, he has been my companion and one of my closest friends, being my furry shoulder to cry on when i've had a bad day, or someone to snuggle with and pour attention to while sitting on the couch and watching a movie.

    He's my best friend, and I'd do anything for him.

    In February, I moved out on my own with my long term boyfriend into our own place, Jack came with me, leaving behind my mom and her bf and my younger brother at the old house. THings went well for the first couple of months however..

    Over the past 3 weeks or so, his behaviour is changing and becoming immensely frustrating, I have no idea what i'm doing wrong as im not doing anything differently. We haven't changed our snuggling, I take him out every 2-3 hours, he goes for runs (too much energy for simple walks with this guy!) And he's played with endlessly, as he's too persistent to try and ignore even if you wanted to....

    On to the changes... Company that I have had coming over ever since jack was a puppy, he knows these people, he now gets over excited and pee's EVERYWHERE... at first it was a little tinkle and i could understand it, i've dealt with terriers before and he's tinkled a little bit in the past from being so excited he's squealing but it's gradually getting worse.

    It's gone from a little accidental, hyperactive tinkle to full out bladder emptying pee, no matter if i take him out and he pees 30-40 times on EVERY THING he can find he still manages to make a puddle when someone comes over.

    I have never raised my hand to Jack, as I would never hit a child I would never hit an animal that is as close to me as any other member of my family.

    LATELY, and only over the past week, he's been getting even more worse on a daily basis. Every time I go to put his harness on, he cowers from me, and will pee EVERYWHERE. As if he knows what he's doing is wrong, and he's afraid he's going to be punished for it. He hasn't had accidents in the house since he was 4 months old like this.

    I've been using my mop lately to clean up urine more so than to clean my floors... the stress of wondering why this is happening as a sudden change is overwhelming me, giving me constant headaches, causing immense frustration, and making me feel like a failure and at the end of my rope.

    I figured for whatever reason he became afraid of his harness, I tried to coax him with treats, praising him for coming near it, and he would, and he would sniff it and wag his tail and jump around like he used to do only 3 short weeks before, but as soon as i put it over his head, he empties out on the floor.

    He's turning into a water sprinkler, and I simply don't know what to do.

    He's gone to the vet already, and has a clean bill of health, no infections, nothing, erasing the thought of mine that he may have a bladder related or kidney related issue.

    I am now seeking advice for any other ideas, from anyone I can, that can help me in this really tough, straining, and frustrating situation. Please, any input any of you can give me is most greatly appreciated.


    Thank you all in advance
     
  2. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Hmmm . . . while you're figuring it out, you might try some belly bands. This is perplexing!

    What does he do right before he pees when there's company?

    On the harness thing -- have you considered getting a new harness and seeing what happens?
     
  3. AGonzalez

    AGonzalez Not a lurker

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    Is anyone else taking your dog out with the harness? How is your bf with him?
     
  4. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    First, you have to clean up the urine with something that will neutralize the smell. Try a solution of white vinegar and water, using a paper towel that you can throw away.

    How does your bf feel about Jack? Has he ever said anything negative about him?
     
  5. Whisbone2010

    Whisbone2010 New Member

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    my BF respects him, however puts his foot down with stern "NO" I think thats the most form of discipline Jacks ever gotten in his entire life is having the world NO barked at him a couple times, he doesn't hit him as he's a huge animal lover too... it's really weird. I've been with my bf about the same time i've had Jack, so he's not a new stranger or anything at all he's known him for a huge portion of his life

    As for company.. Jack is smart! We live in an apartment building (thus the taking him out for runs instead of walks to burn off his excess energy andthe constant playing with him we do) But he knows when the phone is ringing for a regular phone call, and when someone's here. I'm not sure HOW he knows, but he KNOWS LOL, it's like he's a psychic pup... he will lay on the ground with his nose under the door, and whine and whine, it's not a BAD whine it's a OMG OMG PEOPLE ARE COMING!!! WEEE!!! whine, and as soon as the door opens, he's like a pogo stick bouncing everywhere, falling over himself, tripping over them as they try to take off their shoes, and he'll bounce and squeal for about 30 minutes. We ignore his behaviour when he's like this so that we don't encourage it, we avoid looking at him or petting him, and just wait for him to calm the heck down before he gets any form of lovey dovey from any of us including the company. It's always been this way, so nothing's changed there.

    The harness thing... that's a good idea, I might try going back to his collar, he just pulls really bad and always has, i grew to just accept it as it seems alot of jack russel's i've seen all pull in the exact same way, i bought the harness when we moved in, in hopes to take pressure off of him, and possibly stop the pulling, maybe i'll switch back to the collar for a bit and see how he handles that, that's a really good idea thank you!

    I've never heard of belly bands, can you provide more information about them? (i'll be googling them as well )
     
  6. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    A vet check is in order.

