a The Happy Puppers (Dog care, grooming, behavior and training): Behavioral issues
Showing posts with label Behavioral issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Behavioral issues. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Why do dogs lick their own urine? 11 Causes and 19 remedies

I cannot imagine how grossed out you must have felt when you saw your dog lick up his or her pee for the first time! Read the complete blog post to understand the causes behind such behavior and how to rectify it.

Dogs lapping up their own urine can either stem from a physical discomfort or a behavioral problem. First step is to rule out any possible medical conditions which may force your dog to dink his own urine. If their is no associated medical reason for this behavior, then it most likely is stemming from a behavioral issue. To address this problem, you must first understand the causes behind said behavior.

Causes behind dogs drinking their own urine:

As I mentioned earlier, drinking their own pee in dogs can be a result of an ongoing physical problem or a psychological issue. 

To diagnose any underlying medical issue, pay a visit to your veterinarian. If the licking of urine is indeed due to an underlying health problem, your dog will be checked and provided medications to rectify the underlying disease.

Let’s start with understanding the medical factors which contribute to this problem:


If your dog does not have enough supply of water and is suffering from dehydration, he or she will go to the closest source to receive hydration, even if that is their own urine. Dogs have not been observed to drink their own urine if they are adequately hydrated. 

A new puppy needs several reminders of the location of the water bowl before they remember. If they forget the location of their bowl, they may drink their own urine. Older dogs suffering from dementia may also drink urine if they forget the location of their water bowl. 

Cushing’s syndrome:

This is a rare disease observed in dogs. It is caused by the formation of a tumors in the pituitary gland of your dog, the primary symptoms of this disease are excessive urination and uncontrolled thirst. The need to urinate frequently will cause a buildup of pee in the house and the excessive thirst will cause your dog to lap up his or her own urine to overcome the thirst.

Why dogs drink urine?

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Suffering from UTI is a common occurance in dogs. The most common symptoms of this disease are blood in urine, fever, frequent urination and accidental urination indoors. If your dog is suffering from UTI, he or she will constantly feel thirsty and may drink his or her urine as they are suffering from peeing accidents and their is availability of urine in the house.

Urinary incontinence:

Licking up their own urine as well as urinary incontinence is a common behavior observed in dogs of advanced ages of both sexes especially neutered females. This problem can occur due to a wide variety of reasons, a few of them being: urinary tract problems. Urinary bladder infection etc. If these conditions are ignored or left untreated, thy will cause large amounts of urine to leak from the bladder when the dog lays down.

Other potential medical reasons:

If you pup is drinking his own urine due to being thirsty, increasing the water quantity should eliminate the problem. However, if your dog is excessively thirsty, veterinary attention may be needed. Excessive thirst or polydipsia may be caused due to underlying conditions like hepatic diseases, kidney malfunction as well as congenital diseases like diabetes. 

Other few potential medical issues behind uncontrolled thirst may be side effects of a medicine, deficiency of protein in your dog’s diet, or old age.  

Now that we have understood the physical or underlying medical causes behind such behavior, it it time to have a look at all behavioral issues which can give rise to this behavior:

No place to urinate: 

if your dog is housebroken, he or she is used to going outside to conduct their personal business. How we, if your dog is at home for long hours with no one available to take him or her out, he or she will pee wherever they choose. Since your dog is house trained, he or she will recognize this as unwanted behavior and may try to lick up the urine as a way to hide or get rid of the evidence.

Some dog guardians have a backyard which can be freely accessed by the dog. Under such conditions, the pup can go out when needed. Even in the presence of a doggy door, some dogs may feel uncomfortable using it to get out and may pee on the floor itself.

Your dog is not housebroken or is under training: 

It is common for pups to have accidents when they enter a new home. A few accidents must be expected by dog guardians during the initial training period. Your dog may feel embarrassed by peeing indoors and may try to eliminate the evidence by lapping it up. 

Raised in puppy mills: 

Puppy mills are the places where the dogs are bred for the purpose to selling their puppies. The living conditions in puppy mills are inhumane as the pups are often kept locked in small cages or boxes. The pups are fed inside their cages. They are not even led out to poop or pee. Thus, puppies may learn to eat their own poop or drink their own urine as no one taught them otherwise. Another cause might be the absence of adequate amount of water.

