Making their Mark

Dogs are territorial, and both males and females may mark their territory with their scent (small amounts of urine). They may start this behaviour as early as 3 months old. It is, however the male dog that usually marks his terrain.

Although some male dogs may mark their territory around females, especially if they are coming into “heat”, some other males will only mark in the presence of other males.

A male dog that recognises other exciting smells and territorial markings in their garden or in the dog park will generally reciprocate with their own marking.

There may be a medical reason why your dog is excessively marking his territory; so, take your dog to the vet for a check-up and voice your concerns with him. It is always better to eliminate a medical reason first, before trying to correct behavioural issues.

Some tips on curbing this unwanted behaviour:

  • Spaying and neutering your pet early in their life may help in preventing this behaviour, but it doesn’t necessarily stop it altogether
  • Making sure that your dog is properly socialised will reduce anxiety in your pet and probably assist in eliminating this behaviour
  • It is important to establish yourself as the leader of the pack for a myriad of reasons. It is extremely important in this instance, as your pet will recognise that you are the leader and that the territory belongs to you; which will discourage him from marking his territory
  • Keep an eye on your dog while he is inside the home, for signs that he may start marking his scent.
  • If he begins to urinate, clap your hands and make a loud noise. Take him outside and encourage him to urinate. If he does, reward him with a treat and praise.
  • If your dog does lift his leg indoors, make sure to clean it with a cleaning agent that is specifically designed to eliminate pet odours

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