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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19760
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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My nine year old female cockapoo has started peeing on the

Customer Question

My nine year old female cockapoo has started peeing on the bed after my new boyfriend stays over. The first time was in the middle of the day when I wasn't home, and the second and third time has been in the night while I was sleeping in bed. She gets plenty of walks, no other change in routine, and given the pattern I'm fairly certain it isn't a UTI (dates coincide only with the boyfriend staying over and only in the bed.) She doesn't seem to be afraid or nervous about the boyfriend, and actually gravitated towards him (sitting by his feet, in his lap when he's sitting, playing with him) more so than past guys. Any suggestions on how to fix this behavior?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Unfortunately, we have to consider a urinary tract infection when a dog suddenly starts urinating inappropriately . Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are frequent urination, dribbling urine, blood in the urine, squatting frequently to urinate, strong odor to the urine, inappropriate urination and straining to urinate as well as an increase in fluid intake. A dog with a UTI does not always show all the symptoms and typically displays 2 or 3. I believe you need to have your Vet check your dog out so it can get medication for the problem if your dog is displaying 2 or more of the above symptoms..

Other causes for increased thirst and frequent urination include kidney failure, diabetes mellitus, cushing, a uterine infection (called pyometra), and liver disease to name a few. You can read about this here:

Like you, if this has only been a couple of incidents, then I wouldn't jump to a uti being the cause of her inappropriate urination. Now as you suspect, it might be behavioral. Many dogs are territorial and use urination to mark things and places that they feel are theirs. Smelling his scent in the bed may have triggered her to urinate to cover his scent.

However, she is an older female dog who is part poodle. Poodles can be prone to disc issues in the back which can lead to a loss of feeling in the rear areas of the body. Older females are also prone to incontinence as well. So it may be a case of her bladder relaxing when she is in a deep sleep and that leads to urine seeping out while she sleeps. Many spayed females develop incontinence as well. You can read more on it at this site as well as treatment options.

One drug frequently prescribed is phenylpropanolamine which you can read about here:

Another treatment is DES (diethylstilbestrol). You can read about it here:

A new synthetic hormone replacement medication is incurin. You can read about that here?

Of course if a disc issue is present, strengthening the bladder sphincter may help but may not be totally effective either. Dogs with disc issues frequently start avoiding stairs and jumping but in the initial stages of a disc issue may not have many symptoms at all. An intervertebral disc that has slipped or ruptured up into the spinal canal causes inflammation of the spinal cord, which in severe cases causes paralyses of the rear legs. You can read about this here:

Dogs also tend to urinate where they have previously. They use the odor of previous urinations to remark or strengthen an old odor. Normal cleaning methods don't remove the odor. It takes an enzymatic pet odor remover to break down the protein in the urine and remove the odor completely. Iin a soft surface, I do recommend letting the cleanser soak in to reach any urine that may have seeped down in to padding or fabric. Thiw will help remove any odor that might draw her back to urinate their again if it is done for another reason.

You should let your boyfriend work with her on obedience. It will help her see what he expects of her and have her see him as the boss as well as you. She will be less likely to "claim" places by marking if she sees him as the boss as well as you. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

So go ahead and be sure the bed is cleaned well, have her checked over for a medical issue and see if your boyfriend is willing to work with her a little. Of course, crating her when you can not watch her will help prevent accidents as well.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler