Another benefit of adopting an adult dog is that, if he/she came from a good home or was raised somewhat correctly, he/she should be completely potty trained. When I adopted Woody, I was told his bladder was under control.
False. So false.
Woody is potty-trained in the sense that he knows to let me know if he needs to go out, and he would never have an accident when I am home. What took me an inexcusable amount of time to realize is that Woody is a dog that needs to have his bladder and bowels on a strict routine or else I am in for a giant mess. Not to make excuses, but when I was in grad school, my schedule was so topsy-turvy that I had a really difficult time getting into any routine. Now that I work full time and live two blocks from my office, this whole routine thing is a piece of cake, most of the time.
If a pillow happens to fall off my bed, or I leave anything- seriously, anything- lying on the bedroom floor (he stays in the bedroom with a gate up while I am gone), Woody will mark it. Doesn't matter if he just went out and I was only gone for thirty minutes. It becomes his territory. So, I now try to do my best and make sure nothing is a target.
The last few weeks, however, have been terrible for Woody's so-far, so-good streak of fewer marking incidents and accidents since we entered the full-fledged adult world. His favorite targets are the corners of my mattress and my closet door. I have three theories, two of which seem to be plausible from Dr. Feltes, my vet at The Behavior Clinic.
- Woody has a bladder infection. We have a routine appointment with our original vet at Banfield Pet Hospital Sunday, so hopefully we can rule this one out. Or get the proper care to make sure Woody feels better.
- Woody's diffuser is out. When we started behavioral modification training, one of the things we were given to help calm him down is an Adaptil diffuser, seen below. This nifty pet diffuser looks like an air freshener, but only dogs can smell it. As soon as this thing started running low is when I started noticing some serious pee stains, causing me to be seriously frustrated.