Is it even possible to housetrain a chihuahua?

pinkspore

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#41
I believe that includes the urine culture, but I didn't get a breakdown of the charge or anything. It would have to include a sterile draw, the vet tech suggested catching pee in a tupperware and then we all laughed. I've done it with a real dog before, but Ru is 6" tall and squats to pee so that his undercarriage is very nearly on the ground. I've been brainstorming ways to catch it all day with no luck. Little goober does an elaborate series of circles in his search for the perfect pee spot in the yard, and any distractions means he must start again. On walks he just suddenly squats with no warning, though he prefers inconvenient places like driveways. He likes to save pooping for when we're sprinting across busy streets.

$400 for a dental is the price for the affordable low-cost clinic. Places in town charge $600-800, extractions extra. Most people pay well over $1000 for a dental.
 

noludoru

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#42
Three hundred dollars just for a urinalysis? Are you sure you didn't misunderstand? That's... astounding.
She lives in a highly populated area in CA, not freaking MN. Huge difference in cost of living. You could be nicer to a new member who is just venting about a really frustrating problem she's been dealing with for years. I've been having issues with Middie for 2 months now, and I'm ready to kill him or take him on a nice long car ride to a shelter. It's totally understandable to be angry, vent, and call your dog stupid.
 
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#43
I believe that includes the urine culture, but I didn't get a breakdown of the charge or anything. It would have to include a sterile draw, the vet tech suggested catching pee in a tupperware and then we all laughed. I've done it with a real dog before, but Ru is 6" tall and squats to pee so that his undercarriage is very nearly on the ground. I've been brainstorming ways to catch it all day with no luck. Little goober does an elaborate series of circles in his search for the perfect pee spot in the yard, and any distractions means he must start again. On walks he just suddenly squats with no warning, though he prefers inconvenient places like driveways. He likes to save pooping for when we're sprinting across busy streets.

$400 for a dental is the price for the affordable low-cost clinic. Places in town charge $600-800, extractions extra. Most people pay well over $1000 for a dental.
Not sure if this will work for you, but try a soup ladle? It usually works for us (except the time it startled my girl, she jumped straight up and one foot landed in the ladle. Gross). Keep in mind that you'll think of that every time you have soup, even if you toss the damned thing. Chicken broth now makes me gag.
 

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#44
Not that it's quite the same thing, but the process of figuring out Mega had bladder stones went something like...

Everything seemed relatively normal. She was marking a lot, but she'd always been a marker so I didn't think much of it. Took her out for a walk with some friends and she started peeing a river of blood. Like, a LOT of blood. She was also straining hard to pee every few steps. Took her to the vet that night and asked for antibiotics. They were concerned that she might have pyometra or bladder stones (mostly the former) so much of the initial visit was spent trying to convince the vet that it wasn't pyo and just give me the antibiotics and we'll take it from there. No urine was drawn since Mega was pretty empty and it was close to closing and I didn't intend to leave her there overnight.

Antibiotics for a week seemed to help. Then a few days after they ran out she was still peeing frequently and there was some blood. Back to the vet, this time for urine draw and x-rays. Saw some stones on the x-ray but no crystals in the urine. Urine had a high (I think?) pH. We were told it was time for surgery.

Then Mega went into heat. Yay.

A few weeks later, I took her in for surgery and removal of ladybits. Everything went smoothly. I got to see the stone that was removed. It was just one, and it was giant. Kind of like one of the spiny spiky things you see pictures of taken with an electron microscope. Only bigger.

That was 1-2 weeks ago and since then we've had no inappropriate urination inside... I think. I was warned that the surgery would increase her desire to urinate, but I don't think she's slipped up since.

I'm still awaiting the results of the stone analysis. I haven't yet changed her food.

I am now $3,000 poorer.

Your mileage may vary.
 
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#45
She lives in a highly populated area in CA, not freaking MN. Huge difference in cost of living.
Oh, I don't even know what cost of living IS. I'm from freaking MN where we are all ridiculously stupid.

Also, I never communicate with colleagues outside of my own state have absolutely no idea of typical costs are in various areas of the country.

