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1 year old shiba, just peed in the house!
  • Hi there, I've had Uma for about a year now, and I've come across a problem. Recently, I had to go away for a day, and left him with my dad. He's played with him, let him run around, walked him and fed him properly so there was absolutely no reason for him to - but he just lifted his leg and peed on a wall inside of the house after 10 minutes of his walk! This hasn't happened for 6 months, so I'm now quite worried. The worst part is - when I told my dad to go and tell him off (and he did, grabbing him by the coat and everything) - Uma thought he was just playing! I'm not sure what to do at all now, is this just a one-off or do I have to do something soon to stop this behavior?
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1129
    Is this a joke? That’s a terrible way to handle a dog having an accident in the house. You should be thanking your lucky stars that he took it as play haha. All that is accomplished by punishing a dog for a potty accident indoors is that they learn that you are unpredictable and can’t be trusted, so they should not relieve themselves in front of you. Rather than teaching them the proper place to relieve themselves, you’re just teaching them that they should just pee somewhere out of your sight and it can make it even harder to teach them to pee in a specific area (like in the yard) if you are present.

    It should come as no surprise that your young dog had a sort of training relapse when the environment around him was changed. Whenever I take my two year old shiba somewhere new, I treat him like a puppy. I learned early on that in his mind, he understands not to relieve himself in the home. This does not translate to “all indoor spaces.” It takes some time before he begins to feel at home in a new environment.

    I would recommend taking a step back and treating him like a puppy when he has relapses in behavior like this. Watch him like a hawk, and if he looks like he’s lining up to pee or if you catch him in the act, abruptly (but gently) tell him a cue word like “uh uh” and take him outside. Praise him and give him a treat for going outside. If you just notice an accident after the fact, all you can do is clean it up and keep a better eye on him. You need to teach him rather than shatter his confidence and trust in you. I promise it is a lot more effective. Young dogs regress sometimes. That’s okay. If you need to restrict the area that he has access to in a new environment for a little while, that’s also perfectly fine. He could start out in an ex pen and slowly gain access to more space as he earns that privilege. When I’m in a new environment with Ozzy, I usually let him drag a leash for a while and follow him everywhere he goes. I try to prevent an accident from happening before it begins. It is much easier to introduce a good habit than it is to break a bad habit, so it’s important to be proactive and remain dedicated.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-11-24 22:07:07
  • Lilikoi said:

    Is this a joke? That’s a terrible way to handle a dog having an accident in the house. You should be thanking your lucky stars that he took it as play haha.


    Really? I didn't know that'd be the case, I know when I had my first dog Solomon (a pit bull) - training him like that worked wonders and he never had an accident after he turned 6 months! He wasn't mis-trusting in any way, shape or form and honestly was the best dog I could possibly have. I did read from some sources that shibas are different and should be treated like cats though, so I'm guessing I need to take a more gentle approach?

    Lilikoi said:

    It takes some time before he begins to feel at home in a new environment.


    I think you misunderstood me here, we never moved places - I just had to go away myself for a little over 24 hours - so I left Uma with my dad for a day. His environment wasn't changed at all since I got him as a puppy, nor was his feeding time. My dad played with him a lot as well, so lack of activity shouldn't have been the problem either. That's why I'm concerned - what dyou think I should do, just watch him?

  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1129
    I don’t think I misunderstood... I mean that your father’s house is a different setting than what he is used to. It is a change. Do you mean at the same house, not a different location? Even so, being without you is still a change to his environment and a change to what he is used to. When I’m talking about how I handle this when taking my pup to a new environment, what I’m meaning is like when we go to a friend’s house or when I’m visiting family (Ozzy travels with me everywhere, so we have had a lot of practice adjusting to a new setting even if it’s just a new place for the day). I think the issue that caused this is that he was experiencing something he’s not used to, a change in his normal day to day routine that usually includes you. If it’s going to be a regular thing for him to spend a day without you and with your dad, I would do some practice... like having your dad watch him, maybe with him dragging a leash inside, while you go out for a short amount of time to start. Like even just 10 minutes at first. Then half an hour. Then an hour. And slowly help him adjust to longer amounts of time in this new setting.

