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I'm new to this forum, so if there are answers to my questions somewhere on the site already, I'd be happy to have someone direct me.

Here is my situation:
I have a 3 yo male dobie. He will NOT stop marking in my house, to the point I'm considering finding him a new home because I cannot deal with it. I love him dearly, and I've always been of the mindset that once you bring a dog into your pack, they are there to stay, for better or for worse. I also have an 8 yo female English Bully who is stubborn as hell and difficult to deal with, but she is part of the pack and we love her anyway. I don't know anyone though who could deal with everything being marked with urine: my kids' toys, my bed, the refrigerator, you name it, he pisses on it, even his own bed and blankets!!! I am constantly shampooing carpet and cleaning but the house smells so bad I can't even have guests over! Irritating to say the least.

As background, you should know that when we got him as a pup, we were in a very stressful and bad time in our lives and looking back I know it was not the right time to get a puppy. I work full time and my hubby stays home. At the time that Lex should have been potty training, my hubby was very ill and just couldn't be consistent with him. He essentially just used the living room rug as his potty place except when I was home and he would tell me he had to go. We probably should have crated him, but didn't, hindsight is always 20/20. As a result of the health issues at the time, my husband also wasn't at all patient with the dog and the relationship was damaged to the point the dog was so fearful of my husband that I sent the dog to live with a family member who had a female dobie for about 9 months. Lex was quite happy there and I suppose I should have left him there, but selfishly I wanted my boy back. He is my running partner and my booger whenever I am at home and I love him dearly. I don't have a terribly busy life, but I am gone about 9 hours out of the day and have some evening commitments a few times a week. After Lex came home about a year ago, we worked long and hard to repair his relationship with my husband and they get along acceptably well now. Lex still exhibits a lack of confidence around my husband, but is not fearful and constantly running from him like he was before and my husband makes it a point to maintain a positive, affirming attitude around Lex which seems to have helped a lot.

Anyway, when he first came back to us, he did fine with going potty outside. He marked 2 or 3 times right after he first moved into that new house with the other family member but never marked after that and always used the doggie door to go outside to potty. At our house now, he bangs on the sliding glass door to let us know when he needs to go. The problem is he marks EVERYTHING in my house. I keep him penned in the kitchen at night with baby gates, thinking at least that would be his "sleeping area" and he wouldn't mark there, but no, he still pisses all over my refrigerator and cupboards, and obviously I can't stay awake all night and watch him. This morning for example, I let him out, watched him go potty, then left him in the kitchen for 20 minutes while I got ready for work. Sure enough, I came back to a nice streak of piss on either side of the refrigerator.

I've posted this question on another dobie forum website as well and got some helpful suggestions, I'm just looking for as much help as I can get. If I was home all the time I'd be happy to keep him on a leash next to me all day and catch him in the act, unfortunately I can't dictate what my spouse does and he won't watch the dog like that. I KNOW dobies are not outside dogs, although my husband had one when he was a kid that lived outside all her life and did quite well (we do live in a fairly temperate climate), living in the yard to the ripe old age of 13 and defending the family against burglars at least twice.

Aside from the weather issues, I've read things about dobies who are outside dogs developing bad behavioral issues too. I do exercise the dog every day and interact with him, and if he was outside when I'm not at home and at night for sleeping, he would still be inside with me in the house when I'm home and interacting with me.

Can I have him in a well insulated dog house, with a securely fenced yard to run in (we have an acre) when I'm not home and at night for sleeping without completely ruining the dog?

I'd love to try a belly band on him for the marking, but he is a chewer (he chewed his own tail open when we got it docked and we had to have it sutured up twice) and I guarantee he would have it ripped off in minutes so I don't know it would even be worth trying. He's a beautiful boy, VERY good with our young daughter, and not aggressive at all. I did leave him outside all day yesterday (very nice weather) just so I could clean up the house and when he came in for the night he was super cranky and growled at me for the first time when I went to take a bone from him. He never growls or is possessive with his toys.

Any advice will be much appreciated!
 

