Help for my DIL and her male Bichon.... - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
Izzy, Doc, and Kai's mom
 
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Help for my DIL and her male Bichon....

I got an email from my DIL needing help with her Bichon male, Cooper. He is marking in their house and her DH, my DS, wants to get rid of him. He never wanted a dog, so it's been a love-hate relationship for about 3 years. Anyway, Cooper is marking and she's at a loss. I suggested a belly band, but other than that, do any of you have ideas for her. My Doc marks over Izzy's pee outside, but fortunately, that's it.
Cooper is crated when they are gone, but otherwise has the run of the house. He is bell trained and goes outside to do his business. I think he's marked off and on all his life, but apparently, it's getting worse.
Thanks for any help....

Doc
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 08:15 AM
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I was going to ask if it was a new behavior and then I got to your last line. Frankly, I'd be very frustrated to have a dog marking in my house too. At this point, I don't know if it is hopeless or not since he is over 3 years old and has always marked to some degree, but I think her only choices are: restrict his freedom, keep him by her side so she can watch him continually or use a belly band.

Unless she watches him all the time, she cannot correct the behavior. I'm not even sure how you'd correct it at this age because she really would have to catch him every single time he lifts his leg or he's just going to associate the time to behave around her. (Not sure if that makes sense.) He will be able to get away with it when she's not looking and will continue to do so. My vote would be for a combination of restricted freedom and a belly band.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:41 AM
Eva
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Almost all of my foster dogs have marked to some degree and it's definately NOT hopeless.
It takes time and consistancy to re-train them to do what you want but it's definately doable.
What I would suggest is to get some Natures Miracle or Simple Solution (if she hasn't already) and make sure to clean all of the areas that he's marked in the past really well...if he smells pee he's going to mark..
Then start potty training all over again just like you would a new puppy...every hour/two hours, after meals, after playing hard,ect...
I keep my fosters in a crate until they get on a good potty schedule. I'll let them out to potty, eat and play but then they go back in the crate until the next potty break...since they don't like to potty in the crate it seems to re-wire their brain and help them to learn not to potty in the house.
Once they graduate from crate training move them into and X-pen or a confined area that is easily cleaned and if they do well (no accidents) keep expanding the area until they have free roam of the house..
Like I said, a lot of work,time and patience but it will happen if your consistant.

Eva, Mom to Todd....2 year old short hair Havanese
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:47 AM
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I was wondering if the dog has been fixed? I would say tether him to her side and watch him and correct when needed and outside quite often. Dexter is not marking yet....I have watched him pee and he pees for a long time when he does and he is not taking very short pee sessions.....so, watch for the long pee sessions outside.

Is he drinking from a bowl or a drip bottle system?



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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 01:04 PM
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I was wondering, too, if he's been fixed...that took care of Marley's marking in an instance...he never did mark in our house, but everywhere outside and tried at other people's homes....
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 03:07 PM
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[QUOTE=Eva;242419]
...What I would suggest is to get some Natures Miracle or Simple Solution (if she hasn't already) and make sure to clean all of the areas that he's marked in the past really well...if he smells pee he's going to mark.....
QUOTE]

Wow Eva, that was all such good advice and so encouraging to hear you're successful!! The only thing I'd add to the one line above is to buy a black light. For ~$15 (sold at pet stores now even) you can be sure that you find EVERY pee spot in the house. Starting over completely clean of the pee scent is really critical.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice...I've forwarded it on to my DIL and she is VERY appreciative! She is willing to work hard to be able to keep her beloved Cooper. My DS just isn't a dog lover (he's my step-son, so didn't inherit my love of dogs). Thanks again!

Doc
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 07:54 AM
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Great advice from everyone. I agree:
1.) If he's not already, have him neutered
2.) Clean the carpet with natures miracle and use a black light if possible
3.) Start fresh: Limit his access to the rest of the house: Be viligent---don't let him leave your side for an entire weekend (if they can take time off work that would even be better) and catch him in the act. As soon as they see it, say NO! (or use a shake can) to immediately interrupt the 'stream' so to speak! Better if you catch him just as he's about to go, but that isn't going to always happen. Lift him up and immediately take him outside. Say potty outside. If he does go outside treat, treat and more treat. Whenever he goes outside (even if it isn't right after he marked) give him treats. Soon he will get that when he marks inside, he displeases you and when he goes outside he gets treats.
4.) Give him lots of opportunity to mark OUTSIDE... to get it out of his system. Take him on at least one daily walk where he can sniff to his heart's content. He may never get 'marking' out of his system....so it is up to her to train him WHERE it is acceptable for him to do this.
5.) I'm not a fan of the belly bands only because they seem like a band-aid for the problem... won't do anything to teach him where he can and cannot mark. But then again, I've never used them, so I can't really speak to how effective they are. Baxter marked for a week or two... and having him neutered (moved his appt. right up when he started) combined with the things listed above, completely stopped him from doing it.... It's been over a month now--mark free!
6.) You might also ask her if there are certain times when he marks more than others.... and so when you do slowly give him more freedom in the house, still be careful about these particular times. Keep him in someone's watch. For us, it was bedtime. Something about Dan and I putting the kids to bed made Baxter territorial and he would mark in their rooms as we were tucking them in, reading them books, etc.
7.) Lastly, no more run of the house when they are not there: He should be confined to an area (carpet free ideally) until the problem is under control.
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