Jump to content
BC Boards
USAF BC

Peeing on himself is getting old...fast.

Recommended Posts

I hate to pile on, but I agree with those who have said you need to change your approach and expectations. What ideas you have about what he should or shouldn't do, how he should or shouldn't react, or what he should or shouldn't understand need to be forgotten. He's an individual, and even if you've successfully raised hundreds of other dogs, this one is telling you loud and clear that the techniques you're using aren't working for him.

 

Dogs are funny creatures. Like children they will accept situaitons that others might find untenable because they don't know that they have a choice. Of course he'll play with you, but that doesn't mean you don't scare him.

 

If asking him to sit or lie down so you can hook his leash to his collar causes him to pee, then you should stop asking that for now. Let him stand while you hook on the leash. AS someone else suggested, you could leave a short tab type leash (short piece of rope that doesn't even drag the ground) so that you don't even have to attach something to his collar, but instead can just reach for the little leash and go (and perhaps attach your longer leash to the short tab leash for walks).

 

I also agree with the looming over him and tone/timbre of voice aspect of things. Your size and tone or approach toward him most surely scares him.

 

And these dogs are highly intelligent and tuned to their humans. Even if you think you're hiding your frustration, he knows you're not happy.

 

Many folks here have dealt with problem dogs (in my case the problem dog came to me at 18 months, and I was never able to work through his fear aggression to be able to rehome him, so he has lived with me for 13+ years--this is the sort of thing that worries people, because there comes a point of no return when a dog develops a habit in response to its relationship to humans), so they aren't just making suggestions out of the blue. They've been there.

 

The reason you are getting so many folks suggesting rehoming is because your frustration is coming through to us loud and clear, and we aren't even in your vicinity. I can only imagine how your pup must be able to read your anger/frustration when he's in close proximity. We aren't being judgmental of you so much as worried about how the pup might end up if this poor relationship continues over a long period of time.

 

I have to say that my first thought upon reading your original post in this thread was for the puppy.

 

TEC,

FWIW, I once worked with a bunch of reitred officers (Marines and Army) on a publishing contract for the Marine Corps. They were all very nice guys who were generally a pleasure to be around. But we civilians did have to remind them regularly that we were not troops and could not be ordered around the way that they might have done with their troops. They recognized that they did have a default behavior toward subordinates that wasn't exactly in tune with the way things normally work in the civilian world. So I took all the comments about an Air Force officer in light of my own experience as a civilian working with retired officers. There is a default commanding sort of behavior that isn't easily put aside (or turned on and off, if you will). This is what people are referring to. Much of what the OP (sorry, but I don't know your name or I wouldn't refer to you in the third person) has said regarding his expectations from his puppy with respect to his own commands, etc., clearly suggests that he is in "commander" mode even when working with his pup. That's not a criticism; it's recognition that we all have default behaviors, and for military officers there are certain behaviors unique to commanding other people.

 

I don't think anyone actually believes that commanders make their troops piss themselves, but I think we can all agree that it is a culture of instant compliance, no questions asked. I'm sure you understand that this isn't the same sort of culture that in general successfully informs the training a sensitive border collie puppy.

 

To the OP,

I know you're working hard to make things better. If you identify things that scare your pup or cause noncompliance, for now I would take the approach of ignoring all behaviors that you don't want and rewarding all behaviors you do want. You've said that you don't want him to develop bad habits if you ignore those bad bahaviors, but there are a number of folks on this forum who train using few or no negatives (that is, they deliberately do not correct dogs for things they don't like but instead work to shape the behaviors they do want.). It's a different approach, but it's one that many people here have been successful with. I don't use that approach myself, but if I had a pup who was as fearful/timid as yours seems to be, I would give it a try, especially if doing so meant that I might be able to save my relationship with the dog and ultimately make/keep both of us happy.

