Heartbroken but annoyed and exhausted

mariepattersonApril 30, 2010

My poodle has developed a terrible habit of peeing on EVERYTHING!

He is 9 years old now and the problem developed about 2 years ago.

He would mark everything, you name it clothing, corners, food, the kitchen table, the bed. =\

And that's not the only thing ... He barks ALL the time especially when he is left alone.

I have run out of options. From yelling at him - to all the fancy anti-barking chokers, and scent illuminators. I am loosing my mind and so are my neighbors who have to hear him bark all day long. I really cant imagine giving him away but it looks like there is no other option. His actions have brought lots of stress into our home.

I don't know what to do.

The weirdest thing is that we have never done anything wrong to have him act this way. We always walked him 3-4 times a day, showed him loads of attention, food was always fresh and available. It's as if he had some kind of a chemical change in his brain.

If I try to give him away no one will want him because of his terrible habits and changing his environment so drastically will probably affect him worse.

I haven't looked into putting him down yet.

Are there any other options?

Im heartbroken but annoyed and exhausted.

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Have you taken him to the vet to rule out anything physical? That would be my first step to make sure nothing physical is going on. Don't give up on him - there are options you can look into. And yelling at him probably isn't helping the situation.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 10:53AM
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marie, as dogs get older they can become a lot more needy of us than they used to be. It can be something as simple as his hearing is getting bad or his eyesight is failing and this tends to make dogs a bit anxious especially when left alone and that anxiety makes them bark and stress until someone returns home. Is there any way he can be left alone less? generally when my dogs are getting older, I have tried to spend less time out of the house, even when it meant rearranging my work schedule etc, it's not always easy to rearrange your life like that I know, but as dogs get older they do rely on us more, and they often just need us to be around more to feel secure.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 10:55AM
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My guess is it's age related. Either, or both, his hearing and sight are affected and the loss is causing a lot of fear & anxiety. I'm also afraid your response has probably added to the problem. Your frustration is apparent and I'm sure the little guy has picked up on it also. Yelling and use of collars on an already panicked dog only adds to the problem.

I'd first have a vet do a thorough exam and rule out any urinary problems. Then, you can try a belly band when he is loose in the house. Is he neutered?

When you leave the house place him in a large crate or collapsible pen. Owners have to make adjustments for their aging dogs and allowances for them losing their sight or/and hearing. I've owned dogs that were blind and/or deaf and it's not that difficult, but it does take patience.
Also, remember that as they age, a lot of dogs need to go outside more often to do their business.

If you don't have the time to work with him, contact some Poodle rescues and shelters. A change of environment is often the better choice, even for a dog that is losing his sight and hearing. Poodles usually have no problems finding a new home and I'm sure there are others who will want him.

Here is a link that might be useful: belly band

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 11:57AM
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Have you taken him to the vet, maybe he has a bladder infection. He's getting older and maybe the poor guy has to pee more often. If he pees everywhere maybe you can keep him with you so you can watch him. I can't imagine giving away my dogs if they had a problem, I would have to be dead before this happened, let alone putting them to sleep.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 2:36AM
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You should be working with your vet on this. Two years is a long time for the poor dog and he certainly feels your reaction. That can't be helping him. If these issues are more than you are willing to work with please please contact a breed specific rescue who can find a home for him that will help him and love him in spite of his likely age related issues. This is probably manageable medically and behaviorally but you need good professional help to understand what is most likely going on and help you to care for him. No responsible vet would recommend euthanasia without first understanding the issues and suggesting management and comfort options. Dogs aren't perfect and neither are people. They continue to love us no matter how badly we age.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 8:29AM
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YOU DO HAVE OPTIONS other than giving your dog away.
There are crates you can place your dog in just to keep the uring\e to a minimum, if you can not afford a crate, get some baby gates to limit his access to the house. Next - your frustration is feeding your dogs behavior, so just think of the fact that everyone gets old and we all have physical problems as a result, giving us up isnt an option, I dont think giving up a dog is either. You wrote you walk your dog a number of times a day. What kind of walks are these?? Slow sniffing walks or faster walks to wear out your dog. I agree the first thing you will want to do is to see a vet. As dogs age they can get a narrowing of the spinal cord area which makes it almost impossible for the brain to get a signal from the back end that things are moving down there - often the dog is as surprised as the owner. Your dog may be experiencing this and not marking...If he is marking, and barking consistently, after you get him cleared by a vet - I suggest you look for a day care program...a place where you can take him during the day or part of the day to be out of the house and with other dogs. Usually in a dog 9 years old behavior changes that occur suddenly are a key that something else may be wrong. What happened 2 years ago or when your dog started this behavior? Did you move? Someone else move in? Construction? Remodel? If not, then there may be something physically wrong with the dog. So, First the vet, clear him, next limit his access to the entire house. Place down pp pads if you must and prepare to do some clean up as a result. Next try a different schedule, faster harder walks, and maybe leave him some toys that have food in them so he does not get bored during the day. It sounds like you are at your wits end and it really doesnt hav to be that way. Try and figure out what your dog is trying to relate to you and work with him.....Please repost and let us know if he is okay physically and if anything is working. Good Luck

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 3:37PM
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I volunteer at an animal shelter, and unfortunately, older dogs with health or behavioural problems are often considered unadoptable and are usually euthanized right away. After all, if the person who knew them when they were young and cute doesn't want them any more, why would anyone else? We can't just make a problem dog someone else's problem.

PLEASE take you dog to a vet and rule out a physical cause for his barking and marking. It might be a simple bladder infection that can be cleared up with a course of antibiotics. You owe it to him to at least try.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 3:56PM
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I can't thank all of you enough.
Each and everyone's responses are greatly appreciated.

I have taken him to the vet several times in the last 2 years. The last visit was 3 weeks ago actually. He does not have a bladder infection, he's in great shape and over all a healthy dog. He is neutered. Moreover, he is a very active dog, always running around and playing with his toys. Health wise he is doing well (thank God). The only problem he had (which is very common especially in poodles) is bad teeth. He had two teeth pulled and the rest cleaned. But, like I said this is a very common problem in poodles so I don't think it has anything to do with his barking and marking.

Yes, I know I am at fault for yelling at him; and it is clearly not helping the situation but everything just piles on top of one another. I will definitely control my yelling. (I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea and picture a crazy lady yelling on top of her lungs running after my dog with a knife, never! ... that's just crazy.)

Unfortunately, there's nothing drastic that I could afford to change in the work schedule (except maybe cut out 2-3 hours a week).

Annz, the BELLY BAND!!! What a wonderful idea and sadly I never even heard of it. Not even from the vet. Better late then never I guess. I am going to give this a try 100%. For some reason I would think that it would be unhealthy for the dog to keep that area closed off.... i'll talk to the vet and purchase it tonight.

I will report back to everyone who has taken their time to help me and my poodle (Jack). I will try the belly band ASAP.
Later on, I will post a photo of Jack - So he could personally thank everyone himself.

Thank you a million times.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 2:17PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

After many, many years of going through the same thing, my sister-in-law finally discovered "belly bands" for her Bichon. They replaced their furniture a number of times. This finally saved their furniture, home and sanity and the dog had no problem adjusting to it. He still went around trying to pee on things, but wasn't getting anything wet and it was easy to maintain. This will work wonders for you!!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 9:40PM
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Have you thought about doggie day care? Maybe he could use the company, just a thought :>)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:31AM
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