What is Territory Marking?
Marking is where a dog deposits a small amount of pee on a surface. It has nothing to do with their normal bathroom needs. Dogs of both sexes engage in the behavior. Males often lift their legs and mark a vertical surface.
Why Dogs Mark their Territory?
As well as their other senses, dogs use smell to communicate. Their sense of smell can tell them a lot. When they are out walking, they are constantly sniffing, stopping occasionally for a really good smell of something. When they meet each other, they spend quite a bit of time sniffing each other.
Dogs can get quite a bit of information from the urine of other dogs. They can tell the sex, social status and maturity of the other dog.
The marking is a dog’s way of letting other dogs know he is around. You will notice that if a new dog comes in to your yard, he will mark his presence by urinating on various items. As soon as he gets the chance, your own dog will go around and remark over the interloper.
Females tend to mark more when they are in heat. They are letting everyone know they are available to mate.
Although it is perfectly natural behavior, it can be very annoying when your dog starts to urinate inside or in other undesirable places.
How To Stop Marking Behavior
Before you do anything else, check that there is not a medical reason for your dog’s peeing habits. They could be caused by incontinence or a urinary tract infection. If your dog is regularly taking medication, check if frequent urination is a possible side effect. Talk things over with your vet.
Neutering or spaying animals will reduce the amount of marking considerably. It is much more prevalent in sexually intact dogs.
When you are walking your dog, it can be super-annoying if he is constantly stopping and sniffing. You need to develop aural cues which will tell him when it is and is not alright to stop. Your dog will learn when it is OK for him to stop.
If your dog is peeing inside, you will need to house train him in the same way you would train a puppy.
Related Article: Tips for Prevent Dogs Urinating Inside.
Punishing your dog or yelling at him is unnecessary and usually counter-productive.
It is important to thoroughly clean up after your dog when he has peed inside. The smell is a cue for your dog to pee use the same place again. Do not use an ammonia based cleaner because this will attract him back to the same place.
As with all dog training, exercise patience and persistence to get the results you want.