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Peeing--S.a. From The Dog Walker? Just Settling In?


Guest fenix916
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Guest fenix916

So to recap, when we got Hugs about 7 weeks ago, he pretty much immediately (i.e. within a day) started to freak out when crated, including peeing in the crate. On the advice of our vet and rescue group we let him out and gave him pretty much free run of our small house. AND...he did great for a 3-4 weeks! He had one accident while we were out over a month, pretty great (we started meticulously checking the house for pee when we would get home). He hasn't had an accident while we were home in 5 or 6 weeks--we check before bed and there's only so many places he could pee and have us not notice.

 

But starting in the last 10-14 days he's been peeing every other day while we aren't home, BUT:

(1) he only pees in the afternoon after the dog walker comes -- we've surmised this because days when we find pee in the house he also barely has to pee when we get home. Seems like he's going VERY close to our arrival home.

(2) he only pees when we're out on the weekdays. We keep him on the same out schedule on weekends and no pee! If we leave him home alone for 5-6 hours on the weekend, there's no pee in the house when we come home--that's the same amount of time as he's left home alone during the week after the dog walker comes.

(3) he only pees in very convenient places for us to clean up--no peeing on the big area rugs in the living areas, no peeing in the bedrooms he frequents. He pees in an unused room (which we since blocked off and tore the carpet up in--we were planning on tearing it up anyway and once he peed on it...) or he pees on old welcome/bath mats (of which there are many) left here by the prior owners, or he pulls a random fleece blanket out of a closet and pees on that.

 

We called the vet who of course said we COULD bring him in for testing, but he said the dog didn't really have any symptoms of urinary or bladder problems, other than the accidents. He doesn't have to pee frequently, he doesn't strain to pee, and so on. Our vet told us it was fine to try a wait and see approach.

 

ANYWAY, the peeing in the house over the last 10-14 days coincides with him getting a new dog walker--it's the same company we've had all along but they switched us to a more junior dog walker because he's "easy" to walk.

 

Is this a normal part of settling down? We're happy to wait and see if he improves, he just had like a solid 4 week dry spell in the house, so we were surprised when it started again.

 

Could he miss his old dog walker he had for the first 4 weeks? Or is he having S.A. from the new dog walker?

 

Is the dog walker not coming or not giving him the walk he needs? Like I said, he doesn't seem to be peeing during weekday mornings or on the weekends, when I'm the last one to walk him before leaving the house. When I walk him I do it for the exercise, meaning we move our furry butts and get our heart rates up for a good 30-40 minutes. I wonder if his afternoon walk is too lackadaisical and he's getting bored or anxious later in the afternoon?

 

The dog isn't destructive when we're out, nor does he seem to try to get into things (i.e. trash, food) he shouldn't. He sometimes picks up dirty laundry off the floor or slippers or sneakers and nests with them, but he doesn't chew or tear anything. ONE time he scratched at a closed door while we were out, but that was about a month ago.

 

For the last month or so he's been all business when we take him out to pee--he only pees in one or two spots and he almost always goes immediately. Treats and praise abound. The only exception to this is when he's just peed in the house before we got home--then he just stands there for a few minutes before taking a wee whiz.

 

We're trying to eliminate access to the bath mats and other areas he peed on and using nature miracle. Leaving a kong or having the dog walker give him a special treat before leaving doesn't seem to help.

 

Anyone had a problem with accidents after a dog walker switch? Is it cool to politely inquire if the dog is getting a vigorous enough walk? He gets a 30-40 minute walk from me in the morning and we run around the yard and play for 10-20 minutes when I get home (basically we play until he seems tired). The dog walker is supposed to give him 30 minutes mid day---seems like this should be enough exercise.

 

So, wait it out? Ask for our old dog walker back?

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Vet check for UTI.

 

If negative...

 

Set up a webcam to see and time the events.

 

Or...

 

Get the original dog walker back.

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
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I'm a dog walker. My guess is that the new walker is causing the issue. It could be something as minor as not giving a treat when they leave when the old walker did to not giving an adequate walk or even not treating the dog well and peeing is how the dog is showing it. I'd get the 2 walkers to talk and figure out if the routine has changed at all. If so, get the walker to do what worked. If not, get the old walker back.

