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Discussion Starter #1
More updates about Leeroy... He's been in the kids' room more. He sleeps on the floor near their bed. I'm fine with it, it's warmer in there and I know he's lonely. In the previous family he was with another poodle for a while who comforted him. Last night we took an old sleeping bag and folded it into a mat for him to lay on in their room.

He is still nervous as ever when I first see him in the morning. He's fine all day but toward late night and especially in the morning he is super nervous around my husband and I. I know it's the abuse and the alpha/submissive thing. But it's a little hard for me. I try so hard to be quiet and kind and slow and he wags his tail like it's going to fall off, putting his ears back nervously and licking his lips like I'm going to hurt him. I picked up a stuffed animal that fell out of my daughter's bed near him and he submissive peed. I can't approach him in the morning at all or else he pees.

Also I've been trying to have him go potty every morning when my husband leaves because it is about 7 hours since his last potty at that point, and also he still doesn't really tell us when he has to go. But when I do this... Open the door quietly and say 'do you need to go potty?' the second he goes onto the patio he submissive pees. Then he puts his paws up on me and sometimes pees again on my pajamas or shoes. Then he goes into the yard and does his business. I always have to wash the patio off with water and a squeegee.

He never does these things unless it's morning. He also never does them with the kids.

It's just hard. I'm not sure how to help him more. It's only been 10 days since we adopted him. He's still in the kids' room now, normally he'd be out with me at my feet in the front room with his toys. It's been about 2 hours since I had him do his morning potty.

He also went soft poo 4 times yesterday. He'd been going once per day before that, all soft. But he also wasn't eating hardly for the first few days, and 2 days ago we tried taking him into a local pet supply store to pick out treats and toys and he was a nervous wreck. So maybe we stressed him too much. I feel bad.

We're doing our best. It's just hard.

** To anyone that doesn't know about Leeroy. He's 14 months old and not neutered, we're his 3rd family. The first kept him crate bound almost 24/7 until he was 8 months old. The dad was super rough with him. Also he's had rocks thrown at him and he's been hit when be submissive pees. Not by us of course! So we are working hard to hopefully undo the damage. I feel so bad for him. I also fear that maybe he was yelled at for not staying in another room by himself on his mat at night. He acts so nervous when I see him in the kids' room. It breaks my heart. I'm not sure if his peeing will ever go away. It's not quite as bad as the first morning after we adopted him... But some days are harder than others of course. And he has nightmares a lot where he cries in his sleep.


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It is very, very early days. Many dogs in his situation would still be completely shut down, hiding under furniture and afraid to come out at all, but he is beginning to trust you after just a few days. Have you come across Dr Patricia McDonnell's little book Love has no age limit? I think you may find it helpful. There is a well known rule of thumb when adopting known as the rule of threes - https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/three-ways-to-confuse-a-new-dog. You are past the three day mark, but still some distance from three weeks and even more so from three months. I think if you concentrate on calm routine, clear boundaries, and lots of gentle encouragement he will be a different dog when you hit that three month milestone, and even more so when he has been with you for a year.

Hang on in there - you are doing really well, but you can't undo 18 months of mishandling in just a few days.
 

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Poor poor baby! My heart breaks for him,and you. I have no real advice,but i know it will take time for him to get over the past,and learn to trust again. Lots of patience-the fact that he does not always submissively pee leads me to believe it will stop someday.The soft poo can be a change in food,coupled with nerves. Quiet,calm will help but the best healer will be time. Ten days is no time at all,in reality.

Healing thoughts,
Martha,Che and Otter
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both so much. I know, it's been very little time since we've adopted him.. some days it feels like an eternity (in a good way, and also with me being a little drained). I've been sleeping lightly and hyper aware all night, watching him with the cats and our belongings, training him after our morning walk, calmly cleaning any little nervous messes, being patient with his teenage hyper moods... It's definitely hard but I keep reminding myself that he's like a foster child that needs love.

Again thank you. I just needed some support this morning.

PS the rule of threes is an interesting point. I'll read that link thank you!

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Fjm thank you so much for the link. It seriously gave me hope. That's how we've been approaching having Leeroy with us.. though I think the ride to the store might have been a bad idea. He handled it like a champ though and we brought his favorite treats with him. We'll slow down with things like that though.

He's already come so amazingly far. He has a favorite path and potty spot in the yard, he loves our training sessions (sometimes a little too much lol) and he's already started to growl a little when he sees someone coming outside, which he didn't used to do. He's definitely acting more and more confident every day, like he knows this is his home.

And yes I do treat him with a puppy mindset :) not only is he still fairly young, but I keep reminding myself that he wasn't treated the way he needed to be, to learn and trust and know what to do. So in many many ways he's like a new puppy.