 

I hope some of those folks who train that way will step up and offer suggestions to you and that you will take those to heart and at least give that training method a try. The suggestion about teaching the pup to accept a clicker and use that as your start in this training method is a good one. But be forewarned that some dogs even find the click of a clicker scary. In that case, you can come up with alternatives, including a marker word, like "yes." But if you do that, then you have to make sure that your voice isn't scary.

 

I know of someone in south Durham who uses positive training methods. I don't think she's taking on private clients any longer, but she could possibly suggest a trainer who uses similar methods more local to you. If you're interested, let me know and I'll contact her. She has a working-bred border collie and so is familiar with some of the quirks of the breed.

 

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not understand. Several folks in this thread, including yourself, have stereotyped this individual (OP) because he is evidently in the military. They paint with a broad brush, placing military personnel in a bad light, and implying they act in a manner similar to the way you believe one person is wrongly training his puppy.

We don't know, among many other things: 1) whether OP is an officer or enlisted, 2) whether he is a manager or one who gets the work done, 3) if he is closely connected with flying planes or training recruits, 4) whether he has civilians under his supervision, 4) whether he is career or serving-out a stint or 5) how his subordinates, if any, view his leadership methods . There is no logical jump between the way one military person trains his dog, and the way military personnel behave in general -- nor can you make the reverse connection.

I am sorry J apparently had a difficult experience with retired military.

There are good and poor civilian workers/supervisors, and you will find a spectrum of management styles in the military. I don't know what a default military style means. I am aware of how entertainment media sometimes portray military personnel. Those characterizations are no more accurate than lots of things on TV and the movies.

Military trained dogs are among the best. Military literature and techniques are widely used in civilian animal training.

Instant unthinking obedience? Soldiers are professionals who have to understand the underlying reasoning in order to be able to fully interpret the guidance they are provided. Officers of today are soldier-scholars, many possessing post graduate degrees, or they aspire toward them. They are given instruction on effective counselling techniques. Warriors who expect to obtain promotions will attend months of high-level military leadership instruction, which nowhere contains modules on instant unquestioning obedience. Ethics and doing-the-right-thing are held in high value. -- Kind regards, TEC

...it's recognition that we all have default behaviors, and for military officers there are certain behaviors unique to commanding other people.

I don't think anyone actually believes that commanders make their troops piss themselves, but I think we can all agree that it is a culture of instant compliance, no questions asked. I'm sure you understand that this isn't the same sort of culture that in general successfully informs the training a sensitive border collie puppy. ( My emphasis added)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom,

I did not say I had a bad experience. Perhaps you should go back and read what I said. I have family who are officers and I have worked with officers. Like it or not, it generally takes a certain type to command others in the military. It's just the way it is.

 

I'll grant you that we don't know if the OP is an officer or not. But I find it funny that you're chastising me and others for making assumptions when you made a very large assumption about my own post (e.g., that I had a bad experience, or that officers are somehow poor managers, neither of which I said or even implied thankyouverymuch).

 

J. (By the way, it's clear that my name is Jule. You're welcome to use that name.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Julie.

 

I don't think anyone was meaning to jump all over the OP but what several people got from the OP here (and following other topics) was a situation that was causing increasing frustration and was not seeming to improve. And maybe I was wrong but that's how it read to me and apparently to others. Some of these very same people who suggested rehoming as an option when the OP's responses seemed to indicate (to them) that that might be the best thing for the puppy (and to avoid potential hurt to the people involved since snapping had occurred), had posted good, concerned, helpful suggestions previously.

 

Meanwhile, I'd be wise to bow out of this and any related discussions because I can see I'm not contributing anything positive. Fortunately, some others seem to be advising and suggesting options that are more worthwhile and better received.

 

I hate to pile on, but I agree with those who have said you need to change your approach and expectations...

 

The reason you are getting so many folks suggesting rehoming is because your frustration is coming through to us loud and clear, and we aren't even in your vicinity. I can only imagine how your pup must be able to read your anger/frustration when he's in close proximity. We aren't being judgmental of you so much as worried about how the pup might end up if this poor relationship continues over a long period of time.

