Two new issues with Tayda. 1\. Growling @ my husband. 2\. Peeing inappropriately
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  • Hello - me again!

    I thought I'd throw these two new things going on with Tayda out there and see if anyone has any thoughts/advice.

    1. Tayda has started growling at my husband when he tries to pick her up. Never happened in the previous 4 years since my husband and I have been together, but in the last, oh several months (can't remember exactly how long) she has started growling when he tries to pick her up, either off the couch or her dog bed. I wonder if it has something to do with me being pregnant and her being protective? i can't quite remember if it's been going on for only as long as i've been pregnant, but possibly.

    2. We had her trained to use a litter box when we weren't home, which worked great for about 2 years, and then when we moved into our new house in May, somehow she is not very reliable with it anymore. We would get home, she will have peed in the litter box, but also somewhere else. So I tried going "back to basics" and only giving her an area large enough to fit her dog bed and litter box, utilizing the "dogs don't like to pee where they sleep" theory, but I'd come home to find she has peed in the litterbox and somehow peed under her dog bed and is then laying in her dog bed on top of the pee. She also seems to be peeing to mark things. Like, on the dog couch (yes they have their own couch), on Lenny's dog bed, on the dog sitter's blanket. Last night she was sleeping on her dog bed (which is not on our bed, but is elevated so that she is about at the same height as our bed) and my husband reached to take her collar off and she growled. So, since she growled, I pushed her off the elevated bed and gave her a bed on the floor to sleep on. She tried to get back up on to the elevated bed and when I wouldn't let her, she peed on the dog bed on the floor. Sigh…

    She doesn't seem to be incontinent, nor does it seem she has a UTI (I'm quite familiar with how those look when she has them) all of this peeing really appears to be on purpose.

    So today we started a new procedure - my husband will make Tayda sit before she get's anything - food, water, treats, to be let outside, and she will start sleeping on the floor. If she is on the dog couch, he will go over and coax her off with a treat and then he will sit on the couch and maybe or maybe not invite her up onto the couch with him - but he will decide if she comes up, not her.

    Any thoughts or ideas? Could all this weird behavior be because I'm pregnant and she's "protecting" me with the growling and "claiming" her space with the peeing? Although I believe she growls when I'm not around as well. It has never escalated to biting, but obviously I don't want it to get there...

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    Our situations are not the same, but after I moved to a new house, Spencer started peeing by the door or occasionally on the couch. He had never had accidents in the house before, but the move upset him and he was never as secure after that experience. Everything checked out physically, so the vet diagnosed it as separation anxiety. Several years later, he still does it– not every time, but a lot. He starts trembling like crazy when he realizes I'm going, then pees right after I leave-- even though I have just taken him outside before I go.

    The common denominator seems to be that we upset our dogs' routines and introduced new stressors into their lives. I tried everything, but Spencer became a Velcro dog after my cross-country move. Tayda is younger, so I hope that time will help with her. Restoring her confidence and reinforcing the pack order with commands and rewards sounds like a good place to start. Perhaps you could try returning to crate training, too. That didn't work for me, but maybe it will for you. I'm no expert, but I wish you the best... and if you find the silver bullet, please let me know!

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  • I would agree that a disruption in routine is likely at the root of this problem. Sounds like Tayda is insecure. How to fix it? Extra attention might be a place to start. How is your husband's relationship with her? Are you usually the one training or giving commands? If so, maybe it would be possible for him to work with her a bit…...e.g. teach her something new and have the opportunity to connect with her on a different level. Do you clicker train? Working with her a bit on new things might help and he could also train a cue for picking her up where she cooperates to get that done. Jumping into your arms is cute and would be a way for her to see being picked up as a "good thing". If that is too complicated, perhaps just teach her to climb into his lap and reward for that, moving towards picking her up and rewarding for her cooperation.

    It's Christmas, so I am not even going to suggest any form of discipline. Peace on earth, and all that. ;)

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  • We don't physically discipline her - but if I catch her peeing inappropriately, I try to yell sharply and then immediately take her outside. With the growling, I push her onto the floor and don't let her back up if she growls - which last night resulted in her peeing on the dog bed I was wanting her to sleep in.

