Author Topic: Dog pees with emotion-HELP  (Read 1340 times)

Offline cheryl1

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Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« on: November 17, 2012, 03:55:17 PM »
My pup is a 6 month old female Rott. She urinates uncontrollably when she:

1-knows she just did something wrong
2-is excited to see someone
3-if she is startled
4-if she is in a defensive mode

We had company over the other night, and as soon as they pull up, she's barking the alarm and shooting a stream of pee 2 feet behind her. We have to tie her up out in the yard because she can't be in the house with company. She pees on them.

We have absolutely no problem with housetraining. She never tries to squat and pee in the house, it's just the excitable bladder spasms. She does not have  a bladder infection.

A previous dog of mine (also a female Rott) had a similar problem, but it was never this bad. Thank goodness we have hardwood floors.

Help!
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Offline Skunkeye

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2012, 04:44:46 PM »
Sounds like a classic case of submissive peeing.  It's more common in puppies (who often outgrow it as they get older and more confident), but dogs who lack self-confidence can carry the behavior well into adulthood.

One important thing, if it's truly coming from a submissive mindset, is to not try to correct it with discipline.  That only reinforces the submission/dominance dynamic that's causing the problem.  If you can, find a good dog trainer and work with them to help your dog raise her confidence level.  A dog that's been through even basic obedience training tends to be more confident and secure, because they have a better grasp of human communication, and understand better what humans want from them.  They're less excitable, because they know to stay focused on their leader (you) and find out what you want them to do in any given situation.

The other thing you'll get from a good trainer is that you will learn to speak "dog", too.  You'll be better able to spot body language that may indicate she's feeling insecure and about to make a puddle.  Then you can distract and disrupt the behavior before it happens.  Things like the way you approach the dog can make a difference.  Leaning over and petting her on the head seems harmless to us and most dogs, but from her submissive point of view, it may be a threatening posture.  Kneeling or squatting to her level and scratching her chin might be a better approach, as it doesn't reinforce her submissiveness.  A good trainer can help you learn tricks like that.

If professional training isn't an option, try to work with your dog to really get her socialized as much as possible.  Invite people over she hasn't met (and who are willing to work with her and maybe get a little pee on them), or go to a dog park or friend's house who also has dogs, so she can be exposed to as much outside stimulation and new experiences as possible while she's still young.  When you come home, ignore her until she's calmed down.  Just let her outside to do her business, without even greeting her. 

It's going to take some work on your part, but unless she's got a real severe mental problem, it's correctable.
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Offline Cedar

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2012, 06:29:02 PM »
At this point I would say it is submissive urinating (generally 90%+ of the time if it is submissive they roll over on their backs) and she will probably grow out of it, but there are a few breeds with the genetic trait of having urinary tract issues, such as Sphincter Mechanism Incontinence (SMI). Rottweiler and Doberman are two of them. We had to put a few dogs on Phenylpropanolamine in the vet clinic. More than 20% of spayed females are affected with urinary incontinence after spaying as well. There might be an issue if she has recently been spayed.

Another issue with urinating like this is a common birth defect that causes incontinence in young dogs is Ectopic Ureter. However the breeds usually affected by this are Siberian Huskies, Miniature Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, Collie and Welsh Corgis. Generally this is a dribble and not a stream however. Ectopic ureter is where the ureter, rather than terminating at the urinary bladder, terminates at a different site.

Since she is just coming into puberty it can also be hormonal. Some drugs that are used for this purpose include Estrogen, Ephedrine and Phenylpropanolamine, but some or all of these drugs may be slow to have an effect on the issue.

Good Luck,

Cedar
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Offline excaliber

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2012, 07:26:20 PM »
I feel your pain, I have a 1/2 Chihuahua 1/2 chi-zue, female that for 5 years I can not bend down to pet her, I can talk sweet to her, go toward her slowly, and she will still tilt her head to the side and down, spread her legs and leak when I approach, I have to sit down and let her come to me, then she does not do it. not sure why.

Offline cheryl1

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 08:02:23 PM »
She isn't spayed, mostly because she's an inside dog and I was afraid it might make this problem worse. She doesn't roll over when she pees, but she does hunker down and flatten her head.
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Offline Skunkeye

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2012, 11:31:53 PM »
Yeah, that hunkered down, head down position is definitely a submission posture.  Like Cedar said, I wouldn't completely rule out that it might be a medical or genetic issue, but your description sounds like she's just showing overly submissive behavior.  How does she do with eye contact?  If she won't hold eye contact, or if a long stare causes her to go into her hunkered down, "Did I do something wrong?" stance, that's another sign she's a very submissive dog with low confidence.
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Offline NorIDhunter

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 10:08:03 AM »
Just to add a bit to the good stuff that's already been posted:
1st, if you haven'y already, eliminate ( bad pun  ;) ) potential physical cause(s) w/ a vet exam. If your dog is overly excitable, your vet may be able tp prescribe a "doggie downer" for anxiety/hyperaction.

