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anyone use an E-collar to stop urine marking?

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  • anyone use an E-collar to stop urine marking?

    So, we adopted the cutest little JRT from a well known JRT rescue..he came with baggage, as most dogs do, coming from a rescue. He has absolutely the sweetest personality, loves kids, ignores cats, has a little bit of dog aggression (that is very much under control, he is now best buds with our husky), he LOVES car rides, has learned several tricks already, including weaving through my legs as a I walk, roll over, hide your eyes, etc. However, I cannot get his urine marking under control...he marks EVERYWHERE, shoes, table legs, corner of couches, PEOPLE (yes, PEOPLE!!) and outside, just as bad, shovels, bicycle tires, door frames, my other dog's food bowl...I've tried keeping him on leash inside and giving a correction everytime he lifts his leg...he is perfect as long as he is on a leash, with ME..anyone else...it doesn't work.

    A friend of mine suggested an E-collar..the type that is remote controlled and gives the dog a vibration/mild shock

    Anyone have any ideas about this? I've seen them in use on the Dog Whisperer, but for other issues, primarily food aggression. Help!

  • #2
    Have you tried a belly band? At best he'll stop marking after peeing on himself. At worst, he just won't be able to pee all over the furniture


    • Original Poster

      Tried that, he pees on himself, again and again...really stuck on this, thanks for the response, though.


      • #4
        Used "correctly" by a knowledgeable person, I find an E collar to be a great and effective training tool!! Never had the need for it with a marking dog, but a strong "NO" and a buzz should get the point across. Just don't "fry" him out of anger/frustration!!! THAT will make him more neutrotic than "trained". Good luck and let us know!!
        Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


        • #5
          Have you had him tested for a UTI?


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
            Have you had him tested for a UTI?
            That was one of the first things we thought of...he had a thorough vetting immediately after we brought him home, and when his "habit" manifested itself, we took him back to vet and had it checked out.


            • #7
              One thing that worked with my rescue who was a big marker (and de-housetrained the other rescues in the process ) was to retrain everyone to pee only in one 6' by 6' area of the yard.

              Either they were in their crate, tethered to me on a leash, or in that 6' by 6' area of the yard, also on a leash. So they would be tethered to me overnight, get up and go immediately to 6' by 6' area, get treats for peeing/pooping, come back in and have breakfast.
              I did this until they would come out of the kitchen and go STRAIGHT to that area to pee (still on their leash).

              Then I would slightly test them. We would come out of the kitchen (leashed) and turn left to the other part of the yard. When anyone squatted, "No no no!," pick them up, put them over in the 6' by 6' area and praise and treat. The rest of the yard is now off limits. The only place IN THE WORLD they are allowed to pee or poop is that 6' by 6' area. If we are going for a walk around the block, no peeing. Nada. Before walks we go to the 6' by 6' spot and then they are expected to hold it until they are back on the 6' by 6' spot. If I were excercising the dog in an indoor facility they would be expected to hold it so they can hold it going for a 45 minute walk too.

              While I have been doing all this, I have been using the signal words to say, "OK, go potty!" when they look like they are about to start so that they start to associate the cue with the deed.

              Overall the goal is to teach them the ONLY place to pee, EVER, is that 6' by 6' space. Not on the flowers three feet over, JUST that spot. I think that is easier for a dog to understand. I am setting up the signal world so that when they travel, I can pick a spot and say, "OK, go potty!" and they will realize it is ok to go on THAT spot.

              This has actually eliminated accidents. We had a while there where I was cleaning SOMETHING up EVERY DAY and we just had house training implosion. Instituting this policy has made a dramatic difference.

              Oh, and I am fine with e collars, btw. I use them on our hikes to make sure they stick around. I just don't necessarily think that the ecollar is the best tool for this particular job. Giving him ONE AND ONLY ONE spot to pee, even if you have to severely limit his activity for a few weeks to make sure you are never too far away from that spot to say "No no no!" and carry him over there, may make a dramatic difference in the long run.
              The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
              Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
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              • #8
                JRT/JRT X's definitely are a bit infamous in this respect (at least all the one's I met through rescue), most do get much better but it's a long haul & can re-surface in times of doggy stress (which is not always easily apparent to human eye).

