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Submissive Urination help!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Kmoreno17, May 23, 2019.


  1. Kmoreno17

    Kmoreno17 PetForums Newbie

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    We rescued a 3 year old GSD from the shelter back in February and while he is a good dog, we cannot break him of his submissive pee! It seems like no matter what we do, how much we alter the way we interact with him, etc, he just continues to do it. He is very high strung and it is to the point that we cannot even teach him anything because he just thinks he is in trouble and pees.

    No, we don't get mad at him when he does it. I know this makes the problem worse.
    We have tried to teach him new tricks to build his confidence but he is disinterested and pees to get out of it.
    Tried getting him on a routine including same feeding times, bed time, 2 mile walk, etc.
    Don't look him in the eye.

    Example: last night after he ate his dinner, he ran into our bedroom which he knows he is not allowed to do. We nicely called him over. Didn't come. I went to see what he was doing so I casually walked past our room to the front door as if I was going outside, and he was squirming on the floor peeing!

    Not sure how to break him of it at this point other than just making him an outside dog. Which I dont want... HELP!!
     
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    It's time and patience basically. He can't help it - bless him. GSDs tend to be sensitive souls and especially if he's a rescue. He's only been with you a short time and it will improve as he gains confidence and settles in with you. When I went to collect my last collie puppy about 2.1/2 years ago the breeder's parting shot was "oh by the way your's is the excited pee'er"...... Happy to say she rarely does it now.
     
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  3. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums VIP

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    I would add that he doesn’t “know” he shouldn’t go in your bedroom. If he goes in there, he doesn’t understand that he should not. Rather than setting him up for failure which leads to his stress and peeing, how about closing the door? Generally, if it’s nervous peeing, I think the only answer is to do everything to reduce his stress. What you’ve said you’re doing sounds right, but as Twiggy has said, the dig needs time and 3 months isn’t much if he’s been abused; he may well need longer to settle in.
    If you want to train him (not a bad thing), take him outside, so if there’s any peeing it doesn’t matter. And make it fun above all else with absolutely NO stress - so, very simple stuff, but if he gets at all stressed by it, just forget the training and play with him - get him used to having fun and bonding with you.
     
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  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    I also wonder if he has been punished in the past for indoor accidents. That can make dogs avoid their people when they need to toilet (because they think they are being punished for toileting, as opposed to toileting in the house). I realise OP that you know this and have been ignoring inside accidents but I thought it worth mentioning for future readers.

    So I would massively raise the rewards for toileting outside. Huge happy dance and lots of sausage?
     
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  5. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I really don't think he's peeing to get out of learning new behaviors.
    How are you teaching him tricks? It may be that the way he was trained before, he would be punished for getting it wrong, and that obviously is causing him great anxiety, hence the peeing.
    Are you familiar with free shaping? This would be an ideal way to teach a worried dog as they quite literally can't get it wrong. However if you're not familiar with shaping with a clicker I would most definitely find someone in your area who is who can guide you and avoid confusing him and frustrating him further.

    I sense some frustration in your post. It's also very possible he's picking up on this and even if you're not punishing him, he'll know you're not happy.
    A belly band might really save you all some stress and anxiety. It would be a temporary thing of course, and make sure you change it often and keep it clean, but it might really help with the frustration aspect as he gains confidence and you both through this.
     
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  6. Kmoreno17

    Kmoreno17 PetForums Newbie

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    Even with simple comments like sit, I put him in the sit position and when I throw a treat at him or bend down to reward him, he starts crying, lays down, pees. So he’s obviously had a troubled past and I have been patient with him but going on 4 months and no sign of improvement is really discouraging. So like you said, and i didn’t think of, he is starting to sense that.
    I have not heard of that program before but I will look into it.

    Thank you all for the advice. I definitely needed some outside perspective on how to handle this ongoing issue.
     
  7. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Oh yes, definitely stop doing this. Physically moving him in to position is likely very stressful to him, and honestly, not the best way to teach cues anyway :)

    I'd start with a belly band to ease some of the tension and frustration for you both. Be very careful to keep it clean and changed often.
    I'd also recommend a vet check to make sure there's no underlying UTI or hip pain which wouldn't be unheard of in a GSD and could definitely cause the crying, peeing and laying down at being physically manipulated.
    And then find a good trainer in your area who can show you how to teach cues without having to physically move the dog in to position. This should help a lot.
     
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  8. Kmoreno17

    Kmoreno17 PetForums Newbie

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    I only move in to reward him for the behavior. Not while getting him in the position if that makes sense..

    I unfortunately don’t think I could get he band on him without him freaking out /:
    But thank you so much for the tips!!
     
  9. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
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    I second the belly band.
    We've just rehomed a retired stud dog who we were told scent marked in the house. I armed myself with belly bands and pads , there were a few attempts at marking then he got the message. I will use the belly bands if he relapses or we go visiting ,but they do take so much stress out of the propblem.
    Bobby didn't mind the belly bands at all, they were really soft and comfortable.
     
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