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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19765
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have a rescue Silky Terrior, he is almost 2. We live with

Customer Question

I have a rescue Silky Terrior, he is almost 2. We live with my boyfriend and he will not come around my boyfriend and I without shaking and peeing. He has actually lifted his leg on me a couple times, which I did not tolerate. He hasnt done it since. But we feel so bad because he is just always so scared and runs away. If I leave him with my boyfriend he usually comes out and pees in the middle of the room. Why does he act out around my boyfriend?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Jane. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question now, and will be back in touch with you as soon as possible.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Has the Silky had any obedience training?

How often is your boyfriend around?

Does he live with you and the dog or just stay sometimes?

Is the silky neutered?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We live with my boyfriend, we have lived with him since Jan 2016. Yes he is neutered. My boyfriend is around often. Frankie has not had obedience training, but is a very smart good boy. He never goes potty inside around me, and doesn't do anything wrong! But when my boyfriend is home with him he will pee right in front of him! Then run and hide and shake! I feel so bad! For both of them! My boyfriend takes him for walks, and shows him love. Frankie just shakes and looks for an escape route.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is very helpful.

Dogs are pack animals as I am sure you know. There is an alpha male and alpha female. When you and Frankie lived alone, Frankie was the top male in the house. Now you have changed residences and you moved into your boyfriends house. Frankie could tell by scents in the house that this was not his territory but y our boyfriends territory. As a result this would make Frankie a little uncomfortable since he wouldn't be sure what his place was in the household.

Given that your boyfriend is much larger than Frankie and likely has a low toned voice that most men have, Frankie might see that as dominant gestures and if your boyfriend leans over Frankie rather than crouching down in front of him, that is also viewed as dominance. Many dogs react to a dominant gesture with submissive urination. It is also sometimes called excitement urination as some dogs experience it when confronted with excitement as well.

Often with submissive urination a dog will cower and even roll over while urinating. The first step though would be ruling out a medical reason for his constant urination though I do feel it is behavioral. Urinary Tract Infection cause 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. Most dogs with a UTI will exhibit 2-3 symptoms.

Once a medical cause is ruled out then you are dealing with submissive urination. You can try behavior modification to try and eliminate this problem. You can read of some techniques here.

There are medications which have been found to be effective for this problem and you should ask your Vet about Proin for dogs over 6 months. I've found that obedience training gives dogs self confidence and helps cure this problem as well. If your boyfriend works with him on obedience training, Frankie will learn that when your boyfriend gives a specific command he wants Frankie to do a specific thing. Once Frankie learns the commands, he won't be as fearful of your boyfriend. He will know what your boyfriend wants and won't feel the same need to show submission by urinating. He will show submission by obeying the commands.

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.

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

You could even teach Frankie the actual commands and then have your boyfriend practice with him leading Frankie to succeed often and get lots of tasty treats from the boyfriend which will also increase his confidence around him and lessen any fearfulness on Frankie's part. You can also ask your Boyfriend if he would crouch in front of Frankie rather than leaning over him and see if he can pitch his voice higher so it doesn't sound as much like a growl to Frankie. These will help a lot as well. You can also talk to the vet about medication to strengthen the bladder sphincter.

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.

Hi again,

Just following up to see if you were able to start working with Frankie using any of my techniques? Did you find my answer helpful?