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In terms of dog training, house training is one of the areas of dog ownership and one of the most common dog training problems that is most subject to misunderstanding, confusion, and just plain dread boy dog owners and even dog training experts.
In today’s dog training article we are going to examine and learn how to deal with two of the most common problems surrounding the issue of house training your dog:
- Submissive and excited urination
- Scent marking behavior
Common house training problem #1: Submissive and excited urination
What is it a ‘submissive urinator’?
A ‘submissive urinator’, in dog training terms, is a dog that urinates on the floor and himself (and sometimes on you or any guests you may have!) in situations of extreme excitement or stress, like when you return home at the end of the work day or when the dog is being told off for some bad behavior.
Why does this happen?
Puppies are the most usual candidates for submissive/excited urination, but it is also not uncommon to see this behavior in adult dogs as well. Usually, these are highly sensitive and timid dogs, and/or ones from a shelter/with a history of abuse (often these last two go hand-in-hand and one of most common things we see as dog training professionals.)
When does it happen?
Situations which are likely to trigger an excited/fearful dog to urinate:
- Greeting time after a prolonged absence of owner
- Play time where a dog gets too excited
- The arrival of guests (particularly unknown guests)
- Stressful situations at home, eg arguments involving owner
- During a behavior correction such as you’re telling him off
- Sudden and unexpected loud noises such as thunder or fireworks
What can I do about it?
Luckily as dog training experts will tell you, it is not difficult to prevent your dog from doing his submissive or excited urination.
Firstly and most importantly, you should take him to the vet to make sure there is no unknown medical reason for the issue (such as diabetes or a hidden bladder infection.)
Next, it’s time to take use good dog training techniques to control the problem:
- Try to limit his intake of water to help him control his bladder more effectively, this is very important. Don’t restrict his water intake over a prolonged period of time, but if you know there is a situation coming which would normally result in a loss of bladder control, for example, you have guests coming over, or are planning on a play session soon, take his water bowl away for a period of time (maybe half an hour to an hour) before the event.
- When greeting your dog, keep it calm and mellow. The more excited he is, the harder it is for him to control his bladder, so don’t encourage him to get worked up: ignore him for the first few moments, or give him a very neutral “hello”, a quick and gentle pat, and then go about making yourself at home.
- It’s important that you DO NOT punish or harshly correct your dog for this behavior. It is not something that he can easily control, and he’s certainly not doing it on purpose. Punishing a dog for this behavior can cause emotional distress and lead to more problems for you and the dog in the long run. When you catch him in the act, you can interrupt him (a firm “No!” followed by praise when he stops should suffice) but don’t punish him. Keep your cool, and try to be sympathetic: he doesn’t mean to do it, after all!
- If he urinates out of fear (submissiveness) when scolding him for another offense, try to take the stress levels down a notch by keeping a firm, authoritative, but not angry tone. Remember, you’re dealing with a sensitive, highly-strung dog: if you get angry or worry him further, the problem will worsen.
Common house training problem #2: Scent marking
In dog training terms ‘Scent marking’ is where a dog ‘marks’ his or her territory with urine. Technically this is not actually a house training problem, since it’s based on the dog training issues of dominance and territoriality rather than insufficient house training. A dog can be perfectly house trained but still feel the need to mark inside the house.
However, because – since the problem centers around the unwanted presence of urine in the house – it seems logical, in a way, to link this problem with house training. Since this is one of the most widespread problems among dog owners, we as dog training professionals thought it worthwhile to include some practical advice.
Scent marking and lack of house training: how to differentiate between the two
Your dog is most likely scent marking their territory, rather than genuinely relieving himself, if:
- The amount of urine produced is relatively small, and tends to be directed against vertical surfaces such as doors, walls or furniture.
- If your dog is an unneutered male and at least five or six months old. Unneutered dogs are much more territorial than neutered ones. If you have an unneutered dog in the house, you can pretty much expect a certain amount of scent marking as he defines his own areas. It should also be noted that unspayed females also mark, but it is much less common. Spayed and neutered dogs can also exhibit marking behavior, but it’s relatively rare but should not be discounted.
- It makes little difference how often he is taken outside for a toilet break
- He frequently targets items that are new to the house such as new possessions, guest clothing/footwear, etc that do not carry some form of his scent
- You live in a multi-dog household and there is conflict between two or more of the dogs. In this case it is a dominance issue between the two and they may both mark.
- There are other, unneutered or unspayed pets in the house
What to do about the problem?
From a dog training perspective the first thing you need to do is spay or neuter your dog(s) as soon as you possibly can. If you can do this early enough, ideally, at six months of age, this often halts marking altogether. If this is not possible or if your dog’s been marking for a prolonged period of time, he or she may continue to do so after being spayed or neutered, since a pattern of behavior will have been established.
Ensure you clean soiled areas thoroughly. Use a non-ammonia based cleaner, because it smells just like pee, and stay away from vinegar too, it smells similar to pee as well. Oxi-Clean mixed with warm water is particularly effective on these areas and there are also plenty of commercial cleaners designed specifically to lift pet stains and odors, which you can buy from pet stores and some supermarkets.
Because dogs tend to re-mark the same places, you’ll need to redefine the places that you know he’s marked to prevent repeat offending.