Bad habit:

Just like humans, dogs can also pick up bad habits. A few of these are barking at mailman, chasing cars, barking at other people etc. However, these behavior may also include peeing indoors. If your dog is exhibiting such behavior, do not scold him or her. Scolding your dog for bad habits only want them to hide the said habit from your eyes leading to the exhibiting the behavior but learning to hide the evidence. Thus, for peeing indoors, consider retaining your dog with positive reinforcement. 

Why dogs drink urine?


This reason may seem highly bizarre to a lot of dog guardians. However, some puppies have been observed to actually enjoy the taste of urine and thus prefer to drink urine over fresh water even when the later is available. 

To understand the opposite sex:

Some male dogs may taste the during to female dogs to decipher if the later is in heat. 

Now that we have uncovered all potential causes behind dogs licking their own urine, its time to know and understand how this behavior can be corrected.


 A few considerations which can be taken into account by a dog guardian facing the pee drinking problem are as follows:

  • Provide enough water to your dog
  • Redo house training with your dog 
  • Reinforce good behavior with ample rewards 
  • Say a stern NO when the inappropriate behaviour is exhibited
  • Provide your dog with an easy access to the backyard through a doggy door so that your dog can easily pee outside
  • Get a complete wellness check done for your dog to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

If your dog is a puppy mill survivor, chances are he or she picked up the bad habit from the unfortunate environment of the mill. You may also face some difficulty in house training your pup. The key ingredient needed to train your pup will be patience. No dog is untrainable. It’s the humans who may lose patience before time. So give yourself and your dog time to learn the new behavior. Never use any form of negative reinforcement on your pup. A ton of positive reinforcement and patience will bring your dog on the right track. 

Another tip which may come in very handy is is to always clean up the accident as soon as it occurs. Do not leave the urine to dry out and do not use white vinegar or bleach to clean the urine. Firstly, bleach or vinegar may cause carpet or hardwood floor discoloration. Secondly, the smell of ammonia will lure your dog back to the spot as the smell is similar to your dog’s urine.

To clean up your dog’s urine, it is preferable to use enzyme based cleaners. These types of cleaners work by breaking down the Uris acid and protease in your dog’s urine. They also disinfect the floor of any bacterial contamination. Other options for floor cleaning are using a mixture of hydrogens peroxide and baking soda or water which is great at neutralising odours. 

Give your pup more ME time:

Take your pup out more frequently so that all the urination happen outside the house rather than inside. If you cannot afford to take out dog out, you can hire a dog walker. They will only come to take your dog out to pee and poop. This is a great option if you work long hours daily. 

Why dogs drink urine?

Some final tips:

  • You can have a designated spot covered with puppy pads and train your dog to go there if the option to go out is not available. 
  • You can also train your dog to use talking buttons so they can relay to you their reason for wanting to go out.
  • You can teach your dog to use the pee and poo bell. Teach them to ring the bell when they need to pee or poop. Always take them out once before retiring for the night. This increases the chance of your pup not peeing or pooping in the house during sleep time. 
  • If your dog is exhibiting such behaviour out of boredom, then your dog is in need of mental stimulation. Check out this post on how to make homemade dog toys to stimulate your pup mentally and keep them busy for a long time. 
  • If you are going to be out for long, hire a dog sitter, so that your dog can maintain his or her routine of going out at the right time.
  • If your dog had an accident in the house, do not scold him or her. Instead take him or her out as son as possible.
  • Treat your dog like a world famous celebrity when they exhibit good behavior. 
  • Monitor the color of your dogs pee. A dark urine is a sure sign of dehydration in dogs. 
  • Make sure your dogs know where the water bowls are located in the house.
  • If your dog suffers from urinary incontinence, you can make him or her wear a diaper or belly bands. 
  • Last but not the least, understand the underlying cause of this behavior before you try to correct it. 


Does your dog drink his or her urine? If yes, how did you make him or her get rid or such behavior? If you wish for your story to be featured on my blog, subscribe to the blog newsletter and drop me an email. I’d love to put up your story/anecdote on my blog.

