Dog park behavior embarrassing

socksJune 26, 2013

I take my Westie (neutered) to the dog park regularly. He has tried to pee on people there a couple other times, but today he peed on the same person twice. Not sure if he actually hit the target, but he lifted his leg and made the effort. After he did this, I just averted him from people's legs and warned a couple people to be alert. He does not pee in the house. Any suggestions why he does this?

I'll just have to keep a close eye on him. Once when he was walking near someone's feet I just said "hey!" and he moved away, so I think he's getting the message. It doesn't happen when people are petting him, just when they are innocently sitting or standing there with no particular attention on him. It is embarrassing, and people are nice about it, but reallly. Otherwise he's well behaved, plays nicely with others.

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i'm sorry but the vision of a cute little westie lifting his leg on an unsuspecting human is just pretty darn funny!

seriously though, i have to wonder if he's doing this because he smells the scent of other dogs on these peoples' clothing.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 5:36PM
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If that happened to my leg in a public dog park I would be furious. If you can't keep your dog from peeing on people - regardless of his reason - keep him leashed and away from people.

My friend's little maltese comes into my house and raises his leg on my couch. I'd like to break it off. I make her hold him ince he can't be trusted.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:50PM
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i dunno, elly, i think when you go to a dog park, it stands to reason that you are pretty much at the mercy of a bunch of loose dogs. i don't go any more, i just got so tired of undisciplined dogs not playing nice and idiot owners who were clueless about what their dogs were doing.

obviously, socks admits the "problem" but just doesn't know how to deal with it or why her little guy is doing it.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:04AM
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Sounds as if the 'Hey!' is working. Enough of that and he should cease the behavior.

As for why----might be a dominance thing. Might be territory marking. Might be hormonal changes from the neutering.

No real matter if the 'Hey!' corrects the behavior.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 3:13AM
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Hey, Handymac! Thanks for the support! I'll just have to be very vigilant and ready with HEY! It's a nice park, nice people, a good experience for the dogs--and I don't want to stop going.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 7:15PM
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"i'm sorry but the vision of a cute little westie lifting his leg on an unsuspecting human is just pretty darn funny! "

especially on the same person twice - lmao

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 10:05PM
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Your dog is "marking" people. It means he has a dominant personality and is trying to take over, Stop the behavior by disciplining him. Teaching your dog you are the boss is paramount. Eat first, go out the door first, make him sit and stay etc...When walking dont let him stop and mark everything. Once he relieves himself once, keep walking for however long you walk and dont let him stop at every blade of grass to urinate on it. Marking is not the same as eliminating. Good luck

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:34AM
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Dogs go to parks to help them become social. I have far, far less objection to being 'marked' then intimidated by a nasty dog or worrying about one attacking my dog in an unleashed situation. Kudos to noticing the problem and double kudos for seeking a solution. I am rural and do not have access to a dog park and wouldn't use it if I did because many people don't have the consideration you do for other people and appropriateness.

Yes, he's dominating and if he does it in this respect he may be doing it in other areas. My mate and I are not on the same wavelength with the issue of small dogs and dominating behaviour. My little fellow absolutely knows and respects I rule the roost, but he takes advantage of my partner who often thinks his naughtiness is cute. It isn't.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:56AM
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I agree that it is a dominance thing.

I've always been proud of his behavior at the dog park. We have been going there only a couple months, and I am thinking he's starting to feel it's "his" park now that he's very comfortable with the other dogs and surroundings.

He did not pee on any person today, although I was careful to keep him away from people's ankles, but I'm sorry to say he peed on two other dogs. Both times I caught him in action and scolded him.

Finally a 2 lb. dog came and put him in his place a bit.

I can walk him as Mazer suggests. I wonder if I should put him on the big dog side of the park. He has been trained but not by or with me. Maybe we should take a training class. The dog has lived with another family member previously and has only in the last few months come to live with me.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 1:17PM
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OMG, he's cute!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:45AM
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What if there was a child in your child's playground and he peed on the other kids?

There is one dog park I frequented. The owners were "regulars" and were very vigilant about their dogs' behavior. No one went there thinking getting marked on was "what happens" at a dog park.

