Dog training – Separation Anxiety

Dog training – Separation Anxiety

by wendy

I have a 7 year old male lab/retreiver, who urinates in the house whenever we go out. What can we do to stop this behavior? Also, he is very rangy, whenever people get back he gets too excited and doesn’t listen, is there anything we can do?

Hi Wendy (firstly take a look at our huge section on dog separation anxiety as there is lots of advice there). Firstly if I was you I would purchase a Crate so you can place him in that when you go out – it will stop the peeing around the House. This is a quick fix and we don’t advise you leaving your dog in the crate for long periods of time.

This is a tricky one because your dog is older – is it a recent problem – or has it been going on for some time. If it is a new problem then you need to rule out any medical issues. How long are you going out for? Have you taken your dog out for a long walk before you go out?

Limit the areas where your dog can get access to and make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned areas where he has previously urinated as the smell may trigger him to pee there again. Try leaving something that smells of you when you leave the House as this will comfort him. Try pretending to leave the House first and wait in another room and try and catch him in the act. You can also pretend to go by rattling the keys or looking for your coat – get your dog used to you leaving the House for short periods and then ncrease the time you are gone.

There are some treatments that Vets can give your dog but we don’t like these at all. If you are really struggling some people choose to use belly bands (basically a diaper for dogs).

In relation to your dog peeing when people come to the House – this is so common. Its basically submissive urination (we are assuming that your dog hasn’t got any bladder incontinence issues)and dogs do it to let you and your visitors know that you or the visitors are the pack leader. Try not to get your dog too excited – ask visitors to ignore your pooch for the first five minutes and then just a simple hello. Also ask visitors not to lean over your dog as this will also cause submissive urination (imagine if a massive giant dog leaned over you)!

If your dog gets too excited – just ignore him – pretend that hes invisible and ask visitors to do the same. Before long your dog will learn that becoming too excited wont get attention. The more you pet your dog when he gets excited the more he sees it as a reward and you are inadvertantly reinforcing the behavior. Anyway hope this helps