How to Stop Your Dog from Marking Territory

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How to Stop Your Dog from Marking Territory
How to Stop Your Dog from Marking Territory

Although it can be irritating to dog owners, it is normal for these animals to mark territory, which can happen when they are excited, anxious or curious about a new object or environment, and especially when they feel that there is urine from another dog there.. One of the best ways to minimize this behavior is to neuter the pet; Also, try not to expose him to too many stressful situations and train him to know how to behave in times of high excitement or anxiety.


Part 1 of 3: Seeking Veterinary Help

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 1

Step 1. Consult a veterinarian to rule out hidden medical problems

When the dog is urinating around the house, it is likely that he is just marking territory; this inappropriate behavior, however, can also indicate a more serious problem, such as a urinary tract infection. When you're not sure what's causing him to behave this way, it's a good idea to take him to the vet.

  • Inform the professional when the behavior started, as well as if you noticed anything that could signal an illness or any other unusual attitude or symptom.
  • Changes in the dog's environment or routine – such as a new pet in the house – are also important.
Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 2

Step 2. Neuter the dog

Dogs that are fully sexually mature, but have not yet been neutered, are more likely to mark territory. If you have not yet made an appointment, do so as soon as possible so that the details of the operation are organized.

  • The sooner he is neutered, the greater the chance of diminishing or even making the “mania” of marking territory with urine disappear.
  • Dogs that are already in the habit of doing this may even reduce the frequency, but chances are you'll have to train them too.


if the cost of castration is a concern, do a research to find out if there is any place that performs the surgery at an affordable price. Also visit area veterinary clinics and animal shelters.

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 3

Step 3. Ask your veterinarian about medications that can treat anxiety in dogs

She is a frequent “culprit” in these cases of marking territory; the best solution is always to attack the cause of the anxiety, but medication may already be helpful. At the veterinarian, ask if anxiolytics can help calm the pet down while you try to combat the behavior.

An antidepressant, tricyclic or SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) types can help calm the dog down and make it not want to leave its mark all over the house

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 4

Step 4. Look for recommendations for trainers if you need more help

When other approaches don't work – or you're not sure where to start – ask the vet to appoint a trainer. They will be very helpful in getting the root of the problem addressed; in addition, they will indicate which strategies can be adopted to change the pet's behavior.

  • Still, take the dog to the vet before a handler. In addition to being able to recommend a trusted professional, the veterinarian will also diagnose and treat any physical problems that may be present, which are outside the scope of trainers.
  • The trainer can help to find out if the dog is really marking territory or if it is some other behavioral disorder, such as submission urination or excitement, or inadequate training.

Part 2 of 3: Dealing with Environmental Interferences

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 5

Step 1. Identify possible sources of stress for the pet

Again, anxiety, stress and the feeling of being threatened can cause them to start marking territory with urine. Analyze whether anything may have changed in the animal's routine or environment; when identifying the source of the problem, it is enough to eliminate it or try to modify its behavior near the “source” of the anxiety. Some of the possible causes are:

  • A new resident in the house – be it a pet or a human.
  • New furniture or unknown objects in the dog's environment.
  • Noises or smells strange to him in the residence.
  • A recent move.
  • Changes in the owner's routine, such as a new work schedule.
Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 6

Step 2. Supervise the dog when he is near new objects or surroundings

When bringing something new into the house, such as furniture or a plant, observe how the animal behaves when approaching the object. Let him sniff it out and explore it, but take it away when you notice the dog is lifting his leg or showing signs that he's going to leave his mark there. Likewise, keep an eye out when he's exploring new places, like a new house or a friend's apartment, for example.

It can be helpful to carry him on a leash when exploring new locations. It will be easier to take control of the pet when you realize it will mark territory

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 7

Step 3. Gradually introduce the dog to new animals and people

When bringing a new pet, roommate or relative into the house, it is essential to make the introduction calm and positive for your pet. Always keep an eye on the interactions between him and the “new” element until he gets used to the person's presence. Initially, the meetings should be brief.

When the dog is close to the newcomer, the experience should be pleasant. Play with your pet, pet, praise him and give him snacks when he behaves well (noticing that he didn't get upset and obeyed your orders, for example)


Dogs that like to mark territory will be encouraged to urinate when smelling excreta or sexual secretions from other dogs. Keep yours away from bitches in heat or places that have been marked by other animals.