    Although we did just move, moving has not been an oddity in the last few years. We have moved 4 times in the last 3 years and she adjusted nicely with each of those other moves… maybe it's something about THIS house? creepy. lol.

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  • @Tayda_Lenny:

    which last night resulted in her peeing on the dog bed I was wanting her to sleep in.

    Yeah, I totally agree with whoever on here has the tag line about Basenjis being the exception to dogs not understanding spite! I've seen too much evidence to the contrary. Like cats, I believe they retaliate. She wasn't happy about being denied the couch!

    Hate to suggest "better living through chemistry", but if the problem is anxiety, possibly some doggy "prozac" could help with the peeing issue? It worked like a charm for my niece's cat (who was stressed out by the other resident cats).

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  • It sounds to me like she isn't feeling good, so everything else is just pissing her off (no pun intended). She may have a UTI.

    Oh, I just saw that you said you are pretty sure she *doesn't have a UTI. You might want to have her checked just be sure. One of ours will be crabby (and she normally never is) when she has a UTI.

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  • And you have a double whammy with her having Fanconi, so hard to say why she might not be feeling well.

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  • Vet check up and some blood work.

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  • @Quercus:

    One of ours will be crabby (and she normally never is) when she has a UTI.

    I can relate. Makes me crabby too! (and more inclined to pee. :) ) I concur. If there is any doubt, get her checked.

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    First thing with a change of behaviour in my opinion is a vet visit to check that all is well and that there is no physical cause.

    My first reaction to the growling was why pick her up but i see that it is to remove her from the couch etc. Personally I don't use physical means to get a Basenji off furniture that they must keep off. I just use my voice. If this doesn't work keep a small tag on her collar and use that to pull her off saying 'Off' at the same time. She'll then soon learn the word. I don't agree either with holding her down when she growls. It seems to me that she feels challenged and hence the peeing in her bed when reprimanded. I wouldn't call it spite.

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  • @Patty:

    I don't agree either with holding her down when she growls. It seems to me that she feels challenged and hence the peeing in her bed when reprimanded. I wouldn't call it spite.

    Patty, I could be wrong, but I read that as keeping her down off the couch, not physically holding her down. Could be wrong. The reason I mentioned spite (if it isn't physical) is that I have had a bitch retaliate in exactly that way when she was displeased with me. But if it is indeed a UTI, the peeing is entirely understandable, of course. The choice of the place is what made me start thinking of alternative explanations.

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  • Yes, one of ours DEFINITELY peed to send a message on more than one occasion. Ivy got in trouble for something (so long ago, I don't remember what) and she ran directly into our room jumped on the bed, and peed on my pillow….

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  • Here is a link to a FAQ from Dogs and Storks. It recommends pretty much what you are doing, back to obedience basics. You may want to see if there is a Dogs and Storks presenter in your area that might be able to help you with a plan to prepare the dogs for the changes.

    http://familypaws.com/fpaw/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/faq.pdf

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  • @nobarkus:

    Vet check up and some blood work.

    Not Tayda_Lenny, but she gets lots of Vet checks since she is a Fanconi dog. So I am pretty sure that she is a visitor to the Vet office lots…..

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  • Oh yes, we never HOLD her down - when I said we push her onto the floor - I just meant I nudge her so that she gets off the bed… then she's on the floor. She's never physically restrained.

    She definitely gets plenty of vet checks and blood work - my next appointment for her is on Monday so we'll see how that goes. Her errant peeing really doesn't seem UTI related to me, particularly since it mainly happens when we've denied her something or when there's something "new" in the house and she pees on it seemingly to claim it from Lenny. Or her peeing in her ex-pen outside of the litter box - but even then it seems like she takes the time to move her bed out of the way and pee under it. So it is definitely deliberate.

