If you’ve ever brought a pup out for a walk, you might have noticed that they seem to urinate everywhere! It always appears to be a small amount of urine, usually around the same areas every walk.
Dogs actually use their sense of smell for almost everything - including marking out their territory! So your pup is actually leaving a message to other dogs in the area with their dog pee. This type of behaviour is most common in male dogs, developing around adolescence for unsterilised dogs. Interestingly, female dogs also urine mark, although not as frequently.
Why Dogs Urine Mark
As mentioned, dogs usually urine mark to mark their territory. But more importantly, dogs tend to do this more often when they haven’t been neutered or spayed. Female pups, in particular, are more likely to do so slightly before and while they’re in heat.
Dog marking also occurs due to changes in your dog’s environment. Whenever you bring your dog out for a walk in a new area or if you’ve moved houses, your pup will most likely pee mark more often.
Some male dogs may also urine mark when they encounter female dogs. Social stimulations or anxiety-filled situations, like when another dog is nearby can also cause overstimulation - leading to this behaviour. Separation anxiety in dogs may also cause dog marking at home.
Dog pee marking is generally a normal behaviour for dogs, but there can also be medical reasons for it. If your pup seems to be urinating excessively, you may want to bring them to a vet for a checkup. Dog health supplements like Dr. Mercola’s Bladder Support supplementscan improve your dog’s bladder and dog urinary tract health.
For example, excessive or involuntary urination could be a result of dog urinary tract infections. There may also be medical complications like other genitalia abnormalities that can cause incontinence and therefore frequent urination.
If you spot other signs of illness in your pup, such as them excessively licking their genitalia or urinating in their sleep, make sure to send them to a vet.
Managing Urine Marking Behaviour
Pee marking can indeed be an annoying behaviour to curb. But thankfully, it can be managed.
The most important method is, as mentioned before, to spay or neuter your dog early. Dog neutering can help prevent them from developing the instinct to urine mark and will prevent this behaviour in 50-60% of dogs. Neutering or spaying other animals in the house can also help as hormonal changes in other dogs can affect your pup, even after they’ve been neutered.
If your dog is still urine marking even after being spayed or neutered, there are still ways to manage this behaviour!
Identify why your dog is marking
Managing dog behaviours is all about managing the cause of these behaviours. In this case, finding out if your dog exhibits dog marking when he’s in a social situation, for example, can help you keep a lookout for these situations and avoid them effectively.
If you know what triggers your pup’s marking behaviour, make sure to prepare ahead of time for mess! Absorb Plus’ Antibacterial Dog Pee Pad’s a great tool to have on hand when you’re visiting someone’s home with your pup. Of course, if your dog does make a mess, having floor cleaners like Simple Solution's Hard Floor Stain & Odour Remover will make it much easier to clean up.
Create a Routine
Dogs urine mark most often when they’re in an unfamiliar environment. To prevent urine marking, you can make sure to establish a set routine for your pup. Walk your dog in the same environment as often as you can and train your dog to recognise spots that are suitable for marking. Reward them with treats like Stella & Chewy’s Wild Weenies Freeze Dried Treats when they mark the right spots!
Giving your pup ample leash training can also be a great help in managing your dog’s marking behaviour. In the beginning of your training, make sure to keep your pup on a shorter leash for more control. This will also help you prevent them from wandering to every tree or pole, reducing his urge to urine mark.
If your pup often exhibits urine marking behaviour around the house, you may want to do some crate training. Get a suitably sized crate like Dr. Cage’s Foldable 3 Ft Cage. This may help limit accidents while your pup is learning not to urine mark.
Pee marking is itself, not a bad behaviour. Rather, it is a natural instinct for most dogs. But if it’s a behaviour you’re trying to manage and minimize in your dog, it’s important to be patient. Avoid punishing or yelling at your dog when they urine mark where they’re not supposed to as it may cause them to hide the behaviour - making it even harder to stop.
Tammi is an avid writer, but especially loves learning and writing about animals! She spends her free time visiting cat cafes, playing video games and having plenty of cuddle time with her pup.