I believe you definitely need an outside evaluation of your relationship with your dog. A behavioral assessment by a professional trainer may identify cues that you may be giving your dog that signal the onset of fearful submission stress in her or aggressive protective action. Then you can identify those triggers and instead work on actions/methods that encourage calm submissive behaviors.
In one instance I helped with, an owner would come home after a tough day at work to a dog that was 1) overjoyed to see her, and 2) had been in the house all day and HAD TO GO! The dog would come greet the owner, jumping on her work clothes which caused the owner to give an angry NO! and pushing the dog back. The dog then peed in the entry way which further pissed off the owner even more. Vicious cycle.
At other times, owner would come home in good mood or grubby clothes and encourage an enthusiastic greeting, also giving the dog one of her own.
The inconsistency of allowing jumping up at some times, but not others, was confusing the dog. The dog never knew what to expect from the owner while it was messaging "I LOVE you! I MISSED you! i've GOT TO PEE!"Working on the owner to stop allowing the jumping up came first, & then to greet the dog in a calm, positive manner each time also sent a more uniform cue. It's not easy in our modern world but greeting her dog at a neutral "5"instead of an "8" one day and a "3" the next helped in this case

Lastly, I'd highly recommend The Dog Listener: Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog for Willing Cooperation by Jan Fennell It should be in your library system or it's available through Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/0060089466/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=21390703447&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5110300314961165&hvpone=11.55&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_8qf5o6uzfk_b as well as http://www.janfennellthedoglistener.com/
There is a really good chapter in there on how & when your dog is allowed to approach outsiders - strangers/guests.

Good luck, I hope this helps. Fell free to PM me if you want.
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Offline cheryl1

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 10:54:28 AM »
I'll admit inconsistency is probably an issue. Ok it is an issue. She's got me, my husband, and 3 kids all telling her what to do. I need to train the trainers ::)

I need to work on a consistent greeting with her. After thinking about it, she hears "Come" too many times after she's done something wrong, and not enough times just to pet her or give her a treat. We worked on her walking up to me and sitting for a treat last night, and she seemed in a better mood.

My husband is doing a lot better than he did when she was a little, little puppy. Puppies grate on his nerves.

My older girls need some instruction on how to interact with her. Both of them like working with her, but we would all do better if there was consistency between commands and reactions to behavior. I haven't seen any submissive behavior towards the toddler-I guess they are packmates.

She really is a good dog. My 2yo can tell her to lay next to the kitchen cabinets, and then he stands on her to reach snacks for both of them. (teamwork lol)My 9yo says it's awesome to have a "robot" dog that does what you say. (Grandpa also has a rottie-untrained). She's smart, so I guess the worst case will be training her to wear a diaper. (kidding!)

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Offline NorIDhunter

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 12:44:31 PM »
1) I'll admit inconsistency is probably an issue. Ok it is an issue. She's got me, my husband, and 3 kids all telling her what to do. I need to train the trainers ::)


2) I need to work on a consistent greeting with her. After thinking about it, she hears "Come" too many times after she's done something wrong, and not enough times just to pet her or give her a treat. We worked on her walking up to me and sitting for a treat last night, and she seemed in a better mood.



3) My husband is doing a lot better than he did when she was a little, little puppy. Puppies grate on his nerves.

My older girls need some instruction on how to interact with her. Both of them like working with her, but we would all do better if there was consistency between commands and reactions to behavior. I haven't seen any submissive behavior towards the toddler-I guess they are packmates.

4) She really is a good dog. My 2yo can tell her to lay next to the kitchen cabinets, and then he stands on her to reach snacks for both of them. (teamwork lol)My 9yo says it's awesome to have a "robot" dog that does what you say. (Grandpa also has a rottie-untrained). She's smart, so I guess the worst case will be training her to wear a diaper. (kidding!)

1. Yes, and all the "trainers" should be using the same cue to get the same behavior. Ie, everyone should be using "Come" to get the dog to approach you. Not one person saying "Come", another saying "Here", and yet another saying "Come Here!" Everyone should just use "Sit" and not "Sit Down" (Hmm do you want me to "sit" or so you want me to be laying on the floor?"

2. Imo, never call the dog to you to give a correction. Go to it. Always try to keep "Come" to you to be a positive thing and the dog will recall to you more readily

3. And the dog will pick up on that VERY quickly.

4. That's why a problem like this can be so frustrating in an otherwise "good dog". Help your children remember though,  that the dog is not a machine. Even highly trained field dogs have bad days & moods.
Seriously,  don't rule out any tools (like diapers) to help you correct a problem behavior. You may need them in a 5-10 minute training session (or a few) to help the dog gain confidence while you don't have to clean up a pee stream. Fit the training to the dog, not the dog to the training. 
Positive puppy power!!
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Offline ttubravesrock

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 07:03:15 PM »
In addition to the advice already given, it could be a combination of three things.

1. Puppy submission (they grow out of it).
2. Genetic issues (gets worse with age without supplements).
3. Large Dog issues (the fact that she is not spayed probably rules this one out).

My dog is a German Shepherd/Husky Mix.  From around 4-10 months, she would get so excited that she would pee.  Our solution was to introduce new company to her outside and then when she calmed down we brought her in and she was fine.