                You need to tether this guy to you at all times, when he's not tethered, he's in the crate, when on leash he does NOT get to mark, the only acceptable place for him to relieve himself is an obviously marked area (different texture, physical border etc).
                In a couple months, you can try offering him more freedom BUT bellyband while in the house & outside - yes, he'll likely pee on himself (use a version that allows him to feel the effects not the "stay-dry" types); if he's off leash, he's in a bellyband.
                If you are 100% consistent, you will get the marking down to a minimum very quickly but I'd not assume he was "cured" for a year at least ...

                You can try an e-collar, but I'd not go down that road with a new rescue & you need to discuss this with the Rescue (I'm assuming that they know this dog & have dog behaviourists on staff/assess the dogs).


                • Original Poster


                  Actually, when I got this guy from rescue, I was NOT told he had a problem with marking...it was something I discovered for myself, after we got him home. Also he was in a foster home for nearly a year, and when I went for a "meet and greet" at the foster home, I was less than impressed...they had 10 dogs there, including 3 other JRT, and from what I saw, they all had complete run of the house (I did NOT go in the house, and nor did I wish to O.O). However, all the dogs were in good condition, well socialized and happy.

                  I'll go back to the bellyband again and try him again with it, though judging how he was with it before, I'm skeptical...I genuinely feel bad for him, because he so wants to be up on my youngest son's bed, he simply adores him...but, not at the expense of peeing all over my son, or my house for that matter.

                  He also pees submissively if a man with a deep voice visits, or if someone yells...

                  Most definitely a work in progress...

                  Thanks for everyone's input.


                  • #10
                    He also pees submissively if a man with a deep voice visits, or if someone yells...
                    with this information I'd be very hesitant to use an e-collar (visit Lou Castle's site for information - I've not been there lately, but have read very well written articles/discussions by Lou) on this dog until he's well settled in your household.

                    You might try crating him next to your son - close enough for him to reach over & pet JRT in his crate (which needs to be just big enough for him i.e. if he pees/marks in there, he can't escape).

                    Of course another consideration with JRT is whether he came out of a puppy mill & is inured to the proximity of pee/pooh (use clicker training to teach him to prefer no contact with pee etc).

                    You might contact local vets, dog trainers, dog rescues in your area for names of local behaviourists, also try any JRT breeders that you feel a kinship with.

                    If you aren't doing any training with JRT, look for a suitable program in your area - it will help JRT with confidence & boundaries & bonding: once he's done a program once with you or your son, have him repeat it with your husband.

                    It is possible that this is new behaviour for the JRT - though in a chaotic household with 10 dogs, it's possible the foster didn't notice (IME some absolutely would, others, not so much).

                    Try to avoid correcting him for the behaviour (it's still attention) - either set up a situation so you avoid him getting his leg up or use a belly band (& just bathe him often - thoroughly rinsing off all the soap residue is important in avoiding skin irritation) or just set off walking at a brisk pace when he begins "leg up" - ignore any mess & just rinse him off at home.

                    You absolutely do not want him peeing all over your house, he needs to remain crated or tethered etc & earn any freedom - you can use a longer tether so when he has an "accident" you can just scoop him up & return him to his crate: you don't need to clean him immediately, just scoop (on ignore i.e. no voice or body talk from you to him) & return him to his crate (just plastic that you can hose down, metal will begin to rust etc).
                    When you are able to bring him out again, do his clean up then (it would probably be well worth the investment to have a couple of suitable crates - look on your local Craigslist or Freecylce).

                    Patience & not imbuing the behaviour with any importance would be my goal


                    • #11
                      I've actually contemplated this use myself.

                      Have an e-collar for girl-border-collie as she was/is very headstrong and high drive and would. not. leave the horses/livestock/cats alone. She also tended to "run away" if she was called and figured she was being asked to come for something she didn't want (being locked up, leaving the farm to go home, etc...) It has worked amazingly well and we're farm sitting right now and I can go DAYS without having to so much as buzz her with the vibration function.
                      I initially taught her to recall on the vibration. 98% of the time I have to zap her, it's after a vibration warning she didn't heed. 2% of the time I will go straight to zapping her, sometimes continuous. This 2% is when she forgets herself and races off in hot pursuit of a cat (I will vibrate if she's just stalking/watching/working in her mind. Zap if she's instantly on the chase), or bolts off after the horses. Basically, major disobedience that she knows full well is unacceptable.

