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8 month old Puppy Peeing on other dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Cheetsy, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Cheetsy

    Cheetsy New Member Registered

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    We've got a rescue puppy who we've had for three months. He has anxiety which we have been working on with training, plug in and supplements for his food and finally this week he seemed ready for daycare. Our secret weapon has always been other dogs as he is not nearly as anxious with humans when dogs are around, so when he went for his trial he flourished and started playing straight away. He went for his first full day yesterday and when we picked him up they said they couldn't have him back. Apparently he peed on all the other dogs, I didn't even know that was a thing!

    I know he's hit puberty and has become a bit unruly since that happened, but this extreme marking only started ironically after his puppy training class on Monday night. The class was so stressful because although I asked people not to approach him, the guy next to us and the assistant trainer insisted on trying to win him over. He comes round eventually but on his terms, the whole direct approach was too intimidating for him and I'm not sure if this was the catalyst for the week. I could be way off though, it could be just part of a hot mess week, because would his anxiety make him pee on other dogs, as everything I've read said that points to dominance? After the class he was hyper, nipping me, ripping paper and barking, then the following day he peed twice in various places then the following day at daycare. How can I socialise him and get him over the anxiety with people when he's started peeing on everything, including dogs! Any advice, experience would be appreciated.
     
  2. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    He’s 8-MO, he’s in the midst of the testosterone flood leading to the massive peak of androgen secretion IN HIS LIFETIME; he’s secreting 5 to 7 TIMES the amount of testosterone, which would be found in the bloodstream of a 12 to 15-MO intact, male dog. :eek:

    My suggestion is to neuter him immediately.
    It will virtually halt inappropriate marking / leg-lifting instantly. :)

    If anyone wants to claim this will “undermine his confidence”, I will state for the record that not one anxious dog, M or F, in all my over-40-years of dog-training, has ever “gotten worse” after neutering / castration.
    If they were bold & curious, B4, they were bold & curious, after; if they were shy & shrinking, B4, they were shy & shrinking, after. No better, no worse; same dog, same personality, but with the sexually-fueled behaviors turned down to a mutter.


    I have specialized in B-Mod since 1985, so I have had any number of shy, anxious, undersocialized, & outright neurotic dogs as clients’ dogs, & as pro bono cases from shelters or rescues, who needed B-mod before they could be listed as adoptable / available.

    Some had been actively abused by past owners or by vicious strangers; some were born timid, with genes from shy parents or grandparents. Some were feral, & as terrified of humans as any wild animal would be.

    Every one of them was desexed, M or F, of whatever age, often while I was working to make them adoptable, and ALL OF THEM improved behaviorally, & went on to become not only adoptable, but wonderful pets within the normal spectrum.
    (A few of the neurotic ones needed anti-anxiety meds, but they needed them prior to their desex surgery, not only “after” - it was their crippling psychological problems that required Rx meds to treat, not the removal of their gonads. :rolleyes: :D )

    He’s awash in androgens, & sexually fueled behaviors in male dogs are often pretty obnoxious during the super-male phase. :shrug: All his hormonally driven actions are turned up in frequency, intensity, & fluency - less prompting is needed to bring ‘em on, such as the mere presence of a F puppy under 3-MO might prompt him to mount her, even tho she’s obviously not in estrus, nor even entering puberty, yet.

    Since he’s anxious, U won’t want to use him as a sire, in any case; timidity & aggro are both highly heritable, & the sooner he’s snipped, the better. :)

    - terry

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  3. Cheetsy

    Cheetsy New Member Registered

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  4. Cheetsy

    Cheetsy New Member Registered

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    That's exactly the advice that we have been given, wait until at least 12-18 months as he needs the testosterone for his confidence! Also the vet said because he's a larger breed to wait too.

    I also thought the weeing on the other dogs was a hormone thing as there are so many female dogs at the daycare. I feel so bad for him as he loves the company of other dogs and now that seems to be out for the moment. Meanwhile he still barks at anyone approaching him and is still scared of men. A contradiction, cocky hormone fueled male to scared and timid rescue.
     
  5. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    He can be both - anxious as his usual self, AND highly sexually driven, as a direct result of the stage he’s in. :D One does not prevent the other.

    Sexual behavior isn’t “aggression” as such, it is hormonally-fueled behavior with procreation as a goal.

    That doesn’t mean sex cannot BE extremely aggressive- mallard ducks in the wild are notorious for rape, which is often a gang activity, in which the duck actually dies; drakes fighting to mount her will pile onto her, shoving & stabbing at one another, & on land, she is smothered by the weight of their bodies; on water, she drowns. :( It happens every year.
    Monk seals are critically endangered, & females are rare & precious - yet males frequently kill them, while mating.

