Weekly roundup: May 31st

Hello all! I know, I know, it’s been more than a week since the last roundup. I’ve been tangled up in leashes and dogs and… yeah. Anyway, let’s get down to it!

Trixie is my current foster from the LaGrange-Troup County Humane Society, a wonderful organization that works relentlessly to get great dogs into great homes. Trixie is available for adoption, so if you’re interested, let the Humane Society know and they’ll get you started!

I think this picture captures her personality well; she’s curious, loves to explore, and is not so wrapped up in being perfect, she just likes to be around people and see what’s going on.
Trixie is almost halfway through with her six weeks of limited activity for recovery from heartworm treatment, and while it’s no fun for either of us, she’s taking it like a champ! She’s getting lots of practice on the leash, practicing some of her base commands, and of course getting lots of rest. June 23rd is the date she’s looking forward to, because that’s the day she finishes her rest period, and is allowed to go wild again!

At home, i’m working through a couple of different issues:
1) Submissive peeing. We’ve got a small terrier/chihuahua mix that began peeing submissively with me several weeks back when she witnessed me scolding another dog nearby for jumping repeatedly.
Among google results and talking with other trainers, handlers, and dog owners, it seems this is the hardest issue to overcome because standard methods really don’t work well. It’s very difficult to punish a dog out of submissive peeing because punishment brings about some level of fear, which causes more peeing!
I don’t have much experience in this arena, but i’m using a mix of crate time, giving space/letting the dog come to me, and repeated calm/gentle presence. I’m rather limited since this isn’t my dog, but we’ll see what happens.
2) Our two male dogs have now had a couple of scuffles that were over the line, and they’re under a strict separation order. One of them is an instigator, and while I don’t see it as malicious, it’s a problem because he wants to play so bad, and sometimes he crosses the line, causing the other dog to make a correction, which the first doesn’t take well.
I’m working on this from multiple directions:
First, the separation order. This limits their exposure to one another, and ensures i’m present when they are, so I can maintain, correct, and intervene as needed.
Second, when the behavior moves from playful to instigation, I make a sharp correction and remove the offending dog for a half-hour of calm crate time so they can reset.
If any aggressive behavior is displayed, such as posturing, snarling, or otherwise aggressive, I immediately intervene with a sharp, loud, aggressive response. The idea is I want them to be more afraid of the consequences of being aggressive than they are of the other dog.
Third, exercise. Getting the the instigator out for more exercise will help him relax a little more, and get some of that pent up energy out.

Outside of my home, I was presented with a few different issues, but there’s one that stands out: Peeing inside, and peeing in the crate.
This one stands out for two reasons: first, that it’s been going on for several weeks, and second, that the dog peed in his crate, which is very unusual.
Dogs are ‘den animals’, meaning they tend to make a den, or small space, to live in, and they don’t usually go to the bathroom in their den. When I heard that the dog was peeing in his crate, along with the peeing inside, my first thought is that he has a medical issue with his bladder, and I suggested he have a visit with the vet.
My second thought is that the crate is too big; if they’re given a large space, dogs won’t see their crate as a den, but rather as a various-use space. You can see my posts about crate fitting for more on that.
My third thought is that the dog hasn’t really put ‘have to potty’ and ‘go outside through the doggy door’ together, which is easily remedied by training.
It’s a work in progress, but I am certain it’s a problem that can be solved with the ‘3 P’s’: Patience, Persistence, and Praise.

My challenge for you this week:
Teach your dog to not bolt through an open door. This is especially useful for when you open the front door to a guest or visitor, but not having to fight with your dog to block the door.
Start with a door inside, such as a bedroom, and make them wait to enter while opening the door. Small steps, the 3 P’s, and you’ll have it down in no time!


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