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We have our beloved Sophie for almost 2 years now.  Her first owner bought her from a pet store at 12 weeks and then kept her crated practically 24/7 since he worked 2 jobs.  He bought her for his 6 year old daughter who visited every other Saturday.  They kept her a little over 2 months and then he handed her to us crate and all.  She instantly became the missing piece to our family.  At the time we had a 2, 4 and 24 year old. 

Sophie is extremely attached to me.  I am a stay at home mom.  If I go near the door to leave or if she thinks I might leave, she barks.  She also tends to be very high strung when new people enter the house and still is peeing all over to the point that I have to let her out on the stoop before letting them come in the door in order to keep her from going on my carpet or furniture. 

When I brought her for her 2 year check up at the vet, she went to peed in the office so much that the vet asked me if she normally did this, before I could ask him about the situation.  When I explained it to him, he suggested that maybe she needed to be on prozac.  Now, I tend to be a bit on the crunchy side with myself and my children and lean towards natural remedies for us, so this is NOT my first choice of solution for my puppy.  

Any thoughts or suggestions?  Is this just "the breed"?  Will she ever grow out of this?

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Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on February 16, 2014 at 2:12pm

I've got the Kindle a couple of years ago and really love it.  You can down load books, music, check your e-mail,  Watch movies and play games.  I use my Kindle every day, so this was the best Christmas Gift Mark could give me.

Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on February 16, 2014 at 2:06pm

Pemon is Mark's shadow.  He follows him all over the place.  He's going to be 4 years old next month and he has been doing this since the day we got him.  As far as peeing on the floor when new people come, no he does not do that, but he gets so very excited.  With some people we will put him in his crate until he settles down.  My best friend knows how to handle him.  She will tell him to sit as soon as she comes through the door.  Some days in the morning when Mark is getting ready to go to work, Pemon will bark at him.  And I mean bark.  He just doesn't want him to go, but settles down the minute he leaves the house.  I'm here all day with Pemon and if I do have to go out, we don't let him roam the house.  So when I'm getting ready to leave he automatically will go into his crate by himself.  I know what you mean about giving her a "doggie downer".  Have you tried training?  I really don't have a problem with Pemon getting so excited, but if he peed I guess I might try a trainer.   It will all work out.  And I read somewhere they are puppies until 3.  Good Luck Jennifer.  All you need is Love and Patience.  If you need us, we are here for you.

Comment by Beverly and Eli on February 14, 2014 at 7:47am

Ordering the kindle version. Thanks!!

Comment by Debbie & Trixie on February 14, 2014 at 7:11am

Catherine, thanks for the book suggestion!!  I just ordered my copy...with expedited shipping!!!  I suppose the title refers to the dog's behavior, but it more closely resembles mine!  I'm so anxious to get the whole meeting and greeting under control!! I don't  think that the excitability is a consequence of any mistreatment in puppyhood...we got Trixie directly from her mother and she has never had anything bad happen to her.  She is very well behaved in all aspects except for this excitability.  I  think it may be a lack of strong enough leadership on my part. Anyway, thanks again...we will  await our book's arrival!! :)

Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on February 14, 2014 at 1:10am

Hi Jennifer and welcome... so glad other replies came quicker because when I read your blog, the Prozac thing totally alarmed me... My suggestions to you: # 1 Get a new vet. Someone that is so quick to recommend Prozac no less vs. suggesting training is going to go for quick fixes every time. # 2, you might have already but read and follow the suggestions posted by fellow Doodle Moms earlier. 

I do not recall having these issues with Pedro but my parents pup, a Westie also store-bought had similar problems and I believe that the root is how they are treated since birth to the moment they're bought at the store. She will grow out of it, but consistent training, patience and love are key. I sense you have plenty of all three. Plus now you have the support and a cheering section in this community. Hang in there! And welcome, Sophie!! 

Loving paws!

Comment by Catherine & Jasper on February 14, 2014 at 12:07am
I would suggest getting a copy of "Fired up, Frantic, and Freaked Out" by Laura VanArendonk Baugh. This is an amazing book that teaches you step-by-step how to train your dog to choose to be calm. It has wonderful steps for greeting guests at the door as well. It is one of the best books on dog training I've read. And I completely agree with the others about the Prozac. In fact...I would seriously consider finding a new vet. Good luck and keep us posted!
Comment by Lois - Izzi on February 13, 2014 at 2:08pm

ah Jen, may I call you Jen??    Please do not drug your dog..  So totally unnecessary.  Prozac will do nothing but confuse her more than she is..   Her responses are certainly unacceptable but I'm a big proponent of retraining.    

There several places where you can start and I'll offer a few examples.  But I'd like you to understand your doodle is doing nothing more than responding naturally to the situation you have described.  

1st You are not her pack leader.  (barking and high strung  =  She believes she is your protector and she can not protect you when you leave the house.)    She also fully understands that you are more powerful in size and voice but she has a very real need to protect her pack.  2nd she also understands there are incidences where she is failing to hold up this self-imposed leadership.  Consequently her response is 'flight' or urinating.  

You have the ability and interest to change her perception or you would not have blogged the issue.

Crunchy was your wording ...  she's ok with that simply because that is you, but know also she is trying her best to emulate your actions..  

Please do not think I mean she needs more physical control... JUST THE Opposite Is my intention.

Take long look at the how, when and why she is so uncontrolled at the door.  From her point of view 'protection, failing, peeing'.  

  I'm assuming there is no medical reason since the vet suggested drugs.  (which can be damn dangerous with children who act as children do; happy one minute, crying the next.)  Doors and new people coming and going!   

May I suggest you quietly and consistently Consistently   prove to her you can handle the door..  Thank her for the barking..  she has alerted you...  now she can move back and relax.   See her as a toddler who wants to pour his/her own milk..   ugh..   But mom will just wipe up the mess and trying again tomorrow.   She will understand the change in her position.  If you lead her she doesn't have to protect and fail.  

Comment by Beverly and Eli on February 13, 2014 at 11:14am

Oh Debbie, training people is always much harder.  Some things I don't want to change like both dogs sounding the alarm when someone comes. Most people who come are family and they all have dogs. We just deal with each one's different personalities. I'm glad Trixie's peeing has lessened, hopefully Jen, Sophie will get better too.

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on February 13, 2014 at 10:04am

Egads - Prozac for dogs! Really???   I had a vet that liked to go the natural way. My last dog was a female and would be really get neurotic-like when in heat (she wasn't spayed at the time) and actually had a false pregnancy. I'm against any type of medications unless really, really, necessary. My vet suggested valerian drops and it did take the edge off. I know this isn't the answer but it may be a good alternative to Prozac.  Good luck!

Comment by Debbie & Trixie on February 13, 2014 at 9:51am

Thanks, Beverly!  I had read before that this is not an uncommon problem, especially in young females.  Trixie doesn't pee anymore when greeting us, and once she is very familiar with someone the problem also seems to disappear.  I find it frustrating that people coming to the house don't cooperate very well with our requests for ignoring Trixie and turning their back until she settles down!  Now that she weighs 68 pounds it's harder to control her and sometimes I'd like to grab the PEOPLE by the scruff of the neck and give them a "settle" command!! :)

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