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Dog walker. Your new walker is probably not making the dog feel comfortable. Were you there when the new dog walker came the first time? If there is uneasiness, the dog is probably not peeing on the walk (or not fully) and therefore, does it at home. Get the other dog walker back. If the walker you have now is a "junior one", chances are it could be someone that doesn't know what they are doing yet.

 

edited to add -- I would not keep on using the new walker at all -- they have not done their job and it is not your responsibility to have them learn on "your dog".

Edited by MaryJane
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Generally I'm not a believer in coincidences. Your guy started an unusual behavior, peeing in the house, when a new, important person entered his life. IMO, it is cause and effect.

 

As far as inquiring about what type of service you're getting: My goodness, you're a consumer paying for a service. It is your right and your responsibility for the well being of Hugs to inquire. It has nothing to do with it being "cool." If you took your car in for service and they didn't change the oil as requested, would you not ask why?

Edited by Feisty49
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I actually think some dogs do better NOT disturbed mid day. If you've ever seen the YouTube video of the time lapse photography of a Greyhound home all day, the dog barely moves off the bed in 9 hours. And that is my experience with my dog as well. I have a surveillance camera. He never even stands up.

 

Likely the dog walker is waking the dog up when he arrives, and then there is the entire "I'm being left" routine a second time.

 

You might try skipping it.


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Guest fenix916

Thanks for the moral support. We felt so crestfallen when we realized he was having accidents after so many good weeks, like "oh we're so dumb we thought he was doing well and now he's not." He did LOVE the old dog walker, would crawl into his lap. Glad we don't sound crazy to be suspicious of the dog walker change--we want to be good pet parents without being over protective parents

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When I had a dog walker - they would leave me a notes as to how my dog was. As I found out later - let's you know that they show up each day. This is also good because sometimes the dog walker (experienced ones) can pick up issues in your dog before you see them.

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Guest fenix916

When I had a dog walker - they would leave me a notes as to how my dog was. As I found out later - let's you know that they show up each day. This is also good because sometimes the dog walker (experienced ones) can pick up issues in your dog before you see them.

 

Hugs does get a report card every day, but it's generally just "he peed and was very good." After we mentioned the accidents to the dog walker she said he did "seem bummed" when she left him after walks, so we've been trying to prepare a special treat for her to give him when she leaves.

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I leave frozen kongs for my dog walker to give my dogs as she's leaving. If it were me, I would leave my webcam going so I could know what was really going on.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest roweboy

I don't think he's left home long enough to need a dog walker. If you exceed 8 hours away regularly it would be different. My boy goes for 12 hours overnight sometimes (he likes to sleep in like we do whenever possible) so 6 hours should be nothing unless he's very old or unwell. This isn't a capacity issue. I had a small dog who, even though he was very old, could hold his pee all night but would mark as soon as I left the room.

 

I agree that he's probably better off not disturbed during the day for a walk. It gives him another chance to have SA which sounds like the problem.

 

I'd wrap him in a belly band while you're gone. Maybe it will dissuade him, and it will help eliminate odor marking.

 

Practice leaving and returning - no fuss, leave a radio on, come back in a few minutes or unpredictable times. Dogs can't tell time so 5 minutes or 5 hours means nothing. It's the leaving that's probably tough for him. Stuffed kongs etc. can help. I don't think our dog does much of anything while we're gone.

 

You might try:

Keep him tethered to you for a weekend AFTER you've removed all the urine marking. Don't let him mark every time he wants to when he walks with you outside.

BUT, I think this is more a separation issue than a lack of viewing your home as his den since he would pee in his crate.

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Guest fenix916

I don't think he's left home long enough to need a dog walker. If you exceed 8 hours away regularly it would be different. My boy goes for 12 hours overnight sometimes (he likes to sleep in like we do whenever possible) so 6 hours should be nothing unless he's very old or unwell. This isn't a capacity issue. I had a small dog who, even though he was very old, could hold his pee all night but would mark as soon as I left the room.