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Sea Hag
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I don't see how you'd be able to accomplish anything in terms of stopping the marking if your husband isn't 100% on board. Since he's the stay-at-home major influence, his cooperation is vital for any type of success.

It's not much of a life for a doberman to spend all day, and then all night outside, with only a couple of hours a day (at best) inside the house. If it came to that, I think it would be best to try to place the dog with someone who has the time and inclination to work with him.
 

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I'm not sure how anyone is supposed to offer advice. You didn't housebreak him in the first place, won't housebreak him now, and are considering getting rid of him because of it.
 

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sufferin succotash
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I'm going to be honest here...Lex needs a homes where he can thrive, not live in the backyard when you're not home. Everyone in the household needs to be an integral part of his training and it sounds as though you are the only one putting in the effort.

I would think about sending him back to your family member, for Lex's well-being.
 

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I would think about sending him back to your family member, for Lex's well-being.
I'm of the same mind. It honestly sounds like that home is not a good place for him to thrive and I'm almost terrified to know what your husband did to him to cause such fear issues in the first place.

My .02 is to get that boy back to where he was happy.
 

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I hope you know when you ask for advice on a forum of doberman owners they are going to be honest. For the sake of the dog give him a forever home where the people will love and care for him. Keeping a doberman outside is not caring or teaching them good habits. If you're going to have a dog they need to be taught good habits just like children. It takes love and patience..I'm a cancer survivor so I know what its like to be so sick I couldn't hold my head up.If you can't change what's taking place in your home then for the sake of the dog give him to a forever home...........please my prayers are for you and your family!!
 

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I'm not sure if I missed whether your boy is altered or not, if he isn't that may be a first step to take.

Otherwise, you've already gotten some good opinions from other members.
 

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Sometimes and sadly, love to an animal (or a human) is just not enough. Your husband is not able to look after him as if it were his dog and train him and you are gone all day. I can understand that circumstances were unfortunate and your writing gives the impression that you are smart and very well understand what is going on. So open your heart and understand, that the dog feels alone and unhappy. Do the best for him and that surely is not being outside all day and night with some hours of his only positive contact: you. That solution would be the best for your furniture, but not for the dog and in the long run not for you. If he already has these peeing issues although your husband is at home, it will probably get worse when he is outside even more alone.
Don´t do that to this poor boy. Give him a forever home that can work with his needs. Allow him to be a happy dog somewhere else. You can do it.
 

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Housebreaking and Marking are the same thing he is not house broken and if your husband will not help you are up a creek with no paddle.Keep the dog crate him when you are not home get rid of the husband or give the dog back to the family he was happy with.
My husband does not like Buddy Dobe as much as he likes Patches the dachshund but if I'm ill he will let Buddy in & out even put his coat on him ,he also will feed him if need be. You need to sit down with your husband and explain if he will not let the dog in and out you would be very sad to let the dog go. If your husband loves you he will step up and help care for the dog. Is your husband jealous of the dog that maybe why he will not help care for the dog. Dogs require feeding, water taken in & out love or at least being tolerated.Good Luck
 

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My first question is he neutered? If he is not, he should be.

Second, unless you clean, clean, clean with a product that will neutralize the odor of urine, he will just continue to mark. Your house needs to be cleaned with a strong vinegar solution and I highly recommend getting a product called Liquid Alive Odor Digester. This is a commercial cleaning product and can be purchased online. Even if you give him away, you need to get rid of the odor.

The dog needs to be crated, not confined to a room.

I am really wondering if his marking has anything to do with his feelings towards your husband?

DO NOT KEEP HIM OUTSIDE!!! PERIOD!!!! Dobermans are not outdoor dogs no matter what climate you live in. It is more of a psychological reason. Dobermans were actually bred to be a protector and a companion to their owners. They NEED love and attention. If you want an outdoor dog, get a husky.

You really should consider placing him in another home. Sometimes the best gift of love you can give to a dog is placing him somewhere that's going to give him the attention he needs. Even though its hard to let go.

Good luck to you,
Lisa
 
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