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Friday, April 30, 2021

How to calm an aggressive dog? 10 Brillant tips

Are you wondering how to stop your dog from being aggressive all the time?

If your dog is regularly displaying behavior like snapping, biting or growling, you have a serious behavioral issue on your hands which needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Dog aggression is one of the primary reasons why dog guardians go for the help of a professional animal behaviorist or dog trainers. If you are lucky, you may come in contact with a trainer who understands the reason behind your dog’s aggression and deals with the problem by using positive reinforcements, However, if you have a bad luck you may land up with a trainer who uses negative reinforcement on your pup, thus making the problem worse than it already was. 

One of the first things you must understand as a dog guardian is that dogs are not born with such behaviour. Just because a few dog breeds have been labelled as aggressive, it does not mean that these dogs have been snapping and biting since birth. Any dog, irrespective of its size or breed can become aggressive. Development of aggression depends on the circumstances, not the pedigree.

How to reduce aggression in dogs


Coming to the topic at hand:

What is dog aggression?

Aggressive behaviour in dogs refers to a behaviour connected to an attack or impending attack. The dog may display behaviours like snarling, baring teeth, becoming still or rigid and nipping or actually biting. 

I always mention, to correct a specific behaviour in your dog, you first must understand the reason behind the behaviour so that the problems can be eliminated from the root rather than just doing a symptomatic treatment. Treating the problem without treating the cause always comes with the risk of the problem relapsing in the future in a far worst condition

Causes behind dog aggression:

Keep a very close watch on your dog’s behaviour and try to understand the reason behind his/her aggression. Your dog may react aggressively towards strangers, kids, other dogs etc. the most common types of dog aggression are the following:

Territorial aggression: 

The dog defends his or her space/your home from what seems like an intruder to him. This intruder in your dog’s eyes can be anyone who does not belong in the house like guests, other people’s dogs etc.

Protective aggression: 

Most dogs protect the members of their pack. When you adopt a dog, you become a part of his or her pack. Your dog will do anything he or she deems necessary to keep you away from any harm. Mother dogs are extremely protective of their newborn and may become hostile towards anyone whom they don’t trust around their kids. 

Aggression over possessiveness: 

Your dog is hell bent on protecting his food, toys, blankets or other belongings which are of value to them. This behaviour is referred to as resource guarding. 

Aggression stemming from fear: 

The dog is afraid or someone or something and tries to run away from whatever is making his or her scared. If your dog is cornered during such time, he or she may react aggressively.

Defensive aggression: 

The dog reacts to purely defend his belongings or his people.

How to reduce aggression in dogs

Social aggression: 

These dogs do not take well to being near other dogs. If the dog has not been properly socialised, he or she may display aggression towards other dogs in settings away from home. 

Aggression arising from frustration: 

These are mostly related to leashes or collars. The prospect of going for a walk may overexcite your dog and he or she tries to relieve the aggression by nipping or biting you or the leash.

Redirected aggression: 

This happens in case dogs are fighting. They may become aggressive towards the person who tries to break up the fight. 

Aggression due to pain: 

Dogs cannot express their pain verbally. When injured or in pain, dogs tend to become aggressive so that other dogs or humans may stay away from them. Check out this blog post to understand the symptoms of pain in dogs

Predatory aggression: 

If your dog is chasing a squirrel or chasing his ball he or she may not appreciate others chasing the same game. This may lead to aggression. This behavior can become particularly dangerous if the dog is playing chase with a wound child. Your dog may bite the child under the influence of aggression. 

Aggression due to sex: 

Male dogs or female dogs can become aggressive towards others of same sex when looking for a mate. 

Personal experience:

If you have been a regular reader of my blog, you know by now that I am a mom to 8 homeless dogs who live around my place. Life is not easy for dogs living on the streets. Food is hard to come by and sometimes a long duration of scare food availability can lead to heightened aggression in dogs. A lot of times I have jumped in between the dogs to separate them from fighting with each other. Luckily, they recognize me s their pack leader and never undermine my authority even when they are in the frenzy of a fight. Overtime, they have learned to control their fighting urges and live more amicably with each other. However, for dog guardians who have their kids (dogs) living with them, controlling and reducing their aggressive behavior is much easier. However, without understanding the causes behind the aggression, it is impossible to reduce or try to control it.

