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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-23-2020, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Hello my name is Victoria and I have a 15 month old Havanese boy named Pippin. I found this forum while searching for information on marking and post neuter care. Pippin had his surgery on Thursday and is healing well. I originally had planned to not neuter him but decided to do so after all. He is indoor litter trained and very reliable with it however marking began around Christmas. Our trainer does not approve of litter training and claimed he was having "accidents" because he is allowed an indoor potty. I tried to transistion him to outdoor only and useing belly bands while inside but he refused to go outside after dark and would go to where his litter box had been and would pee in his belly band.
Now we are back to indoor litter pan and a couple walks during the day. Hopefully the neuter will curb the makring behavior along with a bit of potty training reinforcment.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-23-2020, 12:54 PM
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Mine went through a marking stage as well and it was confusing but i agree with you, it had nothing to do with potty training. Lots of people here on the forum have success with indoor potty training. The best help to me with marking was to reduce his freedom so I could “interrupt” any marking. It stopped really fast as soon as I could interrupt him and take him out. He just figured out it was an outside activity. There was one spot where he marked a couple of times behind a door that was hard to clean. We had to treat it like 5 times before he stopped sniffing there, but it worked.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-23-2020, 01:34 PM
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-23-2020, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Avic77 View Post
Hello my name is Victoria and I have a 15 month old Havanese boy named Pippin. I found this forum while searching for information on marking and post neuter care. Pippin had his surgery on Thursday and is healing well. I originally had planned to not neuter him but decided to do so after all. He is indoor litter trained and very reliable with it however marking began around Christmas. Our trainer does not approve of litter training and claimed he was having "accidents" because he is allowed an indoor potty. I tried to transistion him to outdoor only and useing belly bands while inside but he refused to go outside after dark and would go to where his litter box had been and would pee in his belly band.
Now we are back to indoor litter pan and a couple walks during the day. Hopefully the neuter will curb the makring behavior along with a bit of potty training reinforcment.
Your trainer does not understand indoor litter box training OR marking if she thinks marking in the house has ANYTHING to do with using a litter box. I have three fully litter box trained Havanese, two of whom are big markers and one of who is still intact. (Female, but believe me, females mark too!)

ALL of them preferentially potty outdoors, but use their litter boxes when outdoors isnít an option. Not ONE of them would consider marking in my house (or most others) and none have ever worn a belly band in my home. When they were not reliable, they were either confined or closely supervised so that I could interrupt and correct any unwanted behavior in the moment.

The one exception is my unspayed girl visiting a breederís home where other dogs have previously marked. I cannot trust her in that setting, so she is either leashed or wears panties. The problem with the panties is that the last time she TRIED to be a good girl and use a litter box there, and I didnít get the panties off in time! Poor girlie! But a pet dog is rarely in that situation.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-23-2020, 09:43 PM
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Welcome to Pippin and you to HF. I'm sure you will get a lot of good suggestions.

I will share my experience. BUT, I live in a mild climate area of Southern California. If I lived in a severe winter area, I probably would have done it differently.

Ricky was trained to go outdoors from day one when he arrived at our house. It took us about 3 or 4 months to make him COMPLETELY reliable. That means we take him outdoors every 4 hours now or Ricky will come to us and let us know he needs to go outside NOW! In fact, he came to me once today and let me know in no uncertain terms that he needed to poop. The training required us to take him outdoors for 5 minutes at least every two hours. That was tedious, but it worked and those days are long forgotten. Consequently, Ricky refuses to use any kind of indoor litter box. He does not mark indoors in our house or any other house (even if they have dogs). He does mark on our walkies but 'no harm, no foul.' Having him neutered at 10 months DEFINITELY helped us with his training!