You could be nicer to a new member who is just venting about a really frustrating problem she's been dealing with for years. I've been having issues with Middie for 2 months now, and I'm ready to kill him or take him on a nice long car ride to a shelter. It's totally understandable to be angry, vent, and call your dog stupid.
Up until now WAS me being nicer. See, at worst the dog has a medical problem that has been unrecognized and neglected for a long time. At best, the user has neglected to house train a dog for four years and is now calling the dog ridiculously stupid over and over for probably having a subsequent substrate preference that it was taught. I don't care how frustrated I am with my dog, I'm not calling them stupid over and over for a problem that is essentially my fault.
 

noludoru

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#47
Oh, I don't even know what cost of living IS. I'm from freaking MN where we are all ridiculously stupid.

Also, I never communicate with colleagues outside of my own state have absolutely no idea of typical costs are in various areas of the country.



Up until now WAS me being nicer. See, at worst the dog has a medical problem that has been unrecognized and neglected for a long time. At best, the user has neglected to house train a dog for four years and is now calling the dog ridiculously stupid over and over for probably having a subsequent substrate preference that it was taught. I don't care how frustrated I am with my dog, I'm not calling them stupid over and over for a problem that is essentially my fault.
That's kind of what it sounded like. Maybe I read your post wrong.

If that's you being nice, we have a lot in common when it comes to communication through the written word. I get that you're concerned, and I'm sure she's going to seek medical care after all the personal experiences people posted about their dogs, my point is just that Chaz is getting quiet, and maybe we should be a little nicer to cool new members who haven't offered anyone offense? It would rock if Pinkspore sticks around, she fits in here perfectly.

Also I am going through similar but almost not issues, and I'm in sheer admiration of her ability not to murder her dog. I was about ready to put scissors in Middie's mouth and tell him to play in the street with all the cars, and we've only been having issues for 2 months.
 

pinkspore

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#48
I don't care how frustrated I am with my dog, I'm not calling them stupid over and over for a problem that is essentially my fault.
Have you noticed that different dogs have different intelligence levels? Have you owned or worked with one that was a bit slow to catch on? Do you have a word for those dogs?

Maybe I'm biased because I'm comparing Ru to Brisbane, who has a downright creepy ability to understand spoken English, and Ulysses, who is slow for a cattledog but managing to train himself just by existing in my house. My opinion of Ru's level of intelligence seriously predates his current level of housetraining fail.

Exhibit A: Ru is a picky eater, he will turn up his nose at cheese, hot dogs, bacon, liver, and all manner of carefully doctored raw, dehydrated, canned, and dry food, to the point of visibly loosing weight. The one thing that Ru will always, always reliably eat is craft supplies. Plastic pony beads, glass seed beads, googly eyes, puff balls. Attempts to train him to reliably eat things that are actually food have all failed miserably.

Exhibit B: Instead of eating them, Ru prefers to bury his cookies between the couch cushions. Brisbane knows this and has usually found and devoured Ru's cookies within minutes of their being hidden. Ru has never found a hidden cookie between the couch cushions, but he still looks for them and appears confused and even distressed when they aren't there.

Exhibit C: Ru must turn at least three circles before laying down. If he loses his balance or makes a misstep in this process he will have to start over. Sometimes my husband will jostle him on the final circle and keep him spinning for several minutes at a time. Sometimes Ru will appear to lose count or get confused, and just stand there for a while. This frequently occurs when he is trying to curl up on my lap, but if I just moosh him down and roll him up he'll settle.

My dog prefers non-food items over any sort of food items. My dog cannot figure out after four years that the other dog always steals his hidden cookies. Sometimes my dog cannot figure out how to lay down. Sometimes I use more charitable terms to describe him, and sometimes I call it like it is. Other chihuahua owners will probably agree that they have tiny brains. There are certainly exceptions, but many chi enthusiasts I've spoken with have laughed and told me that they just aren't the brightest breed.

