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My Dog Tipsy

The law of the sea.

My Dog Tipsy

Postby Adalgar » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:28 am

The first time I sent this question - it came back missing some - I'm resending to be sure it goes through.

Hello - My husband Derek & I have a Terrier/Daschund mix who is about a year and 4 mo. old named Tipsy.  When she was a puppy I used to take her into work with me once a week, she sat in her kennel with the door open on top of a table.  Whenever a new person would come in the office, she would start grinning real big - showing all her teeth, and bowing her head and acting real submissive - until the person greeted her with petting or what not.  We all loved to see her do it because it looked like she was smiling at us - but it did seem more like she was afraid of new people and was being submissive until she felt safe.  She would also do this at home whenever my husband or I would come home from work.  She would bow down and grin with her tail kinda waggin' and kinda between her legs.  We would always make over her and laugh and she would tear off around the house running in circles so happy we were home.  Well, now the 'welcome home' scenario has changed a bit.  When I come home, she bows her head like she's afraid and she pees right where she's at.  So if she's sitting on the back of the armchair - it gets peed on.  If she's on the carpet, it gets peed on.  There was an incident probably 7 or 8 months ago when I got really angry with her peeing in the house.  I was calling her to come to the back room and she wouldn't come(that's where she stays if we're out for a long time).  I got angry and yelled, and went to pick her up and she peed in the floor.  Then I really got mad and yelled to try to stop her from peeing more ...(I realize this is not the thing to do - but in the moment - it's what I did).  For a few days, it was a little touch and go with her peeing when I came home, but then she seemed to get over it.  (My friend told me that's what dogs do to show that you're the boss - bow down, tail between the legs, then roll over and pee).  So I thought we were over that, things had been fine until recently.  Out of the blue, she started doing that 'subservient' thing as soon as I get home, and as I approach her, she pees.  I am not doing anything but being really positive - I've tried all kinds of things - but she hides in her kennel when I come in.  I call her in my sweetest voice and she still acts afraid and pees.  A couple of times I just laid down in the floor on my back(figuring that was good dog language)and that seemed to work - she warmed right up to me.  But that's really not the routine I want to establish.  Even when she pees I try not to get upset, I just tell her no and try to get her outside.  She doesn't react to my husband this way - so I'm figuring it has to stem back to that incident when I got really angry with her.  What do you think?
Adalgar
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:14 pm

My Dog Tipsy

Postby Felicio » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:30 am

The first time I sent this question - it came back missing some - I'm resending to be sure it goes through.

Hello - My husband Derek & I have a Terrier/Daschund mix who is about a year and 4 mo. old named Tipsy.  When she was a puppy I used to take her into work with me once a week, she sat in her kennel with the door open on top of a table.  Whenever a new person would come in the office, she would start grinning real big - showing all her teeth, and bowing her head and acting real submissive - until the person greeted her with petting or what not.  We all loved to see her do it because it looked like she was smiling at us - but it did seem more like she was afraid of new people and was being submissive until she felt safe.  She would also do this at home whenever my husband or I would come home from work.  She would bow down and grin with her tail kinda waggin' and kinda between her legs.  We would always make over her and laugh and she would tear off around the house running in circles so happy we were home.  Well, now the 'welcome home' scenario has changed a bit.  When I come home, she bows her head like she's afraid and she pees right where she's at.  So if she's sitting on the back of the armchair - it gets peed on.  If she's on the carpet, it gets peed on.  There was an incident probably 7 or 8 months ago when I got really angry with her peeing in the house.  I was calling her to come to the back room and she wouldn't come(that's where she stays if we're out for a long time).  I got angry and yelled, and went to pick her up and she peed in the floor.  Then I really got mad and yelled to try to stop her from peeing more ...(I realize this is not the thing to do - but in the moment - it's what I did).  For a few days, it was a little touch and go with her peeing when I came home, but then she seemed to get over it.  (My friend told me that's what dogs do to show that you're the boss - bow down, tail between the legs, then roll over and pee).  So I thought we were over that, things had been fine until recently.  Out of the blue, she started doing that 'subservient' thing as soon as I get home, and as I approach her, she pees.  I am not doing anything but being really positive - I've tried all kinds of things - but she hides in her kennel when I come in.  I call her in my sweetest voice and she still acts afraid and pees.  A couple of times I just laid down in the floor on my back(figuring that was good dog language)and that seemed to work - she warmed right up to me.  But that's really not the routine I want to establish.  Even when she pees I try not to get upset, I just tell her no and try to get her outside.  She doesn't react to my husband this way - so I'm figuring it has to stem back to that incident when I got really angry with her.  What do you think?
Felicio
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:42 pm

My Dog Tipsy

Postby Karel » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:46 pm

Dear Angie,

Thanks for the question. Sorry to hear of your troubles. For reasons that may or may not be logical(from our points of view), she feels threatened by your presence. She runs and hides and her body automatically reacts by urinating. Some of these fearful behaviors are voluntary - like moving away and hiding. Some are involuntary and automatic, like releasing urine. Submissive urination is an involuntary behavior - your girl cannot choose to pee or not to pee- it just leaks out when her brain triggers that response.  