Again thank you (hugs)

Aw.. I think he's having a nightmare again. Poor baby.

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He doesn't have human emotions so don't worry so much, just keep doing what your doing and being gentle he will come around it takes lots of time. Just ignore any submissive pee eventually for the most part it will stop. I had a chihuahua that lived his 1st 2 1/2 years in a plywood enclose in a barn. He was on of 88 dogs our shelter took in and the last to be adopted. When I first got him he would just cower into a corner of the playpen I had for him. I had a crate with a bed opened doored in there too and I fed him in the large area. Each day I would take him out he hated to be held . Everyday I walked him with my other dog. This went on for at least a month or more. After awhile he started wagging his tail whenever I cam to take him out. One morning he slipped out of his harness and took off from where we were about a block from our home. i couldn't catch him and figured oh gosh he is gone. I got home and there he was sitting at my door. I had him 15 years and he ended up happy always wagging his tail. He was good with everyone and the only dog I ever owned that I could actuallywalk off leash (if I wanted to) and he would stay by me and not stray more than 2 ft. Leeroy will get there too.
 

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I too have an overly anxious, fearful dog. I adopted Merlin when he was 18 months old and he was still at the breeders, being beat up by other intact males and staying in his crate all day. He wasn’t housebroken, was peeing and pooping in his crate and marking in the house. He had never set foot outside. Never seen grass except in the breeders arms to get to the vet.

He was diagnosed with generalized anxiety. He is on medication but is still very fearful of any noise, sudden movements, the tv and so forth. If I move, although he adores me, he flees. I’ve had him 2 1/2 years and he still does it. He won’t eat if anyone walks near him or if his bowl is not at the right spot or an object in the House has been moved. He will pee from anxiety if his routine is changed.

He was quite the challenge but we got used to him and right now, most days His fear doesn’t get to me. On other days, when my own anxiety is high, it’s harder.

About him going outside and submissive peeing, I would just open the door and back away. Not look at him, look down on the floor. Even turn your back if it helps. Tell him to go in a happy, soft voice. Don’t do the routine where he pees on your pyjamas anymore. Don’t do anything that makes him pee, until he has completely stopped the behavior for a long time. Lots of times the inappropriate behaviors extinguish themselves when they are no longer provoked (inadvertently). So right now your job is to find a way that he will not pee. No looking at him, no moving or anything that can I induce fear, no matter what it is, even if it seems trivial.

When we go to my mom’s, I ask my mom and dad not to move or talk or look at him when Merlin is eating, or else he won’t eat (even if he’s in another room). I never look at him when he eats, and I back away. We have to adapt to these fearful/anxious dogs, to help them.

You’re doing a good job. You will see a lot of changes in him in the next months to a year. Just take it slow and he will transform.
 

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I agree totally with fjm about Patricia McConnell's threes, and also will say that after the three months you will still see lots of changes. It takes a dog that has been re homed to trust that the new home is safe and permanent. After that you will see his real potential.


If you can in the morning try just sitting at your kitchen table with some nice treats at the ready. If he looks happily in your direction toss him a treat. When he looks up and is closer and looking happy toss another treat between you and him. If he stops approaching let him think about things for a couple of minutes and when he looks ready to engage again toss another treat. When he is close enough to take a treat from your hand without you shifting your weight towards him offer a treat on your open hand. Once he is really comofortable taking the treats from your hand then you can start asking for a sit before you let him have the treat. Go slowly and don't say too much. Rely more on letting him decide his comfort level. I think if you can do this consistently in the morning you will help him figure out how to relax at that time of day that right now is really hard for him. Once you are making progress with him on that in the morning have your DH do it with him in the evening.


You are doing just fine, but there won't be an overnight miracle. Patience and gentle consistency is the name of the game here.
 
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I have no doubt most of it is fear/submissive urination. That said, a friend in another velcro breed did finally have her boy checked, and he also had a urinary tract infection.

Mostly, continue the supportive behavior work. And maybe, consider having a full urinalysis as well, at some point :).
 

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I have no doubt most of it is fear/submissive urination. That said, a friend in another velcro breed did finally have her boy checked, and he also had a urinary tract infection.

Mostly, continue the supportive behavior work. And maybe, consider having a full urinalysis as well, at some point :).
Yeah I'm hoping to give him a general checkup as soon as possible. I'll be talking to our vet about any concerns we have.

