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Marking territory in daughters house

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Grandad 99, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. Grandad 99

    Grandad 99 New Member Registered

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    Bertie is a 10 year old Bichon Friese. A friend of my daughter owned him for 8 years, but developed cancer and could not care for him properly - we took him a few weeks before she died. I suspect that his last few years with her were very unstructured but he quickly settled with us.

    He has his good and bad points - very affectionate, excitable with visitors and goes ballistic when the post is delivered. His house training leaves a little to be desired. He asks to go out by just staring at us- when we say "garden?" he goes to the back door. If we do not notice him he will go indoors. We put this down to his last owner sometimes being physically unable to get up to let him out.

    We are both in our 80s and considered the future when taking him on. My daughter said she would help with day to day problems by having him when we had medical appointments etc. This has worked well, even when she acquired a spaniel x poodle bitch puppy. They get on well and Bertie gets very excited when he spends a few hours there. He stayed overnight when my wife had a fall and spent 3 weeks in hospital

    We have noticed over the last few weeks that he is becoming more excitable. He was at my daughters for 4 hours this afternoon and marked his territory some 7 times in various places around the house. We then learned that he had also done this previously but never to the same extent.

    Both dogs have been neutered and we are wondering how we can stop this behaviour - my wife is very upset and does not want him to go there any more, which will give us problems.

    Is there a way that we can tackle this problem?
  2. JacksDad

    JacksDad Active Member Registered

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    Given the dogs age, a full vet check that also takes into account possible health issues that could cause in ability to control when to pee might be a good idea.

    Next, take a page out of the puppy "manual" and just treat Bertie no different than a young puppy. Proactively take him out every hour or two until you can be sure of his actual window for "holding it". Then build from there as he becomes reliable. Do NOT wait for him to ask to go out, proactively take him out. Be sure to be out with him and visually know he actually eliminated. Do not just let him out and assume he does empty out.

    When he does have a accident and goes in the house, be sure to NOT punish or "tell him off". this can have the reverse affect, and in a worse case actually teach the reverse of what you want.

    When he does have a accident, be sure to clean it up with a cleaner that breaks up the urine enzymes. something like "nature's miracle". generously spray down the area and up at least a couple feet any near by vertical surface to account for splatter.

    stress can also be a factor, as can anxiety. is there any reason to believe Bertie may have either going on?
    Suzette and Hemlock like this.
  3. Tinytom

    Tinytom Well-Known Member Registered

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    We have had Tom for 6 years ..he was one year old when we adopted him (he is a jack russell )
    He is totally house trained but on occasion when he is stressed will cock his leg up a chair or the curtains. can be 3 or 4 times and then he doesn't do it for months ....i never tell him off ....hope you find the could be all the excitement going to your daughters with another dog especially if he had led a sheltered life before xx
    merlina and Hemlock like this.
  4. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Under the circumstances you describe, it is almost certainly a stress response. He is, after all, in a stressy situation from his point of view, not least because he has changed homes again (he has no idea if/when he is going back or staying) and then there is another dog (stress) that is a pup (stress). I reckon your daughter is a saint, and you and your wife are lovely people looking for an answer to this. A full veterinary check including blood tests is needed as a start. Ask about calming pills too.

    Unfortunately the answer is neither easy nor complete. Follow Jacksdad's advice, and also ensure that your daughter, as well as using an enzymatic cleaner for cleaning up after the dog, does not use any cleaner in the house that has ammonia in it, as this smells like pee to the dog and will make him even more likely to mark. Given his background, he may never be 100% reliable in this no matter what is done, so restricting his access to certain rooms and being pro-active about taking him out may be the best you can do.
    Suzette and merlina like this.

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