Thursday, January 1, 2009

ASK LOLA: Why Does My Dog Piddle?



Dear LOLA: My Wire Fox Terrier a rescue is about 9-12 months old. We've had him for two weeks so far and he is a delight. Great personality, very innocent but smart and trainable. He is house trained.

My son lives in the neighborhood and whenever he comes over this dog seems to get very excited. My son will come in and greet the dog and sometimes the dog will squat on the floor and start to piddle. The last time we yelled at him and tried to drag him down the stairs and outside and of course, he piddled all the way down the stairs.

I can't really tell the dynamics between the dog and my son. My son has a very high energy level and perhaps the dog is getting excited to see him but we're not sure if he's afraid of him or just excited.

Any insight or further questions, please let me know. Thanks so much for your attention.

Best, @stefanitwyford (http: ://twitter.com/stefanitwyford)

Dear @stefanitwyford : Congrats on the new addition to your family and thanks for welcoming a rescued & deserving dog into your loving home. I consider pet adoption & rescue as the ultimate form of recycling. Now on to the topic of the hour. It is not uncommon for a dog to piddle (urinate a bit) when they are excited or nervous making it hard to maintain bladder control. Since your dog is new to his surrounding it is important to be very sensitive & caring when dealing with this issue, especially if your dog has a timid personality. Often times, timid dogs may suffer from submissive urination and piddle when they are nervous. What they are lacking is self confidence. Obedience school may help them regain confidence and curb the piddling.

Barking from experience, although I am housebroken my parents have notice an occasional piddle or sprinkle when guest visit. So, your dog is not alone many other pups have similar mishaps when guest arrive at the door. From, what I hear it seems to me that your dog is leaving puddles on your floor because he is excited to see your son. I guess you can say that this is the ultimate form of flattery. However, if scolded or punished the dog will continue to piddle.

The key to curbing this behavior is to have your son not greet your dog upon arrival even if the dog is barking, jumping, or wagging his adorable tail. Have him enter the house calmly, say "Hello" softly, and to not stoop to pet your dog. Often dogs who piddle will sit down to be petted which can trigger the piddling. It is important that your son or guest do not excite or make a big fuss over your dog in any way. Being loving parents and pet owners its hard not to shower your dog with love, hugs & kisses when we come home. However, high pitched voices, hugs, and sweet nothing in their ear will get any dog excited and piddling on the floor.

Instead have your son or guest ignore the dog until he fully has a chance to calm down. Once the dog has calmed down continue to speak to him in a low tone and commence with the patting and belly rubs. Soon, your dog will equate calm non piddling behavior with head pats and belly rubs as the reward. Changing the way your son or guest greet your dog will give you fewer puddles to clean up. Perhaps prior to your son arrival you can take your dog out for a pre-potty break to relieve his sensitive bladder.

Another wonderful trick, for which requires work is to train your dog to go fetch his favorite toy when guest arrive at the door. Having him fetch his favorite toy will distract him from his urge to jump and piddle, giving him the attention he's been craving, lots of praise. Just keep in mind this will require lots of repetition and patience on your side for your dog to master the art of fetch.

But if your dog continues to piddle make sure to seek the advice of a vet, perhaps a check-up will help get to the root of the underlining problem.

Barkingly yours,

Lola the eco dog




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2 comments:

Stefani Twyford said...

Lola, thank you for the sound advice and my son and Rex are looking forward to trying out your technique. I can see that there is always a lot of excitement and he is responding to that. It will be interesting to keep the volume down around here but I"ll let you know how we do. Thanks again!

Encee said...

Hello!

Lola is just beautiful!

I would like to see a peanut butter variety treat. My puppy is a Yorkie, 9 weeks old, and we are looking for good training treats for her. My lab is 15, and well, she pretty likes everything!

Thanks for making nice products for our pets!