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When I got Sage the breeder a lovely breeder told me Sage did not like men and was very nervous (that is why I got her and she quite breeding her). It was awful she ran and hid anytime someone came to the house that was 15 months ago. She still is not out going by herself, but she will go to people (all but one man) do not know why, he is nice to all my girls. She now gives me 5 to go outside, sits beside the other 2 takes her turn and a wonderful little girl. Friends cannot believe how she has changed since I have gotten her. She was not mistreated, she is still frantic when it thunders. My Bella was the same, now she is a social butterfly at 14, plays with her toys and greats people (she cam from an awful place and was in awful condition when I got her
 

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When I got Sage the breeder a lovely breeder told me Sage did not like men and was very nervous (that is why I got her and she quite breeding her). It was awful she ran and hid anytime someone came to the house that was 15 months ago. She still is not out going by herself, but she will go to people (all but one man) do not know why, he is nice to all my girls. She now gives me 5 to go outside, sits beside the other 2 takes her turn and a wonderful little girl. Friends cannot believe how she has changed since I have gotten her. She was not mistreated, she is still frantic when it thunders. My Bella was the same, now she is a social butterfly at 14, plays with her toys and greats people (she cam from an awful place and was in awful condition when I got her
Thank you for sharing, that is so lovely. Leeroy is similar, as far as fear of men. When we first adopted him he would cower when we'd pass a couple guys talking in a driveway and things like that. He also had a general nervousness with adults. He never submissive pees with my two kids/teenagers.

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GOOD NEWS...

So this morning I got up to feed the cats like I always do. Normally I'd take Leeroy out to go potty before doing this... I'd just call him over and go straight outside, which is when he'd nervous pee on the patio. But this morning I came out calmly like I do, didn't make eye contact as he was nervously wagging his tail, and got the cat food ready. After taking it into our room he approached me. I went into the kitchen and got one of his milkbone treats and gave it to him. I always have him sit when he's nervous, it often helps. He took it back to his bed. As he ate it I sat in my chair nearby and waited for him to be done. Then I gently called his name and put my hand out. He came over and I pet him for a few minutes. He put himself halfway into my lap and his tail started going up.

After a little while I slowly got my shoes on. He got a little excited. I didn't say 'wanna go potty' like I normally do. I just went outside and he came with me. Then he ran down the patio stairs and nipped and licked my hand a little. I got near the yard edge and pointed and said 'go potty' and he trotted into the yard and went. I praised him and gave him another treat when we came back inside.

NO MESS on the patio or me this time. And he was still and quiet while I fed the cats. Which was a nice change, lol!

I'm sitting in a chair closer to his bed now... He fell back asleep. He's whimpering a bit. Poor guy. But I am so proud of him. I hope I can keep this going every morning to help him heal.

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GOOD NEWS...

So this morning I got up to feed the cats like I always do. Normally I'd take Leeroy out to go potty before doing this... I'd just call him over and go straight outside, which is when he'd nervous pee on the patio. But this morning I came out calmly like I do, didn't make eye contact as he was nervously wagging his tail, and got the cat food ready. After taking it into our room he approached me. I went into the kitchen and got one of his milkbone treats and gave it to him. I always have him sit when he's nervous, it often helps. He took it back to his bed. As he ate it I sat in my chair nearby and waited for him to be done. Then I gently called his name and put my hand out. He came over and I pet him for a few minutes. He put himself halfway into my lap and his tail started going up.

After a little while I slowly got my shoes on. He got a little excited. I didn't say 'wanna go potty' like I normally do. I just went outside and he came with me. Then he ran down the patio stairs and nipped and licked my hand a little. I got near the yard edge and pointed and said 'go potty' and he trotted into the yard and went. I praised him and gave him another treat when we came back inside.

NO MESS on the patio or me this time. And he was still and quiet while I fed the cats. Which was a nice change, lol!

I'm sitting in a chair closer to his bed now... He fell back asleep. He's whimpering a bit. Poor guy. But I am so proud of him. I hope I can keep this going every morning to help him heal.

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Wow, that’s great ! Not making eye contact and bringing the level of excitement to a minimum seems to work ! This will give you confidence that it can be done. You might have setbacks, but you’re on the right path.

Congrats !
 

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Wow, that’s great ! Not making eye contact and bringing the level of excitement to a minimum seems to work ! This will give you confidence that it can be done. You might have setbacks, but you’re on the right path.

Congrats !
Thank you so much :)

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Wonderful news! You now can have hope that he will be just fine someday! Sounds like he just needs lots of love, patience, and understanding! Would love to see more pictures of him!
 
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Wonderful news! You now can have hope that he will be just fine someday! Sounds like he just needs lots of love, patience, and understanding! Would love to see more pictures of him!
Thank you! He's sleeping on my feet right now as it ended up being a rainy day. Yesterday he had a blast playing with the neighbor's dog in her yard. He looked so happy.

He's such a cuddle bug.


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