    Ppl on psychoactive meds are often shocked & depressed to discover that their Rx affects their libido, sharply reducing desire, which has serious impacts on their spouse or partners, & their own sense of self-worth.
    But dogs do not fantasize, as humans do; they do not judge themselves on their body image, the size of their penis or their breasts, worry about their neighbors’ opinions about their trophy wife or the model & make of the car they bought...
    Nor do dogs marry, nor form monogamous pair-bonds, as do wolves in the wild; dogs are willing to mate with any available opp sex dog, & neutering them does not cause k9-depression, suicidal impulses, loss of appetite, irritability, a flat affect, etc. :)

    Neutering is simple, safe, & an effective way to quickly reduce sexually driven, hormonal behaviors.
    As he is already 8-MO, his long bones are closed - no one can say it will make him grow “too tall”, LOL. — especially as research found that brothers from the same litter, measured at 2-YO, one neutered by or before 6-mos, the other intact, varied in height no more than variation caused by sexual reproduction.

    This whole idea that “neutering causes timidity” only showed up about 4 years ago, as an unsubstantiated old husbands’ tale, on another UK forum. // In the USA, progressive shelters began pediatric desex of pups & kittens in 1972, & “pediatric” means they are neutered by or before 12-WO / 3-MO, in order to allow them to be adopted.
    By the early 1980s, pediatric desex was S.O.P. in most urban municipal shelters, here; by the mid-80s, even small-town shelters would S/N pups & kits before releasing them to adopters. None of these millions and millions of pets have become hopelessly cringing shrinking violets, post neuter.

    I have yet to see any published research to support the allegation that removing testes somehow also “removes” confidence, & IMO and across 40-plus years as a trainer, it’s unsubstantiated poppycock. :shrug:
    Fully 2/3 of my group training classes in Va Beach were dogs who’d been desexed as pups, in a shelter or by a rescue, & they did fine - both Ms & Fs. :)


    - terry

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  6. Cheetsy

    Cheetsy New Member Registered

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    That's such a refreshing read! The daycare have been back in contact to say that they would be delighted to trial him again once he's been neutered. When he has crazy outbursts even he seems surprised by his behaviour, very much like myself on hormone week. I've rang the vets who are also lovely and they have suggested that I bring him in on Tuesday so they can assess him with a view to getting him done if he's ok in their opinion. I have a shop and all my customers have said about improvement (but no guarantees after neutering). It's just the behaviourist's voice in the back of my head saying don't have him neutered, it will turn him into a mess!
     
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  7. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I certainly came across the claim over 8 years ago - and I dare say it had been around longer, but that was when I got my dog. I'm not going to trade studies and opinions with LfL - suffice to say that in my experience, there is a strong consensus (including among vets and dog organisations) that early neutering can cause issues. I'm not saying LfL is wrong, I'm not saying that neutering your dog won't help, because the research evidence is complex - I'm just saying that many experts would say that.

    The dominance myth is pretty well busted, and I think what you're seeing is probably a result of overarousal from the previous day, and from the dog daycare situation, and insecurity. Think of a playground bully - they may look as if they think they are big and strong, but they feel the need to reinforce that feeling in themselves. 'Top dogs' don't need to duff up other dogs or wee on them because they are already confident.

    If puppy training results in your dog being anxious about other people and getting into a state, I would either stop going, or just go for the first half an hour (say) and then leave while he's still calm. Socialisation is all about quality, not quantity, so (for instance) you want to gradually accustom your dog to people being close. 'Close' might be 100' off to start with, or it might be 8' but ignoring him. Whenever he looks at another person you could give him a treat so he associates seeing another person with something good coming from you (so he doesn't need to approach them). Then they could throw treats to him... you get the idea (you might already get all this in which case I apologise) - you work within his comfort zone, and make sure that no one gets closer than he can deal with. Hopefully you'll end up knowing a few people who have dogs he likes to play with but who know to ignore and not approach him.

    You could try giving him a couple of calm weeks and ask the doggy day care if he could have another try - maybe you could wait outside or nearby so they could contact you and you could collect him if he's still anointing other dogs or seems stressed.
     
  8. Cheetsy

    Cheetsy New Member Registered

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    Thank you, we are already doing that method of socialisation and I do agree about his stress building up over the days. The only thing I’m not sure about, is that you’ve not mentioned any hormonal impact from him hitting puberty? I’m sure this in part to blame for his behaviour changes or don’t you think so?
     