 

I have to say that my first thought upon reading your original post in this thread was for the puppy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instant unthinking obedience? Soldiers are professionals who have to understand the underlying reasoning in order to be able to fully interpret the guidance they are provided. Officers of today are soldier-scholars, many possessing post graduate degrees, or they aspire toward them. They are given instruction on effective counseling techniques. Warriors who expect to obtain promotions will attend months of high-level military leadership instruction, which nowhere contains modules on instant unquestioning obedience. Ethics and doing-the-right-thing are held in high value. -- Kind regards, TEC

 

I don’t think anyone would argue that officers need to be well-educated and have a well-calibrated moral compass. But raw recruits definitely need to have a response of “instant unthinking obedience” implanted in their brains – especially if they are going straight from boot-camp into a combat environment.

 

If you have a bunch of newbies in an unstable situation where 9-year-old kids are “manning” grenade-launchers and machine-gun emplacements, and are raking these troops with deadly fire, you don’t want these corn-fed farm-boys wrestling with the ethics of shooting little kids. You want them to follow orders without question, immediately, shoot to kill, and stay alive.

 

“Instant unthinking obedience” is one of the hallmarks of a useful, reliable “grunt.” That’s why they make you tie, untie, and re-tie your shoes 47 times and sing songs with words like “napalm sticks to kids” in boot camp. A dead grunt makes a lousy officer – and they are a bitch to train - unlike a 5-month old Border Collie, (or a peace-time soldier) which (hopefully) has the luxury of taking time to gather his courage and learn about taking commands.

 

I'm assuming this was the point of the so-called "negative" remarks about military or ex-military personnel. One doesn't need to be military or ex-military to be too hard on a puppy. There are plenty of hard-bitten sheep-farmers who have done that - or teenaged girls, for that matter - me, for instance. (Many years ago! I hope I have learned better...) But there is such a thing as a "military mind-set", and it may not be the best thing to deal with a very sensitive young puppy. Whether or not the OP has such a mind-set is not that important. What is important is that he is able to reach an understanding with his puppy that will benefit both of them and avoid any unnecessary suffering by either party.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Google the "collar grab game" for the leash issue. You ll have to start way at the beginning and go slow.

 

Pick up a clicker, google the crap out of it and do it. Who cares what you teach, that doesn't matter build te solid relationship with the pups brain, the body will follow and the commands will just slide into place naturally.

 

Teach "puppy zen/it's your choice" my foundation behaviour. It would also apply to teach a puppy that commands are a good thing because there is no pressure to them. All commands are the puppy's choice. They have the choice to obey or not, which they will as you will show them they get surprises for their actions.

 

It's not "sit"-obey-get a treat, but instead (from the dogs PoV 'when I sit I get a treat... I have the power to make things happen'

 

You don't ask for a sit At the door it's a learned automatic.

 

Get yourself some private lessons with a positive trainer. In this case i would say this pup need positive only. No negatives. Just ignoring the bad rewarding the good.

 

When you get a handle on thins enroll Ina. Fun dog sport. Agility foundation works wonders on a less confident dog and really let's them shine.

 

Look up control unleash and do some mat work with him. Also the 'give me a break' game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'll try again.

 

I see that you feel you've been jumped on by all the posts suggesting you rehome the pup, but you have to realize that from our perspective, without knowing you or hearing the "tone" of your remarks, all we have is what you've told us.

And what you've told us is that:


1) he "doesnt like being scolded" and goes into fear mode when you do so.
2) he gets a "harsher tone of voice" when he pees himself, (but you wondered if you should use a penny can, instead - good grief!)
3) his fear is "totally ruining him," and
4) if he bites your wife like he bit you, "he will be gone."

Couple that with your subject line for this post, and it sounded like this is like a pup that has only one strike left. Thus you got the responses that you have.

