Many dog owners are aware of their dogs unintentional use of "pee mail," or more accurately, "urine marking." While lifting one's leg is entirely acceptable behavior, it is not acceptable when it comes to the harmonious coexistence of humans and dogs. In this post, we'll explain what marking is, and how to stop a dog from marking in the house.
What is Marking?
Marking is distinct from urination because a dog urinates to relieve the feeling of a full bladder. In contrast, when marking, the dog just discharges a small amount of urine as a kind of communication, rather than completely emptying their bladder. Pheromones, which are substances found in urine, are vital indicators of a dog's age, gender, health, and reproductive status. These are all very interesting and important pieces of information if you’re a dog.
This explains why dogs are so eager to smell areas where other dogs have urinated or left markings.
Keep an Active, Watchful Eye Over Your Dog
Use a management tool (such as a crate, gate, exercise pen, or belly band) to stop him from marking if you aren't paying attention to him.
Think about Potential Stressors for Your Dog
Is his marking caused by a threat from another canine? a lack of organization? Is it a smoke alarm or the sudden beeping of a car alarm going off outside? In many cases, once you've located the trigger and eliminated it, you may successfully counter condition your dog's emotional response.
Use an Enzymatic Cleaner on Areas that Your Dog has Marked
Since your dog's nose is far more sensitive than yours, even the slightest whiff of pee could cause him to mark once more. Make sure you haven't overlooked any areas that need to be cleaned by using a black light.
Neutering your dog, particularly before he reaches full sexual maturity (12 to 15 months), may probably lessen or completely eliminate his inclination to mark by preventing the influence of hormones. However, note that this is not a guarantee.
Prohibit any Marking, Even Outdoors
In some instances, the act of marking develops into a well-established habit that endures even after environmental stresses are removed or the decision to neuter the animal is made (especially among dogs neutered later in life).
In such situations, we advise drawing a firm boundary when it comes to marking, even outside. Give your dog a chance to completely clear his bladder before going out for a walk throughout the neighborhood. Then, make sure to casually but swiftly interrupt all subsequent attempts to mark along the journey by tugging at their leash.
Avoid Punishing Your Dog
Keep in mind that improper marking is a stress reaction. It's one thing to calmly stop a dog from marking. It won't help to reprimand him after the fact. Your dog won't associate his marking with your irritation unless you stop it while it's happening.
He may appear guilty when you correct him, but that expression is just an attempt at appeasing you right then and there, not a recognition that his marking, however long ago it may have occurred, is undesirable. If he successfully completes a stroll without marking, for instance, reward him with treats instead to reinforce the behavior.
Dealing with a dog who "marks" things in the house with their urine can be frustrating, but with these tips and a little patience, the problem will be resolved eventually.