Written by Senior Editor Peter Gehr
A lot of people ask why dogs pee on everything, and if there’s any way this can be prevented. Before going into detail on the best puppy top 5 tips: how to stop dog urine marking, I think it’s important to explain why your dog marks his territory with his urine.
It is perfectly normal for your male dog (some females too) to mark out his boundaries as a display of dominance, territoriality, anxiety, insecurity, or possibly even a medical issue, i.e. a bladder infection or something similar—which would need to be looked at by your vet.
That said, this doesn’t mean this behavior should be accepted, in fact, in my opinion, I simply do not allow it, and my dogs learn this very quickly.
Best Puppy Top 5 Tips: How to Stop Dog Urine Marking
Martin Deeley, known around the world for his dog training expertise is also co-founder of International Association of Canine Professionals says:
As a pack leader you should be the one guiding the way and setting the pace with your head up, shoulders back, exuding confident, calm and as Cesar would say “assertive” energy. You take control and are head of the pack.
So before setting off on the actual walk take your dog into your yard or a place where you will not create neighborhood problems, and teach him the command to go to the bathroom. I say “Look Sharp” – an expression from the North of England meaning “Be Quick.” You may say, “Get busy” or use some other cute non-common word to teach him the same. Now when you set off on your walk you know he does not have to cock a leg or she does not have to squat at every smell.
Dogs do give a squirt of urine to mark their territory. Their noses provide the most important information through scent. These “social messages” received through sniffing feces or urine will often prompt a dog to over-mark that scent with his own. They claim the territory with the scent. Often this results in dogs urinating far more than they need to, and even when nothing is coming out, they will still go through the motion of cocking their legs. Even females will mark with a quick squat. Some claim that a dog will communicate so much information through the smell of the urine that it is almost a dog database as they walk through the neighborhood.
My dogs have never marked, and I have had many dogs throughout my life. If I have a dog from the time he’s a pup I do not let him mark. Not ever. I teach him to go to the bathroom on command and to eliminate completely in one or two goes. In fact some of my male dogs never cock their legs but urinate as a female would, by squatting. I have to add that because I occasionally breed them and produce a litter, they are not neutered. Now what does all this mean?
I believe it revolves around leadership. When a dog has an owner he can trust and believe in, someone who gives him what he seeks in life, who sets boundaries and limitations and provides discipline and direction, and builds good everyday habits, he look to that person for leadership.
In most instances marking occurs because of lack of training, leadership and the development of good habits. Without realizing it, owners often place their dogs in leadership positions. The dog then believes he has to establish a territory and show he is the protector of all within it. (Source of article here)
Best Puppy Top 5 Tips: How to Stop Dog Urine Marking
- Neuter your dog at around 6 months. Consult with your vet & don’t delay as this may result in life-long habits that would otherwise be curbed or eradicated.
- Train your dog. Training offers mental stimulation for your dog, and being a firm and loving leader will show your dog who is boss. This is instinctual for dogs, i.e. they are looking for leadership, and if you don’t show it, then the dog will naturally conclude that he is the boss and will take control. The result of which can be very difficult and unpleasant and even unsafe.
- Make a noise—a loud noise. Distracting your dog from marking can be achieved by you observing the behavior and acting quickly by making a loud noise with either a canned horn, a can with pebbles inside acting as a shaker, or simply clapping your hands along with voicing the command of your choice, such as, “No pee!” This will startle your dog, and he will quickly learn that you do not approve.
- Instill obedience. Incorporate a command before the following occasions: Feeding, going for a walk, before playing a game. Make him sit before doing any of the above, and make sure you have his attention. This will offer some discipline and he will relate to this as he wants to please you. Dogs are wired for following his leader, and you must learn to understand his thinking. He obeys because he feels secure and loved by you—much the same as he did when he was with his mother from birth.
- Resolve issues. Be sure to iron out any fears, conflicts or tensions with other pets in your home—or with people for that matter. If you have a visitor, be sure to properly introduce the dog. Let the visitor play with the dog so that they both connect and develop a non-stressful relationship from the beginning.
These best puppy top 5 tips: how to stop dog urine marking will work if you are consistent with them. The most important being that your dog expects you to lead, he’s looking for your lead, he feels secure with you as the boss, the pack leader, and if you do not represent this role to your pet, he will then feel it necessary to take control. Understand that dogs are not human, and their thought process and expectations are different. There’s a structure mechanism that he relates to and needs. If you provide this “assertive energy” as Cesar Millan describes it, then you are administering the pack leader role your puppy understands and wants in his life.