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Old 23.10.2013, 09:34
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rescue dog pees out of fear?

We are considering a rescue dog. We went to see her yesterday and she was absolutely lovely with the kids. She was interested in, but not bothering our older dog. Just impossible not to fall in love with actually.
We have always had rescue dogs and had extremely good luck, but one thing that bothered me was that she kept peeing. It seemed like submissive fearful peeing, although she just wanted us to pet her.
Does anyone have experience with this? All of our dogs except one needed house training, but I don't have experience with this situation.
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Old 23.10.2013, 09:40
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

What did the refuge say. Do they have experience of this and how easy it is to correct? If you live on a 3rd floor flat, I'd say it could be very difficult. If you have a house with access to a garden, much easier.

Meloncollie to the rescue- what do you think? So hope you can make it work... keep us informed.
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Old 23.10.2013, 09:44
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

We are in a rental house with garden. We walk our older dog three times per day in the forest, and he refuses to go in the garden, so I'm not sure if this would also influence the situation.
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Old 23.10.2013, 09:48
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

If you are at home most of the time with the dogs and go out for proper walks 3 times a day, that should be a HUGE help and hopefully get rid of the issue pretty quickly. If in a flat and left for large parts of the day, especially in initial stage, would be difficult. Do you have any holidays planned in near future, or any kind of family upheaval ahead?? (I know, they can't always be planned- but another baby arriving soon would be obvious).

Wish you all, and especially doggie, the very best. Tell us how you get on.

Everything crossed
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Old 23.10.2013, 09:48
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

I did ask the woman who has her, and she said it will go away and it is just out of fear. I don't feel entirely convinced and I simply can't imagine bringing her back if it doesn't go away, nor can I imagine pee all over my house for the next 10 years.
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Old 23.10.2013, 09:54
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

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I did ask the woman who has her, and she said it will go away and it is just out of fear. I don't feel entirely convinced and I simply can't imagine bringing her back if it doesn't go away, nor can I imagine pee all over my house for the next 10 years.
Peeing out of fear is pretty normal; particularly, I would imagine, for a rescue dog who has undergone a pretty significant loss of her pack. Dogs are pretty resilient, though, and the fear should go away in a relatively short time; just be sure to clearly reward her for peeing where she should as with a puppy.

I'm not an expert, but I've had a few dogs, and I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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Old 23.10.2013, 09:58
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

No holidays till April, we have a babysitter one day per week when I work, and no babies :-) I am usually here, but we do a lot, grocery, doctor, playdates. It's the typical two small kids schedule of events. Our other dog comes everywhere with us, but can also stay home by himself if go somewhere dogs aren't allowed.
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Old 23.10.2013, 10:06
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

I've met few dogs with such problem. The question is if it is psychological or physical problem. Also is it young dog or old? I would say that it will stop (as long as it is just a psychological thing-fear) when she became sure around you and confident, and when she just lose the fear-and that happens in loving enviroment, but not in a day, the trust and just a feeling of safeness can take monthes. It can also be excitement, in that case you have to just calm the dog (no yupi yey when you come home), it may be difficult around kids, because they create a lot of excitement.

I would say, that if you decide to take the dog, than you should find a good dog trainer, who could watch the dogs behavior and give you advices. These people can find out fast what the root of the problem is, and show you the way to make the dog stable and happy.

ps: sorry for my english, not a native speaker
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Old 23.10.2013, 10:10
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

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I did ask the woman who has her, and she said it will go away and it is just out of fear. I don't feel entirely convinced and I simply can't imagine bringing her back if it doesn't go away, nor can I imagine pee all over my house for the next 10 years.
Can you take her for a walk together with your older dog - but no children? The dog may play a calming influence, and the walk will be in a neutral area, so this may give opportunity to see a little bit of how likely she'll be to settle in.

The reason I say NOT with the children also, is because they may keep her in an excited state and the walk is to try to get her to a calm state.
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Old 23.10.2013, 10:10
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

Are you sure it is from fear and not a medical condition. Several of our dogs developed bladder issues... but that was late on in their lives. Probably worth checking!
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Old 23.10.2013, 10:11
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

The problem for me is that I have no idea what I would do. Do I ignore the fearful peeing and reward the outside pee?
It was very often, and I also worry that our older dog will pee in the house if she does. He is about 10, and I've noticed that he really needs to go out more often and more quickly than in his younger years.
Maybe I am too worried, but that is why I appreciate the advice!
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Old 23.10.2013, 10:25
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

I will def walk her alone just with our dog and see what happens.
The kids are excited about her, and she about them, and yes they are indeed loud!
I did wonder if it was medical, but she really saw us coming, squatted and peed. For me, it seemed submissive and worried. The rest of the visit she just kept doing it anytime she came near us. The kids would pet her and she would go pee. When we left her be, I don't think I saw the same behaviour, and she was always happy to come be near us.
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Old 23.10.2013, 10:49
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

How old is the new dog?