The fact is, you cannot "let him know it's not okay to pee" will not work. You cannot correct submissive behavior. Submission peeing has nothing to do with regular, normal urination. It's not that he "doesn't like being scolded," it's that something about your scolding scares him half to death. Therefore, this isn't about changing your pup. This is about changing your handling of him in those difficult situations.

If you want to instill confidence in your pup, it has to start with learning to understand what causes his fearful episodes - and then doing all you can to eliminate those triggers.

 

On June 20 you posted that you were cutting up steak for dinner and your dog had a fear episode where you found him cowering under a table, scared to death of seemingly nothing. Could it be that some sounds frighten him, such as the noise of a knife hitting a cutting board? My 4-year-old girl, Gael, hides from the sound of any "violent" impact, even if I'm just beating mud from my boots. She doesn't stop to think that it has nothing to do with her, she thinks only that it makes her scared.


On July 5th you posted that he reacts to your "normal" voice fearfully, but responds to your "little man" voice just fine. Could it be that your "normal" voice is too bold or loud, especially when you're being stern?

 

My husband loves our dogs unquestionably, spoils them at every chance, feeds them treats, etc. But if he raises his voice in ANY sort of upset, even bursting out, "D**n it!" because he spilled his coffee ... our dogs leave the room. They can't take the power of his angry male voice - even when it's not aimed at them!

 

It's not that you can't correct him for doing something wrong. It's not that you have to permit him snarling at you. It's that you need to learn to see the situation from his eyes. This is not about what you think he should do or what he should be like. This is about what he thinks is happening around him or to him.

Therefore you might look to yourself. Is your voice too strong? Is your body language too intimidating? Are you reaching to leash him too suddenly or too quickly? Things you may think are entirely normal he may find scary and horrifying.

As for snarling in the bath, I sincerely doubt that is aggression. I suspect that is fear. Sounds like he gets bathed a lot, and I imagaine that when you do it, you're pretty darned annoyed. What you may not realize is that he can read that irritation or frustration in you from the minute you walk through the door.

If your pup is snarling in his bath, he is trying with everything he knows to tell you that this situation scares him! He's trapped, he can't run, he can't hide, he can't escape and probably you're annoyed at him, too boot. So, if you correct him for snarling in the bath, he perceives it as being corrected for being scared.


I'll accept that he's not afraid of you most of the time. But you must accept that he is afraid of you some of the time, in certain situations.

You must do all you can to remove the causes of that fear. No big voice, no looming body language, no penny cans, no corrections for involuntary behaviors. (Like submission peeing.) You cannot correct fear. You can only wait it out and meanwhile do all you can to make sure those fear-triggers fade away. Make your voice gentler, quieter. Change your pattern of things when putting on the leash - and associate the leash with something good, like treats or toys. Be mindful of HOW you bathe him and what your mood is when you do it. Speak more quietly. Move more slowly. Be patient, Be patient. Be patient.

Good luck.

~ Gloria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you rebuild your relationship with him try teaching him some silly stuff that does not matter so he learns that commands can be pure fun, with no expectations.

 

This. Not understanding what was expected of him was Ross's problem. The more he was taught to do the surer he became and the happier he was.

 

Ross wanted to be with me 24/7 - he was my dog and I was his human - but it was heartbreaking to see the look in his eyes and the fear in his body language if I confused him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will second Gloria's advice above.

 

We (humans) have the bigger brain. We need to use it more.

 

As an aside: I do all the training for my dog because, well, my husband is still in the mindset of the old bird-dog trainer (his father was one). DH has become much better, but there are times he still lapses into not understanding the mind of the dog. For example: he threw a toy for Torque. I was working in the garden about 30 feet from DH. Torque brings toy to me. DH gets upset, and although he doesn't yell at the dog, he does get frustrated because Torque didn't bring the toy back to him. He told Torque that the game was up and took away the toy. My take on the situation is that Torque has played fetch with me for well over 1000 - 10,000 throws. For my husband, much, much less. Who is he going to bring the toy back to if we are both close together? No need to get PO'ed at the dog. He was doing what he was accustomed to doing. Remember - the dog's mind is much simpler.