As far as the housetraining goes, I would really love for this to be a treatable medical problem. In Ru's life I've housetrained a boatload of fosters straight from the shelter, and they've all gotten it. I attempted to re-train Ru along with them each time and clearly failed. Ulysses was briefly confused over all the chihuahua pee around the house until I got rid of everything and replaced the crate beds, now he's housetrained because he refuses to pee on his beds.

I would love for Ru's issue to be medical, but what if it's not? What if he just isn't smart enough to make the connection between peeing on his favorite bed/toy and that object becoming unusable because it now has pee on it? If he doesn't have a medical reason, would I be allowed to call him stupid then?
 

Elrohwen

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#49
What if he just isn't smart enough to make the connection between peeing on his favorite bed/toy and that object becoming unusable because it now has pee on it? If he doesn't have a medical reason, would I be allowed to call him stupid then?
Are most dogs smart enough to make that connection? I don't know. IME, they seem to realize that peeing outside is the thing to do, and it becomes a habit. I don't know that most dogs have the ability to see far enough into the future to realize that if they pee on something now, they won't be able to lay on it later. Maybe in his mind he's marking it so other dogs don't sleep there? Who knows?
 

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#50
A dog who learns differently than others isn't stupid, it's just a dog who learns differently than others. As sass said, you're the one with the big brain, so you should be more than capable of figuring out how to train a dog who learns in a different way than another.

It's fine to vent but the reaction really comes from not just one "this stupid dog!" It comes from the repeated SO STUPID SO STUPID TOO STUPID DUMB DOG STUPID STUPID STUPID.

When you approach dogs with a negative tone like you have here, it colors how you feel about them, it colors how you train them, and it absolutely colors how other people view your relationship with them. The way you've talked about Ru in this thread makes me think you don't like the dog and he would be better off being re-homed. The way you talked about Ulysses in your last thread made me think you didn't like him and he needed to be sent to a different foster. So if people respond in a negative way when you casually talk about your dog being stupid, and you don't enjoy the negative response - well, you might want to reconsider the relationship picture you're painting with your word choice.
 

Dizzy

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#51
i know you're only venting, and venting helps at times, but I kind of get the feeling you've already decided he's just too thick to learn and are ruling every suggestion out without really putting your heart and soul into it.

Can't tether, too clumsy.

Can't belly band, its failure, won't work etc.

Can't get to vets, symptoms aren't right, too expensive etc.

You're kind of half heartedly having a pop at a few things, but going into it feeling it's pointless. Maybe he's not stupid, maybe he's just pretty **** smart and can tell you're not really trying that hard after all. Maybe he's picking up on your frustration but lack of commitment to the solution. I certainly wouldn't rule out anxiety from your body language if you're as frustrated with him as your posts suggest.... You need to find a zen place and start again.

You had him at 4 months old. By that point a lot of bad learning could have happened that could be hard wired in, but it's not impossible to teach and old dog new tricks. If there's no medical reason for the urination, then there's no problem that can't be solved with total commitment.

Fred marks outdoors in places I'd rather he didn't (on our cars for example).... I'm not soft enough to realise half the reason he does this is because we don't have the time to commit to changing the behaviour. You said yourself you work... I work, I know what behaviours I'd like to change, and what I will realistically commit the time to changing.

I don't feel like you're ON this 100% from what you've posted. Personally unless I was going to go full force factor 10000 training mode on it, I'd resign myself to the fact I owned a pissy dog.... And invest in a lot of beds and cleaning solution.
 

pinkspore

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#52
Are most dogs smart enough to make that connection? I don't know. IME, they seem to realize that peeing outside is the thing to do, and it becomes a habit. I don't know that most dogs have the ability to see far enough into the future to realize that if they pee on something now, they won't be able to lay on it later. Maybe in his mind he's marking it so other dogs don't sleep there? Who knows?
I dunno, I thought the entire basis of crate training was that dogs don't pee where they sleep. Does anyone else have this problem? He doesn't mark outside, doesn't lift his leg, and always empties his bladder, he also goes to curl up on a previously peed bed and then whines because he can't lay there. It doesn't look like a territorial thing to me. Ru also occasionally pees on soft toys and then gets upset when he can't play with them later. I've never had a dog pee on their toys and then be unhappy about it, so yes I think most dogs are smart enough to make some sort of connection between peeing on stuff they like, and stuff they like having pee on it.


