Sam and I have been together since he was 6 weeks old. He is 13 years old now. He's still in pretty good shape for an old dog. In fact, he's lived almost twice as long as the vet said his breed (Samoyed) usually lives. He's still mobile but has arthritis in his hips now and has to use a handicap ramp to get into my van. He can no longer get onto the bed or the couch (unless I bring the ramp inside).
He's prone to "hot spots" in the summers, due to his age and our hot and humid climate. It didn't bother him when he was young, but the older he gets, the lower his tolerance to our climate seems to be. In the winter, the hot spots disappear and he spends much of his time outside then. In the summer, he prefers to be inside with AC.
Two or three weeks ago, the vet put him on Prednisone for a really bad hot spot. So that's clearing up now. Of course the weather has cooled too which should help even more.
The problem is, for the past two or three weeks, he's been having accidents in the house. And he's been letting me blame it on Nikko, the dog I rescued from a shelter back in Jan. Sam is very jealous of energetic, lively Nikko who demands attention and can jump onto the couch or bed to snuggle with me. Both dogs are housebroken and only recently have these accidents been happening. Last night, I kept Nikko in the bedroom with me and this morning I discovered a "pile" left in a doorway and three different spots of urine in the dining room. So now I know Sam is doing it, not little Nikko. I'm sure Sam was laughing each time I scolded Nikko for something he didn't do.
What's up with this bad behavior? Is Sam just getting old? He's always let me know when he had to go out. If my bedroom door is closed, he usually "knocks" on it and whines until I get up. Are the steroids causing the problem? I know in the past, when he was on steroids, he had to urinate more often, but still, he'd let me know he needed to go out.
Could it be that out of jealousy he's begun marking territory? A few times, he has pooped on Nikko's floor mat. But why, suddenly, would he now be marking territory when we've had Nikko for 9 months?
I tell ya, I am not thrilled at waking up to feces and urine throughout my house...or worse yet, stepping on it in the middle of the night when I go to the bathroom. I've even been letting the dogs out of the house then (about 2 or 3 a.m.) to prevent accidents. It's happening in the daytime too. Sam will just squat somewhere even when I'm in the next room and he could easily ask to go out. Is he just getting old and maybe can't control himself? The vet said he is still in very good shape and from the looks of him, a person couldn't tell he's old. He will still even sprint across the yard to chase a squirrel.
What can I do? I've scolded him. He hates to make me mad and he understands what I say when I say, "You make me so MAD!" He'll duck his head and look pitiful. And then of course I feel bad for making him sad. But this behavior has to stop. Fortunately all my floors are tile or hardwood so cleaning up isn't too difficult, but it's awfully nasty. Eeeeeeww!