A Doggie Problem: Advice Appreciated

My dogs are here in the den with me. Frankie on the stool at my feet and Cordelia on the couch across the room. She was giving me a long look just a minute ago but now has tucked her head and gone to sleep. Tough life these two have.

We are having a disturbing problem with Frankie, however. She has a tendency, on rare occasions, to pee in our bed. She doesn’t seem to know this is a problem. This evening I heard a sound coming from upstairs and saw our bedding being dropped by Ray from the second floor. I knew, of course, what had happened. Ray said that Frankie was on the bed with him when she peed. No warning at all. She has done this twice at Ojai. Jumped up on the bed and “gone” right after being outside. This is the third time she has done this here in LA.

Clearly, we need to take her out for walks. She is busy marking her territory all around the block so she pees a lot when we walk. But we have the back door open all the time and almost all the time she and Cordie just go out in the back yard to do their business. They are in and out all day and all evening long. So, for the most part, Frankie has a normal “bathroom” habit.

Do any of you dog lovers know what to do about this? We could use some guidance. The answer is no to routine walks. I believe we’ll be changing our lazy ways as a result of this new behavior. Our logic has been – besides laziness – that the dogs have constant access to the outside. But this is a lively little dog with lots of energy. She may just be eager to get moving and is annoyed that we are heading up to bed instead.

Help. We could use it. Frankie is our little rescue and we know that she survived for a while on the streets. She gets scared on busy streets; is fine on non-busy ones. She is a great dog and we’re going to figure this out. That’s why a little help from our animal loving friends would be appreciated.

By the way, I took both dogs for a walk this evening and I don’t expect any more bed-wetting behavior tonight. Weeks go by without an incident. We thought the Ojai slip-ups were related to a long drive up in the car and then just not “going” on the walk over to the Airstream. But the door was open then too. I’m not sure Frankie connects open door with bathroom needs all the time. A bit of a break in the routine and she goes straight to, “Hmmm, let’s pee here in this nice soft spot.”

We’d appreciate any help so don’t hesitate to share.

Thanks.

I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.

Frankie

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Cordelia

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8 thoughts on “A Doggie Problem: Advice Appreciated”

  1. Hmm it could be that simple, as you say a break in her routine may be causing the issue. I know that when I was doing all the dog training classes they stressed a routine not only for you, but the dog. I set alarms on the phone if I get busy and caught up in tasks just to make sure if I’m home Remy goes outside every 1.5 to 2 hours. Typically, if I’m doing something I know I can loose track of time in, painting etc.
    This tends to keep her from in the house accidents, that happen when I get distracted. Also, it took a long time for me to recognize Remy’s cues, she is not a very vocal dog. So, her letting me know she has to go out is subtle sometimes too subtle. Frankie might also, prefer that your presence be outside for her to know she is supposed to do business and it not just a romp out?

    Unlike Cordi little miss Frankie may just have to be a little more organized for her business trips… I know you were looking for a direct cause to answer.

  2. Three thoughts:
    1. Rule out urinary tract infection-vet visit.
    2. A good dog trainer/psychiatrist? may be able to figure out a “fetish” and what to do about it.
    3. Behavior modification-same trainer maybe. Not allowed on furniture or beds though that may be hard since there are two dogs and they have these hard habits now.
    4. Here is an extra: do more freaking out when Remy misbehaves. Like scary. Yell, wave arms, direct verbal venom at Remy. Worked for me with my rescue dog. I am a natural freak-outer anyway. You would have to work at it. Freaked out the first time he peed in the house. Never happened again, though I probably missed signs he needed to go. Firmly pushed him off the sofa with a verbal reprimand (less freaking that time). He has never jumped on a piece of furniture since. Without saying, never physical action. Oh yes, isolation is very effective with misbehavior. Rusty go the laundry room with the door closed. About 30 minutes the first time, but when Remy gets the idea and it is consistent just 5 minutes is effective. Yup, I had the advantage of a dog trainer and 12 weeks of agility training so Rusty and I ended up working as a team.

    1. My first thought was UTI as well. Something similar happened with my first dog many, many years ago and I still carry the guilt of consigning her to the outdoors in her last years when she’d been a beloved indoor dog most of her life. We both were learning a lot then and I wish I’d known then what I know now. 😦

      1. I will check about the UTI. Several folks have mentioned that. We made it through yesterday with no incidents. I took her out several times even though the door stays open. May just have to train her again to go outside for her business.

  3. Check for the UTI, which can cause incontinence. In my experience with cats and dogs, peeing in bed has meant they need your attention because something is wrong and they don’t know how else to tell you. Dogs don’t normally pee where they sleep, so I doubt she’s doing it because she wants to. I have been blessed with many dogs and they’ve all been rescued strays who came with a lot of baggage. It takes patience and understanding, which I know you guys have. I certainly would not yell at her. Not only would that freak her out, it would add to her stress, confusion and possibly harm the trust you’ve worked so hard to get as well as mask the real problem. The walking is definitely a good idea. If you can make yourself walk her every evening that would mean the world to her and give her a pee routine. It’s tough, though, I know…hang in there!

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