    When an older, potty trained dog starts losing control of his bladder it may be a sign of infection. Make sure the vet knows this is serious, how long it's been going on etc.

    There are lots of things you can try when people come over. Having them toss a handful of food onto the ground when they walk in can distract him from getting overwhelmed.

    Having them ignore him until he's settled can help. It might be a good idea to leash him and walk outside to meet/greet the guest and then walk back inside with them after Jack has settled. Designate a spot for Jack to wait patiently until he's given the "ok" to greet the visitor.

    I really think you should get a vet check first though.
     
  7. AGonzalez

    AGonzalez Not a lurker

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    She stated she's been to hte vet already

     
  8. Baxter'smybaby

    Baxter'smybaby swimming upstream

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    is he allowed free access to the apartment, or do you use a crate at all? I wonder if all the activity of an apt. building is overstimulating him--he can't see all that is going on, but can hear and smell--and perhaps it is confusing to him.
    Are there other animals in the building?
    I agree with making a space that he has to go to when people come in the apt. You can teach him "place"-have him go to a mat/towel/whatever, as his space to stay when people come in. I would also try to desensitize him to people coming in and out--by setting the situation up to occur when you expect it--so you can direct him on his behavior knowing that someone is going to ring the bell, or enter, etc.
    Have you done any clicker training with him? That may be helpful to redefine desired behaviors.
     
  9. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Oops, didn't see that.

    It might be worth it to take another urine sample just incase. Sometimes when the infection is just starting they may not be able to get a good culture. He's a male, so catching some urine in a cup would be easy and wouldn't cost you an office visit.
     
  10. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Besides the walks, does he have any obedience practice on a regular basis? Or some special sport like agility? He probably could use some more mental exercise as well as increased physical exercise. (even though you may think he's getting enough)

    He does not "know" something he's doing is "wrong." Dogs don't share our value system or have morals. So that's completely out of the equation. Has he ever been punished in any way for peeing in the house? Or has anything scary happened in association with peeing or putting on his harness? Not necesarily something from humans....maybe a thunder storm or something else that made him nervous? (I'd instruct your b.f. to not use a stern, frightening voice or tell him "no" loudly. Hitting is not the only thing that can upset a dog. Has anything happened to him that's frightening or unpleasant on his walks? Is the harness possibly being tied to something scary? It can also be the new house. These kinds of changes can stress a dog for a while.

    What I'd start doing is sit on the floor and hold the harness in your lap. Let him come over to see you on his own and feed him some tiny tid bits of tasty meat...chicken, steak, hot dog. Then hold up the harness so he can see it better and continue feeding him the treats. Don't talk too much...a few soothing words and then be quiet and let him build a good association with the harness. Do this several times a day. Is there a room that's more comfortable to him than another where you can put on the harness? Put it on, feed him for about 30 seconds. After this, you can play a little bit with a favorite toy for a minute or so. Take off the harness and walk away and be very boring for a few mintues. Repeat. Then go for your walk.

    Something unknown to you is likely beoming a behavior chain. Something likely is happening that is making him cower when you take the harness to him. It could be that he's associating something scary or unpleasant prior to and/or after putting on the harness. Try to break up the sequence of events that you usually do which lead up to putting the harness on and after you put the harness on. Do a variety of different things. They don't all have to do with him. Put the harness on and then go do the dishes.

    As for visitors, can you be advised as to when they'll arrive and go outside in the yard before they get there? Meet them outside and do like you've been doing....no attention, no loud excitable voices etc....all very calm. And keep him at a distance where you discover he may be more comfortable. Talk calmly for a few minutes with your guests. See if he'll pee outside. Then treat him/calm praise. Then go inside and see how he does. If he seems nervous or excitable, take him to a "safe" room or crate, if he's crate trained until he seems to calm down, then let him out and see.

    I like Baxter's idea as well. Teaching him to go to a safe spot or crate when there's a knock on the door may give him some direction. But the peeing will likely continue. That's why I'm thinking about starting outside for a while. (set up practice visitors and a few reps every day, if possible) Then take it inside.

    I'd also recommend you getting some training help so you can teach him not to pull on the leash. Either a positive reinforcement class or a few private sessions with a reputable trainer or behaviorist. Be very careful who you get. Look for trainers who are well versed in behavior and the concepts of clicker training...who don't use aversive punishment. He sounds like a sensitive dog and harshness or scary stuff should not be part of training.

    Anyhow, my post is pretty dis-jointed because I don't have the whole story. But there are just a few of my rambling thoughts and guesses to mull over.