 

Jovi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The fact is, you cannot "let him know it's not okay to pee" will not work. You cannot correct submissive behavior. Submission peeing has nothing to do with regular, normal urination. It's not that he "doesn't like being scolded," it's that something about your scolding scares him half to death. Therefore, this isn't about changing your pup. This is about changing your handling of him in those difficult situations.

To the OP (hopefully he is still around)... No one is trying to "jump" on anyone. I just royally made an ass of myself (look up my past posts, I'm superb at it), they corrected me, I'm learning - and when I altered my mindset to realize that (a) I know a tenth of what these guys/gals have FORGOTTEN [and yes, like you claim, I've trained dogs - with military trainers mind you] and (b ) I better hush up and listen, the light bulb went off. I'm continuing my success at looking dumb, and I'm good with that. I've got a LOT of learning to do, and I feel lucky they are still willing to talk to me.

 

I did want to say though: We are not dogs and dogs are not humans, but it might help you to think - how scared would you need to be to involuntarily urinate on yourself? That's the mindset of this poor little dog when you give him commands. He's finally gotten to the point where he snapped (literally and figuratively) and tried to defend himself and what happens - you come down on him even harder. I can only imagine the veins bulging when he snapped at you - it oozes out of your posts (this and prior). The more you apply your methods, the worse he is getting - your methods are. not. working. Find something else. If you had a business partner that wasn't responding to your conversation, would you alter the way you talk to them?

 

It takes time to know a dog, and he's still a baby. I haven't heard you say anything about seeking training. BC's come in all flavors, and rehoming would give this guy a chance with a softer owner and you a chance to find a harder dog. It takes a strong person to admit it's a bad match.

 

Rebecca

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had another thought. For the bathing problem, having you thought about purchasing some grooming wipes. There are plenty of brands out there. I personally own these: http://www.amazon.com/Earthbath-Natural-Hypo-Allergenic-Fragrance-Free-Grooming/dp/B000WFIVSQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373678332&sr=8-1&keywords=grooming+wipes

 

I've not used them yet, but my friend raves about them. This would eliminate having to bathe him so often and give you time to work on the bath becoming a positive instead of such a dreaded thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Puppy wipes are great! I carry them all the time when I travel. They work good for poopy butts and they also are a great help for rolling in cow pies and assorted other ickiness. They don't replace soap and water, but they are a great way to do littler cleanups. :)

~ Gloria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am wondering this as well. Since I have little ones I always have baby wipes in the car and around the house. They work wonders to clean up little messes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, California aging hippie, here:

 

Forget store-bought baby or grooming wipes, because:

 

Baby wipe packaging is plastic – the wipes themselves often are too.

 

The material used in baby wipes can be made from silk, cotton, wool, rayon, polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene – or a mixture. Price conscious consumers are likely getting a product that’s predominantly plastic – which is derived from crude oil.

 

So, the first green tip is to never flush commercial wipes down the toilet as they are not biodegradable, nor can they be composted, and for obvious reasons, they aren’t recyclable. Unfortunately, they need to go to landfill where they will spend many years before they break down.

 

Step 1: Assemble ingredients

A roll of paper towels

A re-sealable box (an old baby wipe container is good)
A bread knife or an electric knife

A moistening/cleaning solution. (See recipe below)

 

Step 2: Cut your roll of paper towels in half, (so it looks like 2 rolls of TP.)

 

Step 3: Yank out the cardboard roll

Step 4: Mix up your solution - Suggested ingredients:

One cup distilled water (warmed up)

2 tablespoons baby lotion

1 tablespoon vinegar

 

Pop all the ingredients into a clean receptacle then shake or whisk them together.

