QUESTION: I just got a 5 month old, very small breed puppy. He pees in and on my shoes. I hate this. What can I do about it as I really like him, other than this happening? I was told he is mad at me for something? How do I make him not so mad at me?

ANSWER: The best way to stop him from marking his scent over top of your scent in your shoes is to keep them off the floor where he cannot get at them. Put them on a shelf or something. Dogs, Cats, Ferrets, you name it will sometimes do this. It has absolutely nothing to do with being mad at the human. Sometimes that particular person has a sweat odor to their shoes that an animal is attracted too. Or use a perfumed powder, body wash, whatever that attracts the animal.

In some cases it is where the person works or walks outside the home where a strange scent is picked up on the shoe itself, resulting in the animal marking that persons shoes. CASE: One lady in question always cut across a strip of well kept grass on the boulevard when returning home from work. Her indoor cat always peed on the shoes because of the scent of freshly mowed grass. I had her buy new shoes and stay on the sidewalk until home. The cat never did it again.

It could also be a Dominance Issue? Your wee dog thinks he is above you in the Pack Pecking Order. To a domesticated dog, we are members of his Pack. Thus he is placing his scent over top of yours. Since he is still just a puppy and not fully mature, I pretty well rule this one out because of his age. This happens usually with adult dogs who are very spoiled and never disciplined so that they have never learned that the human is the "Leader Of The Pack", and not them. Yes, we humans replace other members of the Pack in the domesticated dog. They are after all, instinctively Pack Animals.

NOTE: This behavior trait has occasionally been seen in very "Submissive" (Timid) Dogs" who are simply trying to fit into a territory (home) where they don't feel loved or understood if coming to the home as already well past the 16 week old kindergarten stage of puppyhood. This is extremely rare though and usually goes away after the dog has had lots of time to BOND with it's new home and territory.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: It also has been observed in dogs who do not get enough quality time with their humans and/or exercise.

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