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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

We have taken on a rescue GSD. He is approaching 4 years old. He is a beautiful dog, very intelligent. He kept escaping from his elderly female owners rural property and I believe was being a bit of a pest to neighbouring live stock, and that's why he had to be re-homed. I do not believe he was subject to abuse or anything like that.

We've had him for 9 months now. We are a house hold of 3, myself, my partner and her elderly father.

The dog has no problems with my partner or her father, however any time he sees me he either pisses himself, runs away, or runs away and then slinks back to me and pisses himself. In any situation it's just bulk loads of piss, everywhere.

I don't rouse on him for it, I don't smack him or yell at him in fact totally opposite I try and be really nice to him and hoping he will get better, but the opposite is happening. 9 months on, he seems to be getting worse and worse, now I can't even walk anywhere near him without him bolting out his dog flap we installed into the yard. And if I follow him out he slinks over to me, ears back, tail tucked, and pisses. He'll even piss on his own tail that's tucked under him, then walk in it.

I'm pretty sure if he could piss enough to fill up the bath he'd bathe in it.

I'm not exaggerating when I say we end up with piss everywhere.

How can I stop this from happening?

This is him:

576085
 

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use positive reinforcement and teach him new things/commands. be patient. Try to keep to a routine. Keep greeting calm aloof on your part even. Reward him for any signs of confidence (I'd use food rather than praise) Watch your posture he may read it as being dominant even if you think its not. Try to lower yourself and not approach him at full height. When trying to pet stroke his sides not his head. Your not scolding which is great.

I'd still have a visit to a vet and possibly a trainer. It would be interesting if he see's another male (he may see your partners father as not a threat they can sense age health etc) as a threat.

Keep at it, I know I'd rather have this problem then an aggressive dog out of the box.
 

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I agree with Davycc and it sounds like you're doing what you can. In the meantime I would say do everything possible to make him your best friend. Be the one to feed him, praise him, pet him (as above), and get the the point where he relies on you for just about everything if possible. Not easy I know, and very time consuming but hopefully you'll be investing in a dog that will appreciate you. Well done for everything you've done so far. Time, patience, and maybe some professional help for the two of you. Something has happened somewhere down the line prior to you getting him from what you describe. 🥰
 

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Use treats - it actually works. Throw a treat to him to give him time to think it over and ignore him. It may take a few weeks but it should stop barring a medical issue. My puppy submission peed with my son and husband. My son threw the treats when he’s home and it’s pretty much stopped. My husband refuses and then gets mad (not at the dog directly but I hear cursing under his breath) when the dog jumps and pees on him. If I have a treat and I see him going to jump on my husband I toss a the treat and my pup stops, takes it and just moves on! It’s frustrating my husband won’t listen as he could easily extinguish the behaviour he hates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Use treats - it actually works. Throw a treat to him to give him time to think it over and ignore him. It may take a few weeks but it should stop barring a medical issue. My puppy submission peed with my son and husband. My son threw the treats when he’s home and it’s pretty much stopped. My husband refuses and then gets mad (not at the dog directly but I hear cursing under his breath) when the dog jumps and pees on him. If I have a treat and I see him going to jump on my husband I toss a the treat and my pup stops, takes it and just moves on! It’s frustrating my husband won’t listen as he could easily extinguish the behaviour he hates.
I'll have to try the treats, but he doesn't even let me close enough to give him a treat these days, he hears me walking up the hall and he shoots off like greased lightning! If I walk out the back I suppose i can give him the treat when he comes to me.
 

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@mydogisprettyawesome ok - that’s more challenging. We definitely don’t have that problem as our pup is really social with us. Maybe if he starts to come close try tossing the treat at a distance for now then ignoring him so he can process it and then shorten the distance over time as he becomes comfortable coming to you and then you can work in commands. I toss the treat quite far from my husband (say several feet) and he takes it and just moves on without jumping and peeing. It gives our pup time to think about what’s happening and make a choice. It will take time but it’s very doable. Our trainer suggested this based on our puppy and it works for us so maybe you could get a good trainer in to assess and give a plan for your situation.
 

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Since the dog was a pest to neighboring livestock, he’s likely met with a few disgruntled farmers, and they can be very cruel to dogs harassing their livestock. I think you are doing the right thing. Be persistent and patient and spend as much quiet time as you can. Even ignore him as previous post says….just be in his presence and give him no attention. Don’t force it and let your partner handle any corrections at this point. He is a beautiful dog and worth the effort. Good luck!
 

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Agree with kbcrking could well be some farmer has laid into him. Does he have a real high value food treat? I'd be spending a ton on that and tossing it to him from afar as cagal says. Good luck, will take a little time but he's so worth it. Please keep us informed as to how he's coming on.
 

