Author Topic: Submissive Peeing?  (Read 8085 times)

Offline BrewMaster

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Submissive Peeing?
« on: November 03, 2008, 08:55:20 am »
A little over a month ago we adopted the most amazing dog in the world!  His name is Brutus and he is a great pyr, wolfhound, st bernard mix.  In his previous home, Brutus was left outside in the yard with 5 other dogs and he seems to not have very strong people skills.  He is very comfortable around other dogs but is very skittish with people, even some people he has gotten to know.  I am forming a really special bond with him and he really adores me and wants to be near me - so I think this is certainly a start.

A few days into having him home, Brutus started doing submissive peeing whenever we insisted that he do something or go somewhere that made him nervious.  We learned quickly that if Brutus is going to do something, it has to be at least part his idea.  He responds some of the time when I am kind but firm with him - assertive I guess is the right word.  I can sometimes get him to follow me into another room or outside if I just get up casually and annouce "come on, Brutus, we're going now" without making a big deal about it. As soon as Brutus feels he is getting too much unwanted attention for anything, he panics and tries to run away.

Let me give you an example of the submissive peeing.  The other night my parents were over for Halloween.  we went out with our kids and left them home with the dog.  Brutus was "hiding" in the kitchen but eventually got brave enough to go investigate the company.  As soon as he got up and my parents saw him, they made a big deal over him approaching, calling his name and telling him what a good boy he was.  Brutus stopped in his tracks, peed, and then ran away.  At first Brutus became very easily overwhelmed by us when we would come home because I would always greet him with enthusiasm.  After cleaning up several large doggy puddles we decided it might work better just to let Brutus adjust to us being home again for a while before showing him attention.  This worked beautifully and now Brutus approaches us when he is realy for attention of any kind.  I know he does want attention, because he wanders over frequently for a little scratch and to put his big paw up into my lap.  (What a lover.) 

Does anyone have any advice to help correct this behavior and build confidence in Brutus that people are safe?  We have another dog and Brutus has done beautifully when asked to go to the car or go for a walk or go into the other room (he hangs out mostly in the kitchen) when our other dog is so willing to cooperate.  We are looking for any tools we may be able to use to better this guy's life.  He is a sweet heart and a big gentle giant and I am really confident that we will be able to better his world.
-Anna

Brutus - 50% Pyrenees, 25% Irish Wolfhound, 25% St. Bernard

Penny - Welsh Corgi Mix

Peggy Sue - Blue & Gold Macaw

Benny & BatToo - Cockatoos

...And Flock!

lookingfornewf

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Re: Submissive Peeing?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 09:16:03 am »
He is a beautiful dog and lucky for both of you to have found each other. I read your story in another post. I think you are on the right track already. My Jack Russel pees when excited or nervous. It's better just to try to keep things calm. Hopefully as Brutus gets more used to his new life he will not get so nervous. I try to just not say anything to my Jack Russel like yelling no or go outside because that just makes it worse.
Probably not much help, maybe someone else has a good idea.

jesday

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Re: Submissive Peeing?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 09:23:13 am »
He sounds like such a love. How old is Brutus? I'd be willing to gamble that because he is of such giant sized ancestry he was probably treated with less than gentle hands when he was a puppy. Sounds like he may even have been hit and definitely yelled at.

I would encourage you to continue what you are doing. Calm and quiet. No loud, even if happy voice. Just matter of fact. When other family member/friends come over have them just ignore him. When he finally ventures over, no 'good boy' or anything that brings attention to him. Let him size up. If he comes within petting distance, have person continue to talk in normal tone to you and gently, nonchalantly try giving a subtle pat on head or scratch, never looking at him.

I would also play with your other dog without inviting Brutus. Have a little wrestle, toy pull, whatever you do with other dog with lots of happy sounds and enthusiasm. Seeing the other dog having fun and that nothing bad is happening to him will peak his curiosity. Don't involve him right away if he comes to check it out. Let him make the first move to join the fun.

With him being so submissive I can't see that you are having problems needing corrective action such as jumping up or chewing so probably no need to use stern voice with him at this stage.

We acquired a German Shepard years ago who was severely beaten. With TONS of patience she eventually started to trust me, then my mom, then women and finally men. It took about 2 years before my brother could walk by without her running for cover. She lived to be 14yrs and turned into such a suck-up to anyone. You want to rob my house? Come on in, but could you give me a belly rub please.

I think Brutus will come around much sooner as he is already bonding with you. You are doing the right thing, hang in there. The fact that you adopted him and are inquiring about what to do shows he will have a wonderful life in your household. :D

Tonda

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Re: Submissive Peeing?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 09:25:26 am »
Brutus sounds EXACTLY like my mother's pit/boxer mix Katrina. The poor baby was terrified of anyone but mom for months (my dad was heartbroken that she peed or fled when he entered a room). Mom found her at the pound and it was love at first sight for both of them, LOL! Her fear of everyone else on the planet was totally unexpected.

