I was in Norcross last Wednesday at a new Home Dog Training client working with the family and their eighteen-month-old Brittany named Sky. They had brought Sky home from a rescue group three weeks ago and have fallen completely in love with him. He was somewhat of a “wild child”, so we quickly needed to establish focus and respect between Sky and the family.
We moved on to establishing proper “house rules” for Sky’s behavior and created a standard correction and acknowledgement process. From there, we moved on to beginning and intermediate obedience commands. We did a lot of exercises in the house before we moved outside and focused on recall and respectful walking.
Finally, I asked my clients if there was anything else we needed to accomplish during the lesson. They thought for a moment and then, Joshua, their son, said “Sky is peeing all over the house, and it is really gross!”.
Well, that would certainly be something at the top of my list! I told them that peeing in the house, or marking, is a common occurrence when you bring home a rescue or shelter dog. I went on to tell them that there are some simple actions that they can immediately take to quickly curtail and stop the process.
There are two things we can examine when we have a dog peeing in the house. The first thing we need to check is if we are giving our dog too much water. If we leave a filled water bowl down all day long and don’t take him out or give him the ability to get outside, he is going to pee in the house. The quick and easy solution here is to cut back on his water.
The second issue focuses on the fact that your dog may be “marking” in your home. The first thing we must resolve is to understand why your dog is marking in your home. The answer begins with the fact that your dog thinks he is part of a pack of animals and your home is part of his territory. What your dog is doing is making sure that the territory smells like him. He is updating the status on his Facebook page so everyone knows what is new with him.
The bad news is that this natural instinct can be very strong in some dogs. This behavior will naturally occur and continue to take place. Now, for the good news. There is a very simple way for us to take control of the situation and “manage” the smell.
Remember that your dog wants his territory (your home) to smell like him. What we must do is to make sure we approve of the smell for our home and him. We suggest using a lavender smell in the home and to have your dog have a very slight smell of lavender. Now your home and your dog smell the same. Your dog is now content that his territory smells like him. There is no need for him to lift his leg. You are happy because your home doesn’t smell like dog pee. Your dog is happy because your house smells like him. Win, Win!
Here is what you do:
- Place some lavender Glade plug-ins around your house.
- Get some of the bamboo-lavender oil holders and put them around the house.
- Use a lavender-scented cleanser when you clean.
- Get some lavender carpet dust and use it on the carpet.
The house will now have a very slight smell of lavender. You might not even notice the smell. Sky will definitely notice the new, lavender smell.
Your next step is:
- Get a small vile of lavender oil.
- Place a few drops of the lavender oil on a hand towel.
- Lightly rub the towel on your dog’s fur. You want to have the lavender come in contact with the top of his fur and never his skin.
Your dog now has a very, very slight sent of lavender. Now, Sky and his territory smell the same. Sky no longer has the need to pee in your house!
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over seventeen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.