Most puppies lose control of their bladders when they are under emotional stress (excited or scared). I think they grow out of it after they mature a bit and, probably in the case of this rescue dog, spend time in a stable environment.
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Old 23.10.2013, 10:57
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

she is about 2
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Old 23.10.2013, 11:00
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

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she is about 2
Ah, okay. Our puppies usually grew out of the excited/nervous piddling stage before they reached 6 months.

That's the extent of my doggy-thoughts - I guess Meloncollie would be the one to wait for on this thread.
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Old 23.10.2013, 11:03
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

Is the rescue dog a Labrador?..... or a Lab mix?

Those things leak like an old tap.
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Old 23.10.2013, 11:09
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

This seems to be common in some dogs, my spouse's dad has bulldog, every time we visit them she seems to be too thrilled to see us and just when we pamper her she pees. Pee of happiness :-)
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Old 23.10.2013, 11:44
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

First, I'm glad to hear that you are considering a rescue dog - and this doglet sure sounds like she needs 'rescuing'. I'm very glad to hear that she has won your heart.

But let's put 'heart' aside for the moment, and concentrate on the 'head' part of this decision. The hard question: Can you provide what this dog needs?

If you adopt her you MUST do so with eyes open, with the understanding that you will do whatever it takes to help her overcome this, no matter how long it takes, no matter what the cost may be. And you must adopt her with the understanding that if by chance you cannot conquer the fear/excitement urination that you are still committed to her, that you will find a way to manage and keep her a happy member of the family for her whole life long.

When one adopts a dog, one must go on the principle of 'what you see is what you get'. Yes, one goes in with high hopes and practical plans for rehabilitation - and most of the time, with love, patience, practical training, and understanding one soon overcomes the baggage of past experiences. But one must always keep in mind that some rehab takes a long time - months or years - and some hurdles might never be overcome. One has to be able to say, hand on heart, 'I love this dog just as she is, she is mine for better or worse, she will always have a secure place in our home no matter what difficulties we might encounter.'

So think long and hard - can you make that committment?

---

Now, climbing down from my soapbox, let's look at the issue of fear/excitement urination.

First, a full medical exam is a must. Yes, from what you have written it sounds like a behavior issue but you nonetheless would be wise to rule out a physical cause first. It is also possible that there are both medical and behavioral issues at play here. So get that checked first.

Second - start with housetraining from scratch, just as you would a puppy. Out every hour, after every meal, after every play session. This is to re-establish now in your house what the dog might (or might not) have learned in her previous home. I've had supposedly incontinent dogs come to me as fosters who turned out simply to be in need of refresher housetraining. So as with the medical check up, you want to rule out lack of housetraining first before going on to more complicated rehab work.

Third - accept that there will be mess while you are working on the problem and do yourself a favor: Incontinence-proof the house prior to the dog's arrival. This puts you in a much more relaxed frame of mind - key to success. If you are tense, worried about the mess, you will communicate that tension to the dog, she will be worried which could cause further loss of control - and pretty soon you have a Teufelskreis on your hands.

To incontinence proof the house, first decide if there are rooms that are off-limits and put baby gates up to restrict access to those.

Take up all rugs. Seriously - you don't want to be steam cleaning every day.

Line all dog beds with an incontinence pad. You can get these at any Apotheke. Get the largest size (60 x 90). Buy the human ones, they are far less expensive than the pet puppy pads. If you can find the washable ones you will save a bundle. Aldi had these a few months ago, they appear every so often.

Cover all furniture with a protective incontinence sheet. Again, the kind for humans. You can get these at Manor, Coop City, etc. Over these, put down one of the incontinence pads, then cover with a fleece.

Yes, your house will look silly for a while, but better than having to steam clean all your sofas.

(Of course you can train the dog not to climb on the sofa, but reality is that she will at sometime be tempted to sneak up for a snooze. Make it easy on yourself and protect the furniture from day 1.)

And consider using a canine diaper when indoors. You can get a good (female) washable one at Fressnapf,( http://www.fressnapf.de/shop/bramton...re-hundewindel ) there is a decent disposable one available at Meiko (these are not on their website, but they are available at the shop in Hünenberg, so I assume at the others as well, call to see if you can order them.) I believe the disposables are also available at Qualipet. You could also use a baby diaper (much less expensive) but you'll have to cut an opening for the tail.

Now you don't want to rely on incontinence protection. The goal is to train out of this. Protecting the house is just a short term tactic, to give you peace of mind while you work on the problem.

---

FYI - until you have cracked the problem, you will need to be more aware of hygiene issues. Urine scald is a common problem when a dog is incontinent and can develop into sores, so you have to wash the dog frequently. Dogs also tend to try to self-clean, and constant licking can cause irritation - you need to check the area frequently. If licking becomes a habit, you might have another behavior to train out as well.