Step 5: Pour your solution over the paper towel ½ rolls.

This is easiest to do if you set the roll upright in the box then pour 'down' it. You might not need all the solution, you want your wipes to be moist NOT drippy. Give the roll a squeeze to get rid of any extra goo, but plump it up again when you're done squeezing.

 

Step 6: Put the finished product in you last commercial baby wipes container.

 

Clean dog - clean conscience. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno, puppy wipes are just sold near the other dog things I'm buying, I never think to look for baby wipes because I have no kids. :P

I think sometimes the puppy wipes may be larger, though. Some I've had are only the size of a kleenex, others have been the size of a sheet of paper towel. Whatever works, I reckon! :)

~ Gloria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still potty training my youngest, once he is done with pull ups we are done with wipes lol !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had not thought to suggest baby wipes (my choice as they can bought at the supermarket, no kids in this house) I used to have a box at the back door until my boy figured out how to lift his leg and pee without dribbling down a leg... Took awhile.

 

I am curious about the homemade ones how well do the paper towels last in the solution?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder about how paper towels last too.

 

I have no children and never have, but I suspect that pet-specific wipes are more expensive, which is why I've never considered them. I always keep baby wipes in the car for spills, emergency clean up (me or the dogs, dog crates, etc.), if I need to "wash" my hands for some reason (or, let's face it, when I work set out and no facilities are available, it's nice to have handy clean up), and so on. If there's no water available and a dog has rolled in something, they do work, sort of. At least they get the worst of it off.

 

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the puppy wipes b/c one of my dogs is very "scent sensitive". LOL! These particular wipes don't annoy her so much. They are a little pricey but we don't use them very often.

 

Either way, rather than a bath for the pup, in some instances a wipe of some sort might work out ok for the OP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this were me, I'd use old towels at home - we do laundry often enough that it wouldn't be an issue - and wipes if I were on the road. Best of both worlds. I'd also, when everything was calm and sweet with such a pup, get it used to being gently restrained and wiped down.

 

Ruth and Agent Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not being hard on him as I'm being stern just like I was with my other puppies as a kid and they shaped up and listened.

 

Coming to the party late here and haven'tread all the replies yet.

 

When I got my first BC puppy, oer 30 years ago, I started training him the way I'd trained my stubborn pointer/retriever mix. I learnd in the first 5 minutes that that was going to be a disaster, that this pup was sooo much softer and more sensitive to any kind of correction that I'd have ruined him in a matter of days if I'd kept up like that. And I'm not talking about any kind of abusive or harsh training. A very soft "no" or "ahh-ahh" was more than enough correction for this very different kind of dog than what I was used to. And Mirk wasn't, by border collie standards, a soft dog at all.

 

As I said, I've not read most of the reposnses, but have glanced through a few, and I agree with others. You're being much too hard on this baby who can't control his submissive urinating. Kinda reminds me of of my father who used to always yell "If you don't stop crying, I'll give you something to cry about!." This was usually followed by a spanking . . . and guess what? It never worked. It just made me cry more, becouse now I was really hurt and scared.

 

If you can't adjust your approach to this sensitive pup, please do him a huge favor and find him another home -- before the damage is irreversible -- w/ someone who knows how to train him properly. Send him to me! I'd be happy to help him develop his confidence instead of making him afraid of me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read other responses now and there were some really great ones. I was also happy to read about 1/2 way in that the OP was beginning to rethink things.

 

But, I'm a little concerned that there hasn't been anything from the OP in a while.

 

How are thigs going w/ your little guy? I hope things are getting better and I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to hear an update.

 

Hope things are better now, for both of you . . .

 

roxanne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking the same thing. I'd hoped he could take some good from this group. I'd hoped he could see that what we were really suggesting is that he change a couple things about himself, rather than looking for ways to change his puppy.


Hope things are going okay, though.

~ Gloria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...