Dog Urine Marking Tips

Published: 06th July 2008
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Dog marking is an instinctive behavior so it's a normal thing they must do. A dog leaves its scent in urine to tell other dogs a message; it could be about whose territory it is or is about the dog's social order or advertising mating availability. Dogs also use urine marking to show their dominance or to claim something as belonging to them. Some dogs feel the need to lift their leg and pee on all new things that enter your house, shopping bags, visitor's belongings, new furniture, children's toys etc. Dogs with feelings of insecurity or who have separation anxiety may also mark, as territory marking builds the dog's confidence and petsafe.

Marking is definitely different from peeing. Dogs deposit smaller amount of urine. Marking in the house is usually done to an upright surface such as a doorway, table leg or piece of furniture or new and unfamiliar objects like visitor belongings. Many of these dogs are lacking in confidence and by marking new objects it makes them feel more secure having deposited their own scent on these objects. Dog urine marking is not a toilet training issue but rather an issue concerning a whole range of instinctive behaviors. Although male dogs are more likely to mark urine than females it is not unknown for a female dog to scent mark too. Often a female dog coming into heat or during it will mark to advertise her availability. A dominant female will also mark while smaller breeds tend to pee in the house more than larger dogs. Also two or more dogs living together in the same house who regard each other as the competition are more prone to urine marking. Urine marking can be a dominance issue.

First, prevention is better than cure, neutering and spaying dogs at early age is the most reliable and effective way to stop them from marking, but not infallible. Fixing them will reduce the body's natural chemicals and hormones that risen by sexual heat. If you have an adult dog neutered, it may take a full year for the male hormones to subside and stop controlling his behavior.

Interrupting and breaking this habit is also an effective way to stop and control. Give a close supervision to stop his/her marking behavior. It may take some days and weeks to at least minimize this behavior and really need intense supervision.

Also loud noise can startle and interrupt him from what he was doing. A can or a plastic bottle with coins inside could help divert his attention, when you see he is sniffing and circling around a place or an object and then he start to raise his legs, get his attention immediately followed by giving him command in stern voice like "no pee". Just be constant on interrupting and supervising him, just do not rant or give punishment that will make his insecure feeling more insecure. Regular reinforcing the normal housebreaking routine will help those dogs who sudden marking, praising him when he do his business on right place. Bring him to his regular pee place whenever he starts marking.

If you see the problem is a newcomer, build the friendship between your dog and the newcomer. Let the newcomer try to give him treats or feed him, let them also have some time to play together. For new baby or new pet, have some fun with your dog while newcomer is around, create positive event between them.

Thoroughly cleaning his marking area inside the house is a must. Dog may pee and pee all over again on that area so you must remove the evidence of the crime completely. Use cleaners with enzyme contents or 50/50 water and vinegar solutions to wash the area, just avoid ammonia based products.

Also make his favorite marking place unattractive to him. Place his eating bowl right on the place where he marks. Let his respected things placed on that area so he will not mess it with his marking. Belly bands are also effective solution to control his peeing.

Some severe marking problems are fixed with drug therapy. Dogs with high level of stress or been on bad past like being abused or other similar circumstances, drugs are proven to help. Be sure to ask professional vets and learn everything about drug alternatives and possible side effects before letting your dog in medication.

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