My dog marks territory in the house, how to avoid it?
Is there a dog that lifts its leg, urinates indoors and on any surface, place or object? This means that your pet wants to demonstrate its presence and therefore is marking territory . Although this behavior of the dog is completely normal, it is also normal for you to feel frustrated by this behavior and want to modify it.
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Knowing the causes can help you identify the best method to stop these constant markings in the home. It will then depend on you trying to explain the rules of the house to your dog in a way that he / she can understand them.
To help you, in this article by YourCatCareguide we will explain how to prevent your dog from marking territory in the home , showing some techniques to understand and avoid this behavior before your dog takes possession of every corner of the house.
The importance of marking territory for dogs
We humans see urine as something unpleasant, but for a dog it is something of great importance and value in many ways, not just at the physiological level. Through the smell of urine a dog is able to send messages to other dogs. These messages range from personal territory, order and social hierarchy, to the availability to mate. Dogs use markings to show themselves, to show authority and possession in relation to objects, places and even people.
It can also happen that dogs start marking in places where they did not before because they are in a state of stress. Discuss whether your puppy is going through an episode of separation anxiety , in which feelings of insecurity may be emerging. Experts point out that branding the territory has the ability to build the trust of our canine companions. In addition, your dog may be feeling threatened by a new situation or a sudden change in the environment or the dynamics at home.
For example, a change, the arrival of a new baby, a new pet, a new partner, a visit or even a home remodeling. If other animals, especially dogs and cats arrive, the dog may be attracted to the body’s scent and mark the places to go, including shoes, rugs, and clothing.
It is important to know that most dogs that are sterilized early do not usually mark territory indoors. Prevention is better than cure, as well as being very healthy for your pet.
Urinating is one thing, branding is another
We must be careful not to confuse the marking of urine with the fact of urinating, for a dog it is not the same thing to mark the territory through this action, than to relieve a full bladder. By this we mean that although your dog is very well educated not to do the needs at home , this does not mean that it considers incorrect to mark the territory. The motivation of the dog is totally different, so it will be a different behavior.
When a dog marks territory, the amount of urine is less . Therefore, if you find large rivers of urine in the ground, it is because your dog could not stand it any longer and emptied the bladder.
It is also good to note that home marking is usually done on a vertical surface such as a door, a table, a piece of furniture or any other object, strange as it may seem. These objects are usually new, have different and unknown smells, although your dog can repeat perfectly if he has liked it very much. This can become a possessive obsession with elements or spaces of home. Everything at home will be yours, you might as well become.
Another factor to take into account if your puppy suddenly starts marking territory indoors on a constant basis may be the fact that you are suffering from some bladder infection or a urinary tract infection and your urge to discharge it is very urgent. In this case, take your dog to a consult with the vet to rule out possible diseases .
How to prevent my dog from marking territory indoors
In YourCatCareguide we always talk about prevention. Castration at a young age helps to end this type of behavior in most dogs. Sterilizing it can prevent the formation of different types of habits , such as marking territory indoors. For the more mature puppies, this could work although it does not have the same effect. In this case, it should be you to end this behavior. To do this, try the following supervision-based training :
- You must catch him in the act and immediately correct the behavior. Your dog will begin to feel that what he is doing is not correct.
- An intensive method of supervision is required. You should be steady and dedicate yourself to the mission to end this habit. With good compromise and luck, a couple of weeks or less correction time will suffice.
- Do not limit your access to water, in fact, you will want him to drink more water. Drinking water helps to purify the urinary system and prevents the accumulation of bacteria that worsen the situation.
- During this process keep your dog in an area of the house where you can always see him. Close the doors of other parts of the house or place barriers to limit your access to other places you have marked.
- Observe your dog’s behavior and be aware of pre-marking signs such as sniffing and turning. Fill a plastic can or bottle with small stones, and the moment you start lifting your leg, shake the can to get your attention. This will interrupt you and break with the focus. As you turn to see the sound object, it will be your moment, tell it a firm “No”.
- Congratulate him and reward him when he changes behavior, pee where you want and mark in the right place, away from home. Puppies learn quickly from positive responses to their actions. The message you want to send to your dog is that marking territory is not bad, but scoring indoors is not the right place.
- If your dog is marking because he suffers from separation anxiety, when leaving the house try to leave him an object or article that has his scent. This may be enough to solve your anxiety.
- The nose of a dog is very powerful. Thoroughly clean each place where you marked territory, so as not to keep traces of smell, otherwise it will want to come back and mark over it. Avoid ammonia cleaners. Ammonia, when found naturally in the urine, will make the dog feel even more attracted, and you, on the other hand, will not know the reason for your obsession.