Many dogs mark places that are new and unfamiliar to them. Marking behavior can be modified if you start training early. When introducing your dog to your home, be prepared. Here are a couple tricks for a marking-quick-fix.

First Things First…

Spay or neuter your dog as soon as possible. The longer a dog goes without being spayed or neutered, the more likely it is that the dog will mark. Female dogs do mark, though the behavior is more common in males.. 

Consult your veterinarian to rule out anxiety or any medical issue that may cause your dog’s indoor marking habits. 

When your dog marks inside the house, clean the marked area with enzymatic cleaner as soon possible to prevent him from marking that spot again. 

The Training Process

During the first few days, have your dog on a leash and attached to you at all times while inside. Make sure he is confined or crated when you are not home or unable to supervise.

If your dog begins to urinate indoors, make a loud noise to interrupt him and immediately take him outside. If he begins to urinate outside, make sure to reward him with praise and treats.

Take your dog outside frequently and give him plenty of opportunities to mark while he is outside.

Once your dog has been consistently good inside on the leash while attached to you, detach him and let him drag the leash around for a few days. Maintain constant supervision over your dog and do not let him sneak away. If he attempts to mark, put your foot on the leash and make a loud sound to interrupt him and take him outside. If he passes a previously marked spot without marking, reward him with treats and praise. 

Belly Bands can be placed on male dogs to prevent marking. These wrap around the dog’s waist and cover his penis. This can be enough to stop him from marking but, if he does mark, the absorbent liner will capture the urine to keep dog and home clean.

What Not To Do

DO NOT punish your dog after the fact. Punishment administered even a minute after the act is ineffective because your pet will not understand why he is being punished. 

If you come home and find that your dog has urinated inside, just clean up the mess. Don't take him over to the spots and yell and rub his nose in them. Your dog won't associate the punishment with something he may have done hours ago, leading to confusion and possibly fear.

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email behavior@anticruelty.org.

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