Why has your dog suddenly begun urine marking inside
the house when he has never done it before?
And what can you do about it!
When a previously house trained and well behaved dog suddenly starts territorial marking in the house, you have to suspect something is terribly wrong.
Your dog is not doing this without some cause or reason, and it is up to you to discover what the underlying problem is.
Some owners are under the misconception that their dog is peeing in the house to punish or show their owners that they are displeased with them for some reason or another. This is complete nonsense, because dogs do not retaliate or do things out of spite.
Usually the sudden onset of territorial marking indoors is because your dog is experiencing feelings of insecurity or a perceived threat. For example, a new baby in the home brings new sounds, smells, and people, as well as changes in the daily routine. And your dog may not be getting as much attention as he or she previously did.
Other perceived threats, could be a new pet in the household, a visitor coming to stay or even the smell of other animals on your footwear or clothing.
All of these seemingly unimportant things to humans can contribute to a dog feeling anxious, and trigger off his or her need to mark their territory.
Some dogs feel the need to lift their leg and pee on all new things that enter their home, shopping bags, visitors' belongings, new furniture, childrens' toys etc.
Many of these dogs are lacking in confidence, and marking new objects with their own sent makes them feel secure.
Please click on the following link for a full list of possible psychological reasons for the onset of your dog's territorial marking and common behavioural causes
So what exactly is territorial "marking" all about?
With urine marking, dogs deposit only a few drops of urine. Dogs will lift their hind leg and mark urine on practically any object in their home that they wish to claim ownership of.
You may have noticed that Fido has become very possessive of you. This is because Fido thinks you belong to him or her, and any objects related to you are also their possessions by right!..
Why do dogs lift their legs and mark territory with urine?
Dog urine marking is not a house training issue, but rather an issue concerning a whole range of instinctive behaviors including dogs which have experienced a fearful situation.
Other dogs may be fully house trained and would not dream of peeing in the house
However, to a dog lifting his leg to scent mark, is not the same thing as wanting to have a pee.
We as humans tend to think of dog urine as something unpleasant but to a dog it is something of great interest.
A dog leaves it's scent in urine to tell other dogs a message. This message could be about:
- Whose territory it is
- About the dog's social order
- Or advertising mating availability.
Dogs use urine marking to show their dominance or to claim something as belonging to them. Dogs with feelings of insecurity or who have separation anxiety may also mark, as territory marking builds the dog's confidence.
Do all dogs urine mark inside the house?
Fortunately, the answer is "No they don't". Like humans all dogs are have different personalities and react differently to different situations.
Fearful or scary situations can cause some dogs to start marking their territory.
Most dogs that are castrated or spayed at an early age do not mark in the house.
Although intact male dogs are more likely to urine mark 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.
Females don't usually mark inside the house if they are house trained. Female dogs may also urinate over a spot where another dog has urinated (but not usually in the house if they are properly house trained).
If your dog, either male or female is not properly house trained, click here to read What you can do to help your pet get back into his or her old routine of taking themselves outside when Mother Nature calls
Small breeds tend to mark in the house more than larger dogs.
Two or more dogs living together in the same house may regard each other as "competition", and are more prone to practice urine marking. Urine marking can also be a dominance issue.
There may be no problem with one dog, but when a second dog is introduced into the house, then this may be the beginning of your marking problems.
Some dogs will never mark in their own house, but will embarrass you by marking if you visit a friend or relative's home. Your dog feels less secure there and feels the need to make it more comfortable to him by laying down a few of his own familiar scents. Investing in a Belly Band will solve this problem for you.
Deterrents to territorial marking
Below are some tips to prevent or stop your dog urine marking on items inside your home house:
Thorough cleaning of the surfaces exposed to urine marking
The most important tip to stopping your dog urine marking is to thoroughly clean areas where your dog has marked in the past.
It is essential to completely remove his or her scent to discourage them from re-offending in the same place.
A dog's sense of smell is much more sensitive than ours and it is their noses which draw them back to same place to mark again and again over and above their desire to urine mark to claim ownership of objects
After endless testing Caroles Doggie World has developed two magic No dog odor sprays. The actual process involves two steps, each step uses a different spray.
The recipes are all things found in a normal home and are extremely easily to make. They are also very inexpensive, and cost a fraction from some of the other deterrents listed below.
If you would like the magic recipes and instructions for application, that everyone is buzzing, Click here.
Neuter - prevention is better than cure
Early neutering will stop marking behavior in the majority of dogs. Neutering at an early age is best because it nips the problem in the bud and prevents the habit forming.
Testosterone definitely plays a role in urine marking. At least one study has shown that neutering a dog at any age will help prevent marking. Whilst it can't be guaranteed that neutering your dog is going to magically cure his problem, if you don't neuter a male dog, your chances of breaking his habit are greatly reduced.
In one study at the "Center for Companion Animal Health UC Davis. the following data was found - "Our research shows that neither age at the time of neutering, nor duration of the problem behavior, has influence on the likelihood that a behavior will change following neutering.
Thus one need not think, that because a male dog has been engaging in urine marking, that it is too late to consider neutering.
Why Rescue Remedy?
Rescue Remedy has an immediate calming effect in any stressful situation to help your dog over a variety of emotional or behavioral problems.
Interestingly enough it is the the only composite flower essence developed by Dr. Edward Bach, who developed 36 different flower essences in total.
I can personally recommend Rescue Remedy, because I use it for Molly and Rosie regularly, prior to lots of situations which I know will stress them out, e.g. having a bath or going to the vet.
A Belly Band is designed to wrap around a male dog's body and cover his penis. It is a physical barrier between his urine and your furniture, walls, carpets and beds etc.A belly band is in fact another name for male dog diaper.
They will also save you a lot of the frustration having to clean up dog urine and odor.
Belly bands are not meant to worn constantly, but rather as an aid to prevent your dog urine marking when:
- You want to enjoy his company indoors without the headache of keeping a constant eye on him to make sure he doesn't pee on your furniture and carpets etc.
- You want to take your male dog visiting, as the last thing you want is for your pet to start urine marking in your friends' homes!
Spray CommanderSpray Commander is a system which uses a device that is attached to the dog's collar, which delivers a harmless but unpleasant spray to the dog each time it attempts to urine mark. Whilst the concept works well, the negative is, that you must catch your dog in the act.
Scat Mats are excellent deterrents to stop pets from entering certain rooms or areas. The mat is a touch-sensitive training pad, which quickly conditions pets to avoid prohibited areas with a harmless, low-power electronic pulse similar to static electricity.
The mats run off a single 9 volt battery, and dogs quickly learn which parts of your home they should avoid.
With three intensity levels, smat Mats work for any size dog, and after a few exposures it usually does the trick.
The following video is an example of how the scat mat worked with a dog called "Angel" with regard to discouraging her not to climb on the table.
When set on a low setting Angel didn't react at all, when set on the high setting - the result speaks for itself!
Similarly the scat mat works equally well as a deterrent to confine a dog with its mind set on urine marking all over the house to a certain room or area.
Some dogs will never be able to be trusted with the run of the house and sadly confinement is the only answer for them. Although inconvenient to you it may be necessary to close doors or use scat mats to the entrance of certain rooms, and only allow freedom in the rooms where you feel he or she can be trusted.
This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Holistic Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for www.carolesdoggieworld.com