Many dog training experts will recommend the following ways to do this:
- Feed him next to or on top of the spot
- Play with him there
- Groom him there
- Put his bed over or next to it
- Spend time there yourself: hang out with a book or sit down and work
Finally, one particular aspect of dog training that is often overlooked is if there is rivalry between dogs in the household. In this case you will need to take steps to resolve it. Any conflict is likely to be hierarchical in nature (a ‘power struggle’), which means that all you have to do to stop the tension is pay attention to which dog seems to be more dominant than the other one (which one eats first, gets the toys he/she wants, ‘stares down’ another dog), and reinforce this position to establish the hierarchy.
So how do you do this? From a dog training perspective it is relatively simple. First, feed the dominant dog first. Pet him/her first. Give him/her a toy before anyone else gets one. This makes it clear to all dogs in the house which one really is the dominant dog. When this hierarchy’s been recognizably established, territorial and dominant behaviors like scent marking often vanish overnight.
The term ‘worms in dogs’ is used to describe many different internal parasites which can infect our pets. Owners can buy treatments for worms in dogs from pet shops and veterinary practices and should use them regularly. Responsible pet care and regular worming treatments go hand in hand.
There are two types of infections of worms in dogs which are common in the UK. These are roundworms and tapeworms. Unfortunately many puppies are born with a roundworm infection so they are very hard to avoid. This underlines the importance of worming our dogs regularly, especially during puppyhood.
As worms in dogs go, roundworms can have serious consequences, despite the fact that many dogs which are infested will show no outward symptoms. The adult roundworm lives in the intestines of the dog, feeding on the intestines’ contents. This effectively means that the roundworms eat your dog’s food! In severe cases, there can be several roundworms inside one dog. This explains why dogs with severe infestations are malnourished, have dull coats and lack energy.
Roundworms can remain dormant in cysts inside the muscles of adult dogs. They then awaken in times of stress. Very commonly, pregnancy awakens them and the larvae migrate around the body, infecting the unborn puppies. Treatment for worms in dogs administered to the pregnant bitch cannot rid the unborn puppies of their worms. This explains why treating worms in dogs is such a priority for puppy health care.
mature worms release eggs which are passed in the dog’s feces leading soil to become contaminated. Then the dogs pick up the eggs from the soil. The most common roundworm in the UK is the Toxocara Canis and it can infect humans, especially children who come into contact with the eggs playing in contaminated soil or sand. The larvae can migrate through the child’s body, potentially causing permanent eye damage if they end up behind the retina. It is therefore very important to regularly treat worms in dogs.
8 in 1 Excel Adult Vitamin Paste for dogs is a high calorie, high energy nutritional paste supplement specially formulated for puppies and active, adult dogs.
For dogs off their normal diet, helps stimulate appetite and increases weight gain. Rich in essential fatty acids to provide a healthy skin & coat. Tasty malt flavor dogs love.
For use on dogs
The Shar-Pei is a serious, independent dog. It is an ancient breed of China, and its name means “sand skin,” which refers to the color and appearance of its coat. Though it appears to have a gloomy expression on its wrinkled face, the Shar Pei is actually very friendly and well-mannered. Shar-Pei guardians will delight in this wall calendar, which features regal adult dogs and adorable puppies.
When rewarding your dog, why not treat him with dental treats? Treating your dog with dental treats will not only seem like a reward for Rover but it will also help to clean his teeth and gums. My own dogs really like the Greenies dental treats. When they hear me open the bag they are right there with toothy smiles on their faces. The Chihuahuas, the Border Collies, and the St. Bernard all clamor to get their Greenie. I feel good giving them these treats because the dogs love them, and I love the fact that I am helping clean their breath, their teeth, and their gums. Greenies are available for the smallest member of the pack to the largest.
My dogs also love the taste of rawhide. CET Hextra Premium Chews have combined antimicrobial chlorhexidine with rawhide in a tasty chew for all sizes of dogs. Dental health in our dogs is important because studies have shown that plaque buildup on teeth has been connected to heart and other organ disease. Affecting 85% of adult dogs, periodontal disease causes bad breath, tooth loss, and pain. Good dental health for dogs can be as easy as brushing your dog’s teeth using a dog toothbrush and doggie toothpaste. This dog toothpaste tastes good to your dog and comes in several flavors; best of all, it will not harm them if they swallow it. For all of these products and other doggie dental treats, go to www.luvurdog.com. Soon your dog will be smiling his delightful doggy grin.
Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula Dry Food for Dogs was designed for dogs with allergies caused by an intolerance to common food ingredients such as meat or dairy products. The Vegetarian Formula provides adult dogs with the same essential nutrients found in diets with meat as the protein source. Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula is for all breeds of adult dogs.
Some dogs may be highly sensitive to commonly used animal proteins, carbohydrates and food additives in their diet. Allergic reactions can lead to irritable bowel, upset stomach, and a number of skin problems. Natural Balance has created Vegetarian Formula for dogs with these food allergies. Vegetarian Formula combines special non-meat proteins along with effective natural ingredients to help rebuild the dog’s immune system. Made in USA
For use on dogs
Love of Dogs Wall Calendar: Enjoy a year full of beloved companions, from puppies to full grown adult dogs with this wall calendar featuring the art of Sueellen Ross. Printed on embossed linen paper with a brass grommet for reinforcement, Lang’s Wall Calendars open to a generous size to give you plenty of room for scheduling.
They arrive in a handsome Lang Signature Gift Jacket.
Shar-Pei Wall Calendar: The Shar-Pei is a serious, independent dog. It is an ancient breed of China, and its name means “sand skin,” which refers to the color and appearance of its coat. Though it appears to have a gloomy expression on its wrinkled face, the Shar Pei is actually very friendly and well-mannered. Shar-Pei guardians will delight in this wall calendar, which features regal adult dogs and adorable puppies.