  9. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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  10. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I expect it does - I'm not an expert, but just like human teenagers, they're going to have behavioural changes when the hormones kick in. They may want to prove how macho they are by duffing up other dogs, they may have tantrums when they want to do one thing and you want them to do something else... Reading online, marking does tend to increase at puberty. I'd guess it's a combination of hormones and stress, so it'd be interesting to see if it decreased when he's calmer, and if the dog day care staff can manage/distract him so it doesn't become a habit. Reading online it does seem that neutering would reduce it, but you need to weigh up the evidence and the possible pros and cons.
     
  11. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Re training classes -
    will the instructor provide sight-barriers if U ask, such as 8-ft long folding tables U could work behind, which block his view of the other dogs, & their views of him?

    Or is the area large-enuf to work with him well away from any other dog, so that U can hear the instructor, but are basically working solo, at a distance where he doesn’t react?

    If he is visually reactive (& most dogs are), wearing a Calming Cap may help a lot - it is a light mesh fabric that makes anything not directly beside or before him, out of focus & fuzzy.
    Worn like fabric goggles, a Cap weighs almost nothing, & dogs quickly habituate to them.

    Like anything else, a Cap is introduced at home, as a happy thing, pairing all curious approach or interaction with small high-quality tidbits (steps toward, sniffs, nose touch, etc...),
    then U hold it for THE DOG to put their own FACE into the elastic end, reward that, then they shove their nose in & U buckle it on very briefly / reward, remove,... then they push their face in, *wear it very briefly* with multiple treats as a jackpot during the wearing, then U take it off. :)
    Let them think about that for the rest of the day, & sleep on it that night; bring it out next day, & they should instantly look interested & approach to push their face into it, for a treat. Bingo! -
    They are ready to slip it on for a brief wearing, indoors, while the house is calm or at least, normal. 2 or 3 brief wearings that day, at least one during a meal, & by the next day, they should be ready for a SHORT on-leash walk outside, while wearing the Cap.

    It may take 4 to 7 days to get him comfy wearing the Cap on walks around the neighborhood, then adding it to his wardrobe for training class, but IME it’s time well-spent. The loss of visual acuity usually reduces reactivity quite a bit, without stress to the dog, & makes B-mod much easier.

    I would also MUTE HIS TAGS - other dogs can hear him coming a mile off, as he can also hear them, b/c the jingle of tags is so distinctive & will alert them to scan for another dog.
    All behavior is a conversation, he reacts to them, they react to him, he acts to their reaction... nip it in the bud, & silence his tags with a tag-bag made for purpose, or a wide rubber band, or several wraps of masking tape. :)


    - terry

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  12. Cheetsy

    Cheetsy New Member Registered

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    Well, we decided to ditch the classes in the end. I'd pretty much taught him the content before we went anyway and the following class was no less stressful even though we were put out of the way of other dogs. We've had a rest for a few week to reassess. Our neighbours are starting to comment on how much he has improved, maybe I missed something. I think spending every day with him, I might not have realised.

    I do want to try another form of socialisation with him though. The only different thing we have done is get a friend to look after him for a few hours while we went to an event. Apparently he was barky at first but eventually just started following her round and even sat next to her male partner. He did have an accident though, but I think he did so much better than expected. My friend mentioned I was an over protective mother and I do think there is an element of that, I just don't want to make things worse. A few people are offering to look after him but i'm worried about flooding him, because if we are out ANYONE approaches him he barks like crazy.
     
  13. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'd be worried about leaving him with someone else because so many people are unable to recognise anxiety, inability to cope with the situation, and so on (unless you know you can trust them of course). I have seen the new owner of a very timid nervous lurcher let other dog owners come up and make a fuss of her, all hoping to demonstrate that people were lovely really, and they didn't even notice her flinching and dropping her head away from their hands. I've also been told that my dog was pushing boundaries and being 'naughty' when he was having a complete meltdown, unable to cope with the situation.

    Dropping the training class sounds like a wise choice for him. What particular issues do you feel you need to work on now? Is it just anxiety around other people? How close can they get before he gets worked up? Is it definitely anxiety/fear rather than excitement?
     
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  14. Cheetsy

    Cheetsy New Member Registered

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    Yes, it's his anxiety around other people. I'm worried about it escalating. He barked at a kid that jumped up and down infront of him in the pub on Sunday and another lady who he barked at but headed toward him anyway until I asked her not to. I've ordered a bandana this week saying Rescue Dog I need space so hopefully that will help.

