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So Why Do Dogs Mark Territory?

So Why Do Dogs Mark Territory?

So why do dogs mark territory? Well, within the first few hours of bringing our newly adopted dog home, he had marked in the same room three different times. We had never experienced this with other dogs, so this was a new avenue. How do we stop his marking so we can trust him in our home?

To say we were frustrated with his marking was an understatement. We knew that this was a natural instinct for him, but for us, cleaning up the messes was a nightmare. Below is my experience with dogs marking their territory and some tips on how to stop it.

So Why Dogs Mark Their Territory

Dogs use their urine (and sometimes feces) to mark areas they consider to be theirs. Marking their territory lets other dogs know that they are present. Urine also signifies the reproductive status of the dog and their ranking. Dogs who aren’t fixed (spayed or neutered) are more likely to mark than those who are fixed.

Medical Issues

Before determining if your dog is genuinely marking, you’ll want to rule out some medical issues.

The first possible medical condition is incontinence, which is when a dog “leaks” or completely releases the bladder without meaning to. Most dogs who are incontinent don’t realize they’ve soiled.
The second possible medical issue is your dog could have a urinary tract infection (UTI), which can cause a dog to release small amounts of urine frequently. Another sign of UTIs is if your dog is licking his genitalia excessively.
The third possibility is that your dog has a disease or is on a medication that causes frequent urination.
Uncontrollable Urination
There are three types of urination that are considered “uncontrollable,” — submissive, excitement and anxiety.

Submissive urination is when your dog urinates during greetings, play, physical contact or punishment. If this is your dog’s problem, then he may display submissive postures during interactions.
Urination out of excitement is pretty self-explanatory, your dog gets over-excited and he urinates.
Urination from anxiety is due to your dog being overwhelmed with anxiousness.

New Element in the Environment

Is your dog marking in house suddenly? If there’s a new addition to the home or something else new in their environment, your dog may start marking his territory more. This can include more than just your home. It can also include the yard, the park you visit, the trail you walk or other locations he frequents. New elements in the environment could include people, animals, furniture or other objects.

How to Stop a Dog From Marking Outside

Is your dog marking territory on walks? If so, you may want to shorten your dog’s leash. Dogs are actually meant to walk beside us, not ahead of us pulling us along. By shortening the leash and walking with a purpose, your dog isn’t given free reign of marking wherever he pleases. Stop along your walk every now and then and say “go potty” repeatedly with your feet planted in one spot. Allow your dog to walk around you and sniff to find the perfect spot to potty in and praise him after he’s gone potty. (This won’t happen on the first try, so continued practice of this is important.) By saying the command “go potty” and choosing the place for him to do his business at, you are showing dominance and permitting him to go potty.

Dog Marking Territory in House

It is so frustrating when your dog pees in the house, I’ve experienced this before as I mentioned. The day we brought our dog home he marked three times in the same room within a couple of hours. We quickly realized this was a problem we needed to fix, so the leash went on him and stayed on him until we felt we could trust him.

How to Stop a Dog From Peeing in the House

Start by taking your dog out for regular potty breaks every one to two hours. It is tedious, but you get a better idea of how long they can last without going potty inside. Extend this time further to once in the morning, at lunchtime, in the afternoon, around dinner time and right before bedtime.

As I stated earlier, we also kept him on a leash for two weeks in the house. He could only go to areas of the house we took him to. Part of this was because of the obedience training we were doing at the same time, but another reason was because we didn’t want our dog peeing in the house without us even realizing it.

Rule of thumb is that it takes two weeks of consistency to train a dog for a specific task.

What If You Catch Your Dog Marking?
If we caught our dog marking, we quickly said, “No” with a louder voice and took them outside to finish their business (although, they didn’t always go potty once outside).

Should You Get Your Dog Diapers?

If you’ve tried behavioral training and you’re still at a total loss, you may want to consider doggie diapers. There are different types from reusable to disposable and male to female, so make sure you read carefully to pick the right diaper for your pup.

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