The way you've talked about Ru in this thread makes me think you don't like the dog and he would be better off being re-homed. The way you talked about Ulysses in your last thread made me think you didn't like him and he needed to be sent to a different foster.
I am certainly capable of loving and appreciating my dog and also thinking he is the dumbest dog I have ever met. I am also incredibly snarky on the internet. I do think that suggesting Ru would be better off rehomed is idealistic at best, and woefully ignorant at worst. Southern California shelters are absolutely packed and overflowing with unwanted chihuahuas, they might even outnumber the pit bulls. There aren't exactly people lining up to adopt chihuahuas with housetraining problems around here, and dumping mine on the overburdened rescue system would be irresponsible even if I did want to rehome him.

If I didn't like Ulysses and enjoy working with him, I would have followed the advice of many of my friends, vets, and partners in rescue and had euthanized when he bit me. I am fostering him through a small network of independent rescuers, and we all agreed that if I did not feel willing and capable of working with him, the best choice would be to have him euthanized. I think it's great that your area apparently has multiple fosters willing to take on the liability and risk of fostering a dog with three bites in his short rescue history, but here there's just me.



i know you're only venting, and venting helps at times, but I kind of get the feeling you've already decided he's just too thick to learn and are ruling every suggestion out without really putting your heart and soul into it.

Can't tether, too clumsy.

Can't belly band, its failure, won't work etc.

Can't get to vets, symptoms aren't right, too expensive etc.

You're kind of half heartedly having a pop at a few things, but going into it feeling it's pointless. Maybe he's not stupid, maybe he's just pretty **** smart and can tell you're not really trying that hard after all. Maybe he's picking up on your frustration but lack of commitment to the solution. I certainly wouldn't rule out anxiety from your body language if you're as frustrated with him as your posts suggest.... You need to find a zen place and start again.

I don't feel like you're ON this 100% from what you've posted. Personally unless I was going to go full force factor 10000 training mode on it, I'd resign myself to the fact I owned a pissy dog.... And invest in a lot of beds and cleaning solution.
I am superbly, monumentally frustrated with this dog because the degree of lockdown required to make it through an entire day with zero pee inside is absurd.

He is tethered. He is small enough that I can drop his leash over doorknobs. I just can't tether him on anything other than a hard floor because I know he is willing to pee on rugs, blankets, cat trees, and anything else that would make the floor less miserable for him to sit on. He absolutely hates existing on a bare floor.

He is wearing a belly band. I am at this very moment sewing several more and attempting to perfect a design that will actually stay on without sliding down his tiny hips. I would sew them onto shirts except I don't have any shirts that won't slide down his shoulders, and this dog owns more clothes than my husband, he's just super hard to fit and can slither out of almost anything. I would pin them to his harness if it was fast or easy to undo when he goes outside.

He will be going to the vet to rule out a medical cause, as soon as I have paid down my CareCredit or saved up enough for the tests. I'm glad veterinary care is more affordable in other places, but I can't just nip off to the vet and spend $500 just in case, we've had too many other vet bills in the last couple of months.

I am incredibly frustrated because this is supposed to be my easy, low-effort dog that I can just enjoy without constantly needing to monitor his behavior. I am incredibly frustrated because it seems to be the only way to make any sort of progress. Keeping him supervised, crated, or tethered on a bare floor at all times makes him absolutely miserable. Making him this miserable is making me miserable.

If I relent and stop being super-pissed at him all the time, I end up feeling bad for dragging him out of his blanket nest on the couch and tethering his belly banded butt to the bathroom doorknob so I can pee while he shivers. Why not just leave him snuggled up for a minute or two? The moment I have any sympathy or pity or mercy at all I mess up and let him pee on stuff. The only way to commit to this 1000% is to keep chanting "You've done this to yourself. You've done this to yourself. You've done this to yourself." while not letting him be undiapered, unsupervised, or untethered for even a moment. It's making us both miserable and I hate it, but I also hate having a pissy dog. Normal dogs don't require ragebootcamp for successful housetraining.
 

