New Urinating in House

Posted by surferchic0830
Jan 1, 2008
We have a rescue Australian Cattle Dog...or maybe a Red Rusty is red with a little white...we rescued him 3 years ago..he is a loving animal (and he has attached himself to "Dad" very closely)...we crated him for the first year...he handled the crate well and we then started to leave him out in the house when we left...with no problems...

Last month (over Thanksgiving) we had to leave him in Vet Boarding for 12 2 weeks later he starts urinating in the house when we leave him...whether its 15 minutes or a couple of hours...sometimes he will go in more than one place in the house...We are suspecting this could be a separation anxiety issue...but does this start all over again because we left him???

We are are at our wits end with what do we have to start all over with the crate again when we leave him...We have used many of the 'urine gone' products to no avail. We have new carpeting (which we have had for about 4 months now) and we are frustrated with the odor and so far no stains because we clean immediately, but its now a "marked" territory for him and he returns to the same place every time. Any ideas would be appreciated...Thanks...
Posted by Todd
Jan 2, 2008
Hi there

Thank you for your question.
Before i want to get into answering this question i would like to know a little more about how he behaves. This way i won't give you the right answer to the wrong problem
When you are at home does he follow you a lot? Does he always seem to be by your side? When you arrive home does he get overly excited? Does he whine or pace a lot when he knows you are leaving the house?

Does he ever urinate when you are at home? Is the main area he goes near where the crate was? Does he have access to outside when he needs to go (or somewhere where he is allowed to go)?

The problem may well be a separation anxiety based problem but there may be an underlying cause. He may benefit from a veterinary consult to rule out any medical problems that may be the cause. How old is Rusty?

Hopefully the answers to these questions will help me figure out what is going on and give you the best advice on how to corrrect it

Kind Regards
Todd Field
Posted by surferchic0830
Jan 5, 2008
we think Rusty is a little over 4...when we adopted him the vet said he was 12-18 mos old...we have had him 3 years next month.

We crated him for the 1st year while I was gone to work...for approx 10 hrs...he handled that ok. we introduced him gradually to the house and we had a few chewing problems, but no urinating issues. 13 months ago we bought a 5th wheel trailer..32 ft....that we are living in full time...he handled that ok also...we have to take him out during the day on a leash...but he goes out every hour to hour and a half during the day...and we had no problem with urinating in the house until a few weeks ago.

Rusty has attached himself to Dad...who is home with him all day...but he doesn't hang around him all the time...he will go up to the bedroom during the day to sleep and when he wants to go out...he comes downstairs and brings Dad's hat to him to go out...something he picked up all by himself...sometimes he will even bring his leash also...We had relatives visit over Thanksgiving and we had to board him for 12 days while we went to Mexico. A week before we left for Mexico (11/19) we had new carpeting installed in the trailer, and he didn't seem to have a problem with the new carpeting.

He was ok until about 2 weeks ago when he started to urinate in the corner of the living room. We took him to the vet to make sure there was no kidney problems, etc...he gave him some antibiotics for 5 days...which we gave him...but to no avail...if Dad goes up to the bathroom, Rusty will use that opportunity to also urinate on the carpet.

We have cleaned the carpet, sprayed it with urine enzymes, etc...but he still goes to this same spot.

I agree that he is acting out with separation anxiety because of the extended boarding period...which was the most time we have left him...other times we have boarded him for 2 or 3 days at most at a time.

We have tried shunning him for a day...when we tell him he is a bad boy he goes under the table and lays down with his ears down until we call him out.

So I am not sure what to do next...HELP...!!!
Posted by surferchic0830
Jan 5, 2008
Todd...this evening he is doing something very unusual...he is laying down in the corner, over the area where he urinates....not all the time...but he has done it twice tonight. I have never known a dog to lay in their own urine...

We are ready to bring the crate back in if you suggest this could possibly help. Norma
Posted by Todd
Jan 7, 2008
Hi there,

Thank you for that information i now have a better idea of what i think may be going on. Because of how this problem started i think this may be more of a anxious problem than anything else and may in part be due to some level of separation anxiety.

Yes, bring the crate back in. You probably won't need to start training all over again but until he is more confident and better trained it will save you some problems
Put the crate in a quiet warm area where he can feel safe. He should be comfortable enough with the crate to want to go there when he feels anxious.
Always leave the crate open and try and put some toys in there to help him adapt back to it. You can choose to completely recrate train him or otherwise watch for the signals that he gives that he needs to go to the toilet. These may be very subtle like following you, vocalising etc if in doubt take him out

As for the odour neutralisers try as many products as possible some work better than others.

now for the anxious problems. Rusty should never be rewarded for any signs of being timid or afraid. This includes cowering, backing away etc. Don't look at him, don't talk to him, don't pet him. COMPLETELY ignore him. But the second he starts to show some confidence eg standing up, coming out from hiding you must reward him. Quietly give him attention and praise.

If your husband is part of his separation issues then he needs to have as little to do with Rusty as possible. He should not feed him, walk him or train him. This should all be done by you, you may have to take Rusty with you during the day if that is at all possible. When your husband and you come home from anywhere ignore him for the first 20 minutes no matter what he does. Then you may have low key attention with him, don't get him worked up and excited.
At the weekend try and ignore him for hours at a time.....especially your husband!

It will take some time to build up his confidence and during this time you can feel really mean and get frustrated by the whole thing. But be patient and work hard at reinforcing confidence and ignoring submissive or anxious behaviour. Please let me know how things are going and i will try to help further if possible.
Good luck

Kind Regards

Todd Field
Kingdom of Pets Team