    We trained our childhood dogs by punishing them for indoor mistakes too, that was what people thought was the right thing to do at the time. But that kind of training has been debunked as much less effective and sometimes even damaging. And what works for one dog definitely doesn’t work for all dogs. Shibas are a very sensitive breed haha. They’ve been called “catlike” but that definitely doesn’t mean they should be treated like cats. They are just very clean and aren’t always in your face like other breeds. They can be independent and prefer to follow their own agenda rather than being a “yes dog” that is happy to serve. So, it is definitely easier to offend a proud shiba compared to the majority of dog breeds. Shibas are a very primitive breed, one of the most ancient, and (according to a study in natgeo) the most genetically similar to wolves. This can make them more prone to issues with trust and fear. Contrary to the popularized dog whisperer’s dominant theory kind of training, wolves (and dogs) do not fall into a hierarchy and are not trying to be at the top of that hierarchy. The study that most people reference when they explain why dominance theory is real has been totally discredited. Wolves in the wild work as a family unit and help each other in order to achieve the same goals. When you put a random group of wolves in captivity and toss them scraps, it’s not a surprise that they might fight over those scraps and one might be more confident than the others hahah. But that is not a natural setting for them, and concluding that they would act the same way in captivity as they would without that stipulation isn’t accurate. Dogs aren’t fighting us for the position on top, and they’re not intentionally breaking the rules to spite you. It’s just difficult to communicate between species sometimes lol. Unlike you though, we weren’t so lucky with our childhood dog shrugging off punishment based training ha... she is quite a sensitive poodle (still lives with my parents), and is extremely fearful and slow to trust. A lot of it is just her personality, background, and we sadly supported a less than reputable breeder. But positive training works a lot better and is entirely more effective, especially for sensitive dogs. I can count the number of potty accidents my 2 year old shiba has ever had on one hand haha. But I have been really diligent about preventing accidents.

    Anywayyyy. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed it was a joke. I thought most people were familiar with outdated techniques being frowned upon, and I thought you might just be trying to get a reaction or something... but I’m glad that you are interested in learning and came to seek a solution for the issue.

    Also though, you’re required to post an introduction thread before given full privileges to post additional topics, and to keep things organized and running smoothly, you’re ideally supposed to first search for a topic relevant to yours and post in that thread rather than creating a new topic. So this will likely be closed since there are a lot of topics about potty accident relapses already.

    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-11-24 23:17:15
  • Lilikoi said:

    Do you mean at the same house, not a different location? Even so, being without you is still a change to his environment and a change to what he is used to.


    Yeah my dad comes over regularly, Uma's used to both him and the house. I could potentially see him doing this because he missed me, but I've sometimes been away for two days or even three without any issues so - I'm just not sure if that's the reason
    Lilikoi said:

    Also though, you’re required to post an introduction thread before given full privileges to post


    Oh, right - I completely missed that. I'll do that soon ™ :P
    Lilikoi said:

    you’re ideally supposed to first search for a topic relevant to yours and post in that thread rather than creating a new topic. So this will likely be closed since there are a lot of topics about potty accident relapses already.


    There are, but most have an explanation such as 'new environment' or some sort of other shock to the dog. I've searched around for quite a while, and none of those conditions really seem to match mine so that's why I created this post - to see if anyone else had a similar experience.
    Lilikoi said:

    Anywayyyy. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed it was a joke. I thought most people were familiar with outdated techniques being frowned upon, and I thought you might just be trying to get a reaction or something...


    It's really not my intention to troll / fill the forum with random fluff - why would you even reply if you thought that was my original intention? I'm genuinely curious about the cause of this and I want to get to the bottom of it - and wanted to ask if anyone knew how to deal with this. I'd hardly call these techniques outdated, since I've talked to multiple dog trainers person-to-person and they all seem to give similar advice. But perhaps there's some merit to the technique that seems to be the predominant way on this forum. I'd be happy to try it, but it seems next to impossible to monitor your dog 24/7, and I'd definitely not think of looking out for it 6 months after he hasn't had a single accident, 15 minutes right after my dad walked him!
    But I'd never mistreat Uma, and would see if he showed even the slightest amount of fear or mistrust. My grandparents for instant had a sausage dog who got trained in the worst way possible, and whenever I visited them the dog just darts from under one couch to the other afraid to show it's face - I'd never do that to a dog.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1129
    I didn’t mean to offend you, but if it makes someone think twice about effective methods of training, I would rather hurt someone’s feelings than ignore inappropriate actions toward an animal. I honestly just hoped that you were joking because I hate to see that kind of treatment still being accepted and used. This is the internet where plenty of people think it’s hilarious to joke about things that aren’t so appropriate, like grabbing a dog by their coat to punish them. I was giving the benefit of the doubt by hoping you weren’t serious...

