Is Your Dog Marking His/Her Territory in Your Home?
Dogs are territorial in nature and communicate to others of their species through urinating on
objects. It’s one of the reasons why your dog invests so much time in investigating where other
canines have urinated. While acceptable outside, scent marking is a major problem when your
dog decides to mark indoors.
Un-neutered males are most prone to the behavior, but neutered males and spayed females can
also mark. The amount of urine is typically small, but its not socially acceptable and the more
you try to eliminate the scent, the more your dog may mark.
The first step is to have your veterinarian perform a checkup to ensure there’s not an
underlying health issue. A dog that suddenly begins indoor marking may have a health-related
Marking may be a sign of reaching puberty in young dogs and a way of telling other canines
they’re available for breeding. It may also be a hormone imbalance in older dogs.
Some dogs don’t handle change well. A new human partner in the home, a new baby or
another canine can trigger the response. Changes in routine can also trigger marking. Dogs may
begin marking as a sign of fear, frustration or anxiety.
A treatment plan can be developed once the cause has been identified. It may include using a
belly band. It creates a physical barrier between your dog’s urine and household surfaces. Belly
bands are for short-term use only and must be utilized carefully.
Confining the canine to an area where marking is allowed may be part of a larger solution of
distraction therapy to be employed whenever the dog begins to show signs of marking.
Stopping indoor marking may require the help of a professional trainer or canine counselor.
Dogs can have emotional issues, just like people. If the problem is the result of a relationship
with someone new in the home, that relationship needs to be addressed. In some instances, a
canine may need more attention, playtime or exercise than they’re receiving.
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