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2013 Kia Rio Automatic
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
<--------- That is her in my avatar. Her name is Bella. She was captured by animal control on the street and dropped off at a dog pound. No history is known. She is thought to be approximately 7 - 7 1/2 years old. They believe she is part Silky-Terrier.

My girlfriend is the one who rescued her from the pound by adopting her. She has loved and cared for her since June. My girlfriend, Bella's mommy, brought her home with her to her new home (apartment) and Bella promptly squatted and peed by the front door (carpet). We both thought it was because she was nervous and got scared. My girlfriend brought her to the vet to make sure there wasn't a health issue, there wasn't.

Over the past couple of months Bella would occasionally pee in the same spot. Even after being walked and after being observed to have peed on her walk. There seems to be no ryhme or reason to when she pee's indoors. Bella's mommy steam cleaned the carpet where she pees several times thinking maybe another dog lived in the apartment before her and that Bella was just peeing there for that reason. That didn't help matters at all.

Now Bella is peeing in other spots in the apartment. As far as Bella's mommy knows she wasn't doing that until recently.

We are both confused (maybe I should say the three of us are confused - me, Bella's mommy, and Bella herself). Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

It should be noted that Bella is a bit on the neurotic side (sorry Bella). She is extremely loving and needs (more like demands) attention constantly. She follows my girlfriend around and is attached to her like velcro. She barks like a fiend at outside noises, she guards her rawhide with her life, she always looks like she is nervous. I am worried that she was badly abused by her former caregiver??? and we inherited her. My girlfriend loves her to death, but, we need to fix the peeing thing (it is an apartment...).

Again, ANY HELP would be appreciated. ANY ideas would be appreciated also.


Bella at rest...



Bella lounging...




A pic of her looking nervous (this is her normal look???)...
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,683 Posts
I would recommend crate training, they rarely will go in their own crate. You crate them until they stop the habit when you are not there.
 

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2008 Forester AE
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1,726 Posts
google around for a terrier forum, check out what other owners are doing..
I know that finding the lab forums has really helped us with our puppy. even knowing more about the breed, and what they are built for helps.
 

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2003 XS MT
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5,522 Posts
There are multiple not very good issues going on here.

First, she has separation anxiety.

Second, she is possessive and perhaps food aggressive of her things (rawhide).

Third, she is possessive of her person.

These are all potentially dangerous behavioral issues. However, you can work with all of them, so not to worry! My first suggestion: run, do not walk, RUN, to the best behavioral class you can afford. Time to go to puppy school for you, your girlfriend and Bella. All 3 of you should attend. Your vet should have some excellent suggestions on who to recommend. If you don't have a vet yet that you really like/trust, a phone call to the shelter where you adopted Bella will give you recommendations as well.

The crate training is an excellent suggestion. However, with how Bella is acting, if that's all you do it will only make things worse. She is likely to hurt herself attempting to get out of the cage and/or make a terrible racket because she's probably going to panic. I would recommend the crate ALONG WITH a ton of training.

Don't worry too much. With patience and time you both will be able to build a trusting and nurturing relationship with Bella that can make your life with her just about perfect!

Sincerely,
Smash

previous shelter manager, animal rehab manager and animal behaviorist


Best of luck!
 

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2008 OBXT
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101 Posts
Taking a stab here...

Sounds to me like it could be territory marking - especially in light of her insecurity and toy/treat guarding. Sometimes the presence of other animals near the home (this can be hard for us humans to detect sometimes) or changes in family dynamics can trigger dogs to do this.
If that's the case, correcting the cause of her anxiety about needing to mark "her territory" should take care of the problem.
Otherwise, I agree that crate training may also help.
 

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2002 Forester L
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340 Posts
I would also recommend watching the Dog Whisperer - or read Caesar Milan's books. People have a tendency to humanize dogs (I know I'm as guilty as the next guy) and this can make it so we don't give them what they need:

1. Exercise
2. Discipline
3. Affection

In that order.

And stick it out - shelters are full of animals that people thought they wanted and then discarded when the going got tough - which might be how you were fortunate enough to find yours.
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
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+1 at a minimum on all the info posted above.
I also must say that a first step would be to stop the "Bella's Mommy" thing. It is a sign of you, the owners, humanizing the dog. This sends the wrong signals consciously and unconsciously to everyone.
Best of luck!
 

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Premium Member
2013 Kia Rio Automatic
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1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I would also recommend watching the Dog Whisperer - or read Caesar Milan's books. People have a tendency to humanize dogs (I know I'm as guilty as the next guy) and this can make it so we don't give them what they need:

1. Exercise
2. Discipline
3. Affection

In that order.

And stick it out - shelters are full of animals that people thought they wanted and then discarded when the going got tough - which might be how you were fortunate enough to find yours.
Check on the 3 do's. The hardest part is the "discipline" part.

+1 at a minimum on all the info posted above.
I also must say that a first step would be to stop the "Bella's Mommy" thing. It is a sign of you, the owners, humanizing the dog. This sends the wrong signals consciously and unconsciously to everyone.
Best of luck!
You mean they aren't little furry humans? :huh:
 

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2001 Forester Slushbox
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1,784 Posts
Cute dog and don't give up on her.

My toy poodle Rocco exhibited some of these behaviors when we got him.
We knew some of his history when we got him and he'd been abused.
VERY protective of "mommy",we fixed this by her putting him down immediately when he'd do this and it didn't take him long to figure it out.
VERY aggressive about his toys with me. Over time I've slowly turned into a game and he's mellowed way out.
Surprisingly he's never shown any food aggressiveness.

Is she peeing when nobody's home? Some dogs can actually suffer from depression and act out. Having more than one dog can help out with this (if you can do it).

Rocco in all his glory.

YouTube - Rocco the Killer Poodle part 1
YouTube - Rocco the Killer Poodle part2

And good for you on the rescue.
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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711 Posts
I would also recommend watching the Dog Whisperer - or read Caesar Milan's books. People have a tendency to humanize dogs (I know I'm as guilty as the next guy) and this can make it so we don't give them what they need:

1. Exercise
2. Discipline
3. Affection

In that order.

And stick it out - shelters are full of animals that people thought they wanted and then discarded when the going got tough - which might be how you were fortunate enough to find yours.
Nice! You are the alpha dog, act like it. Peeing in the house is not acceptable. Guy I work with says you must feel disgusted when it happens, not mad or anything just disgusted with the behavior. You dont pee in your den, why should the dog be allowed to?

Funny note. My ex had gotten a dog and we were crate training it. She already had two cats which would LOVE to go into the bathroom with you. Well, I decided to let the dog come in with me one time...I start going...I look over, and sure enough, Kenobi is right next to me marking her territory!! hahaaa
 

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2006 Forester
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657 Posts
All good advice.

My imput would be to take her out side to pee on a regular schedule...in the morning when you get up or before you leave for work, at night just before you go to bed, and whenever you can during the day. Bring dog treats or some kind of food, and react very happy when they do the #1 and/or #2 and give her alot of praise, scratch her back, head, chest just below the neck or wherever, and then give her the treat. Let her know you are happy when she goes outside. This is good incentive for her to want to do her duty outside.

This should go along with acting disgusted when she pees inside. When she does pee inside, do the disgust thing and immediately take her outside to the area where she typically does her stuff. Bring a treat and hope she finishes her business there, and of course, doing what I said above if she does.

There's hope.:icon_wink: You get out what you put into a dog, the more time you spend one-on-one with them the faster they learn.
 
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