First of all, be aware that urine marking and the concept of territory are not necessarily linked.
Indeed, urine marking is more a means of communication, an olfactory trace left to other dogs rather than a desire to delimit any territory.
Why is urine marking not linked to the territory?
Clearly, when your dog marks (lifts his paw), it is to transmit a message to other dogs or to respond to another, but in no case does this mean that he “marks his territory”.
When the dog raises its paw, it is not to express the fact that it is at home, it is simply to leave an olfactory trace of the kind “I have been there guys”! Because if we start from the principle that the dog lifts its paw to show that it is at home, you will agree that the male dog not castrated feels almost everywhere at home suddenly! It’s absurd isn’t it?
I now propose to answer a series of questions that I am asked quite regularly.
Which dogs score?
If we consider that the marking is similar to raising the paw on an object, a tree, a car wheel, a blade of grass, a leg … We speak of course of male dogs! However, females also post messages to their friends, it is less frequent but still exists.
Be careful though if you observe a dog marking “massively” and that overnight, it may be due to a health problem, so do not delay to consult your veterinarian.
Generally, this behavior appears when the dog has reached a certain maturity, so there is no fixed age since each dog will be different on this point. Personally, my uncastrated male dog did not lift his paw until the age of 1 year and a half, before that, he peed like a female.
Castration to avoid urine marking?
First of all, know that castration will only have effects on urine marking or even on your dog’s behavior if the operation is performed in the first year (between 8 and 12 months, this is ideal if your choice is on castration).
Beyond this period, castration will no longer have an effect, except to make the reproduction of your animal impossible. Indeed, the testosterone hormones will already be well installed in your dog and he will, in the majority of cases, already have adopted certain marking habits which he will not lose thanks to castration. He will continue to score, it will simply send a different message to the other dogs: “I lost what I had between my legs guys”!
How to prevent a dog from marking on the street?
It is often wrong to let your dog pee on all car wheels and all store fronts. Even if this behavior is natural in dogs, it is indeed recommended to frame it a little bit, just to avoid reprimands from city dwellers.
To do so, everything is a matter of anticipation, habituation and consistency in your attitude. Clearly, to succeed in preventing your dog from marking on the street, you must:
- Prohibit him every time (not every other time or when someone is looking at you).
- Offer him as often as possible places where he can make his needs, by insisting well: “go will pee” and especially by rewarding him warmly when it’s done (don’t be afraid of ridicule).
- Anticipate so as not to blame the dog! That is to say that you must carefully observe your doggie, and as soon as it begins to sniff with intensity with intensity, say “hehe” firmly for example (any indication of renouncement, as long as this one is always identical ). Clearly, if you are not fast enough and he already has his leg up: it’s too late! Good luck for him to stop his action because in general, it is always easier to stop an intention to do rather than an action already in progress.
How to prevent a dog from marking at home?
Sometimes dogs mark inside and this can be due to various causes: poor learning, physical problem, or simply a need / desire to leave a message there (maybe after a smell left by another animal).
I advise you to first consult your veterinarian to rule out any physical problem, especially if this behavior occurs overnight without apparent reason. In addition, I invite you to consult our article dedicated mainly to the filthiness of the adult dog.
To summarize the main rules for managing your dog’s markings at home:
- Do not reprimand the dog if you have not seen him do it, he lives in the present moment and will not understand a “punishment” which concerns a “stupidity” made several hours before.
- Do not put the truffle in it, it is humiliating and it has no educational interest.
- Don’t clean up in front of him, he might take this as a game.
- Do not especially clean with bleach, prefer white vinegar.
Also take care to take into account the environment and the daily upheaval possibly of your dog. Did another dog come to your home (even for a few hours), have you been in contact with a female in heat, etc. ?
To conclude, the most important and what is, for me, essential to remember concerning the marking, is that it is absolutely necessary to banish from your language the territorial marking because it is often badly interpreted. We assimilate the “territorial” side to a dominant animal when in reality it is completely natural behavior and above all a simple means of communication.
However, despite the “natural” side of the behavior, it is important to control it so that it does not overflow and the attitude of your dog then becomes unsuitable for life in society.