 

I agree that he's probably better off not disturbed during the day for a walk. It gives him another chance to have SA which sounds like the problem.

 

I'd wrap him in a belly band while you're gone. Maybe it will dissuade him, and it will help eliminate odor marking.

 

Practice leaving and returning - no fuss, leave a radio on, come back in a few minutes or unpredictable times. Dogs can't tell time so 5 minutes or 5 hours means nothing. It's the leaving that's probably tough for him. Stuffed kongs etc. can help. I don't think our dog does much of anything while we're gone.

 

You might try:

Keep him tethered to you for a weekend AFTER you've removed all the urine marking. Don't let him mark every time he wants to when he walks with you outside.

BUT, I think this is more a separation issue than a lack of viewing your home as his den since he would pee in his crate.

 

You make some good points. I had a small dog that used to get left home alone for a whole work day without incident.

 

Hugs is usually home alone from 8:30am-6pm. When we leave him we feed him breakfast/dinner (if it's the right time of day) or we give him a stuffed kong and wait until he's into it, then slip out. Guess we should have thought more about the dog walker's leaving effect on him.

 

Believe me I wouldn't mind getting rid of the dog walker. It's expensive five days a week and we both like walking! We just assumed the dog walker was a necessary.

 

One thing--I don't think he's marking--he's full on emptying is bladder on stuff. I agree it's anxiety related. In addition to peeing in the crate he eventually was breaking out. I will say he goes out of his way to not pee in places we hang out.

 

What you say about sleeping makes a lot of sense. When we come home during the work week he's always waiting at the door. On the weekends when we've been out for awhile he's at the door, but we can hear him coming down the stairs (meaning he was up in the bedroom, probably sleeping) right before we got home. I don't hear him coming downstairs during the week. You might be right that he's getting woken up by the dog walker and not settling back in.

 

Will a belly band help given he's just full on whizzing? Or is it only for marking? Is there a difference?

 

Thanks all!

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I think 9 1/2 hours is long enough to warrant a dog walker, although some dogs might be okay going without one and if it ends up that this continues having accidents with teh dog walker, but it doesn't happen if you just leave him all day then it's worth considering. However, I'd probably look into getting the other dog walker back and having her leave him with something to keep him busy for a while after she leaves. When I use mine, I leave them with smaller less full frozen kongs in the AM and the dog walker gives them the big ones when she's leaving. I'm also careful to make sure they're WELL exercised on days where I'm going long enough to need the walker. Zuri has always has mild SA. He does well until around 7-8 hours and if it's a particularly bad day, he'll pee in his crate (same as yours, full on pee). He's done this one time when the dog walker came, but I dont' think I had been as careful about the exercise and big kongs that time around. One thing that has really helped him, outside of exercise is a DAP collar:

 

http://www.amazon.com/D-A-P-Appeasing-Pheromone-Collar-Puppies/dp/B000HPVH6O/ref=sr_1_2?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1402425982&sr=1-2&keywords=dap+collar+for+dogs

 

FYI, the belly band is just for your convenience, it won't do anything to help the dog behaviorally and then he'll be left with a pee soaked fabric pressed against him. I wouldn't use one in this instance.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I'd talk to the dog walkers before making any other changes. Gotta wonder if the new one isn't walking long enough, is keeping him on too short a leash, etc.

 

Doesn't sound like SA at all. Sounds like he isn't getting a chance to go.

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Guest fenix916

Thanks all. We're going to try confining him to our bedroom (where he sleeps) this afternoon to see how he does. He hated being locked in the crate, but we're not sure how the bedroom will go. Yesterday he peed on the living room area rug--apparently eliminating other more out of the way options to pee has just moved him to the main part of the house. If he pees in the bedroom, will go to the vet too even though he seems quite capable of holding it for 6+ hours when we're home or out on the weekend.

 

He had SA when we got him, for sure. He scratched on some doors once or twice (like 4 weeks ago). But was no other destructive or visible signs of anxiety except escaping his crate, and maybe the most recent peeing. He is on his second DAP collar. We noticed a difference using it, for sure.

