Why Dogs Mark Their Territory

By Maria Posted in dog care /

A dog doesn’t just start peeing in the house just for the fun of it. Is your pet merely relieving himself in the wrong place or is he marking his territory?

What your dog urinates on is usually a big clue. If your dog is peeing on vertical objects, then he is most likely trying to mark his territory. Keep in mind, though, that males normally lift their legs when they pee so they inevitably do so on upright objects.

photoAnother good clue is the amount of urine involved. Small puddles normally indicate marking behavior, while bigger pools mean your dog is using the house as his new toilet. Copious amounts of pee often suggest your dog is urinating because of a physical need and he either couldn’t or didn’t want to go out.

If your pooch pees during the night, it is usually enough to let him drink water earlier rather than later at night and to take him outside for a bathroom trip before going to bed. Be careful, though; you don’t want to dehydrate him!

So why do dogs mark their territory?

The first step to solving the problem of your dog marking his territory inside your home is to understand why he’s doing it.

Canines have a sense of smell that is significantly better developed than that of humans. While their urine might smell offensive to us, it’s a way of communication for them. Your dog’s pee tells other dogs who he is and whether he’s available to mate or not.  It also gets rid of feelings of insecurity, builds confidence, and establishes dominance over other canines (“This is my turf, I was here first”).

If your dog is struggling with confidence issues, any sudden change in his home environment can induce territory marking because they trigger feelings of anxiety. For example, the arrival of a new baby may mean that your pet is no longer getting as much attention as he used to. Hence, he’ll start marking his territory to establish his dominance over the new member of the pack and to confirm his place in the pecking order.

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