Your dog leaking uncontrollably is a very bad habit for the dog and a very frustratiting thing for an owner.I will try here to address the basic steps you need to take in order to help your dog pee in an organised manner.
How to train your do to abolish these nasty behaviours.
Look at their daily routine and environment. Since they’ve both started acting stressed at the same time, it very well could be something’s changed, such as how long they’re home by themselves, new construction close to your home (which can be very stressful for dogs because of the perceived invasion of their territory and the loud noises) or someone has joined or left the household.
If your boyfriend is new to the household, for example, that could easily spur the behavioral changes. I suggest introducing some fun, easy new things to your dogs to lower their stress levels.
The licking Abbey is doing isn’t an “attack,” per se, but a symptom of her feeling insecure and stressed. If Bubba only cries at the kitchen door when your boyfriend goes into the kitchen, I’d say it could be that your boyfriend’s possibly giving Bubba some extra treats, which Bubba expects when your boyfriend goes in the kitchen. However, I don’t think so in this case, since he’s also acting depressed and anxious.
To help get Bubba and Abbey’s stress levels down, you’ll need to begin some rituals with them that enrich their lives with structure, routine and fun.
Train Your Dogs!
Start by teaching your dogs basic obedience commands. When you’re working with a dog, using motivational techniques and positive reinforcement, they become very focused on the activity, using a lot of mental and physical energy. It also creates a bond like nothing else!
Please refer to these training instructions before you begin:
- Jumping Up
When you start, work with Abbey while your boyfriend works with Bubba in another room. Switch dogs each training session. After your dogs have become addicted to the training game, you can train them in the same room, because their focus will be on who’s working with them, not the other dog or person.
Be as consistent as you can with your hand and voice signals, but perfection isn’t the goal here. De-stressing your dogs is the goal, so focus on keeping the sessions upbeat and fun, and be very happy with a bit of progress each time. Tell them what geniuses they are! Don’t overwork them, asking them to do too much too soon. Focus on having fun, being their cheerleaders and being as silly as it takes to get them to really enjoy their training.
A good rule of thumb for how long to train is to do it during commercial breaks when you’re watching TV. That way, it’s a piece of cake finding the time to train, and keeps your sessions short. An hour-long TV show gives you about six nicely timed little training sessions.
The Importance of Exercise
You can train a dog to title-winning levels, but if he’s not given enough exercise to help get rid of his energy and release calming endorphins, you’re opening the door to any number of stress-related symptoms, including those you describe. A tired dog is a happy dog!
Take your dogs for a walk when you get home, so they (and you!) can enjoy the benefits of the walk for the rest of the evening. The value of the walk is optimized when the four of you take off together for a half hour each evening and walk as a “pack.”
Look at this very informative video, on how to train your dog to pee in a specific place
It’s very important that your dogs have enough interactive toys when you’re not home. Present some awesome toys to them as you leave.
As long as your dogs don’t get possessive over their food, be sure to give them both some biscuits or other hollow toys stuffed with their regular food (read my “How to Stuff a Kong” instructions) to give them a really good outlet for any stress they may be feeling during the day.
Get at least six biscuits so you always have some stuffed and ready to go. To get your dogs really hooked on the toys, stuff the biscuits loosely the day you buy them so your dogs get the food relatively quickly.
Put the biscuits in the refrigerator and say, “Want your biscuits?” Act really excited about it. Ask your dogs to sit, then say “Yay!” and toss them their biscuits. Get ready for the next morning by stuffing more biscuits with food, more tightly this time. The more tightly packed the toys are, the longer it will take your dogs to score the food.
You must be very careful though with how many biscuits you give to your dog. Check this article about clucosamin and how to best feed your dog.
Make your leaving and coming home very unemotional. Keep your morning interaction with your dogs to a minimum 15 minutes or so before you leave. Head to the fridge, ask the dogs to sit, act excited, then toss their biscuits away from the front door area. You’ve just shifted their emotional energy from watching you go and feeling some stress to “Oh boy! biscuits?!”
After about a week of this, they will be glad to see you go, because it means it’s time for their stuffed biscuits. Major emotional improvement!
Routine and predictability are also key to keeping their stress down, so any time there’s a change in their environment or routine, increase the amount of training sessions and walks. And be sure to ask your dogs to sit or lay down for everything they get that’s a reward for them: their meals (preferably in a Kong), getting up on the couch with you, going out the door for walks, being patted, etc.