    The gap of him starting to bark varies. If we are on a walk and someone directly approaches him he barks incessantly and gets himself into a right state. If we are inside somewhere and someone approaches him there is definitely a gap, maybe a minute or so. Or if we are out and people are near him he is ok, until they make eye contact with him or move their hands towards him. What is significant though is that he is starting to go up and sniff people. At this point I ask them to help us if they seem nice and to be still and not look at him.

    He comes to my shop with me 3 days a week and has a bed behind the counter. I ask customers to ignore him and if they do he ignores them (unless it's a delivery guy). Although he barks at other men immediately whether they ignore him or not, he does stop barking in the main now which I think is some sort of progress.

    To try and move the progress on this week, I let him come out from behind the counter when a customer/friend was sitting there but he would not stop barking at all. It became intolerable so I put him back behind the counter again where he went to sleep.

    It's taking so long, I'm starting to think we will never have a normal life again, I can't imagine for a minute a scenario where we could go out for the night, nevermind a holiday! Even having people round to our house. We have an old lady coming at Christmas and I just think he will bark incessantly at her too. She's been before though and that's exactly what he did then too.
     
  15. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    My guess would be that the more you can avoid him being in a situation where he feels the need to bark, the less likely he is to escalate in the future. Socialisation is important, but all his experiences have to be good ones. Regard every 'bad' experience as a setback.

    It's said that dogs do go through 'fear periods' - I'm not sure how strong the evidence for this is, but apparently there is one around 9 months, so it's quite possible he might take a step back around this time before building up his confidence again.

    Finding a balance between keeping him in his comfort zone, giving him the opportunity to meet people he likes on his terms (by which I mean no cuddles or strokes if he doesn't want them, maybe crouching down, extending a hand to sniff but letting him approach if he wants to, etc.), giving him some freedom on walks and living a normal life isn't at all easy and you can only do your best. If it's any consolation, there's an awful lot of owners thinking 'Why can't my dog just be normal???'
     
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  16. Cheetsy

    Cheetsy New Member Registered

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    Having the shop there are so many people saying 'surely he shouldn't STILL be this nervous?!' it's not helping! I think I'm letting him down by not helping him along enough. I don't feel like I've got a robust plan as such and i'm not too sure of the progress I've made. When I give him a treat after he stops barking, I'm not even sure he gets the association and might think I've given it for barking! Or even that if he doesn't bark he's not making an association either.
     
  17. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sometimes it's just part of the dog's basic personality so can't be changed. Sometimes it's the result of very early experiences, and can't completely be overcome because they were at critical points in his development. Whatever, he is still nervous, so they're not being very helpful!

    I'm not sure that giving treats when he stops barking will be that helpful. Even if he did learn to stop barking so he could get the treat, it doesn't address the emotions that are causing him to bark in the first place. Better would be to give him a treat every time someone came in the shop, regardless of how he reacts. It's not a 'reward' at all - it's building a positive association with people.

    (As an aside, there are two sorts of 'conditioning' in dog training: (1) operant conditioning, where the dog learns 'If I do this [e.g. stop barking], then that happens [e.g. he gets a treat]' and (2) classical conditioning 'When this happens [e.g. Pavlov rings his bell], then that happens' [e.g. the dog gets fed]. Often, people focus on the first where the second would be more useful, and easier to use.)

    If you want to draw up a plan, and chart progress, I would start off from a point where he's completely comfortable: e.g. always behind the counter, being no nearer to another person than 100 feet, not leaving him with anyone else, and not having anyone come to the house. Then, for each situation you need to 'protect' him in, think what the next step is you'd like him to take, and focus on that. e.g., have someone come to the house, ring the doorbell and go away again, have someone come into the shop, look at him and say hello, and leave it at that (and give him treats when the doorbell goes, when the person says hello to him, etc.). Keep track of situations where it goes wrong, and work out how you can avoid them, or turn them into positives for the dog. Hopefully, once you see 'A month ago he barked when X happened and now he doesn't' it'll encourage you that he will get there eventually.
     
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  18. Cheetsy

    Cheetsy New Member Registered

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    That's so kind of you to respond so thoughtfully. I will try that, I do think I need to measure progress for my sanity, so I can stop beating myself up.

    Oh, as far as neutering is concerned, we are not going to take the risk of setting him back after everything I've read, vets and behavourists I've spoken to. Even now thinking of when we first got him and had to carry him past lots of things, that happens very rarely now. He loves his walks! Thank you for listening to my melt down!
     
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