My dog is PEEING on the Christmas tree!

My dog is PEEING on the Christmas tree!

First of all, I'm Jewish.  I never considered the issue of a dog peeing on a Christmas tree until it came up on my Tibetan Terrier Facebook discussion group.  But I'm sure there's a lot of you out there who have struggled with this issue, so I thought I'd share the results of my 'research' with you.  I've become a big fan of the site, now one of my "bff"s.  I asked the question: "What do you do if your dog pees on the Christmas Tree?"  Click on the link to and put "peeing on the Christmas tree" in their search box if you are interested in the full story, but the comments are even better than the blog itself.  Here are the 'professional (from a blogger perspective)' and owner comments and suggestions:

  • "Management and supervision."  I think they mean 24 hours, 7 days per week.  Yikes.  Of course, they suggest training or other alternatives but the management/supervision issue for over one month sounds daunting to me.
  • "Know the Signs."  It is suggested that if you know your dog's prodromal (leading up to the event) signs of wanting to urinate, then you watch for them and correct before it happens.  I don't know about you, but I have a female dog who simply squats and pees, whereas the other sniffs, sniffs some more, sniffs some more, can't make up his mind, and eventually stretches and pees .... everywhere ... fortunately outside rather than inside the house.
  • "Reinforce Success."  (for outside elimination).  Yes, that's just dandy, but how about inside the house?
  • "Consider the use of a Bellyband".  Now that's the first approach that sounds realistic to me.  It was also suggested by my Tibetan Terrier Group as a viable option
  • "Neutering Intact males." (and females who mark).  Yikes.  That's a little extreme, don't you think?
  • Suggestions from my Facebook Tibetan Terrier group (always a great, humorous resource) included the bellyband, giving up the Christmas tree, commiseration for the person who asked the question, gating the tree off (IMHO a great suggestion because it's easy), putting a smaller tree on a table, and the problem with our dogs who are trained in Agility.

But the best and funniest comments come from my FB friends responses to the question, which I will share with you without identifications.  Choose an option that may work for you and laugh as the discussion digresses:

Initial Question:  The Christmas tree (an artificial one at that) has been officially christened by (dog name) several times. Does anyone have any ideas on how to keep him from watering the tree? I am about to cry "uncle" and take the tree down. Never have I had a puppy do this...

Comments from friends who want to help:

  • Am clueless. Bitter apple spray? Orange spray? Aluminum foil at the base of the tree?
  • My last male aussie did it once years ago. I had to re-wrap one of the gifts. :) I guess they don't identify everything by smell.
  • Aw-w-w, so sorry (name omitted) ......In the meantime why not put a bellyband on him until you work something else out?  GREAT IDEA!!! (my caps)
  • First I'd spray it with Nature's Miracle, and wash it with white vinegar solution to get the smell off the tree. A neighbor told me about the white vinegar and it worked on a couple of spots in my house that (dog's name) was going back to and "marking". He stopped doing it. If he keeps it up you're going to catch him at it and scold him or make a loud noise...
  • Been there on this one ..... (I'M DIGGING THE EMPATHY) (my caps)
  • After cleaning as above, gate it off?? That's how we are surviving this year!
  • @ (name omitted), great idea about the belly band .... now .... can anyone tell me how to get (dog's name) to leave the cording on the chairs alone? I can't use tobasco sauce because they are white-ish, and would stain and bitter apple doesn't faze her in the least.
  • We solved it by getting a smaller tree and putting it on a table. I decorated the tree and had put a nice tablecloth under and it was as good as a big one. (Also, easier to get up, take down and decorate)
  • we used to put a small fold away doggy fence around our Xmas tree
  • When we were children, we had a dog who used to poop under the tree, thought it was his indoor "outhouse"!!
  • with a bit of tinsel trimming - won't even notice.  TINSEL?  IT SEEMS TO ME IT WOULD BE A DOG MAGNET!
  • Fence is a good idea for puppies but my dogs clear baby gates like it was an agility lesson -- from a sitting position. So I imagine a doggy fence wouldn't phase them. I haven't had a problem with marking but theft is a big issue around Christmas time. My tree starts off pretty, then gradually the lower third of the tree goes bare as ornaments are recovered from the mouths of dogs and put higher on the tree.
  • I am giggling....they are proper wee rascals....are they not xxx
  • The secret is to put the Xmas tree in a corner ... and the fence close to the tree ... no opportunity to jump over ... as no landing pad the other side ... presents strategically placed ... just out of reach ... of course they could take out the whole thing.  YA THINK?
  • LOL
  • When (dog name) was a teenager (our first TT) I put the tree up and went to bed - the next morning the entire bottom 1/2 of the tree decorations, lights, ornaments, and tinsel were totally stripped off and all over the living room floor in little pieces In the middle, was my grinning TT. Was I naive to the Tibetan ways? Oh Yes! I learned and as he got older, he lost interest. He did pee on the artificial tree when we got it however. With the new ones years later, I didn't even try - that was the age of the 4 ft tree on the table.
  • (Dog's name)'s like, wow this Christmas thing is AWESOME!! (not my caps)
  • No way am I even gonna try....(dog name) is a gardener and I would probably end up with a hole in the middle of the lounge and the tree down through it....she has demolished every mature shrub in the garden, out by the roots xxx
  • (Dog name) is a gardener too - I have a little plant hospital out back .....
  • It is a miracle anything is left in our yards
  • Could you spray him with a water spray bottle if you catch him peeing on the there or clap your hgand s and say "no" or any other signal you may know? I growled at (dog name) one day when he peed on the couch (saw him lifting his leg) and he has never done it again

These are most of the comments and it is only December 3.  You have to understand that Tibetan Terriers are not large dogs (about 17" on average at their withers) and weigh between 18-30 lbs.  Larger animals must be a real problem.  I imagine that the comments will increase as the days leading to Christmas decrease.  This is one time of the year when I'm happy to be Jewish and not have to worry about dogs and Christmas trees.  I wish all my Christian friends, "Festivus for the Rest of Us" (from Seinfeld) celebrators, and tree purchasing friends the best of luck with their dogs and hope that my Tibetan Terrier friends are not upset that I've shared our 'conversation' that has covered 3 continents.



Filed under: dogs

Tags: Christmas, Christmas Tree, dogs, Holidays


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  • Am hearing back from my FB friends who read the blog that aluminum foil actually works!!! And it was my suggestion!

  • Sometimes it does work, sometimes doest - that's kind of a 50/50 shot.
    Sue - did you hear from the Tribune pr about "Good Dog!"
    can you email me privately?

  • OOOOps meant to also say - I click too fast sometimes -

    GREAT Post

  • In reply to Steve Dale:

    Thanks Steve, means a lot to me.

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    This is from 2011 but seeing that I found it I figure others come across is too so I am going to comment :)

    My dog pees on my tree (artificial tree). The only thing that has stopped him is putting it on a table. My son has a small round play table and I strap the tree to that every year. He's a big dog and if he wanted to he could still pee on it, but something about it being on a table makes him not want to.

    "Neutering Intact males." (and females who mark). Yikes. That's a little extreme, don't you think?" While I am all for neutering for several reasons, doing it to stop them marking doesn't always work. My dog isn't neutered because of his age...I am worried about the anesthesia, but my grandmother's dog was neutered young, before he started marking, and he still marks. He marks the dangling ends of bed covers. So, neuter and spay is good for some things but if you're doing it only to prevent marking prepare for disappointment.

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