Beanie

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#53
The world's tiniest violin is playing for you. Or maybe you'd prefer a badge of honor?

As I said, if you don't like the impression people are getting of your relationship with your dogs, you might want to reconsider how you are presenting that relationship.
 

pinkspore

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#54
I'll pass on both the violin and the badge, I just worry when people are quick to suggest solving problems by getting rid of the dog. It's rarely that simple.

I'm not terribly worried about what people here think of my relationship with my dogs, though. I do tell Ru he has a tiny brain, and that I only love him because he is tiny, but I don't think it has affected his self esteem. We've only come to this point because he is so horrendously spoiled that it pains me to drag him off his heating pad on the couch in order to properly supervise him. If that's not coming through here, don't worry. It will come through somewhere else. It's the internet.
 
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#55
Although my friend doesn't have experience about male dogs, she thought that she would comment this anyway. :) She also hasn't had any housetraining issues with her dog except when she was a small puppy.

I dunno, I thought the entire basis of crate training was that dogs don't pee where they sleep. Does anyone else have this problem? He doesn't mark outside, doesn't lift his leg, and always empties his bladder, he also goes to curl up on a previously peed bed and then whines because he can't lay there. It doesn't look like a territorial thing to me. Ru also occasionally pees on soft toys and then gets upset when he can't play with them later. I've never had a dog pee on their toys and then be unhappy about it, so yes I think most dogs are smart enough to make some sort of connection between peeing on stuff they like, and stuff they like having pee on it........../

/...........I am superbly, monumentally frustrated with this dog because the degree of lockdown required to make it through an entire day with zero pee inside is absurd........//.........If I relent and stop being super-pissed at him all the time, I end up feeling bad for dragging him out of his blanket nest on the couch and tethering his belly banded butt to the bathroom doorknob so I can pee while he shivers. Why not just leave him snuggled up for a minute or two? The moment I have any sympathy or pity or mercy at all I mess up and let him pee on stuff.....//.....It's making us both miserable and I hate it, but I also hate having a pissy dog. Normal dogs don't require ragebootcamp for successful housetraining.
So, you have told that you haven't been able to housetrain Ru although he isn't a puppy anymore. My friend isn't sure :dunno: if this works with Ru but she has seen this episode from It's me or the dog. She found it on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJyKqn_7jFQ&index=1&list=PL7D0C37E2057EBF03

He is tethered. He is small enough that I can drop his leash over doorknobs. I just can't tether him on anything other than a hard floor because I know he is willing to pee on rugs, blankets, cat trees, and anything else that would make the floor less miserable for him to sit on. He absolutely hates existing on a bare floor.

He is wearing a belly band. I am at this very moment sewing several more and attempting to perfect a design that will actually stay on without sliding down his tiny hips. I would sew them onto shirts except I don't have any shirts that won't slide down his shoulders, and this dog owns more clothes than my husband, he's just super hard to fit and can slither out of almost anything. I would pin them to his harness if it was fast or easy to undo when he goes outside.
You had told earlier that Ru had peed through the belly band. Have you put anything inside it? My friend's dog Lotta has been spayed but when she went into heat, my friend always put something inside her pants. She has just noticed that they sell incontinence pads also for dogs like these:
http://www.dogquality.com/products/washable-wonders-dog-diaper-pads

So, you have also told that Ru gets cold inside because you can't let him to lie on anything soft. My friend thought that maybe you could put this on Ru. It might also keep the belly band in place:


You could put also these on him:


So, my friend had some suggestions to you. She doesn't have any other ideas.
 

DenoLo

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#56
I've had some issues house training my little one. What works is making sure they are cleared of health issues. The usual advice with the ladle or spoon doesn't work because tiny, but what I've found does work really well is a clean cutting board, one of those cheap ones that are very very thin. When she goes to pee I just quickly slide it under her and it catches enough before I get a horrified look.