With regards specifically to Pippin:
- According to Ricky's Vet, neutering should likely help his random marking
- The only time Ricky was wearing a 'belly band' was for a week after his surgery to keep him from chewing and licking his sutures. (He was stressed out by wearing a cone) Yes he did potty and soil his doggie diaper a couple of times because he was not house broken yet. It was our fault for not taking him outside often enough. So it was outside every 30 minutes and he quickly got the message!
- Pippin refuses to go outside at night. No, this IS NOT Pippins decision to make. When it comes to teaching and reinforcing desired behavior, YOU are the boss, not Pippin. If he refuses to go outside, pick him up and take him outside. Give him a maximum of 5 minutes to perform. If not successful this time, repeat the process in 30 minutes. IF successful repeat the process in about one hour. When successful gradually lengthen the time between visits to 2 hours or more. Pippin is a Havanese and therefore a smart dog. He will quickly catch on to what YOU want and expect from him and he will respect you for it.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2020, 09:52 AM
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Welcome to Pippin and you to HF. I'm sure you will get a lot of good suggestions.

I will share my experience. BUT, I live in a mild climate area of Southern California. If I lived in a severe winter area, I probably would have done it differently. <snip... and not the kind Ricky had > Consequently, Ricky refuses to use any kind of indoor litter box.
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Just one side comment on this one point... I think you got Ricky as an older puppy, didn't you? He was something like 10 months when you got him? From everything I've read from people who have tried it, it is almost impossible to litter train (or indoor potty train) a dog that late in the game unless they already know it, and you are just "reminding" them. Even then, if they have truly given it up, it can be mighty hard to get it back, which is why I encourage people to think long and hard before letting that behavior slip away if they live in an area with bad winters!

Mostly, indoor potty training is something best started with a very young puppy. BEST started by the breeder, at 3 weeks or so when they first venture out of the whelping box, though I do know people who have been successful starting puppies after they have taken them home if they are persistent. And if you want to maintain the behavior, you REALLY need to encourage and reinforce the behavior life-long. I STILL praise all of mine any time I "catch" them using one of the litter boxes, and they are 10, 5 and 4! I've yet to meet a dog that doesn't prefer the great outdoors. I think of it like us using a Portapotty. Will we use it in an "urgent" situation? Yes. Do we LIKE it? Not so much! LOL!

Mine ALL prefer to go outside. They will all use the litter box if that's not an option. (such as deep snow that has not been shoveled off the deck yet, or if we are out long enough that they have to go before we get home to let them out)

Also even though there is pee involved, marking is a completely different behavior. It sounds like Ricky was a "late marker" like Kodi. I don't think I EVER had to correct Kodi for marking in the house. It never occurred to him. In fact, I think he was almost two before he started to mark even outdoors. (and like Ricky, even though he was neutered early, he has plenty of libido... he has tied with girls in heat before I knew that it was POSSIBLE for neutered boys to do that!!!)

But I know of other male puppies who have been marking fiends by the time they are 5-6 months old, even though they have been WELL "potty trained" by that time. The act of marking is a different "thing" in their minds, and needs to be "taught" all over again for those kids. That is true for the girls too!!! BOTH of my GIRLS were markers in a way Kodi NEVER was, and BOTH needed to learn that lesson. Both quickly learned it is not something we do in the house, but they STILL do it outside. It's just a tad less obvious, because they don't leg-lift. They do what is called "over-marking". One HAS to pee (even if it's a tiny squirt) where the other peed. So Pixel will pee, Panda will wait until she is done and pee on the same spot, then Pixel goes back and has to squeeze out two more drops, just to have "the last word". (or vice-versa) Kodi can't be bothered with THAT nonsense! He likes to contribute to "pee-mail" on walks, but doesn't care about getting the "last word" in the back yard! LOL!


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2020, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Just one side comment on this one point... I think you got Ricky as an older puppy, didn't you? He was something like 10 months when you got him? From everything I've read from people who have tried it, it is almost impossible to litter train (or indoor potty train) a dog that late in the game unless they already know it, and you are just "reminding" them. Even then, if they have truly given it up, it can be mighty hard to get it back, which is why I encourage people to think long and hard before letting that behavior slip away if they live in an area with bad winters!

Mostly, indoor potty training is something best started with a very young puppy. BEST started by the breeder, at 3 weeks or so when they first venture out of the whelping box, though I do know people who have been successful starting puppies after they have taken them home if they are persistent. And if you want to maintain the behavior, you REALLY need to encourage and reinforce the behavior life-long. I STILL praise all of mine any time I "catch" them using one of the litter boxes, and they are 10, 5 and 4! I've yet to meet a dog that doesn't prefer the great outdoors. I think of it like us using a Portapotty. Will we use it in an "urgent" situation? Yes. Do we LIKE it? Not so much! LOL!