Signs and symptoms of aggression in dogs:

Any dog has the potential to become aggressive. However, there are a few signs which you can watch out for:

Rigid body with quick wagging tail

Yawning or lip licking unusually

Raised fur



Averting gaze

Tail tucking and cowering

Seeing whites of eyes

Showing these symptoms once does not mean that your dog is aggressive. These warning signs can also be indication that your dog is suffering from anxiety or fear of some kind. If you do notice these behaviours on a recurrent basis, then you need to be careful and help your dog

How to curb aggressive behaviour:

The first thing that you need to make a note of is when does your dog start to display aggressive behaviour and what are the circumstances surrounding it. This will make it easier to understand the causes behind the aggressive behaviour. The unusual aggressiveness is just the manifestation of a deep rooted problem. 

Check in with your veterinarian:

If your dog is suddenly displaying aggressive behaviour, he or she may be suffering from an underlying medical issue. There are several health issues which can lead to aggression in dogs like painful injuries, hypothyroidism, neurological problems (brain tumours, epilepsy, encephalitis etc.). 

The first step to understanding your dogs aggression would be to get his or her checked by the vet and rule out any physical distress which may cause such behaviour in your dog. If it is a physical issue, then proper medication can be very helpful to get your dog back to his or her normal behaviour.

Discuss the issue with a professional dog trainer:

Once your have rules out physical disability as being the cause behind the aggression, it is time to have a discussion with a dog trainer or dog behaviourist. Aggression is a serious behavioural problem and should not be attempted to be fixed by the guardian on their own. A dog behaviourist can help you figure out the reason behind the unexpected behaviour and provide you with tips and a plan to help you deal with it and eventually reduce it. 

Check out these other posts from thehappypuppers.com


Create a plan:

Positive reinforcement is the best way to deal and change a behavioural issue with dogs. Never punish your dog if they are displaying aggression, alway understand the problem first and then take actions accordingly. 

How to reduce aggression in dogs

If your dog is aggressive towards strangers: 

When guests come to your house, ask your dog to it down first and then ask strangers to give treats to your dog when they enter your house. This way your dog will learn to associate strangers with a positive experience like treats. Over time he or she will learn to not be aggressive towards strangers. 

If your dog is aggressive towards leash: 

Make sure your dog is calm before you get him or her ready for walk. Ask your dog to sit before you put on the leash. If seeing the leash makes your dog go aggressive, let him or her sniff the leash, give lots of treats with the leash so your dog learns that leash means treats followed by walks which is a good experience. 

If your dog suffers from aggression born out of fear: 

If your dog is scared of something like thunder etc., allow them to find their corner and stay there. Do not corner your dog or hover over them. Stay close by but not too close so that your dog knows you are there for him or her. Put on some light classical music to help your dog feel soothed and relax. 

Mother dog protective instincts: 

Do not go to your dog when he or she is showing over protective instincts. Just stay close by and allow the mother to come to you. When the mama dog trusts you she will allow you near her pups and even allow you to pick up her kids. Try not to rush the process. Give your dog the time they need and the experiences will be well worth it. 

Avoid administering any kind of punishment:

Punishments don’t solve the problem. Instead, they might just aggravate it. Punishment has been observed to backfire and even escalate the behaviour. If your respond to your dog’s aggressive behaviour by yelling, hitting or by the use of some other form of aversive means, your dog might feel the need to defend him or herself and snap or bite you in return.

Punishment may also lead to your dog nipping or biting somebody else without warning or provocation. Eg. if your dog growls at kids and you punish this behaviour, next time your dog may just bite when he or she feels uncomfortable in the vicinity of kids.