She’s a BIG girl, so people don’t always understand that she’s damaged and a bit delicate. Over the past year she’s become much more calm and confident (she’s also morphed into “daddy’s little girl”). We always tell everyone that RULE #1 is to ignore her completely. She WILL eventually come investigate you, and once she has, she WILL want to be petted and loved. But if you try and force yourself on her she will RUN (and a 100 lb+ dog fleeing for it’s life is freaken dangerous and destructive, hence her name). RULE #2 is that under no circumstances is anyone allowed to raise their voice to her. RULE #3 is no looming or bending over her. You have to couch down and let her come to you (this is true even for mom and dad).

In short, treat him like he’s a cat and you’re sooooooooooo not a cat person.

Oh, we found having various family members (and now friends) hand-feed her also really helped. We’d just sit with her bowl in our lap and feed her a handful at a time. Got her to be comfortable with us and to be interested in people in general pretty quickly.

Good luck with him!!!

Offline BrewMaster

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Re: Submissive Peeing?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 10:58:08 am »
It's great to hear that we are likely on the right track with Brutus.  The first night we got him home we set down some ground rules - like no yelling or corrective measures to be taken.  It is rather scary to see this 130 lb dog running from the scene and you can only hope that he stops before hitting something or taking a wall with him!!!  I have noticed that even the happy, upbeat tone is upsetting to him, so I have been keeping it really low key.  We work with abused parrots a lot and I have been treating him a lot like my birds that have fear biting issues and the like.  The only way to win them is to let them approach you. 

Any suggestions for taking him on walks or to the dog park?  I'm unsure if I should continue walking him as I don't want to break any trust, but I was THRILLED with how happy he was to go to the dog park and think that might be worth getting him out to the car without incedent.  Again though, he seems to do pretty well as long as our other dog is there and he can follow her lead.  He is certainly more afraid of hubby than me, and ithurts hubby's feelings a little, but he understands that Brutus just needs time.  Brew did walk up to him last night and put his head in his lap which was a HUGE step for him.  He even put his paw up on hubby's lap which melted him.  We are thankful that Brew does not have other babd habits like chewing, barking, or jumping.  He is a very, very well mannered guy and we are so thrilled to have him.
-Anna
Brutus - 50% Pyrenees, 25% Irish Wolfhound, 25% St. Bernard

Penny - Welsh Corgi Mix

Peggy Sue - Blue & Gold Macaw

Benny & BatToo - Cockatoos

...And Flock!

Offline BrewMaster

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Re: Submissive Peeing?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008, 11:02:54 am »
Oh, and thank you everyone for offering encouragement that it is possible for Brew to like others, especially men.  Hubby will be very happy to hear this.  I will do my best to work with friends who come over to visit and see if they will be willing to cooperate in helping him to gain trust the right way.  I think I will just tell my folks to leave him alone as my dad doesn't really seem to understand the concept of loving an animal that's "broken" and my mom just can't stop pushing the issue.  Both of them were seriously alarmed that Brutus peed because they tried to say hello and although my dad really liked him before, he no longer seems interested in having anything to do with Brew.  Very sad - but I do have some wonderful friends who understand and can cooperate when they are over.
-Anna   
Brutus - 50% Pyrenees, 25% Irish Wolfhound, 25% St. Bernard

Penny - Welsh Corgi Mix

Peggy Sue - Blue & Gold Macaw

Benny & BatToo - Cockatoos

...And Flock!

Tonda

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Re: Submissive Peeing?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 11:07:52 am »
Dog Parks are great, so long as he'll come to you when called. If not, you can buy a lunge line at an equine supply and use that as a looooooooooooo ooong leash (or, if he has a canine buddy of like size you can buddy clip their collars together).

As for walking, if he's willing to tag along with the other dog, just use that in your favor. Katrina really doesn't like to be seperated from my parents' other dog (Harley, the 18 year old Boston/Chihuahua X) so if Harley is going, Katrina wants to go too!

Offline navarre1316

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Re: Submissive Peeing?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 05:08:15 pm »
It does sound like you are on the right track.  If he was an outside dog, everything in the house is new, even the way everything sounds.  So it's kind of like he's going through sensory overload.

I would try to introduce him to as much as possible, maybe from a distance at first so he can get used to all kinds of different things.  You have to socialize him like you would a pup.  And it hasn't been that long that he's been with you, you're not seeing everything that he's capable of yet, so when you do take him out in public be careful, not that he may do anything bad, but he may all of the sudden one day try to bolt.  Daphne was a rescue who was abused too, and she started doing things 6monts after I brought her home that were totally new!!  It takes her longer to warm up to men too, but she got better, and is still getting better even after 2 years.  Good luck!!
God placed me on this earth to accomplish certain tasks...I'm so far behind I'll never die!!

Navarre: GSD 9/13/99-5/14/06 patiently waiting
Issabeaux: GSD 1/27/07
Daphne: Boxer
Stone: Siamese mix