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Hello,

We have taken on a rescue GSD. He is approaching 4 years old. He is a beautiful dog, very intelligent. He kept escaping from his elderly female owners rural property and I believe was being a bit of a pest to neighbouring live stock, and that's why he had to be re-homed. I do not believe he was subject to abuse or anything like that.

We've had him for 9 months now. We are a house hold of 3, myself, my partner and her elderly father.

The dog has no problems with my partner or her father, however any time he sees me he either pisses himself, runs away, or runs away and then slinks back to me and pisses himself. In any situation it's just bulk loads of piss, everywhere.

I don't rouse on him for it, I don't smack him or yell at him in fact totally opposite I try and be really nice to him and hoping he will get better, but the opposite is happening. 9 months on, he seems to be getting worse and worse, now I can't even walk anywhere near him without him bolting out his dog flap we installed into the yard. And if I follow him out he slinks over to me, ears back, tail tucked, and pisses. He'll even piss on his own tail that's tucked under him, then walk in it.

I'm pretty sure if he could piss enough to fill up the bath he'd bathe in it.

I'm not exaggerating when I say we end up with piss everywhere.

How can I stop this from happening?

This is him:

View attachment 576085
i was told not to pet or sooth the dog for reassurance when the dog pees inappropriately. This is seen by the dog as positive reinforcement and the dog will continue to do the behavior to elicit the reward from you ( the petting and soothing ). It’s worth a try.
 

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I would see a vet dentist.
Those teeth seem to have exposed pulp.
 

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i was told not to pet or sooth the dog for reassurance when the dog pees inappropriately. This is seen by the dog as positive reinforcement and the dog will continue to do the behavior to elicit the reward from you ( the petting and soothing ). It’s worth a try.
No, submissive urination is involuntary. BUT often petting (which also often involves leaning over the dog or getting closer than they are comfortable) will trigger it.
 

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I'll have to try the treats, but he doesn't even let me close enough to give him a treat these days, he hears me walking up the hall and he shoots off like greased lightning! If I walk out the back I suppose i can give him the treat when he comes to me.
Treats are a great way to sort of engage the dog, and it helps if initially you toss the treat slightly behind the dog, instead of making him come and take it from your hand because that makes him nervous. So moving away makes him more comfortable and actually results in a positive interaction.

Over time as you see him becoming more comfortable, you can throw it just in front of him at times.

That being said, it's hard to imagine what that poor dog's life is like having been with your family all that time and still being that uncomfortable around you! Do you play with him at all? Do you feed him? Can you walk him?

Flirt poles get most GSD pretty excited. If you can find a way to engage the dog that he seems to really like, reserve that toy for only you and him!
 

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Another thing to think about is your own demeanor and body language. Dogs are very attuned to body language, like 1000 x what most people are. If you're facing a dog fully, they feel much more pressure from you than if you turn your body 30 or so degrees. This is a huge thing for fearful dogs, but they all feel and see every nuance of your being.

How you're standing, the set of your eyes, where your arms are, the wrinkles or absence of wrinkles in your forehead, the tone of your voice, your breathing, etc.

You cannot fake it or lie to a dog! You give your true feelings away and they will always believe what they see rather than what you're saying.
 

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Smile a lot and also baby talk. If you have a deep voice make it higher. My trainer was always reminding me to raise my tone of voice.
 

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I agree with Davycc and it sounds like you're doing what you can. In the meantime I would say do everything possible to make him your best friend. Be the one to feed him, praise him, pet him (as above), and get the the point where he relies on you for just about everything if possible. Not easy I know, and very time consuming but hopefully you'll be investing in a dog that will appreciate you. Well done for everything you've done so far. Time, patience, and maybe some professional help for the two of you. Something has happened somewhere down the line prior to you getting him from what you describe. 🥰

try sitting on the floor and ignore him, let him make all the moves.
 

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I would completely ignore the dog. No treats. No pressure. No interaction or expectation of interaction. Just go on about your day.

I think you are trying really hard and that is uncomfortable for him. The harder you try, the stranger you act.
 
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My dog is 3 years old now, always have(dont know why-he wasnt never abused/beaten/hit etc) and he still does it, both submissive and excited, so when in house or going out someplace he gets a diaper because no matter how much I have tried/trained/ not make a deal out of it/approached at his level etc he still does it and it probably will never go away so I just live with it
 

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Our now year and a half old male was anxious from the day we brought him home as an 8 week old pup and he still suffers from anxiety. While he never pissed, he would (like yours) leave if I called him and only slink over to me if I followed him. He no longer does that. He comes when called and seems comfortable in the house and with the family. I agree with what the large majority have suggested. Keep all interactions positive. Every time you call him by name, toss a treat, play with him, give him his meal, give him attention, or do anything else that he would view as pleasurable, so he associates you only with good things (not reprimands or whatever else the source of his anxiety is). In time (and the key is time) it should work to resolve his issues (with you at least)
 
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