Territorial Urination and How to Curb It

Dogs are territorial and like to protect, establish, and mark what is theirs. Territorial marking is different than just peeing. While it can be a big puddle, sometimes it’s nothing more than a few drops around the house. It’s not spiteful though, it’s a sign of insecurity. If a dog senses that the area is “under siege” by another person or animal inside the house, or even outside in some cases, marking is a way to claim and reclaim the area.

Territoriality is not always a bad thing, but it is definitely bad for your home, because it involves urination around things or places that “belong” to the dog.

If you haven’t done it yet, spaying or neutering your dog can curb territorial marking. It can also extend your dog’s life, improve other aspects of their health, and cut down on problems with other dogs. According to a report from the Humane Society, spaying or neutering your pet may help reduce likelihood that they will mark their territory, but it does not completely stop it.

Another tip to try is to make sure your dog is reintroduced to the new dog or person in a way that no longer makes your dog feel insecure. Chances are your dog feels like the new person or animal is taking over. Best way to start over is to introduce them outside of the house, take a walk with your dog and the new dog or person. If it’s another dog, it’s good to make sure your dog’s things like the bed, bowls, and leashes are “only his/hers” and the new dog has a different set. Feed your dog first to establish a hierarchy and when giving out treats and such, your dog gets it first.

Dogs thrive with rules, boundaries and limitations. It is not a good idea to allow your dog to roam all over the house, sit on furniture, eat from the table, or engage in any other type of disruptive behavior. Although your dog is your companion, it is a follower in your pack, not a leader. You can reduce territorial marking by asserting yourself as the pack leader by using calm but assertive energy. Ask your dog to sit before meal times, before going outside, and walk your dog to drain some pent up energy.

If the problem persists, you may want to reach out to trainer or your vet and see what advice they have to help your dog stop marking.

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