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 8

Step 4. Thoroughly clean the areas that were previously marked

It doesn't matter if your pet urinated or not; It is vital to do a good cleaning to get rid of any trace of the smell. Otherwise, the pet is likely to relieve itself there; buy an enzymatic detergent aimed at breaking down and removing stains and odors from pet urine.

  • Do not use steam cleaners or cleaners with strong smells such as ammonia or vinegar. The first method can cause the urine odor to become embedded in the material, while more intense chemical smells can even encourage the dog to urinate even more on the site.
  • Enzymatic detergents are available at pet supply stores or even in the cleaning section of grocery stores.
Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 9

Step 5. Keep the dog away from objects and places he wants to mark

If he insists on urinating in a certain place, the best option may be to keep him out; install a fence or leave the door closed. When you notice that your pet may even want to mark objects that you don't know – such as the shoes or purse of someone who is visiting the residence –, leave them in a closet or closed room.

When you cannot prevent the animal from accessing the place it likes to mark, try to change its associations with that area. For example: entertain him with games or offer him a treat when you are near a place where he urinated

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 10

Step 6. Prevent the dog from seeing the outside of the house, either through windows or doors

Sometimes the habit of scoring a point happens when he sees dogs, cats, or any other animal outside the home; to prevent this from happening, use curtains and block his view. Another option is to prevent access to windows and doors when you are not at home.

Look for ways to discourage other animals from coming near your home, especially when your pet is always near windows and doors. For example: close trash bags tightly or use devices that scare them away through odors or sounds

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 11

Step 7. Leave the dog in a cage if not around

This is the best option to prevent him from urinating in the house when the owner leaves, as it is a good way to make the pet realize that it is not acceptable to mark territory for not being "supervised".

If he's not used to being in the cage, you can try putting him in a smaller room in the house that's easy to clean, such as the laundry room, bathroom, or kitchen. Always provide water and feed, as well as toys, so the dog can be distracted

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 12

Step 8. Use a pheromone diffuser, such as Adaptil, which emits the natural odor that mothers produce to calm their puppies

Put it in a place you think the dog will be able to mark; this way, this point will already have a pleasant and familiar scent for the pet.

  • Buy these products at pet stores and even at veterinary clinics.
  • Dog calming pheromones are also available in spray form or on collars.

Part 3 of 3: Fighting Behavior Through Training

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 13

Step 1. Distract the dog with a loud noise when you suspect he is about to make his mark

As soon as you notice that you are going to urinate in an inappropriate place, make a loud noise to stop it; clap loudly and say "No!" with firmness it can work.

  • Sniffing a spot for a long time can indicate that the dog wants to urinate there.
  • Pay attention to common postures he adopts when marking territory, such as raising his paw or leaning against something. Females can even support both hind legs against the object or a wall so that the urine can be expelled as high as possible!
Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 14

Step 2. Take the pet out of the house immediately and encourage him to relieve himself when you catch him trying to urinate "on the spot"

It's a way of showing that the right place to do one's needs is outside the home, not inside.

When urinating outside the house, pet him, praise and give him a treat


Leave an area for the dog to relieve itself in the garden or backyard. For example, teach him that it is okay to mark a log in the garden. Reward him with a treat if he urinates there.

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 15

Step 3. Use a collar to pull the dog, not letting him reach the places he usually marks

When training you not to urinate at a certain point, a collar or chest can help. As soon as you notice that the dog is sniffing with greater “hard”, carefully pull the collar to not let it reach where he wants to urinate.

For example: with the collar, you'll be able to avoid inappropriate behavior, while allowing the pet to explore a new room or an unknown object, taking it for a walk or even to places that can be stressful for the dog, such as the veterinarian

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 16

Step 4. Train him to stand by you in situations of anxiety or situations that might make him agitated

Owners who notice that dogs urinate when they are nervous can teach a simple command, such as "sit" or "lay down." Any order can be used to calm the pet in new situations or environments, preventing it from trying to mark territory.

For example, teach him to sit before taking him for a walk or giving him a new toy

Stop Dog Marking Behaviors Step 17

Step 5. Fill the dog with toys and other distractions

In situations where you think he might want to urinate, a distraction may help. Have fun with the dog or give him something that makes him feel good, like a toy that needs to be taken apart to get to the treat.

Talking and petting the dog is also a way to distract him and prevent him from resorting to inappropriate behavior


One way to differentiate territory marking from other types of inappropriate urination is that dogs generally mark vertical surfaces, not the ground. The amount of urine, when marking, should also be small


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