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Thread: Help!

  1. #1

    Help!

    Hello,

    My family has an 8 year old female Boston terrier mix that we adopted from the SPCA back in June. Recently she has been deficating and urinating all over the house. Tonight, when our house mate was attempting to clean up the mess, Margie (our dog) bit her. She has also bit my wife once before during a similar situation. Now this only happens when I am not home. I'm looking for any advice and guideance here as I don't not want to lose Margie.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,410
    First I would get Margie to the vet. The sudden change in behavior is often because of a medical issue, and her going in the house may be because of that. Also, if an animal is sickly, it makes them more prone to snapping. So the very first thing to do is rule out a medical cause.

    Is she crate trained? What training have you done with her?
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    We were told she was crate trained and house trained.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,410
    Do take her to the vet, okay? Once anything medical is ruled out, we can work on training with you. Until she sees the vet, you might try crating her, especially when you are going to be cleaning up her messes, as it seems like something medical or neurological may be going on.

    Are there any other changes in the household?
    I've Been Frosted

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
    Posts
    16,817
    As Karen has said, first step is to rule out medical issues. A vet check is in order.

    After that, I urge you to take Margie to obedience classes. Everyone in the household should attend; most places charge "per dog," so having extra folks present is not a cost issue.

    Look for a training place which teaches positive reinforcement training. You may be able to find one using this link:
    http://www.apdt.com/petowners/ts/default.aspx

    APDT - American Pet Dog Trainers.

    I do not suggest folks use PetsMart or PetCo or similar places. Often, the trainers there have passed a written test, but have never owned a dog. You want an experienced trainer, who works with his / her own dogs, in Agility, Flyball, RallyO!, Field work or herding. These are folks who are daily reading dog body language. They can teach you how to read your dog.

    I also encourage group classes, not the more expensive one on one classes. You learn so much from observing other owners and dogs.

    Keep in mind, a dog doesn't learn much in a one hour once a week class. Home work and practice exercises are a MUST DO.

    Let us know what you find out at the vet!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    391
    Good luck and don't give up! Have you ever read the book 'A Common Sense Guide to Training and Living with Dogs' by Jon Katz? It is really good. It does not actually adress your problem, but it has a lot of good ideas for a well trained and calm dog.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Cedar Rapids Iowa
    Posts
    233
    If the medical gets ruled out, get a trainer. If she only does this when your not there, this could be a case of separation anxiety (could be wrong but to me it sounds like it.)
    In loving memory of Tigger 2003-2009. In loving memory of Ashes 2001-2013.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Posts
    11,464
    Hopefully, when she does have these accidents, she is not being punished in any way by the people that are there. A vet trip is in order.

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