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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20180
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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my 11mth old dog keeps cocking his leg in the house,how do

Customer Question

my 11mth old dog keeps cocking his leg in the house,how do i stop this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,

Chihuahuas can be difficult to house train, but they are also notorious for marking behavior as well. If he hasn't had a medical checkup lately, you should have him checked for a medical condition such as a urinary tract infection. This sometimes causes frequent inappropriate urination. Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are frequent urination, dribbling urine, blood in the urine, squatting frequently to urinate, strong odor to the urine, inappropriate urination and straining to urinate as well as an increase in fluid intake. A dog with a UTI does not always show all the symptoms and typically displays 2 or 3. I believe you need to have your Vet check your dog out IF your dog is displaying 2 or more of the above symptoms.

If this is a house training issue, I recommend crate training to correct the situation. The crate should only be large enough for him to stand up, turn around and lay down. There can NOT be any extra room or they will use that little area as a bathroom. Crating them in a small area leaves them no place to eliminate, so they LEARN to hold their bladder and bowels and don'g just eliminate whenever they feel the need. This control is what crate training teaches.

Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links to supporting websites at this time. So where there is a site listed, you may have to copy that to a separate browser window or tab to access the data there. The following site goes over crate training.

You also need to be sure you are cleaning any areas he is urinating in with a good enzymatic pet odor cleanser. The area should be blotted to remove as much urine as possible. Then the object that they urinated on such as the wall or table leg needs to be washed and the cleanser allowed to soak in a little longer than the urine did on the carpet or flooring. This allows the cleanser to break down the protein deep in the padding to completely remove the odor. Normal cleaners only fool our noses. A fading scent is actually worse as a dog will be drawn back to the area to strengthen the odor for marking purposes.

If it turns out not to be a medical issue and you feel he was house trained, then he is marking his territory. This is sometimes reduced with neutering. You will need to teach your dog not to lift his leg except for urination outside.

You will need to keep a leash on him at all times, even in the house when he is not in his crate if you have a crate. If you don't have a crate, I suggest you get one for training purposes. If you can not keep a close eye on him, he should be in his crate or an enclosed area with pads down. While you are watching him, each time he starts to lift his leg inappropriately, you will want to give him a quick short tug on the leash and say "NO" in a LOW TONE, FIRM but not necessarily loud voice. Do not punish him if you find an area. They don't understand why you are angry and think it is because you found it, so they hide it better next time.

If you think he might have to urinate, take him outside. You will have to do this consistently. When he urinates or marks an appropriate object outside, praise him highly. If he has a favorite object he's been marking inside, and you notice him smell it but pass it by, praise him for not marking it. You can also give a very small treat. I recommend liver slivers or hotdog slices. With the short tug of correction along with the NO, he will quickly realize what NO means if he doesn't already know. High tones of voice and yells have the opposite affect on dogs. Dogs think that loud high-pitched noises signal play, while low toned voices are commands. Dogs yip and bark when playing, but growl deep in the throat to warn or correct. Thus the reason for a low toned firm command.

If you are consistent about keeping him on the leash or crated and clean up thoroughly, it shouldn't be too long before he stops marking in the house. Then take the leash off. Still watch him closely. You might notice him sniff at an object and turn and look at you to see if you noticed he didn't mark it. If he does, call him to you and praise him and give him treats. If he tries to mark, a No should now stop him. If you are consistent, your dog will learn that marking inside is not acceptable.

Of course, you will first have to get a good enzymatic pet odor eliminating cleaner and wash down everything he's marked that is inside. They make lights that can help pin point areaa where there is urine.

A good obedience class can help as well as nice long walks around the neighborhood. The walks around the neighborhood effectively extend his territory and he will feel the need to mark all around the neighborhood. If you house is enclosed within this area, he will be less likely to mark inside, but still train him to not mark inside.

I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .

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