Just another average sunset in paradise!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dog psychology

Yesterday Jesse chewed into a 4.5 pound bag of Quaker oats and spread a handful or so on the kitchen floor!  I was not concerned about the oats; you cook them in boiling water so no problem with germs.  I was not concerned about the mess on the floor because it was due for a good cleaning anyway.  My bad for leaving the oats on a lower shelf!  I never considered dog-proofing the house.

I was, however, concerned about the behavior and did not want a repeat performance.  I called Jesse over, pointed at the bag and said "No, bad dog" a couple of times.  I don't think it mattered much what I said as Jesse probably could read my "vibes" well enough to know that I wasn't happy.  I put the torn bag on the kitchen counter and went to use the restroom.  When I got back to the kitchen, I discovered that Jesse had used the restroom also.  He peed on the kitchen floor right next to the oatmeal mess!  The door to the patio was wide open just a few feet away.

The psychology question is this:  Was this Jesse's way of flipping me off or was he just nervous because I was upset with him for the first time?  Any advice on how I should have handled the situation in first place would be greatly appreciated! 

Jesse got over it quickly and about an hour later he jumped up on my bed and asked to have his tummy scratched.


  1. That's so frustrating! Do you have chew toys for him, things to keep him busy? An occasional treat? You probably do. I got Katie some Kong toys, they are hard rubber with holes to put cookies in, and they have to work at it. Katie loves them and works them for a long time to get the entire cookie out.

    The potty thing, if she has an accident, I usually just clean it up, tell her no!, and forget it. I'm surprised if this is the first time Jesse has done that. Usually in a new home they will have accidents. I'd guess he felt really bad and couldn't control himself.

    It sounds like he's a really good dog having a bad day. :)

  2. It could definitely be separation anxiety, very common in rescued dogs. Total recovery does not always happen.

    Crate training is the answer (for Jesse's safety and your sanity).

    Or it could be starving dog syndrome, as you mentioned Jesse was very thin, probably starved at some point. Crating will solve this problem, too.

    4.5 years later, Stumpy suffers from both. The house is basically dog-proof so she's set up for success. She's crated when left alone.

    When I first got her, she had been crated way too much and had a huge fear of her crate. It wasn't long before she realized the crate was not a punishment and was a darned comfortable place to be that included treats when she got in and out. Now, she takes naps/hangs out in it frequently.

    Cyndi and Stumpy @ RVly Ever After

  3. Almost the same thing happened to us. Rusty has a bad habit of jumping out the door so, one day while Donnie was bringing groceries in, I put Rusty in the bedroom and closed the door. When I opened it he had left me a nice big puddle right in the middle of our bed. I call it doggy revenge, but I am sure it is his way of flipping us off. He forgave me and I forgave him. All is well again in the Winter Wheel Estate... :)

  4. I pretty much agree with Cyndi. Dogs pretty much live in the moment and unless you catch them doing something, your punishment or admonitions fall on deaf ears. Some really smart dogs know what they have done wrong and they want to please you, but separation anxiety is a real problem. The peeing on the floor could be that now he feels more comfortable and feels this is his home, he is marking his teritory. Be sure and clean the spot with white vinegar so no trace of odor remains or he may go back to that spot. It may sound silly, but we taught our girl to go pee pee on command with treat rewards. It works great when you're traveling. The boy dog automatically pees on top of where she goes so we have two who go on command!!