Help me get my Jack Russell to quit peeing on everything.
August 27, 2008 8:52 PM   Subscribe

How do I get my 4 year old Jack Rusell to stop peeing on things? He IS potty trained, and neutered, but still seems to be "marking" furniture and corners all over my apartment, and I NEVER catch him in the act. I've heard this is an issue that is more common in Jack Russells. Is there anything I can do to deter this so he won't pee on my new couch?

A few more details:

- He was not well potty trained when I got him, but he definitely knows to tell me whenever he wants/needs to go out.

- He also was not neutered until I got him, which was when he was 18 months old. Ideally he would have been neutered sooner.

- This seems to happen even after hes been out to relieve himself plenty of times

- This mostly occurs on corners of furniture that have been around oher dogs, or in places that other dogs have lived.

- I literally have only caught him in the act of doing this once & often don't notice it's even happened right away.

How can I train him / deter this behavior? He is a smart dog and I've been able to train him quite a few things given the fact that I am a novice at best in dog training. I have a new couch and the thought of him marking this too... Ugh!

*Bonus Points if you can just send Ceasar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) directly to my place. Otherwise, any suggestions are welcome, especially if you've cured this in a Jack Russell, because they certainly are a unique breed.
posted by veronicacorningstone to Pets & Animals (7 answers total)
Assuming his pipes are in order, he is doing this because it's his thing.

Is he on a schedule? Does he go out at set times he can count on? The needs to start now. If you have a weird schedule (perhaps you have a night class one day a week), a dog can learn that schedule.

Don't let him run around the house. He has to stay with you or hang out in his crate. For a few months. During that time, you'll learn to know what he's up to, and he may (may) get over this delightful hobby.

Clean the pee spots really well. Get something from the pet store with papaya enzymes and really get the smell gone for good.

If you catch him in the act - or better, with leg in mid-lift - take him out quickly with no fuss.

You might find it helpful to teach him to do his deeds on request. Service dogs are routinely taught this - you can find books for google around for info.

You have a dog that was bred to kill many rats in a very short period of time. He's going to be a freethinker. If you are not in class, you should be. If he has his basics, maybe you could look into earthdog or something to take his busy mind of the joys of indoor pee.

Wouldn't hurt to check for JRT clubs and meetups in your area. Fun for both of you and a way to learn more about dogs and your breed.

An organized, confident dog - a dog who is trained and has an active life - is less likely to find these special ways to entertain you.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 10:02 PM on August 27, 2008

We had the same problem with our adopted min-pin. We found marking behavior very difficult to eliminate, and decided to focus on ways to live with it. Obviously you'll want to try training/correction first, but if you find it isn't working, I highly recommend these - better than anything you'll get at PetCo/Petsmart. We'd have had to give him away without them.

Tinkle Trousers

One big advantage is that you'll actually know how often he's doing this, because it will be evident in the diaper. Our min-pin's problem ended up being much worse than we had originally imagined.

Give his pee-spots a light soaking in Nature's Miracle, and keep him in the kitchen when you're not at home.
posted by VTCarl at 4:15 AM on August 28, 2008

Our beagle mix does this once in a while, especially when he's around other dogs. It seems to have a lot to do with his sense of where he is in the pecking order; higher in the order means more marking of territory. If my wife and I have a fight and seem like poor pack leaders, he sometimes starts peeing on our stuff. The best way we've found to address it is to consistently act like we're the boss. (I know, vague and difficult) When we're at other people's houses he stays on the leash, right next to me, for an hour or so, until he settles down. When we're walking, I keep him moving and don't let him mark every shrub and telephone pole. Watch a couple of DVDs worth of the Dog Whisperer and you'll get a better feel for this.
posted by jon1270 at 5:57 AM on August 28, 2008

What Lesser Shrew said. I would be retraining this dog as if he were a puppy: no freedom unless directly supervised (crate when unsupervised, leashed to you when supervised), taken out on a regular schedule whether he asks or not (every 3 hours), etc. I would also get a vet to rule out a UTI before I started any of this. Clean the marking spots with an enzymatic cleaner. Get a "belly band" for him for when he's in the house. And increase his exercise and training, training improves communication, exercises his brain, establishes appropriate relationships with his humans, and makes it easier for him to learn. And more exercise means he will have less energy to waste on marking.

Do not bother with Cesar Millan. Look for Ian Dunbar or Jean Donaldson instead, you know, people who have read dog behaviour research done in the last 30 years instead of being proud of being decades out of date, and who aren't so hung up on their wallets and stardom that they forget about the dogs.
posted by biscotti at 6:40 AM on August 28, 2008

When our dog would misbehave, we'd bop him on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper--not hard, but enough to get his attention. When he took to marking the basement posts in the new house, I simply placed a rolled-up newspaper against the posts. He'd see the feared weapon of discipline, and give those posts a wide berth. Do you do the shaking-pennies-in-a-can thing? Put a can wherever he pees. Does he, like my dog, hate plastic bags? Tie them to the couch legs.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:46 AM on August 28, 2008

MrMoonPie, if you are bopping your dog with a rolled up newspaper, I hope it's the local Penny Saver and not the Sunday New York Times!

You can probably get as much attention by slapping your palm or your thigh with the newspaper, and you don't have to bend over and strain your back!

And I hope he doesn't have a panic attack when you get out that plastic bag to pick up his poo on the walks you no doubt take him for... hint hint hint.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:57 PM on August 28, 2008

You need a belly band.
posted by acorncup at 9:39 PM on August 29, 2008

« Older How long does one smell skunk?   |   Who was this this later famous supply clerk? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.