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Canine Behavior/Puppy marking his territory.

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Question
Hello Jill, I have a 5 month old cavachon puppy who has been marking his "territory" recently. He is almost completely potty trained except for the occasional once a week accident. But when I went to work last week my mom said that while I was gone, he peed on two of my shorts. Then when I took him to the bathroom this morning, he sniffed around the yard and found one of my old hats in the yard and peed right on it. My mom also said that when I go to work or school, he waits in front of the door until I get home. I don't know how to get him to stop peeing on all of my stuff because I don't like washing all of my clothes all the time. He also has not been to a vet yet, we have an appointment next week at a vet to get him his shots and to get him fixed.

Answer
A FIVE month old puppy should have been vaccinated at this point.  A good "breeder" will do three vaccinations (because titers acquired from mother can decay and it's impossible to tell when that occurs), these are introductory vaccinations.  A small breed dog should be vaccinated NOT with a 6, or 7, in one vaccine, but first for Parvo, in a few weeks Distemper, and followed by rabies vaccination.  Lepto and other vaccinations are necessary only if the dog lives in certain circumstances.  Your dog is at extreme risk of Parvo virus, which is almost always deadly.  There's no excuse for allowing a puppy to go without proper veterinary care.

This is a hybrid of Cavalier King Charles and Bichon Frise, it is a "mixed breed" puppy.  Such "designer dogs" are produced by people who are trying to make money.  The "hybrid vigor" that exists in a multiple generation hybrid does not pertain to a first generation progeny.  If this puppy came from a careless or inexperienced breeder and was sold before the appropriate age, he has lost his primary caregiver(s) and is now exhibiting some separation issues.  Urinating on your objects is a way of "reminding" you where to "find" him.  The dog has no idea that you don't function by the culture to which he belongs.

Your "stuff" should not be lying around (in the house or in the yard) for him to  mark.  He can't be neutered until he is adequately vaccinated.  In fact, do NOT ALLOW HIS FEET TO TOUCH THE FLOOR in the veterinary office: CARRY HIM IN AND OUT.  Confine the puppy to a safe and secure area with water bowl and safe toys and soft bed (such as the kitchen) if your mother is unavailable to watch him and TAKE HIM OUT on leash (ONLY ON YOUR PROPERTY, do not take this dog out onto the street).  You must see to it that your clothing is not available for him to mark.  If moderate intervention such as this does the "trick", that's good.  Otherwise I have designed a treatment for separation anxiety so you can re-post using followup feature.

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.

Expertise

I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.

Experience

30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for ThePetChannel.com for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, K9Shrinks@egroups.com. Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Organizations
Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Publications
Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Education/Credentials
Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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