Mine ALL prefer to go outside. They will all use the litter box if that's not an option. (such as deep snow that has not been shoveled off the deck yet, or if we are out long enough that they have to go before we get home to let them out)

Also even though there is pee involved, marking is a completely different behavior. It sounds like Ricky was a "late marker" like Kodi. I don't think I EVER had to correct Kodi for marking in the house. It never occurred to him. In fact, I think he was almost two before he started to mark even outdoors. (and like Ricky, even though he was neutered early, he has plenty of libido... he has tied with girls in heat before I knew that it was POSSIBLE for neutered boys to do that!!!)

But I know of other male puppies who have been marking fiends by the time they are 5-6 months old, even though they have been WELL "potty trained" by that time. The act of marking is a different "thing" in their minds, and needs to be "taught" all over again for those kids. That is true for the girls too!!! BOTH of my GIRLS were markers in a way Kodi NEVER was, and BOTH needed to learn that lesson. Both quickly learned it is not something we do in the house, but they STILL do it outside. It's just a tad less obvious, because they don't leg-lift. They do what is called "over-marking". One HAS to pee (even if it's a tiny squirt) where the other peed. So Pixel will pee, Panda will wait until she is done and pee on the same spot, then Pixel goes back and has to squeeze out two more drops, just to have "the last word". (or vice-versa) Kodi can't be bothered with THAT nonsense! He likes to contribute to "pee-mail" on walks, but doesn't care about getting the "last word" in the back yard! LOL!
I started Pippin on the litter pan the day he came home. He picked it up quickly. I had planned an outdoor "Patio Potty" but we had awful weather and ended up using an indoor litter pan with paper pellets and a pee pad on top. After while we switched to the pine pellets and I bought Puppy go here litter box as Pippin had out grown the smaller litter pan.
We have traveled and I took a bag of pine pellets and his litter pan with us and he was perfectly fine left in the rental house during an all day wedding we had to attend. I love that he uses his litter pan.
I have not figured out why he has marked in the house. He is the only dog. His kitty friend has been here since before he came home. We did have a stray cat show up in the yard around Christmas but he was allowed to mark anywhere in the yard he wanted.
I had orignally planned to NOT neuter him but after the marking and he started getting barky at every animal he saw on the TV I decided maybe we should go ahead with neutering (and will make it easier to board him should we have to travel without him).
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2020, 11:14 AM
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Can't really help with the issues you are dealing with but I want to welcome you. Love the name Pippin! He looks darling. Would love to see a bigger photo! Glad you found the forum and you will find it very helpful. Lots of experienced people here.



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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2020, 12:58 PM
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I started Pippin on the litter pan the day he came home. He picked it up quickly. I had planned an outdoor "Patio Potty" but we had awful weather and ended up using an indoor litter pan with paper pellets and a pee pad on top. After while we switched to the pine pellets and I bought Puppy go here litter box as Pippin had out grown the smaller litter pan.
We have traveled and I took a bag of pine pellets and his litter pan with us and he was perfectly fine left in the rental house during an all day wedding we had to attend. I love that he uses his litter pan.
I have not figured out why he has marked in the house. He is the only dog. His kitty friend has been here since before he came home. We did have a stray cat show up in the yard around Christmas but he was allowed to mark anywhere in the yard he wanted.
I had orignally planned to NOT neuter him but after the marking and he started getting barky at every animal he saw on the TV I decided maybe we should go ahead with neutering (and will make it easier to board him should we have to travel without him).
Sometimes the ONLY reason for marking is because they are maturing and staking out their territory. Neutering IS likely to slow it down, but you will still have to confine and supervise him to teach him that it absolutely is NOT OK inside the house. The only way to get that message across is to catch him in the act.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2020, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Can't really help with the issues you are dealing with but I want to welcome you. Love the name Pippin! He looks darling. Would love to see a bigger photo! Glad you found the forum and you will find it very helpful. Lots of experienced people here.
I will try to upload some. He has his on Instagram but I have no clue if I can link that here
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~Victoria and Pippin
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