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Rescue Dog and Submissive Urination by anja ..... Animals & Pets Health Support

Date:   4/14/2008 7:35:41 PM ( 14 years ago ago)
Hits:   3,070

So I am pretty much heartbroken because I reluctantly returned an adorable rescue dog I adopted because I didn't know how to deal with her submissive urination behavior. It seemed to also happen when she was excited (which was a lot). She peed everywhere, including my bed and various pieces of furniture. I tried the recommended ignoring her so as not to reinforce it with attention, and not scolding her for it because that makes it worse, but it seems you also can't scold for other bad behavior because it causes the submissive thing, too, so then how do they learn? You can't exactly ground them, or say, "OK, no treats for a week because I caught you pooping on the carpet or eating my drapes."

I might have given up on her too quickly, I only had her one day (not long, I know), but I sort of know my limitations and felt incapable of handling that specific behavior, particularly since I wasn't prepared with a plan to deal with it - I had been told she had a history of it - did it when they first brought her in, but she had apparently stopped. I had just passed on another dog the week before for just that reason, and they knew it was kind of a deal-breaker for me, but assured me she was "over it." She did it right in front of me when I went to pick her up, but I wanted to believe that was an anomaly, ignored the red flag, and brought her the 3 hours back home. Maybe if I didn't work, had all day every day to spend with her, and my house and furniture were all made of sealed concrete....

Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this, and how, in case I encounter it again. Is this common behavior in dogs? Can they be trained out of it? I only ever had one dog before - a yorkie I got from a reputable breeder at 12 weeks and had her 15+ years, so was able to start shaping her behavior early on.

I am having a hard time letting go on this dog, I had my heart set on her, and I sent the foster a note (she's being kept in her kennel for the SPCA) that if by some chance she was rehabilitated through training in another foster's home and wasn't adopted back out, I might be up for trying her again, but probably that ship has sailed, I doubt they'd be confident I could handle her.

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