Due to her genetic predisposition, your frustrations and subsequent actions, her brain is now conditioned to automatically react to your approach as if you were attacking her. She has formed as association between your approach and unpleasant events. In addition, she has formed an association between the presence of her urine and your attacks. Not to worry(wsmile), you can fix it, but first you’ll need to learn a bit about classical conditioning. These associations are due to classical or pavlovian conditioning and therein you will find portions of your solution. Here's a human example. Suppose a child goes to the dentist and the experience was traumatic. Her brain forms associations between a trip to the dentist and trauma. Now, when she walks into a dentist office and sits in the waiting room, she experiences an increase in heart rate and respiration rates(along with all the other physiological symptoms of fear). The dentist could be very kind and very sweet, but the child’s heart rate and respiration rates are not reduced by the dentist’s kind words. The child knows the lady dentist is not going to intentionally hurt her, but her body still responds with fear. Telling this child to stop reacting is akin to scolding a dog for submissive urination. It won’t be effective. IT will only add to the anxiety and fear. The dentist might give the child gifts or candy or even money - but none of these would reduce her already increased heart rate. In order to change any conditioned fearful response, we must use classical conditioning to form new, pleasant associations. First off, recognize that there is a combination of factors that contributed to this conditioning, some of these factors you can modify and others are out of your control. She is genetically predisposed to exhibit submissive behaviors when she is mildly stressed. She is genetically predisposed to be mildly stressed when people approach or interact with her.  

You have two general goals and you’ll need to reach them in order. They are- 1) Change your dog's perception of your approach via classical conditioning

2) Once your dog is comfortable around you, teach her how to confidently interact with people.

Get some tasty treats and place them outside your house. The next time you enter the house, don’t approach your girl, look directly at her or say anything to her – just place or toss the teats on the floor and continue waling into another room. While she is eating the treats, leave the house. Repeat several times in succession– you could just feed her all her dinner in this fashion. Do this for at least 30 minutes each session. In the meantime, do not coax her, talk to her or otherwise try to interact if she is in the same room as you. You might just save a bit of her dinner and use it throughout the evening, when she is nearby. Just toss or lay a piece on the floor anytime she looks your way. Toss it or place it away from you(at least as far from you as she is standing or sitting at the moment) – don’t try to lure her(or “talk” her into) coming closer with food. That’s just rude to press a friend into doing something they really don’t want to do(smile)!   Be especially careful not to learn over her or reach for her. Even if she jumps in your lap, for now- don’t reach for her. Just place a piece of kibble on your leg or on the couch and let her get it. Needless to say, when she does urinate, say nothing do nothing(except clean it up when she is not watching). Don’t fuss to yourself, don’t make a mean face at her, be polite and pretend it never happened. Act like she is your aged, favorite relative that just had a bladder accident.(smile)

Consider getting her a belly band or some other type of doggie diaper. If she eliminates when you first walk into the room, the treats will not be effective, you are too close, you’ve already triggered the conditioned response. You’ll have to start at a greater distance from her and have your husband give her food  whenever she sees you approach at a great distance. As she progresses, you get closer and closer. If this is the case, It’s too complex for me to explain the procedures here. Buy the book, The Cautious Canine by Patricia McConnell. The idea is to form a new association between you and food treats. Once this is accomplished, her brain will say “OH GOODIE, I’M ABOUT TO GET FOOD” whenever she sees you. Then you can start interacting very carefully. Introduce her(and perhaps yourself) to clicker training. It’s a great way to establish a mutual partnership, build trust and to communicate with her in a language she’ll understand. It will boost her confidence. It would be great if you could teach her some active, confidence building “tricks”. The more action commands or tricks that you teach her - the more confident she will become. Here are some ideas. Teach her to shake or speak, or even scratch with her hind legs like a bull! Teach her to race around a cone on the floor, or teach her to find the treat(that is hidden underneath one of three bowls on the floor). Teach her to fetch. I’m very glad you wrote the question, because now you can fix it. You have the tools to begin. I’ve spent(off and on) about two hours editing and writing this answer and now I feel I have the right to go another step(smile)-  I’m going to share with you , somewhat bluntly, the same thoughts I share with my paying clients. Please do not take offense; I’m giving it to you straight up, with kind sincerity and the best of intentions. Treating this requires that you change your behavior and that you learn a bit about animals and communication. I’ve given you some good accurate advice, but unless you actually do this stuff, you’ll be dealing with this problem forever. It will not go away with time(if you continue on the path as before). Sure it will get better, then reappear- just as before. I know you love your dog and you want to help because you contacted me. I’ve mentioned one book title; here are two more that have great information. You would be on a quick path to success if you read these two other books - The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson, Click Here – for a well-trained dog by Deborah Jones. Happy Holidays – Happy Training!

Alan Turnerhttp://howsbentley.com  
Karel
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:00 pm


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