Medication or calming oils: 

Sometimes, only training might not be enough. If training does not help your dog, you may consider getting some calming medications for your dog. If your dog’s aggression is due to anxiety or fear, it may be due to anxiety. Giving your dog some CBD oil may help calm his or her nerves. Check out this blog post on CBD oil, its uses and benefits for dogs

Learn to handle unavoidable situations: 

Sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where no option is a good option. Honestly, it breaks my heart to even write this, but reality prevails. If you have a dog who acts aggressively towards kids and you have a kid on the way, you have tried all options but your dog’s behaviour is not improving Under such circumstances, it might be better to consider finding a new home for your dog, preferably with people who don’t have kids.

You are the best judge of your dog’s behaviour and will be able to find the best methods to help him or her overcome this difficult situation. 


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Saturday, February 13, 2021

How can you stop your dog from eating poop?

February 13, 2021 1

If you are reading this post, you have a dog who likes to eat poop. Try out the following amazing tips to correct and get rid of such behavior:

Most commonly, your dog eats poop due to malnourishment. You can do the following to improve your dog’s nourishment and reduce the poop eating behavior:

Enzyme supplementation

The current canine diet which is commercially available has a high level of carbohydrates and low levels of need-based proteins and fats which were a part of the canine ancestor's diet, thus supplement your dog's food with liver enzymes and other biological enzymes that might be needed.

Vitamin supplementation

The most common reason why dogs eat their feces is due to a lack of vitamins in their diet. A dog multivitamin can be very helpful in such a case. Vitamin B deficiency specifically has been observed to be a prime suspect and there have been studies to even back this observation. A study done in 1981 showed that physical microbial activity causes the synthesis of thymine which is a B vitamin. Thus, adding a multivitamin to your dog’s diet can be highly beneficial.

Use of poop aversion products

The theory behind this is that if the poop smells and tastes as disgusting as the part of the same as humans, the less likely that your dog will not eat his or her poop. For this, commercial eating dividends are available which can be added to dog food or treats. Adding this deterrent will cause the production of poop which would be very less appealing to your dog. A lot of these products contain chamomile, your car, parsley, garlic, and monosodium glutamate. One word of caution, use the taste diversion products on all the dogs if it is a multi-dog household with a competing problem.

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However, if poop eating is due to behavioral issues, the following environmental management methods might help:

Keep clean:

Keep your dog’s living area clean including the backyard and remove all the poop immediately before your dog has a chance to ingest it.

Supervisor your dog on walks and pick up the poop immediately.


Work hard on the commands like come and leave it. One very simple exercise to prevent your dog from eating his or her poop can be offering treats. The moment your dog has popped, offer him or her a treat immediately.  This will focus your dog’s attention away from the pope and on to the treat. Eventually, your dog will develop a habit to run to you for a tasty morsel of food instead of reaching for the one which is on the ground.

Use playtime as your weapon:

The aim is to give your dog screen active and healthy. Delegate a regular training schedule that provides mental stimulation and exercise to your dog. This is particularly important if your dog belongs to a working breed. You can also sign up for a flyball class or agility class for additional learning. Most important is that you choose safe toys that can provide entertainment to your dog when you are not around or when your dog is alone.

Feed your dog the best diet possible

Make sure that your dog is eating a whole and healthy diet containing quality proteins. Raw food can be particularly important for your dog as it can provide the digestive enzymes your dog needs to process his or her means. If you only feed your dog cooked food, you must add digestive enzymes. Raw green tripe is particularly high in probiotics as well as digestive enzymes which will keep your dog’s digestive tract healthy.

Provide supplements to your dog

If your dog has HCl efficiency, you can add some Apple cider vinegar into his or her food which can help compensate for the deficiency.

Screen your dog for parasites:

If you feel that your dog is struggling to absorb nutrients from his/her food, it is time to visit your vet. A quick and easy test to let you know if your dog needs deworming medication.

Act as if eating poop is not a big deal

Dogs are like kids. Punishing them might reduce their behavior right then and there, but eventually, it may interest lead to an increase in the behavior to avoid confrontation. Thus, behave as if eating poop is no big deal. Your aim must be to diverge your dog’s attention from the pop on the ground to something else.