---

Training:

To start off, here is a good article from the Whole Dog Journal:

http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/iss...n_20452-1.html

And one from the ASPCA Virtual Behaviorist Library
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtua...sive-urination

As with all rehab, key is to understand the 'why'. When a behavior is driven by an emotion, one needs first to address that emotion. Once the dog learns to better handle the emotion of fear or excitement, she will be better placed to learn to control her behavior.

To that end, one needs to understand exactly when the urination occurs. Keep a diary and then look for patterns to help you decide what are the triggers, whether it is a fear-based behavior or one driven by excitement, or by something else. How you approach the rehab will depend on what emotion is triggering the urination.

If fear, you'll likely need to do some desensitization and counter conditioning. This is where you pair something that has a negative association for the dog with something that is so over-the-top wonderful that over time that negative thing (the trigger) takes on an new, positive, meaning to the dog. This article has some good suggestions as to how to go about this. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtua...erconditioning Teaching a dog not to be afraid will often stop the urnination, as this is an instictive response to fear.

If excitement, you'll likely need to do some calming exercises and management of the dog's routine. Some good suggestions two incontinence articles linked above.

I would suggest working with a good trainer - probably some one-on-one work in your home would be best. Incontinence is a frustrating issue to work with - having a trainer help you is as much for your moral support as for the specific training techniques.

Rather then droning on longer (than usual ), I'll just leave this as an overview. If you decide to adopt the dog, please come back to this thread with specific questions and we'll be happy to help.

----

And an FYI, a practical tip for owners of incontinent males:

My former foster poodle Puddle became incontinent following an operation. Neither meds or further surgery were successful to correct the problem. This is not a behavioral issue, rather a pure medical one. So, his owner (having made the commitment above) found a brilliant practical solution to live with a dribbling dog.

As some of you might have found out, most incontinence products on the market are designed for female dogs and these simply do not work with the male canine anatomy. One can get a product (belly bands for male incontinence) in the US, but we tried these out and they were nowheres near absorbent enough. But Puddle's owner came up with a great solution: take human baby diapers and turn them around so the the elasticized leg bits are going around the belly, covering the penis. Close over the back, fold the bit that bunches into a pleat and tape with medical gauze tape - Voila! An absorbent, anatomically correct male canine incontinence diaper. Puddle is a medium poodle, ca. 8.5 kg, and he wears a size 5 diaper. For a larger dog one would need to sew a belly band and then attach a baby diaper as a liner.

The house stays clean and odor-free, Puddle isn't in the least bothered. He has learned that when he comes in the house, he first must wait by the door to have his Windel put on.

---

Male or female, an incontinent dog needs to be given the opportunity to empty his bladder frequently - that is a must. Puddle's owner lives in a flat without a garden, so - again, referring to the commitment discussion - she has to plan for a quick walk every two hours throughout the day. If her day is such that she can't do that, arrangements have to be made to ensure that Puddle's needs are met. (Puddle comes back to me whenever his owner needs help, as he is still an honorary member of the Muttley Crew.)

If you decide to go ahead, do think through the frequency of needing to go out issue and if your day is structured to allow that. If not, while you are working on the problem could you enlist the help of a friend, neighbor or perhaps a sitter?

---

I don't want to scare you off - quite the opposite. I'm so very happy to hear that you are considering helping this dog, and applaud you for it. But part of helping is doing some soul-searching to determine if you are fully able to offer the help needed.

If you decide to go forward (and I truly hope you do), then please update this thread with specific questions once you know more about the dog.

Wishing you and the doglet all the very best.



ETA:

The WDJ article mentions Dr Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol as one way of helping a dog who is urinating in excitement to learn to cope. A good explanation of the protocol can be found here:
http://www.dogdaysnw.com/doc/Overall...onProtocol.pdf

Last edited by meloncollie; 23.10.2013 at 14:54.
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Old 23.10.2013, 13:06
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

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I did ask the woman who has her, and she said it will go away and it is just out of fear. I don't feel entirely convinced and I simply can't imagine bringing her back if it doesn't go away, nor can I imagine pee all over my house for the next 10 years.

Happened with our dog whom we also rescued from an unsuitable owner and home situation. Turned out that the dog had a bladder infection and problem was resolved after a course of antibiotics.
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Old 23.10.2013, 13:25
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Re: rescue dog pees out of fear?

Many thanks to all who replied and especially for the detailed post and links from Meloncollie. We are not sure of the breed, she comes from Spain, but is so mixed the Vermittler also had no idea.
I had to laugh at the pee of joy idea! I did have the feeling she was so happy to see the kids that she just couldn't help it, and was overcome by worry and fear and happiness all at once. Of course, I can't judge the reality in such a short time though.
I don't think we could afford a trainer, but we have a good vet, and I think she would have some ideas for us.
We will go see the dog again, and walk her just with the our dog and see what happens. I have asked the woman who has her if we could take her over the weekend to see how things go, and she was open to it. My theory is that if our other dog is going to sulk we will find out then, and if the peeing is out of control, I would rather know it ahead and then make a choice.
We will give our vet a call as well, also because she needs to be spayed.
I will post again after we've seen her again.
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