After she was around a year old, we were sure that she had grown out of it because it had been so long since an incident.

When she got to about 5 years old, we noticed that after she had been doing some heavy duty playing in the cold, she would come inside, drink a bunch of water, go to sleep, and wake up with a little puddle and be very embarrassed about it.  Apparently this is relatively common in large spayed dogs and can be treated with estrogen. When a dog is spayed they lose most of their estrogen-making capabilities and estrogen is the muscle that maintains the bladder muscle.  I'm no vet, this is just my limited understanding. 

Now we just give her an estrogen pill every once and a while and give her lots of absorbent places to lay down so if she does have an accident, we save her from the embarrassment. 

Offline Skunkeye

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2012, 01:02:36 AM »
I believe you definitely need an outside evaluation of your relationship with your dog. A behavioral assessment by a professional trainer may identify cues that you may be giving your dog that signal the onset of fearful submission stress in her or aggressive protective action. Then you can identify those triggers and instead work on actions/methods that encourage calm submissive behaviors.

I couldn't agree with this more.  Having an outside party that has no emotional stake in any of this could do wonders for identifying very subtle things that you or your family members may be doing that you're not even aware of.  But let me assure you, the dog is very aware of everything that's going on.  Every tone of voice (even when you're not speaking to the dog), every bit of eye contact, body language - this is how dogs communicate, so they're hyper-sensitive to things humans often can't even detect.  You absolutely cannot hide your emotions from a dog.

There are two important things to make such an evaluation successful, though: everyone must go in with an open mind, and everyone should behave as naturally as normally as possible.  Let the trainer see how you and the dog interact, warts and all.  Be honest and open, and a good trainer can help you make astonishing progress in a very short time.  And not only do you get clean, dry floors, you get a dog that's better trained, happier, and healthier.
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Offline SusanG

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 04:59:00 PM »
I once had a dog with a submissive urination problem.  When I came home from work, I had to walk past her yard to get to my door, so I always greeted her and the rest of my menagerie by petting and talking to them  (we were all glad to see each other.  :D) and she would wiggle, cower, and pee all over herself.  The other dog from the same litter didn't do that, nor did the mama dog, so I feel sure it was a personality issue with that dog and not from anything that I did.

What I did was, when I approached the dogs, I didn't talk to them or look at them.  I just stood there looking away into the trees.  This gave her a chance to pee, at first involuntarily, and then voluntarily.  When I saw that she was done, the happy greetings followed.  Also, at other times when she was inside and I knew it was probably time to pee, I led her outside without talking to her or looking at her, and then payed extravagant attention after she had done her business.  Eventually she stopped doing the submissive urination thing, and I was able to treat her the same way I treated the other dogs.

I was the only human in the household, so I don't know how someone might adapt this to a household with children and lots of visitors, but thought I'd throw it out in case it might help.

Cynthia

Offline NorIDhunter

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 05:40:55 PM »
@ Susan G - Glad to hear that what you did was successful. Much of that "greeting" is what Jan recommends in her book. I think it can be done with all humans in the household in order to to speak 'canine" to the dog.
One big problem is that we, as humans, send such mixed messages to our dogs. We don't maintain a consistent "role" in the dog's eyes. Most dogs don't want to be alphas, but will if they are forced to, because "someone" has to fill the job.

Working in an animal shelter, I constantly deal with dogs that don't know their place in the structure there. They're confused, scared & stressed, consequently there's a LOT of SU until they figure out where they belong. Giving them a consistent persona to deal with often speeds that process.     
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Offline chickchoc

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 07:52:56 PM »
Just have to add my 2 cents' worth.  I own and have bred toy poodles, a breed well known as "piddlers."  In one litter I had such a "soft temperament" bitch puppy that simply looking in her direction caused an overwhelming fear response in her.  She cowered, she whined, she literally crawled on her belly.  In short, the animal behaved as if she had been severely abused since day one.  I have an excellent dog trainer in my area to whom I took this dog for help.  She explained that this poor puppy was the "omega" in the litter, i.e. the last one in the pecking order.  Dogs in this position can often become "fear biters". 

We went through obedience kindergarten twice with some improvement, but I decided that a show career was entirely out of the question, likewise breeding, so I gave her to a recently widowed woman without any other pets.  The dog is still somewhat anxious, but removing her from (to her perception) an intolerably stressful situation made her an outstanding pet.

With this in mind, I would suggest the ENTIRE FAMILY attends puppy training with your Rottie so that her stressful home life can become more calm and manageable in her perception.  As my trainer says, "Dogs don't speak English, so owners must learn to speak Dog."

Good luck

Offline Bubba Zinetti

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2012, 03:34:09 PM »
I have a 6 month old female that was having the same problems until we took her to get fixed.  The doc repaired a fair sized hernia she had had since birth and since that point there has been no more problem peeing when she gets excited.  Maybe check for a hernia.  Hope that helps.

Offline cheryl1

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Re: Dog pees with emotion-HELP
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2012, 08:56:52 AM »
Did the vet diagnose the hernia first? Or find it during surgery?
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