How to Stop a Dog From Marking His Territory

Dogs have evolved as territorial animals and in the wild, they mark their territory by leaving their scent on the boundaries and any objects on which they want to assert their ownership. Thus, when your dog marks vertical and sometimes horizontal objects with its urine around your house, it is simply following these genetic instincts. However, with the appropriate training you can control these instincts or direct them to acceptable locations. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Neuter or spay your dog as soon as you can, preferably before it develops the habit of marking frequently. Both males and females mark territory though males are likely to do it more often.
  • Take your dog to the vet and get it checked for medical conditions such as a urinary infections or old age that induces urinating more often. If it is an anxiety issue, consider anti-anxiety medication.
  • Your dog is more likely to mark objects it has already marked before. Clean those areas thoroughly to eliminate all odors to discourage marking again on the spot.
  • Before urinating, your dog will display certain signs such as sniffing, circling, or perhaps, lifting its leg. When you see these signs, startle and distract your dog by making a loud noise like clapping, jangling keys or a can of coins, air horns or some such thing.
  • Take your dog outside the house and direct it to mark a spot outside. Praise it with a pat and a treat so it understands that this is an acceptable area.
  • Transform marking spots into places for eating or playing by placing its water and food bowl close to it or by placing its toys there.
  • Put your dog on a leash or in a small unmarked room when you’re going to be outside the house so that it cannot mark other areas of the house.
  • Newcomers in your home such as guests, a new baby or a new pet can induce more urinating. Work with an expert trainer to deal with the issue.