In fact, there were basic rules. The most basic one was, if your dog is annoying or causing discomfort to another dog or person, you have to leave. It's not fair for owners with well-behaved dogs (like mine) to tolerate another dog peeing on them. And if that did happen to me, and the owner did not succeed in controlling that objectionable behavior, I would have to take my dog and leave and not enjoy the park.

Marking on people is not "sand on the beach" in that you should expect it at a dog park. I guess it takes a special person to allow their dog to do this and think that it's ok.

Public dog parks are not training grounds to see if your dog behaves. If it doesn't behave, you are ruining it for the people there whose dogs do behave.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Elly, stop beating me up. You offer no suggestions, just criticism.

Do I need to tell you I'm not happy with this? Do I need to tell you that I don't believe this is "what happens" at a dog park? See the word "embarrassing" in the subject line? I'm addressing the problem, so please stop being so unhelpful.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Certain people on here are always old crankmonsters, Socks; don't let it bother you. FWIW, I wouldn't care at all if he did it to me. First of all, It obviously matters to you and you are trying to get him to stop, and secondly, he's an innocent dog - nothing malicious is going on. It's not like dog parks are clean environments anyway.

What struck me was that you said he's only recently moved in with you after living with someone else. That's a big deal. I think he's probably acting out a bit bc he's a little stressed and uncertain and, yes, trying to mark his place in his new world. I'd bet that if you just keep correcting him, he'll get it and stop. Taking him to the dog park is certainly good for him.

It's wonderful of you to add him to your family.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 1:46PM
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he is SO stinkin' adorable!!

and socks, i don't think it's you that elly is dissing, it's me.

elly, seriously, you need to lighten up. granted, this is an objectionable habit for ANY dog, large or small. but in this case, it is being addressed. it isn't like socks came here and posted how funny she thinks it is that her little dog is peeing on somebody's leg and just laughing it off.

if i was the person being peed on by a dog that cute, i'd be hard pressed to keep a straight face but that's just me. maybe it's because i live in the country and for 30+ years, i've had farm animals and have had everything from pee to poop to blood to vomit thrown at me (literally). i just don't see why a little dog peeing on me would get much of anything other than a good laugh.

socks, i don't think it's a good idea for you to take your little guy to the "big dog" section of the park. there is too much chance that should a bigger dog decide he doesn't like your little guy, an attack by a big dog can do untold damage to a small dog like yours. best to stay on the "small dog" side, for his safety.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 5:29PM
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He is so cute!! You seem to be on the right track with good advice. He's probably just testing what he can get away with claiming as his, although I think it is interesting that he does it only to folks who aren't paying him any attention. I wonder if getting attention is how he validates his dominance and when someone is ignoring him he has to show them who is boss some other way.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 12:13AM
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"We have been going there only a couple months, and I am thinking he's starting to feel it's "his" park now that he's very comfortable with the other dogs and surroundings. "

This reminds me of a little dog I looked after for a few months while the owner was very sick in hospital. for the first month he was a delight, but then he started sneaking off and marking his territory on the furniture when no one was looking. I don't know if he did this at home or if it was because of the new environment at my home (I didn't bring it up with the owner since they had been through a lot with their health) but I definitely felt it happened when he started to feel comfortable and settled in and was then marking his territory to send a message. I think you are doing the right thing by trying to catch him at him and correct him to let him know it's not ok.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 7:53AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Take him for his walk and after he's eliminated, belly band him. It's not something he'll keep on in a dog park, but if you can "set him up" by borrowing some friends to create similar situations, he can learn that peeing results in a wet tummy. Create a safe learning environment where he will depict the undesirable behavior, and you have the right situation to correct it. It's hard to do when he's running loose at a dog park. So maybe do this in a neighbor's back yard. One that is willing to possibly become a little damp!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 12:01PM
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One time when I took my dogs to Woofstock where there were a gazillion dogs and their owners, my Dachshund lifted his leg and peed(just a tiny bit) on the leg of a heavy person in jeans. Since he had peed quite a lot before on our walk, it was just a teeny bit and we kept on walking and the person didn't even notice. That was the only time this has happened, and I'd like to think he didn't even know it was a person because of the pandemonium.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 2:34PM
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