MARKING_FeaturedScent marking is a very normal and common behavior (particularly in male dogs), but it becomes a big problem when marking occurs in the home. Both sexes scent mark, but unneutered males are the worst offenders because the presence of testosterone stimulates signaling of sexual availability and claiming of territory.

Resources such as toys, food bowls, chew treats, bones, and beds are the most likely objects to be marked, and in some cases a dog will actually mark a person or something that smells heavily of that person, such as a sofa or bed. Scent marking is usually more common in multi-dog households where dogs compete for space, resources, and human attention.

How Can I Stop My Dog from Scent Marking?

  • Remove high-value resources that encourage competitive marking.
  • Do not allow the dog or dogs that scent mark to roam freely around the home.
  • To prevent access to favorite marking spots during times when you are unable to actively supervise your dogs, confine them to a dog-proofed room or crate.
  • Avoid competitive or vigorous play indoors, as excess activity encourages urination.
  • If a dog is about to mark, interrupt the behavior with a vocal interrupter and immediately direct the dog to something more positive or take him outside.
  • Help a marking dog succeed by taking him to new and different areas on walks. This will encourage him to mark outside rather than in the home, but take care not to allow your dog to toilet in neighbors’ yards and please be considerate to others by picking up any poop!
  • In many cases, neutering can significantly reduce the desire to scent mark, but if a dog is a serial scent marker before neutering then surgery might not reduce the behavior completely.
  • Boredom and lack of mental stimulation and physical exercise exacerbates marking behavior, so a daily schedule of activities that keep dogs occupied, along with good environmental management, is the perfect prescription for happier dogs and a cleaner home.


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4 thoughts on “Marking

  1. denebolaeltanin

    I'm very concerned about my dog's inappropriate urination. He is a one year old rhodesian ridgeback. He was neutered when he was 7 months old. He isn't aggressive or protective of his food or toys. However, when he not under supervision he will sometimes urinate inside the apartment. One three separate occasions (weeks apart) he has peed on someone's leg. They were family members who feed him and take him out regularly. When there are guests in the house he pees sometimes too.
    The situation is becoming really stressful and awful now, because if he doesn't stop I'll have to find another home for him. My parents see this behavior as entirely unacceptable and it has to stop now. I really need help. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

  2. Kathleen Thebeau Warner

    I have two males and Snickers marks all the time, it's impossible to watch him constantly. It doesn't help that we also have dog on dog aggression issues. We boarded both males and our female while on vacation and our female became ill. They removed her from the kennel and the males began to fight. They separated them but we have been having issues for the last two years, Hattie our female was dominant and after she passed away Snickers and Ricky will get along for a few weeks and then suddenly try to kill each other. We separate them until we don't see any signs of aggression and then put them back together. Snickers, who marks also tries to kill our cat every chance he gets so we live in a house divided. We have two fenced in kennel areas with a gate between them for the dogs in the greatroom. When they get along the gate is open. When they are allowed out of the kennel we have to close the bifold door to the hall to keep the cat out. Our house is not always peaceful and happy.

  3. maria Linkogle

    My dog pees in the house when we leave the home. He used to bark excessively as well, but he doesn't bark as much now that we give him a large chew bone. Now he just pees. He is nearly 6 years old. We are his third owners.

  4. Aubrey Maynard

    I adopted a dog from Austin pets alive and he'll go potty out side but still come in and pee he likes to pee on the end one the bed and my clothing basket idk how to get him to stop and if I can't fix it my husband will make me give him back i have been trying everthing I had to get him a kinnel and he'll pee in it too

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