 

We thought his SA was getting much better. We started feeding him right when we leave the house, so now our morning routine keeps him more focused on breakfast. He pants much less and more like a normal dog pant, not the fast anxious type he had when we first got him. He also used to cry if we were both out of site, even for a moment--he followed us everywhere all the time. Now I can't remember the last time he whined/cried while we were home. If I am in the upstairs bathroom and my wife is int he downstairs one he'll go lie down in the living room or in our bedroom. I can go in and out of the house to the grill in the backyard and he'll stay put. We can both be in the kitchen cooking and he'll hang out in the living room and go to sleep, even though he can't see us. He's gone from needing to be right next to us to needing to be able to see us, to now he just wants to be on the same floor of the house as one of us. Sure he will still follow one of us around from time to time, but it's the minority of the time (and usually because he thinks he's getting fed).

 

So that's all to say that we thought he was S.A. had got much, much better. We did some alone training, and that helped, and then the last few weeks we've just had occasion to go out for random bits of time (e.g. quick run to the corner store, going to the liquor store, charity 5k, cook outs, runs, home depot trips, etc.) and it seemed like he was doing great. No accidents and he was getting more calm when we came home.

 

Anyway, we'll see how today goes. The only thing he can pee on in our bedroom is either hardwood, his bed, or laundry--all of which are pretty easy to clean up. Let's hope he doesn't suddenly become a chewer!

Edited by fenix916
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Assuming you are planning to confine him to the bedroom with a baby gate, not by closing the door? I think closing the door has the potential for disaster.

 

One other thing to consider - my female had very bad SA. Not crating her was one large part of resolving the problem, but she also needs access to the door I come and go from (she actually loves the crate and often seeks it out on her own so I think the issue with the crate may have been more related to the fact that she couldn't see the door). Initially when I started leaving her uncrated she would "check" the door repeatedly, but that behavior quickly diminished and now she stays in my bed unless it's a longer day, in which case she'll lay at the top of the stairs watching the door until I get home. Just something to consider. May have nothing to do with your situation.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest KTPrime

When I had a dogwalker, my dog definitely had more frequent accidents. I think he just gets so wound up about being left. Now he's alone while we're at work (9-6), and practically never has accidents. I just take him on a really long walk in the mornings (around 45 minutes), and he's fine until I come home.

One thing though, I would never lock him in a room, he absolutely hates being confined. I'm not sure if it's because he thinks I might be behind the door, but he has not done well in a locked room. We just let him have free reign of the living room and close the bedroom and bathroom doors, and he pretty much snoozes the day away (he relishes the opportunity to have the couch to himself).

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Guest fenix916

Update: After trying a few things, he's on a 3-day no accident streak. Here's what we did the day starting the day the peeing stopped:

 

1. We removed the rugs that he had peeded on them. We'll get the professionally cleaned once he gets better and put them back. Despite our best efforts with Nature's Miracle, we weren't sure we were getting the smell out. We also cleaned the hardwood he'd peed on about 8 times.

2. We got real strict about ignoring him when we get home and when we think he's following us around too much. No negative feedback, but we'll tell him to go lie down and give him a treat if we think he's following us too much. Seemed like he was getting really worked up right before we got home and peeing.

3. We moved his bowl and water close to the front door where he'd been peeing. The bowl is now also closer to a calming difuser.

4. We have the dog walker leave his frozen kong plus 4 "calming" treats in his bowl when she leaves. I'm not sure the calming treats do anything, but the dog walker says he takes the kong and runs off with it. Apparently, he comes back later and finds the treats, which I think is a nice distraction.

5. We put tin foil down all around the front door.

 

Cross your fingers he can keep this streak going. The last two days with no pee we've both got home much later than usual due to traffic and subway problems and he's been fine. I'm not sure what one of these things, if any, helped.

 

We tried confinement all of last week. He knocked over the gate everytime, regardless of where we tried it. We knew he didn't like being locked in the crate, but we thought he might be more amenable to being confined to a room or two. No way, he says.

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