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Marking Inside: Why Dogs Do It

Did you know that marking is different than deliberate urination? Often times, dog parents will confuse marking and deliberate urination and subsequently punish or scold a dog for peeing in the house. So, why do dogs mark? As you a dog parent, you already know that dogs are very limited with their communication methods. They bark, they whine, and they communicate through body language and behaviors (often unwanted) such as destroying things around your home and marking. Marking, otherwise known as peeing in various areas, is entirely different from having a potty break accident in the house. How so? Your dog is intentionally using his urine to post his scent on a particular item or within an area to communicate a number of things:

  • Establishing Territorial boundaries “This is my Turf! Stay out!”
  • Mating Time “I’m looking for partner!”
  • I’m the Leader “I’m running the show!”

If you find your pup has begun to “mark” in your home there are a few things you can do to address this much unwanted behavior:

  • Become the leader he needs otherwise he’ll try to assume that role.
  • Make them “earn” treats and rewards. Make them sit before meals or play time.
  • Make your dog feel comfortable in their home. If there are several dogs, make sure you are the known leader and that he does not have to fight for attention or food.
  • Get your dog fixed. Spay/Neuter early as this may reduce or eliminate marking.

Now dogs will sometimes urinate when they encounter too many stimuli. If they become excited or scared they can lose control and urinate. Here are a few tips on how to address this behavior:

  • Do not yell or scold when this happens. Be gentle and calm.
  • Keep greetings calm and quiet. Too much excitement can set them off.
  • If it appears that your dog is peeing due to submission, work on building up his confidence and ensuring his home environment is safe and comfortable.

Only you know your dog’s behaviors, personality and home environment. Work with them on the issues you are aware of and then work to eliminate them through positive reinforcement. Also, talk with your dog’s veterinarian or trainer as they may be able to help you distinguish the difference between marking and deliberate urination due to housebreaking issues. See advice from the vet to ensure the issue is not medical. Stay patient and be positive and in time you can turn this behavior around.

When you sign up with TAILored Pet Services, we will work with your dog on these types of issues during our dog walking or potty break visits. We offer numerous monthly packages depending on your needs so contact us for more information.