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Old 04-01-2014, 11:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Please Help - Puppy Urinating For Attention?

I have a 5 month old GSD who recently starting urinating for what seems like attention or to show displeasure. I'm looking for help on what I can do different to stop this behavior. I have already ruled out a UTI or other medical problem with my vet. I got the puppy at 12 weeks old from a breeder and began crate training. Crate training went well and within a few weeks my boy was holding it overnight and having maybe 1 accident a week in the house, totally expected for a puppy that age. Since hitting the 4 month mark, he yearns for attention all day long. I work from home and make sure I'm giving him attention in the morning, go for our morning walk, and throughout my day. When I can't give him the attention, he begins doing things he knows he's not supposed to do - like putting his paws up on the counter, jumping on the couch - and he stares at me while he does it. I get up, get him off, go back to work, and he does it right again. To show my displeasure, I will usually just quietly get up and leave the room. Then BAM - he urinates, and then lays down in it. There are times when I've walked him literally 15 minutes before, but he will still squeeze out whatever he can and lay in it. He's now peeing in the crate as well - every time he's in there, regardless of how long. Today I walked him, needed to put him in the crate for 15 mins to shower, and by the time I got out, he already urinated. The fact that I've ruled out medical conditions and ensure he was walked immediately before going in the crate leads me to believe he is urinating to convey a feeling - whether it's displeasure, wanting for attention, or something different. I've tried showing my displeasure when he does this, tried ignoring it and only rewarding positive behavior, but nothing has worked. Any help would be appreciated. This is taking a heavy toll on my marriage and pretty soon I may be forced to find a new home for him. My wife is tired of the urine in the house and I can't bathe the dog 5-6 times a day anymore. I have small children and the bacteria from the urine is also a concern. I obviously clean it up, but it gets tracked everyone on paws and feet.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Get a second vet opinion. Have another urine sample taken. I've never heard of behavior like that. It sounds like a medical issue to me.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Puppies / Dogs don't urinate to convey displeasure or spite or for attention. They just aren't wired that way. As humans, WE'D do it....but not dogs.

If you are 100% sure that it's not a medical condition (and I'm not sure it isn't, they don't squeeze out a little bit for spite) then I'd have to take a deep look into what it is YOU are doing to set the pup up to succeed. If there is a lot of emotions running around your home, that could cause adverse conditioning on your pup too.

The idea is to figure out what the trigger is and to disregard any thoughts you might have that the pup is doing it on purpose for attention.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you can not cater to a dog 24 hours a day.

when you are home trying to work the dog doesn't know what to do with itself , so goes about investigating the counters , looking back expecting or at least checking out what your reaction will be .

the urination may be involuntary , a response which is submissive .

the household atmosphere can't be good . The dog is picking up on this . The dog will also be sensitive to you not being happy with the pissing and bathing 5 or 6 times a day .

a healthy relationship includes structured togetherness AND the ability to be comfortable with time and distance away . Can you provide the dog with a safe outdoor enclosure --- 12 X 12
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that way you can crate your pup overnight . bring him out on a good note, take him for his walk , take care of his needs . You pop him into the outdoor kennel . When you are able to dedicate time and attention bring him into the house so that he is socialized to appropriate behaviour indoors , and when you need to go back to work - out he goes.

dog may be feeling the tension and displeasure and submissive urinating
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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not sure if the urinating is for attention but if he does anything bad to get your attention you should put him in his crate for a short period of time. hopefully he'll learn with repetition that he can behave around you properly even if you aren't loving him all the time, or he can misbehave and not be around you.

if you have limited time try exercising him a bit more, he might be more inclined to hang out with you quietly instead of looking for naughty ways to behave.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another vet opinion please. And what Carmen says.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the replies so far. I've had 2 vet opinions (albeit at the same center - which is one of the best in NJ, the Belle Mead Animal Hospital). And I know dogs are not "wired" to convey emotions like that, I just can't figure out the reason / trigger. Yes, there's definitely a lot of emotions that run through the house. I have 5 young children and both my wife and I work during the day, through we both work from the house, and we're both stressed about the urination. I have an acre yard that I cannot use....yet. My neighbor feeds the deer and about 12 deer live in my yard and there are feces and possibly ticks everywhere. I have a company coming in a week to install a fence so I can clean up all the feces and let my GSD have the yard to play in. But I also know GSDs are not loners and the yard may only hold his attention by himself for so long.

Again, there was a statement above "they don't squeeze out a little bit for spite" - then what is it? If I don't leave the room, there's no pee. If I leave, he'll pee, even if he's been walked in the last 15 minutes. So...I stay in the room, he holds it no problem. I leave or put him in the crate for a few mins, he pees. I've ruled out medical. He's squeezing it out to tell me SOMETHING, I just don't know what it is. Someone suggested the crate, but that doesn't work because he now pees in there too. Yesterday, I took him out, about 10 mins later he was yearning for attention. He wouldn't stop jumping on me, so I put him in the crate for a time out...as soon as I put him in, he turned and looked at me, and peed. He was in there less than 10 seconds when he did it. I was sick last week...took him out and laid down. 30 minutes I come back to find him laying in his pee on the kitchen floor (no crate that time). He's already getting more time and attention from me than all my children are combined right now, I do not have more time than I currently do to spend with him. I don't have to be a vet or behavioral specialist to know that he's urinating to convey SOMETHING, I just don't know what it is or how to make it stop.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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GSDs are very sensitive. They pick up on all our "human" emotions, happy, sad, angry, scared, etc. whether we realize it or not. If a medical issue has been ruled out, then I would tend to go with submissive or nervous peeing. This is not "squeezing out a bit for spite". At 5 months, he is still a puppy and I think he's reacting to the emotions in the house. I understand it is very frustrating, but IMHO I think you need to be very careful with this guy, he sounds unsure of himself, hence the submissive pee. Ramp up the positive reinforcements to build up his confidence and remain calm, calm, calm. I know, easier said than done. Sometime you need to take a deep breath, all the way down from your big toe to find the calmness. Maybe keep a log of each time he pees both inside and out. That way you will get an idea of what his threshold is and you can time it to take him out just before the end of his threshold. The more successes he has, the more confident he will be in that he is doing what you want, less nervous for him, less frustrating for you.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I really think this is more psychological and the pup is peeing submissively. Even a raised voice can be enough to trigger insecurity in a pup.

Have you talked to your breeder? Did you get this guy from a known reputable breeder or from a newspaper ad, networked friend of a friend type situation?

Perhaps the timing is not right for you to have a puppy ..... resentment, anger, frustration can be subtly communicated to a sensitive pup, and this one certainly seems to be getting some triggers from you...

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Old 04-01-2014, 01:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I wouldn't wait till you can fence your property . Put down some drainage , patio slabs, get some straw or wood shavings bedding , a dog igloo , a water bucket and put the dog outside . He needs peace and quiet.
With two people working from the home -- you can not afford to have the quality of your "work" compromised , or upset other family members who will look to the dog as a burden and inconvenience , and get none of the positives that dog ownership can provide.

maybe this is not the time for you to have a dog --- seems like a lot on your plate !
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