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Categories: Housebreaking

Q. My 3 1/2 year old Chihuahua is marking my whole house. What can I do?
Dear Ed:

I have a huge problem (or it is to me anyway). I have a 3 1/2 year old neutered Chihuahua who is marking my whole house. I assume that marking is different then just peeing in the house. It's not like a puddle in the middle of the room but rather on the corners of everything. I searched your site for an answer and could not find anything on the subject. 3 family members have acquired puppies (and live separate and apart from us) but frequently visit and bring their puppies, or I have to watch them from time to time and vice versa. They are all between the ages of 8-10 months. 2 females, a lab and a boxer, and 1 male shepherd. I caught my dog raising his leg on the 10 month old lab and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and shook him till he yelped, only because I caught him in the act. So I went out and purchased a black light and lo and behold my whole house has his markings on the corner of everything. I still cannot believe it! I feel I watch him pretty closely. I try to keep him in the room with me (unless he sneaks off and then I'll call him back to me) and I crate him when I leave the house, or when I can't watch him. Please tell me what I'm missing here. Something psychological I'm assuming. I'm bringing a male German Shepherd home in April (at the age of 8 weeks old) and I'd really like to get a handle on this before I do. Please help!! I apologize if this question seems stupid. I pray you can steer me in the right direction by telling me what is going on, and how I can stop this. Thanks so much! Bonnie

PS: By the way I enjoyed your DVD on puppies 8 weeks to 10 months. I plan to use your advice with the new shepherd. And I plan to purchase supplies and other DVDs as well. Thanks so much for your site!!

A. This is a simple problem.

1- Get a dog crate and crate train this dog. Treat it like an 8 week old puppy. It is NEVER out of your sight and for 4 or 5 months when it’s in the house it is NEVER OFF a line. It takes a dog 3 or 4 seconds to pee on your floor. You may want to read the article I wrote titled The Ground Work to Becoming a Pack Leader. It is also the part of the protocol we use to solving behavioral problems such as dominance and/or house breaking problems.

2- I can guarantee you that this dog is not well trained. Obedience training is part of the solution. My Basic Obedience DVD has an excellent section on small dogs.

3- If this were my dog it would be in the dog crate every time another dog came to the house. Frankly with this much urine in your home you have a situation where these other dogs are also peeing in your home. When your family brings a dog it too should always be in a crate or on leash – no exceptions.
  
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