When it's not medical, it's just 100% consistency and commitment. Go back to the basics, take him out after he plays, eats, drinks, or wakes up from a nap.

Lola tends to regress a bit in the dead of winter, when it's more of a hassle bundling her up to outside in -20F wind hills. I also put down a pee pad in the winter as a "just in case" kind of thing. She'll use it every once in a great while, which is totally fine with me.

I also second the pajamas suggestion! I don't think it'll help the peeing, but I use them when the little gets shivery in the winter and they are awesome.
 

pinkspore

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#57
The cutting board idea is genius! I will have to get some of those and start stalking. Pajamas would be really nice, but Ru has an extra-long slinky back and nothing fits him. I had gotten some fleece to sew him a custom set, and instead I've been using it to make belly bands. He is usually wearing a sweater, he just doesn't like having his little feet touching the floor, and his socks won't stay on either.

Since the first belly band peeing incident he hasn't peed while wearing it, which is really nice. We're trying to do house training basics, taking him out constantly, cleaning up mistakes very well, heavily rewarding outdoor success, etc. He is still managing to find things in the house to pee on. I took Brisbane to an event over the weekend and my husband was less than vigilant, resulting in Ru peeing on the corner of the blanket covering Uly's crate, which has sagged a tiny bit so it was on the floor. Also peed on his own favorite tug toy. I've housetrained a bunch of foster dogs, and never had anyone require this level of vigilance/lockdown.

Edit: We don't have winter here. It has been consistently over 80 degrees for literally months now, with no end in sight. We frequently have 90-degree Christmases and haven't seen rain since April.
 
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pinkspore

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#58
Thought we were doing really well, only one inside pee when Briz and I were out of town for the weekend and my husband failed to crate/stare at Ru for some brief moment. Ru had not attempted to pee with the belly band on since that first incident, and had not pooped in the house since we started crating him.

Until this morning when I forgot to crate him for five minutes while I showered and found a trail of poo through the house. Apparently the fact that the chihuahua hasn't pooped in the house in over a month does not, in fact, mean that the chihuahua sees any problem with pooping in the house.
 

noludoru

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Thought we were doing really well, only one inside pee when Briz and I were out of town for the weekend and my husband failed to crate/stare at Ru for some brief moment. Ru had not attempted to pee with the belly band on since that first incident, and had not pooped in the house since we started crating him.

Until this morning when I forgot to crate him for five minutes while I showered and found a trail of poo through the house. Apparently the fact that the chihuahua hasn't pooped in the house in over a month does not, in fact, mean that the chihuahua sees any problem with pooping in the house.
Solution: beatings? :p

My condolences, though. Middie has been doing well but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the accidents, so it might begin again.
 
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#60
Just some idea's I had while browsing through the thread... begging your pardon if they've already been suggested and/or haven't worked in the past.

1. Pee Pads - in one of your posts you said that he used to basically live outside and pee freely, what if you taped pee pads down where he's marking? ie: if he marks a wall, you could tape the pee pad to the wall/floor to catch the urine.

2. Above idea will only tell you how often he's peeing in those spots - next you'd need to adjust the potty break schedule, maybe revert back to puppy stages and have him out hourly - if not possible, than crate him when you're not home/unable to supervise, and take him out hourly when you are home and able to supervise.

3. The pads in the marking zones will let you know if idea 2 is working, as you should see a decrease in marking behavior. I'm sure it's been suggested, but another option to highly consider would be speaking with your vet or a behaviorist, to rule out medical issue and help curb behavior in direct relation to the marking. Your chihuahua may be feeling insecure and marking freely to say "Hey, this is my space". - Do you notice him doing it more/less during certain times of the month?

In relation to the medical issue, I'm not thinking UTI directly, but there are other medical challenges that would include an inability/need to empty the bladder with little ability to 'hold it', like Scrappy-Doo syndrome (from Scooby Doo, I don't remember what it's called but he's stuck as a puppy basically and it also affects his ability to hold it).

Just a few idea's... Sorry if they're not helpful, I've only had to deal with this in cats.
 
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