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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:52 AM

Anyone have advice on marking?

Our male shar pei has started marking in the house, but only if he can get within aiming distance of outerwear, so far. He's about 4 years old. We've had him since he was about 1 1/2. He was neutered at the shelter before we adopted him. He's never done this in the house before, although he's a marking champ outside and you have to watch him in a store or vet's office.

I think it has something to do with changes in the household. The pet population is the same as ever, but when he got here our household included my son, his girlfried and also a friend of my son who was staying temporarily (5 years). My son and his girlfriend got their own place in July and the friend did the same this past October. I guess from our dog's point of view this is a pretty massive defection from the pack.

I feel really badly because I think it's an indication that his world has been rocked again in a bad way. OTOH, I need it to stop. We don't have a lot of closet space, so we've always used coatracks. This is now a problem. Also, I can see this more bad times for him ahead, since he takes departures so hard. Our human population should be stable for a long time, hopefully, but he's by far the youngest four-legger in the house. There are two elderly cats and a female shar pei who is moving into her senior years. Any advice would be welcome.

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Reply Anyone have advice on marking? (Original post)
union_maid Nov 2012 OP
roody Nov 2012 #1
darkangel218 Nov 2012 #2
ginnyinWI Nov 2012 #3
Curmudgeoness Nov 2012 #4
union_maid Nov 2012 #5
Curmudgeoness Nov 2012 #6
TorchTheWitch Dec 2012 #7

Response to union_maid (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:26 AM

1. No advice, but I have a similar

problem. Mine is a chihuahua mix. I crate him more, and may buy him a diaper if he doesn't stop. The pet store owner recommended the diaper.

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Response to union_maid (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:27 AM

2. Poor thing is stressed out.

I think its just temporary, until he gets used to the changes. I've had friends who medicated their pets for anxiety, but I wouldn't do it. Doggie diapers would be my advice.

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Response to union_maid (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:25 AM

3. get another dog?

Someone for him to boss around? Just a guess and maybe not what you'd want to hear.

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Response to union_maid (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:17 PM

4. I can imagine your frustration

and I agree, it has to stop. I don't have answers, but it is odd to me that it is marking on "outerwear". That sounds to me like it means there are scents on the coats/whatever that he wants to re-mark. Since dogs have such sensitive noses, you probably have no idea what it is. But he smells it. Are you around other animals while you are out of the house? Has he met these other animals?

Have you tried sprays that are used to repel dogs? Sprayed on the outerwear? Have you talked to the vet? It seems to me that this is really odd since it has just started after that much time with you. It could be changes in your household, but I think that it is saying something more since it is marking on outerwear only. Your dog is telling you something, but I don't know what that is.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:03 PM

5. It is very odd

I haven't talked to the vet yet. This started pretty recently. Some of the coats and jackets in question would have other animal scents and others wouldn't. None are new smells, though. At least not that I know of. My sister has a horse and spends time at a barn with horses and dogs and cats all around and he has hit up her jackets, but she's been going there since long before we got the dog. It is just coats and jackets. We first noticed because when we come in we tend to just hang a jacket on the back of the kitchen chair at least for a while. Well, we did. We don't do that anymore, of course. But it doesn't seem to make a difference. It can be jackets you only wear to work or the horsey ones.

One other thing about Franklin is that he doesn't like people to leave. It's not that he exhibits separation anxiety once we're gone. The dogs aren't really left alone much as my husband is retired and home, but when we are all out at once there's no sign that anything goes on while we're out except a lot of sleeping. But he might just try to prevent us from leaving in the first place. Also guests. He doesn't like them getting away either. He'll put himself between us and the door and make noises that could be construed as alarming if you're not used to them. Never had a dog do that before. That's not new. He started doing that as soon as he felt a bit at home here. It's not hard to deal with and it's easy to make him stop it. We do try to have him out of the area when guests who don't know him are trying to exit. Unless we don't really want the guests back again.

He also gets upset when large objects are removed from the house. Anything the size of luggage or bigger going out upsets him. I know that he was surrendered by his first family because they had to move and couldn't find a rental that took dogs. I'm guessing he was still with them when they started moving the stuff out. Anyway, today, so far, haven't found anything.

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Response to union_maid (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:38 PM

6. Oh, poor baby.

It must be very hard on him to have those feelings of being deserted. Although I would not want to tolerate the marking, that breaks my heart. His insecurity has to be intense. You have to have a talk with him about how much you love him and promise you will not leave him. I hope you find a solution.

That "doesn't like people to leave" thing makes me remember a dog I knew years ago. The biggest freaking Doberman I have ever seen. And the sweetest. But you learned really fast that you did not go pet him and play with him, then turn your back and walk away....he would bite you in the ass to get you back. He did love his attention!

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Response to union_maid (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:52 PM

7. Very odd for a neutered male to be doing that

Is there a female in heat anywhere around? Neutered males can still get interested in females in heat but not anywhere near as much if they still had their equipment. Maybe this is a dominance issue? With the changes in the household maybe he's taking that as an opportunity to elevate his rank over who's left? Is he generally very territorial? Huh. I just don't know.

I never heard of this one before. Outdoors, sure, but marking in the house always seemed to me to be an un-neutered male thing.

You might get some good advice on the Leerburg forum. There always seems to be someone there that knows any kind of strange issue and what to do about it... http://leerburg.com/webboard/forum.php

I'm really stumped on this one.


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