Use of food additives to make poop aversive does not work:

It has been observed, that food additives which are aimed at making poop aversive, work in only 2% of the cases. So don’t waste your time on this. Rather, work on your dog’s training. If your dog is food motivated, use food as a means to diverge your dog’s attention from the poop on the ground.

For dogs who eat cat poop:

If your dog consistently eats cat poop, make sure that you have a doggie gate installed to keep your dog away from the litter box. You can also keep the litter box in a place that is out of reach of your dog, for example, on a high table or bridge your dog will be able to jump at your cat can easily access the litter box. Always remember, dogs will repeat to eat things that appeal to the taste buds. Poop might be one of them.

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15 tips to prevent your dog from eating poop

How to prevent puppies from eating poop

Puppies that come from puppy mills usually tend to eat feces. If your puppy exhibits such behavior, you need to control its access to poop itself. During your house-training sessions, take your puppy out at consistent time schedules so that your puppy learns to not poop in the house. You’re your puppy finishes defecating, immediately offer him or her praise and a treat. Make sure that it takes a while for your puppy to eat the treat so that you have the time to pick up the poop before the puppy’s attention goes on to the poop.

Such actions on your behalf, print your puppy from accessing the poop. You are also reinforcing a positive behavior during the potty-training sessions with your puppy instead of using punishment as a means of training. Remember, punishments never work. They may instead cause your pup to become aggressive and repeat the behavior which is causing him or her to get punished.

How to prevent adult dogs from eating their feces

As I mentioned above if you punished your dog for a behavioral issue, it will just reinforce that behavior over time and it will also cause your dog to become aggressive. Thus, if your dog has learned to eat their feces because he or she is scared to be punished for having defecated in the house (this can happen if your dog had previous guardians who believed in the power of punishment rather than training), you must reduce your dog’s access to the feces itself.

Try to re-housetrained your dog. Set up a schedule and take your dog out at those specific times so that your dog learns that that particular time is the time to defecate. The moment your dog passes stools, call him or her over to you offer praise, and give a treat. This would reduce your dog’s association with the poop and increase your dog’s association with the treat and reward. He or she will learn that if I move away from the poop immediately I get praised and I received a reward thus reinforcing the positive behavior over and over again.

This behavior won’t get corrected in one day or a few sessions. You need to be consistent in managing your dog and restricting his or her access to the feces to make sure relapse does not happen. If you have been successful in teaching your dog the leave it command, use the command with a treat to keep reinforcing the positive behavior in your dog.

The primary aim is to offer higher value treats and consistent praise to your dog for good behavior. It would be beneficial if you have a high-value sheet specifically for this occasion.

Use tools for dog training

I do not advocate using a muzzle or a head caller on your dog. However, if your dog is a very aggressive poop eater, these might just be the things of choice.  You can use the head color to guide your dog’s head away from the poop. Turn your dog away and immediately remove the poop from the scene.

Alternatively, you can use a basket muzzle on your dog to prevent him or her from eating the feces. However, if your dog is particularly germane to eat the poop, he or she might smush the muzzle on the poop to gain access.

One other tool that you can use to prevent your dog from eating feces is to use a foxtail field mask. The fabric measure of this has tiny holes that prevent the feces to be pushed from the opening into your dog’s face.

You can also use canned pumpkin or meat tenderizer as an ingredient of your dog food. These items with this book if your dog when eating but they will cause the poop to taste terrible.

Always avoid punishment

This is the key point to keep in mind when training your dog or correcting the behavior of your dog. Punishments only work short-term; they are not the solution from a long-term behavior correction in your dog. So, never punish your dog. Always try to understand their behavior from their perspective and then provide the correctional measures. This will make sure that your relationship with your dog is loving and healthy.

 Does your dog have this problem? What do you do to divert your dog’s attention from the feces on the ground? If you have any other solution other than the ones listed above, please mention it in the comment section below. If you have any queries or topics you wish for me to write on, mention them in the comment section below. If you have any stories you wish to publish on my blog and share with readers, please contact me on one of my social media channels.

Before you go,

Check out this super cute video from our YouTube channel, Shruti and Delta. If you like the content, please subscribe to our channel, reading the notification bell, and hit the like button.

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Thursday, February 11, 2021