white bull dog

Uh oh, what did you do?

Put a Halt to Your Dog Marking in Your Home

Author, Darlene Wagner for Professional Pet Sitting Etc.

Whether you are the pet parent of a male or female dog (yes, females do it, too), there is a likelihood that you’ve struggled at one time or another with your beloved pooch marking his or her territory within your home. It can be a common and quite irritating issue, especially when Max or Bella chooses to make his or her mark on your brand new rug or pristine wood floors.


What Exactly is Marking?


Many pet parents misunderstand canine marking. Believe it or not, it is NOT the same as your dog simply urinating indoors. Your dog’s marking inside the home could be his/her assertion of authority, dominance or sexuality among a larger group of animals or beings, a.k.a. the dog’s “pack.” This can happen if there are more then one dog in the home or if your dog SEES another dog through the wndow.  It could also be a dog that is anxious or stressed, especially if anything has changed in a home. This may also be due to a UTI, so a vet visit would be first on your list.


What Can I Do to Stop My Dog’s Marking Behavior?


There are several things that can be done to encourage your pooch to stop marking inside your home:


  • If there is a particular item he or she marks and seems to go back to that same item on a consistent basis, simply remove the item from your home.
  • Pay close attention to your dog and learn his or her signals that show the intent to mark. By doing so, you can interrupt the process and use positive reinforcement to encourage your precious pooch to do his/her business outdoors.
  • Crate your dog when you are away from home and/or during the night if marking seems to be a great issue for him/her. Dogs, when confined to a smaller space, typically choose not to mark their small territory and don’t like to soil their sleeping space.
  • When your dog does mark, or simply has a potty accident indoors, ensure that you clean all soiled areas thoroughly. Places your pooch has marked are important to him/her as they define territory, so be careful to remove every trace of his/her personal scent. A mixture of equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water will often suffice to remove the smell. You may even try a high-quality pet odor neutralizer over the spot after it has been thoroughly cleaned.


Often times, you may find that your well trained dog has reverted to marking if there is a significant change in the home. For example, if a new family member or pet has been introduced, an older dog may feel as if his or her status in the home is being challenged. If this is the case, you may be able to deter the marking behavior by ensuring your give your dog extra love, care and attention. Understanding he/she is still important in your life despite the change in the home is of the utmost importance.


If, despite your best efforts, your dog continues to mark within the home, consult with your veterinarian as there may be an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed.





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