    Anyway, posting in an existing thread would just bring that thread to the top, where everyone would still see it and be able to read and respond. It just keeps things organized so that if someone is searching the forum for answers, they can find the information easily and all in one place. It also keeps the forum less cluttered and running smoothly, which is important for a site like this to remain free.

    If you’re looking for people to tell you how to effectively punish your dog in order to get the outcome you desire, it’s gonna be hard to find on this forum or any community of dog lovers hahaha. Again, the best advice I can give (the same advice given by many in other threads or online articles) is to take a step back and treat him like a new puppy. Have your dad do the same. Any change in schedule can cause an occurrence like this, not just a big, massive change. But, if this does continue, it’s always a good idea to check with your vet and make sure there isn’t something like a urinary tract infection that could explain this issue.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-11-25 04:12:33
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 729
    Good advice Lilikoi. I think we need to remember, though, that the dog training world is still divided on the traditional training and the newer style of positive reinforcement. Sadly, research and science is on the side of the latter, but money and marketing is on the side of the former. Also, some people just hate change. It is hard and scary.





  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1129
    Yeah, no shame in just not being exposed to better techniques. Like I said, my family made the same mistakes by buying into the whole dominance theory style of training when I was growing up. But no time like the present to learn.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3494
    Lilikoi said:

    Yeah, no shame in just not being exposed to better techniques. Like I said, my family made the same mistakes by buying into the whole dominance theory style of training when I was growing up. But no time like the present to learn.



  • JackStateJackState
    Posts: 122
    Discounting blogs and webzines, nothing I've read indicates that aversive training never works or even always works worse than other methods on every dog, just that based on controlled surveys owners it both works less often and backfires more often (i.e. correlates with aggression) on an average population of dogs. Smacking a dog for pooping in the house can work--the method would never have been so prevalent if that statement weren't true--but likely isn't the best tool. So if you're coming in fresh with a pup who's personality you're figuring out, why risk it?

    But anyway, talking about the averages is irrelevant when you now know your individual shiba isn't doesn't do well with physical aversives. Ichabod is the same way--when he was a puppy I dabbled in all of the above before settling on positive reinforcement + some light aversives (verbal). But yeah, Ichabod tried to play when he was in trouble same as yours.

    1) remove the possibility of failure by figuring the pup's bowel schedule and taking him out preemptively. 2) reward him (treats/praise/whatever works best) when he does right by pooping outside. 3) if your dog isn't super sensitive, you should probably still mark the act of pooping in the house as negative--if and only if you catch him in the act (as puppies they aren't smart enough to know that pooping in the house 2 hours ago is what's triggering the scary voice). On the last point, Ichabod handles that fine and it hasn't hurt our relationship; my new rescue Case, however, would be devastated.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 729
    I'm going to disagree with Jack on his statement: smacking a dog for pooping *can* work. No, it can't. Plenty of studies (not just surveys) have already shown that all it does is teach the dog not to do it in front of you. Dogs don't make the same associations as us. We assume it works only because we don't see it---but in reality, they just hide it better or wait for the scary human to leave. This is well documented and doesn't take long to pull up on google if you don't want to read the myriad of other books out there. People will do things even if it doesn't work because they are told to do it, not because it works. THAT is why it is so prevalent. That and no one every suggested any other way to do it. You can't equate popularity with effectiveness because humans do things that are ineffective or inefficient all the time.

    Also, it isn't that puppies aren't smart enough to know that pooping in the house 2 hours ago is why you are angry. DOGS don't have that kind of association and generalization. They don't have the reasoning ability to make that connection. Any dog, any age. Those kind of memories (oh, that's MY poop) don't get stored, so even ten minutes later, they won't realize that it was theirs and that is why they are angry. They don't even have a concept of inside or outside, just what you teach them is appropriate.

    Physical aversion (smacking/hitting/shaking) is just plain abusive, especially because the dog doesn't really understand why you are being so violent (and seriously, is it really that horrible what they did?). You can't explain it to the dogs, the large majority people miss the very delicate timing that would make it somewhat effective (if you can call it that), and dogs don't have the capacity to reason or logical deduce why this horrible thing happened. Some dogs are just naturally submissive and will take whatever you give them--doesn't make it right nor effective, and humans have a bad habit of assuming that because it "worked" for one, it should "work" for all.
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