    So the vet check up is scheduled - obviously if something comes back amiss, that's where we'll start... but for the purposes of this thread - if it IS a behavioral issue - any other additional suggestions for that?

    My husband started last night with his boot camp of making her sit for a treat before doing or getting ANYTHING. there was no errant peeing or growling last night - so I'll call that a success! We'll see how it goes from now on!

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  • @Tayda_Lenny:

    My husband started last night with his boot camp of making her sit for a treat before doing or getting ANYTHING. there was no errant peeing or growling last night - so I'll call that a success! We'll see how it goes from now on!

    If she begins to see your husband as more of an authority figure, that may help. The peeing thing…...dates from your most recent move, is that correct? I would read that as something that has changed is not to her liking. Since it seems also to be related to you denying her something, it may be a difficult thing to manage. (short of never doing anything she disapproves of!!) Good luck. :)

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  • Yep, it's just with our most recent move, since May. Coincidentally, her setup at the previous two houses were very similar - she was blocked off in the kitchen with a big sliding door wall to look out of during the day and her bed was on top of, or next to a heating vent. Never had any issues with her peeing inappropriately - she always went in her litter box, even though there were two different carpets in the living/dining room area that she had access to. When we would come home, she wouldn't even get up out of her bed cause she was so comfy.

    The setup of our new house is a bit different, namely in that she can either be confined to the living room where there is a big set of french doors to look out, or she can be confined in the kitchen/dining room, which has a heating vent, but no window to look out.

    I wonder if it is something as ridiculous as that. She's just not as comfortable while we're gone and that makes her mad? lol.

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  • @Tayda_Lenny:

    I wonder if it is something as ridiculous as that. She's just not as comfortable while we're gone and that makes her mad? lol.

    With a Basenji that is entirely possible! My guy is not happy if he doesn't have access to something he wants. And he will certainly let me know if he feels it is time to put the fireplace on! (as would my last boy as well) Being warm is a huge priority for my guy, and being able to see out when he wishes is another one. I know he wouldn't be content if he had to choose between them.

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    Absolutely, it can be something exactly like that! I have moved several times, too, and Spencer was fine until this last time. The setup is not to his liking here. The other houses had a fenced-in front yard, and he could lie on the porch, then run to the fence when people walked past on the sidewalk. He loved the social aspects of that. Here, the front yard is not fenced, it is difficult to look out and there is not much to see. He misses the other setup, and I can totally understand. Being able to see out seems to be a necessity to a curious dog, like a pampered Basenji. Next time, I'll make a better choice. :)

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  • Hm… well maybe I could try putting her back in the kitchen with some kind of elevated perch for her to lay on that would enable her to look out a side window and be next to the heating vent. It's not quite the same, but maybe it will appease her to be able to look outside. It would be totally ridiculous if that was it. Stay tuned!

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    @Tayda_Lenny:

    Hm… well maybe I could try putting her back in the kitchen with some kind of elevated perch for her to lay on that would enable her to look out a side window and be next to the heating vent. It's not quite the same, but maybe it will appease her to be able to look outside. It would be totally ridiculous if that was it. Stay tuned!

    you think it may sound crazy but leave it to my boy to prove this exactly true ;)….till Sonny was about 1.5 he lived with my brother next door to me. he would spend his day while my brother was at work laying ontop of the couch in the front window. the neighbors were amazed that he was just like a cat and would stay their ALL day sunning himself and keeping and eye on the neighborbood :) then Sonny came to live with me fulltime and he was very used to my apartment and spent most weekends with me so the change should not have been a huge adjustment for him. well the 1st few days I went to work he howled none stop while I was gone! I couldn't for the life of me figure out what his problem was....After a few days I paniced and with the windows open my neighbors were getting quite the concert while I was out of the house! come to figure out after about a week he was pissed off that I didn't have any furniture infront of window he could spend his day infront of! I now have a recliner in my kitchen just for Sonny because it was the only place with a good window and access to the goings on of the neighborhood...he hasn't howled since and spends his day pleasantly napping in his chair by the window! :rolleyes:

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