I know, it's hard to believe but it's true. Your dog is not plotting his revenge for when you leave the house. He's not lying in wait, head on paws, taking an internal inventory of your favorite dress shoes all the while picking his favorite to chew to shreds if you dare as so much walk out the front door.
Dogs are not vindictive. Bottom line. End of story.
The casual dog owner has a hard time accepting this concept. Humans are vengeful, so why aren't dogs? First of all, they don't have the capacity to think like that. Dogs are pretty simple animals and once we strip away all the human characteristics that we put upon these poor animals the better our relationships will be.
But I can see, to the uninformed owner at the end of their rope, how most destructive behavior seems like a personal attack by the dog on them. Rover pees on the dining room rug. Owner admonishes dog for peeing and rug, making a big deal out of the incorrect behavior while cleaning up the offensive spot. As soon as owner is out of eyesight dog pees in the same darn spot on the dining room rug.
Lather, rinse and repeat.
(If you'd like, swap expensive shoe chewing for peeing in the house or, in the case of my rescued dog Lana soon after we brought her home, remote control and cell phone eating. Each case is fairly similar.)
(Yes, my dog once ate my cell phone. That's another for another time.)
Let's talk about eliminating in the house.
In the peeing on the floor case let's assume that the dog is housebroken and has no medical problems that would force him or her to lose control of their bowels spontaneously. They've just peed in the house once or twice, for whatever reason (fear, full bladder + slow owner, etc.) and now they continue to do so when the owner is not around. Also, this is not to be confused with "marking".
Once a dog pees somewhere they can tell by scent exactly where that spot is long after you've cleaned it. You need a cleaner specifically made for cleaning dog and cat odors (I recommend this product ) to get rid of most of it and even then a dog's sense of smell is so powerful that it tends to linger in their consciousness. Especially if it gets into your carpet pad.
My point is, your dog knows where he eliminated. He's done it once so there's a good chance he'll do it again. That's what dogs do, they pee and poop in familiar spots - which benefits us when we housetrain them, big I digress. So restrict his access to that room until you can follow him around constantly waiting to catch him in the act. Once he's done the deed and moved on you've lost the opportunity to correct that behavior. Sorry, but rubbing a dog's face in their own filth only makes for a really icky nose and a really unhappy and confused dog. Prevent the problem before it happens again by confining the dog to one room in the house or a crate when you leave the home or when you can't supervise him. Give him a chew toy or two, a bit of water, and a comfortable bed. And make sure you keep him on a regular potty schedule!
But why did he wait until you left the house to pee in that spot on the dining room rug, or worse, in your bed? Besides the scent it could be because you made a big deal of it while cleaning the spot. You spoke to him, probably even yelled at him, but you engaged him and you gave him attention. Any attention, even negative, is still good attention to a dog. In this case peeing on floor = attention from his favorite person. You. Or, possibly, he was anxious that you left and peed in that spot thinking you'd come back to clean it up and, again, pay some attention to him. Clean up the pee while the dog is not around.
Now, the chewing. Oy, the chewing! And the digging and scratching, too. The destruction, the mayhem, that is sometimes involved in owning a dog is enough to drive a sane person to the looney bin. I recently had an email correspondence with my online friend Bobita. In her email about her Labrador puppy she gave me enough
ammunition topics to keep this blog going for awhile. We've covered peeing in the house next we'll talk about chewing and other destructive behaviors.
That's our next post. Y'all come back now, ya hear?