I have posted many times about Petey and his pee pee accidents. You’ve all been very helpful, having me get him tested to make sure he didn’t have a urinary tract or bladder infection. (He doesn’t).
Petey definitely knows it’s wrong to pee inside the house (and the stairs and lobby) and good to pee outside. He gets loads of positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise from me when he does it outside. And, sorry Yoda Jeremy, negative reinforcement from me in the form of smacking his snoot downwards and sometimes holding his face right up to the puddle when he pees inside.
No doubt Pete gets it. Yet he still has accidents sometimes. Usually they take this form: he’ll be shy to come out of his crate, so I lure him out by sitting in front of him and offering a treat. Then, he’ll be shy to follow me out the front door to go downstairs; instead, he’ll stay seated outside his cage and just look at me. It’s as if he knows the times he’s going to have an accident and he’s just trying to avoid putting himself in that position. I’ve been trying to distract him as we go down the stairs, by teasing him with a treat but not letting him have it (sometimes I do break off a piece and he gets that). Then, we leash up in the lobby and go outside. If I wait to leash him until we’re outside he’s started a new thing where he runs away from me, but more on that later. And if I leash him upstairs, the way the leash attaches to the Gentle Leader/Halti so low to the ground makes it hard for us to navigate the stairs quickly. So, I’ve arrived at this unleashed-but-fixated-on-the-teased-treat method going down, then leashed-in-the-lobby method. And most of the time it works. Except for the 1-2 times/week when it doesn’t. And those time are almost always foreshadowed by his not wanting to follow me out of the apartment.
More infrequently is Pete’s other kind of accident. He actually did both kinds last Tuesday. We had been at the dog park, and he had gotten an awesome workout, playing his little guts out. I knew he’d come home and crash on his bed, and he did. I thought he’d be out for 3 hours, but he was up after one. I walked by him to get some coffee in the kitchen and bent down to give him a kiss. That’s when I discovered his entire bed was soaked in pee and he was laying in it. Eww !!! Ask any dog owner – this is not supposed to happen. It is very unusual for a dog to piss his bed; even odder to remain laying in it. I theorized that maybe he let it fly in the middle of a really good dream, woke himself up, and was so ashamed that he was trying to cover it up and hide it with his body. Jeremy Yoda says I shouldn’t attribute that level of emotions and cognition to Pete; that dogs just ain’t that bright to be able to feel shame and try and hide something, etc.
But then what, people – what ??? What am I doing wrong that my dog keeps doing this? I give him love, I pet the hell out of him, I let him lay on my lap and we watch Internet TV together, I take him for hour playtimes in the dog park, I feed him plenty and give him treats. What am I doing wrong ???
Later that same day, he had his more typical kind of accident. Man, he was just having a really bad day, I thought. He just needs to go to sleep and have a do-over tomorrow. Now, because he had started to take a full-on whiz right on the lobby floor, I had to whisk him outside to finish, and there was no time to leash him up. After he finished, the little prick up and took off!
WTF, Pete – you’ve got to be kidding me!
Of course, this worries me very much. He could easily run into the street and be hit by a car. So, I got low to the ground, held out a treat, and called him back. Thankfully, he came running. Now, there was no need to hit him. The main thing was he was coming back to me and would be safe. But I was already worn thin from a day with two accidents (the most recent one still wasn’t cleaned up yet, and until it was, there was a chance a neighbor would see or step in it), and I lost my temper. Big time. I still only slapped him on his snoot, not anywhere else like his ribs, God forbid. But I did it another level harder than I usually do it, and he yelped and recoiled.
You should have seen Yoda Jeremy’s face when I told him that story over dinner. You could practically see him pressing the silent-alarm under the table. That is SO wrong, he explained. He was coming back to you, and you ‘rewarded’ that with a smack. He’s not smart enough to realize the smack was for running away. Next time you try and call him back after he’s run away, he might remember what happened last time and think ‘eff u, buddy, I ain’t fallin’ for that again.’
Of course, you know, I felt really guilty after whacking my dog. And it lingered into the next day. So, after my driver’s test, I stopped into Roi’s pet store and got spent about 300 shekels (approx $81) on treats and toys for him, including some of those plush toys he’s never had before.
It was a lot of fun, presenting him with one toy after another. He didn’t know what was happening, and was enthralled by whatever I set down in front of him next.
Less than ten minutes later, I learned why Yoda Jeremy had said before that the plush toys were a bad idea. Pete had destroyed two of them – in ten minutes!
Seriously, though, people – what gives with Petey’s inconsistent, yet persistent pee pee accidents? Is he acting out, because he’s angry if we haven’t gone to the dog park or for longer walks, if I’m glued to the computer writing all day? Is it punishment for that? He doesn’t look like he’s spiting me; he really does look like he doesn’t want to have the accident. But then, why is he? 😦
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