Oh, is this your bed? I just peed on it.
August 13, 2012 2:10 PM   Subscribe

We have a rescue dog, about 1.5 years old. She is our second dog. The other is about 5 years old, also a rescue. The problem we are having is that the younger dog pees on our bed. Further exciting details inside.

We live in a apartment with our two dogs, Aoife (about 5 years old) and Nuala (about 1.5 years). Both are rescue dogs. We've had Aoife for 4 years (terrier mix unknown), and Nuala for 9 months (probably Yorkie/Jack Russell mix).

Aoife is crate trained, house trained, and fairly well behaved. When Nuala joined us, we crate trained her, and had to re-house train her. She still pees in the house occasionally (once or twice a month), but usually near, sometime on, her pee pad that we have by the door. Aoife and Nuala get along well, and Mr. Trixe Bee is home during the days, so the dogs are happy and well socialised. Nuala was abused before we rescued her, but other than being a bit nervous around new people and loud noises, seems to have adjusted well.

We have a normal, but flexible, schedule for walks, usually 3 times per day, morning, afternoon, evening. When Nuala first came to us, we would walk every few hours, up to 6 times a day (some were very short pee breaks, not full walks).

Here is the problem: We are gradually allowing Nuala more free roaming privileges in the apartment. However, sometimes when she has been on the bed (twice at bed time, once mid-day) she has peed. I never see the peeing in action, just the results. She has only been on the bed about a dozen times, while I'm cleaning, putting away clothes, etc. She does seem a bit excited when she gets to go upstairs, but she doesn't dribble or pee elsewhere upstairs. Why does she hold it till she's on the bed?

How can we manage this, other than a no-Nuala-on-the-bed rule? Aoife is fine on the bed, and sleeps there when she wants. Nuala sleeps in her crate, and if this continues, she always will. But I would like to get her to the point where she can be trusted to be on the bed. Is there a trigger with the bed that I'm not noticing?

I'm going to work a little harder to make sure she has ample pee opportunities throughout the day. Any other ideas to help Nuala earn pee-free, full-house privileges are appreciated!
posted by trixie_bee to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check with a vet to make sure she doesn't have an actual problem - From UTIs to assorted collateral damage during spaying, she may not have the ability to hold it in, particularly in certain positions or when she gets overly excited.
posted by pla at 2:19 PM on August 13, 2012

I'd start with a "no-Nuala-on-the-bed-unless-she's-just-peed" rule in order to break the association. Also use a good enzyme cleaner on the bed and bedding and get a waterproof mattress cover to mitigate any future accidents.
posted by merocet at 2:20 PM on August 13, 2012

Is there any chance she was sleeping at the time? We recently discovered that our dog (similar age) sometimes leaks when sleeping. Apparently incontinence during sleep is a fairly common issue with spayed females. There are medications available for this, but we've been able to manage it by watching to make sure she actually pees while outside before bed.
posted by jon1270 at 2:31 PM on August 13, 2012

I know this is a bit unrelated, but if someone is home to take them out in the middle of the day, get rid of that pee pad! It's just teaching the dog that it's okay to pee inside on soft surfaces!

Okay related, clean the bed with an enzyme cleaner and don't let her up there unsupervised.
posted by jesirose at 2:33 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you don't see the peeing in action I wonder if it's more excitement peeing more than some sort of marking behaviour. My suggestion would be to build up to being allowed onto the bed. If she goes upstairs with you guys with no peeing problems then draw the line there for a little while until she becomes totally not bothered about being allowed in your bedroom and it's a routine thing. Then when she is settled and going upstairs is no big deal, let he onto the bed for a minute or 2 supervised, then call her off. Slowly extend the time as she doesn't pee.

Clean the bed well with enzyme cleaners to discourage her peeing as well.

Also it might depend which dog is "boss" out of the two of them if it's Nuala she might be doing it because Aoife's smell is on the bed, but if she has had no other instances of dominance peeing, just peeing on her pads I don't really think that is the reason.

Cute picture, the dog on the right in your photo, is a dead ringer for my dog who is I've been told is an Australian Silky Terrier but is blonde haired like that.
posted by wwax at 2:40 PM on August 13, 2012

Hmm I came in to type exactly what jon1270 said.

posted by bitdamaged at 3:39 PM on August 13, 2012

These all are great answers and should be done. I can't help but to think that one allowed and the other not allowed may create some kind of trigger for her as well. I would say that together they should follow the same rules since dogs are pack animals. I agree see a vet, get rid of pee pad, and maybe would add everyone in the crate with extra potty training until they are consistent as a team with the pee issue.

I also used a bottle to help control when my dog was drinking and how much. He would have a water bowl filled during the hours I was home but if I were gone for a while he would be in a crate with the water bottle. Definitely after 7pm it was water bottle drinking only until the morning. He is old enough now to control it himself but it helped while he was young and I kept the above schedule for about 2 years before weaning him off a bottle with free water and no crate/free range.

Hope this helps! They are super cute together!!
posted by MyMind at 4:23 PM on August 13, 2012

If it does turn out that Nuala will no longer be allowed on the bed, you can at least know that there are some positives from that arrangement as described in this NYT article. But snuggly dogs in bed are hard to beat.
posted by roomwithaview at 7:50 PM on August 13, 2012

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