    If it were a bladder infection, I think he'd be dribbling more randomly, all over the house, not just when visitors come or when he's cowering about the harness. That seems to be more behavior related. As far as lifing his leg on everything outside so frequently, that's not that unusual. He may be a bit insecure and feels a need to mark his "territory" more frequently than most. With urinalysis, an elevated white cell count as well as bacteria will be apparent right away in the urine. Yes, if it were mild, there may not be many. But if this were a UTI, with all this peeing, you'd think it would be detected. Plus, he's peeing a lot. With a UTI, usually there is a scanty amount but frequent. Of course, it doesn't hurt to double check.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  11. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Oh Outline! Sorry. I missed that part of your post the first time through, where you suggested to go outside too. LOL. (great minds think alike):p
     
  12. Whisbone2010

    Whisbone2010 New Member

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    i HAVE a clicker, but never actually pursued any clicker training with him. He has free access to the apartment 100% we even let him run in the hallway since the section we're in only has 3 units on it, and the neighbours don't mind him squealing and running up and down the hallway, i could see that since the windows are a bit too high for him to look out but that'll be changed as we're already moving into a biggeru nit in the building (just waiting for the approval to go through) He was only ever crated as a puppy and that's cause he'd quite literally eat everything in the house before he got out of that stage, he hasn't used a crate now in atleast a year minimum, we don't even have one in the house.
     
  13. Whisbone2010

    Whisbone2010 New Member

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    actually reading over all the amazing posts (Ty guys, i really appreciate the help you're all offering, it's the best i've gotten thus far) i DID try meeting my friends outside. and bringing jack out with me so that when he did pee, he did it outside where it's supposed to be going. He was still overly excitable, as he always has been, and when we brought him in with my friends he was still excitable but wasn't peeing everywhere. I'll continue trying this with the company issue

    I'll take a urine sample for the vet and have them check again, it's been his vet ever since he was a puppy.

    it normally happens as SOON as i grab the harness, he's never been tied to anything using the harness as a punishment tool, it's only ever been used to take him outside. I tried getting it on him and leaving it on him for the day since it doesn't obstruct anything he does, and went about our day as we normally would with the lovey dovey cuddling and snuggling and everything as normal, and he was fine and jumped around a bit when i took it off, i thought hey!!! We fixed it!!! But as soon as I grabbed it again alter that day to take him out - pee again...

    even grabbing it to just put it in my lap would make him pee, he doesn't cower WHEN he pees, he just does it, and then slinks off. I don't know what to say it other than he's probably one of the most intuitive dogs i've ever met, i swear to god he's an alien sometimes and he can fully understand everything i say to him, if i talk to him he looks up at me like he's talking back or he'll sit there and stare me down if i'm doing something stupid with friends or something. He's an insanely smart pup, and has a lot of obedience TYPE training, i've been training dogs now for over 15 years with commands like sit, lay down, and some trick related ones. He follows them all the time, and he always gets rewarded with pets and a treat.

    This is the only issue, only REAL issue, we've ever had with him, and it's very recent, but given some of the things everyones mentioning, i'm going to attempt them over the next couple of weeks or a month or two and see how it pans out. If it keeps getting worse, yet his urine sample comes back clean im going to try and look into the belly bands that were suggested, also going to find his collar and put it on him to see if i can desensitize him to the harness and then in a couple months switch back. You guys are being a huge help so far :D I definately appreciate it. i'll keep updated with any progress or declination in progress
     
  14. Whisbone2010

    Whisbone2010 New Member

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    Update!!!!!

    Firstly, I want to thank you all for your advice, and tips. I have some amazing news that I am thrilled to announce, it seems that this little habit Jack's picked up has passed. This past weekend I went camping and took him to my mom's house, where we used to live. He has my younger brother who's 10, my mom's boyfriend and her, and my brother alone matches his energy level. He came home completely exhausted, slept most of yesterday, and when I went to take him out at his normal time when we got home, he didn't pee on the floor!!! He still cowered, which I was sad to see :( But he got tons of praise, and was rolled over on the floor and tackled with kisses when I didn't see that dreaded, unfriendly yellow doom spot.

    I think that one of the posters may have been right about stimulation of the apartment, as he had the ability for 4 days to run around and see everything and he came back a completely different pup. I've arranged with my mom, for Jack's benefit, to go back there every weekend so that he can run around and get rid of all the frustration of being in this apartment.

    Also more good news, we've been approved to move upstairs which will allow him constant outside access (we are lucky enough to have a front yard on the first floor that we can use for whatever we wish) and he'll be able to see much more than he can down here.

    I'll keep posting as you guys have been a huge help, and eventually get some pics of my baby somewhere up on the site if i can find the place LOL
    Thank you all again :D

    OH! one more thing, I took the "Safe place" Idea just in case, and used a towel on the floor incase he did pee he wouldn't ruin anything, and it seemed to help too he went right to it when i went to put the harness on him :D So thank you all, I really truly appreciate this :D
     
  15. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Thanks for keeping us posted! We're looking forward to seeing pics of your little guy, too, and getting to know more about him -- and you :)
     

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