Help our 8 year old lab is peeing and pooping on beds. Everyday. It use to be when we would leave him for an overnight trip and my neighbor would watch him – take him out – play with him- feed him etc.. Then it would happen sometimes if we just went out for 3-4 hours and now I am working I leave at 7:30 am and my kids get home 3:10. He is a lazy lab, doesn’t run around and play much (he has a torn ACL) and he is very mellow. Pretty much just sleeps most of the day anyway. I can’t take him on long walks anymore because of his injury. Even when we are home with him all day, he follows me around and just lays down most of the day. This is normal behavior for him for about the last 5 years. But, now that I am working, he is acting out and I cannot have him poop and pee all over our beds. We have 6 beds in the house and he has done it at least once (multiple times for most beds) and I do not know what to do. PLEASE HELP. Should I see the vet for meds? ~Nancy
Your 8 year-old Labrador Retriever is just telling you that he is not pleased with the change in schedule at your house and being left alone. Sure, he may normally be a easy-going pup that lays around the house but there is still one thing that rings true in the Labrador dog breed; they DO NOT like to be away from their humans.
Labs are happiest when their family (pack) is around them. If you have change the schedule or stay away for a long period of time, they don’t know what to do with them. This particular dog breed is very prone to separation anxiety and since they cannot verbalize what they are feeling, they act out in a way that you cannot ignore.
4 Tips to Help Dog Separation Anxiety
1) Exercise your pup. Even if he has health problems, long walks can do very well. Every Labrador Retriever owner knows that a tired dog is a good dog. Make the time for at least 2 long walks a day – before you leave and when you return home. If he has an injury that prevents long walks, try short walks and build up – it is great for keeping the muscle tone in shape for those suffering with knee and hip problems.
2) Use a dog crate when you are not home. Dogs will not go to the bathroom where they sleep and stay. Also, he won’t be anywhere near your beds while you are gone. Of course, it would be best to have a neighbor come to let him out in the middle of the day to relieve himself and you will still need to do the long walks twice a day.
3) Close the dog off from those rooms which the bad behavior occurs. There is no reason why your bedroom doors should be open during the day, is there? If you don’t feel comfortable with a crate then close him off in the kitchen so that he has space to roam away from your personal belongings.
4) Look into doggy daycare at least once a week. This will give your pup something to look forward to and wear him out so he will be less likely to destroy your items. Doggie daycare is giving your Labrador exactly what he wants while giving you peace of mind.
You do not need a see a veterinarian for medications if the pup is pooping and peeing on specific personal items such as a bed or couch. This is more of a dominance issue compared to those that relieve themselves on the floor. Your pup is definitely sending you a message about the change in your schedule and the behavior will continue until you listen to him and help him deal with his separation anxiety.