                      My male (the girl dog's full brother), at 2, (and fixed since he was young...) learned how to mark when he was "babysat" at their breeder's a few weekends ago. No big deal if it's outside, I'll live. But we were visiting my friend I am farm sitting for one evening a week before he left, and he marked a chair in the living room. He got his butt tossed outdoors immediately, and we contemplated potential solutions. I figured he'd have to wear his sister's e-collar if he did it again... But with him, because he is unbelievably sensitive (as opposed to his sister's very insensitive nature) I think if I zapped him he'd pee himself involuntarily. A vibration, however, would likely fix it instantly. But while I've considered the idea, it concerns me as I am unsure if he's got the right personality and temperament for it.

                      Luckily, we've been there for a week and a half now and he hasn't marked in the house at all, or really looked like he intends to. I do keep him within eyesight all the time when he's indoors, and have called him over twice when I saw him sniffing around. He's not leashed to me only because he's one of those "instantly listens, desperate to please" type dogs who will stop all and show up at my feet as soon as his name is called. Actually, usually I'm tripping over him because he's rather clingy ... small favors there.

                      Essentially, I think it could work, similar to a bark collar, but it would likely have to be introduced carefully, and you'd want to make sure he didn't learn to only not mark when the collar is on him.
                      "Show me the back of a thoroughbred horse, and I will show you my wings."


                      • #12
                        Well... I'll just chime in though I don't have any Dog Credentials other than having a bunch of reasonably well-behaved family dogs.

                        Seems like considering his past, he's marking out of habit and/or an unending desire to claim a part of the world for himself, especially this new world that he has that he really likes. If he were in my house, I would be discouraging the bad and encouraging the good and yes, I have an e-collar. I think an e-collar might be the only thing as quick as a JRT's leg! LOL I wouldn't fry him by any means, just give him a little buzz or even just a tone, and then I'd call him to me and give him an atta boy every time he didn't mark. I'd let him have time up on your son's bed, supervised and limited if need be, and let them have a love fest as often as you can. It sounds like a nervous habit to me and IMO habits are replaced, not broken. Keep feeding his little confidence level to reduce the nervous and give him a little buzz to break his bad habit and get on with life.

                        I personally can't imagine having a dog tethered to me for all my waking hours! I can envision one locked in a safe room until I am ready to be tethered to him for a while or having the family take turns watching him but that whole major management concept just wouldn't work for me. Not saying it wouldn't work, but it's not feasible for me.
                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                        • #13
                          I would never use an e-collar on a submissive pee'er. Never ever. Last submissive peeing dog I had was a fear biter. I wouldn't push a submissive dog.

                          Does the dog drink more than normal? There is a blood test that will tell your vet is the dogs is drinking/peeing alot b/c he likes to drink /pee alot or if b/c he has a physical problem.... ugh ask me how I know these things.

                          There are 25 different things that can lead to excessive drinking/ excessive peeing, I've tested my male for most of them and still no answer. But I am dealing with a different issue than you. Never marks..... only goes when he has to.

                          When the dog is marking all over the house and outside are you right there next to it? Or are you discovering the accidents later after they've happened?


                          • Original Poster

                            @ NRB, he's been thoroughly vetted, not physical problem whatsoever. He is not a submissive dog, just has issues with men with deep voices, or yelling he thinks is directed at him. NOT a biter at all. He will mark with people watching him...if he is tethered to ME he won't, if he is tethered to anyone else, he will...my youngest son (who he adores) is getting pretty good at giving a leash correction if he lifts his leg..but even that does not always stop him from peeing. Anything new in his environment, he will automatically try to mark. Case in point, we were raking leaves and filled several paper leaf bags...he instantly went over to them and marked them..


                            • #15
                              I don't have any advice, OP, I just wanted to say that for some reason, in my mind every time I read your title I kept thinking, how would an elizabethan collar help a pee marking dog? Do you put it around their middles? How do they walk? Now I find out you meant a shock collar and I feel really dumb.

                              I hope you are able to find a solution to this problem, I can't imagine how frustrated you all must be.
                              My blog: Crackerdog Farm