Hi! I'm new to this - so bear with me!
I have an 8mo old chocolate lab named Harley.
Until this past week, she has been a normal handful of a puppy.
Lots of playing, lots of work - but nothing unmanageable.
She is my first lab, so this has all been a learning experience for me.
This week.. everything changed, and I can't for the life of figure out why.
But regardless of why - I just want to get things back to our "normal" zoo.
She is randomly peeing all over my house. She hasn't really owned any certain spots, but it's destroying my carpet.
She's had two UTIs already - but I don't think that has as much to do with it as it is a behavioral problem.
We tried yelling (I know.. not productive), and every time we catch her - we take her outside through the same door.
I've seen recommendations to take her out on a schedule, and slowly increase the minutes - which would a very doable option. I'm just afraid that because of the UTI problems, that she may have never learned 100% the whole housebreaking idea, and with her reaching 1 year, I'm concerned about always having to deal with this.
She's stopped sleeping well, even at relatively the same bedtime each night. We switched her out of the crate at night (our preference), and it went very well for three weeks. Now.. she wants to play, not lay down. She's begun scratching at our bedroom door, I leave with thoughts of her needing to go outside - she immediately snatches a toy and runs to play. After reading around, I'm thinking she's not getting enough exercise? It blows my mind - as we play constantly, but if that's the case.. and it would help most of our problems, I'd be more than happy to fit in a walk, or MORE fetch.
Her barking has drastically increased, and she is constantly play-attacking my cats, but she's gotten much rougher.
My cats are on the small side, and she is over 60lbs. I'm starting to worry about her hurting them by accident.
As I said - she's my first lab. I have all the patience in the world - but I think I'm just in need of guidance in doing the right things! I really appreciate any kind advice and help any one can provide! I love her to pieces - but I'm at my wits end!
exactly how much and what type of exercise is she getting daily? (what is play? how long?)
How much MENTAL stimulation is she getting?
I woudl go back to crating at night
Treat her like a puppy that needs house training, direct supervision, crate when you cannot. Clean accidents wtih an odour neutralizing product. Do make sure it isn't a UTI. Does she have an inverted vulva? has she been spayed?
She may just be hitting the teenage stage where they test all boundaries. This means double up on training - get into an obedience class as well. Make sure she gets plenty of MENTAL as well as PHYSICAL exercise. Mental - training, walk in new areas, new places, new activities, make her work for her food (feed her using a tug-a-jug, or kong, or kong wobbler or other) and play mental games with her (hide and seek for example). Physical - she needs to run at least an hour a day (not jogging on leash though). fetching is good but if you can set up play dates even better. swimming works wonders. hiking. you name it.
Make sure to change things up a little as well, change the walks and where you play.
Has there been any changes in teh household? visits (dog or human)? change of routine (vacation, time off, etc.)
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
She needs a walk!! I would take her on at-least an hour walk. Then some fetch in the yard. Also add in Obedience to challenge her mind. Since she has UTI problems has she been checked for another one?
~It doesn't matter how smart the dog is,it matters how smart the owner is.
Thanks so much for your input!
She was spayed about a month ago - and she got a UTI from that. She finished the antibiotics for roughly two weeks ago.
I haven't taken her back to the vet yet to be rechecked as during the meds and after (with the exception of this week) she wasn't showing any symptoms.
I'll definitely invest more time in the mental exercise, as I'm thinking about it, that could definitely use an increase.
There haven't been any household changes, however we are going on vacation next week. It will be the first time she is kenneled, so I'm anxious to see how that turns out.
When we get back from vacation, I am going to definitely add in a nightly walk after dinner.
I read that an hour is too long with her age and current development..
So you would recommend an hour? It's fine either way - but I don't live in a neighborhood, so I'll need to plan a little ride in addition to the walk.
If I go back to crating at night - can you recommend any tips for the barking?
I did crate her last night, when the door scratching started. I took her outside, she peed, and then I got a biscuit and took her to the crate.
The crate is in our bedroom. I tried to move it once when she was much younger, and it was disastrous. But when I crate her now, she barks more than any dog I've ever heard.
Yep...you have gotten good advice! Tire that girl out before bedtime! Random peeing around the house could be a UTI or an inverted vulva. Often vets don't check for inverted vulva unless you ask them to. Google it and look at pictures. Repeated UTI's are a sign of an inverted vulva. There is also a condition called spay incontinence. If you recently had her spayed, I would check into that as well. I would rule out anything medical before trying to resolve the issue. Puppies do go through a faze when it seems like everything they have been taught went out the window. She may be going through that stage, but with repeated UTI's she needs checked by the vet.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
I definitely think the mental exercise is something we need to do more of.
I've not heard of an inverted vulva - what would that mean if she does?
I'm planning on taking her to the vet when we come back from vacation (next week).
There haven't been any household changes since we got her.. but next week she will be kenneled for the first time.
When we come back, I'm going to start scheduling in dedicated exercise/play time after dinner every night.
That's likely the coolest time at this point in the year. When I get home from work would still be too hot.
Thanks so much!
Also - she has been spayed. About a month ago. The surgery went very well, but also is what prompted her second UTI.
I had begun to rule out anything medical because she has absolutely no problem holding it through the day while I'm at work, and all night.
But I am definitely going to the vet after vacation to bring up some of these concerns and rule out anything else.
What a great help - thank you all so much!
If she is having repeat UTIs she may have an inverted vulva - which will cause this to be a long term problem with her. You should get her on cranberry caps daily to help with this. If her vulva is inverted there is no correction for this as she is now spayed. Often they correct themselves if the dog is allowed to have one heat cycle - but that is water over the bridge in this case.
I would NOT give her a treat when you take her back to the crate after her middle of the night excursion - you are rewarding her for this disruption. The less fun you make the behavior you want to discourage, the better.
How have you cleaned the areas where she pees? You need to use more than just a household cleaner because they don't eliminate the urine odor - and they will incent the dog to pee there again. Use white vinegar, peroxide or a product called Nature's Miracle to wipe down the surface after you have used a standard cleaner.
If all else fails, there are pheremones you can get in a plug-in (like the air freshener) that will help with this problem. It helped me with my older dog who, when I got him as a 6 month old rescue, was not well house trained.
On the barking - you have to ignore her. Not easy I know - but any attention you give her when she barks is a reward. If you reward her behavior you will get more of it.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
So.. after doing some research and googling.. She definitely has an inverted vulva.
What's next?! I've read about a 50/50 split that if I'd let her go through her first heat, it would've corrected.
Neither here nor there now though - as she's always been spayed.
Everything I'm reading is leaning to CranCaps..
Or a human concentrate.. so long as it is 100% cranberry.
Can any of you lend any more help?!
I SO much appreciate your input already - I've learned so much today!
I wish it were better news.. but at least I know what I'm dealing with now!
This link might help.... Recessed/Inverted Vulvas and Chronic Infections | Hearty Pet Talkin' Tails Blog
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye