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Tracy
January 29th, 2010, 07:43 PM
It's been a little over a year since I have posted to this forum. At that time, I was seeking advice on housebreaking two new additions to the family. We have three terriors (aka terrorists!) Three girls: a cairn (Suzy) 7 yr, a wire fox (Roxy) 2, and a yorkie 2. The girls were doing well with the advice given and life was pretty fun...until...October 2009.

In order to understand the title, I must tell you that Suzy had a male companion by the name of Snickers many, many years ago. He was a sprayer on steroids and in a difficult decision 5 years ago, we gave him to a neighbor. We thought it was simply because he was not the center of our world and was quite literally "pissed off." Well, the neighbor moved out of town and could not keep him. He went to live with their cleaning lady who loved the dog...and then she went for her nursing degree...and the hours did not work well with a pet...from there, we have no idea. In October, we received a call from the local shelter: they found Snickers! :p After three days of exhaustive searching for an owner, the shelter threatened to put down. We couldn't bear the thought...

So, he's back home - must be destiny, right? He was really good for the first two months, almost thankful to be alive, fed, and in a warm cozy bed with a harem of girls. The spraying has begun and we are at our wits end (again). The girls feel like "if he can go, so can wee wee all over the floor." Any ideas - besides finding a new home for Snickers? Can you break a spraying dog? We tried extensive training, attention, leasing, doggie diapers, etc Help?

Rebecca
February 1st, 2010, 03:53 PM
Oh, Snickers!! Sounds like he's got a longstanding problem, which may be a little tricky to fix, but we can get the job done! I definitely commend you for taking him back when he had no place to go! :thumbup:

You'll need to break his marking habit for a while by using a confinement and supervision program... most likely you'd do crate training (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/training/crate-training.htm) and umbilical cord training (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/training/umbilical-cord-training.htm) with him. I'd suggest doing this for about a month so he has a month with no successful marking incidents whatsoever. If he does attempt to mark when you have him out in the house with you, you'll catch and correct him since he's on the leash all the time, so that will be a good opportunity to let him know that the marking doesn't work for him any more.

During this time, you might try putting his food bowl in the areas where he marks (you can rotate from spot to spot), so he starts to associate the areas with mealtime, which will make him less inclined to pee in those areas.

Once it's time to start allowing him free time in the house again, be sure you've cleaned the areas he usually marks thoroughly with odor neutralizer. You may also want to consider using an indoor dog repellent product (you can buy these online or at the pet store). I'd also try to keep him out of the specific areas he marks in for a while by using something to make it physically uncomfortable for him to go in those areas. Some people have success with putting aluminum foil on the floor in those areas or you can use clear plastic office carpet runners turned upside down, so the plastic points are facing up. You can buy the carpet runners at an office supply store.

If there are any marking incidents, don't correct him unless you catch him in the act and don't clean up in front of him, which can reinforce the marking behavior.

I'd also strongly suggest that you consider doing some more obedience training with an experienced trainer who will be able to help you to build up his confidence and help him to be clear about his position in the household.

Marking problems can be difficult to fix, but with time, patience and a bit of work, you should be able to resolve this problem. Let us know how it goes!

Tracy
February 1st, 2010, 08:22 PM
I will try again and check back in a month or so --

We watched him like a hawk during his first few weeks (really, months). He was in the kennel when not on our lap. As we have relaxed, he has begun to spray again. It's truly a psychological thing with this dog -- he just gets pissed off when he is not the center of attention. At his height, he was actually lifting his leg on house guests that were visiting with us! I wish I could say that he had a particular place -- seemed like very 4 inches around the house before. So fearful that we are digressing quickly. He's back in the kennel when not on our lap and we enrolled in a refresher training course. He's actually a very obedient dog off lease - sit, down, heel, come, stay, etc. Of course, we've got his harem in their kennels too. I suspect that they will quickly rally. Perhaps I should take a "dog whisper" course instead? : ) Thanks again for everything!

Rebecca
February 1st, 2010, 09:52 PM
Do you think you'd be able to catch him marking? Sounds like you could, particularly if he's the type to pee on houseguests... :eek:

You might consider getting a remote training collar that uses a quick burst of aerosol spray as a correction. If you can spy on him every time he's unsupervised for a while and you're able to get some well-timed corrections with the collar, it might do the trick. The collars tend to be cheaper online, so google "dog training spray collar" and you should find plenty of vendors who carry it.