Stop Your Dog from Marking

Stop Your Dog From Marking

Do you have a dog that marks in the house?

You know the signs: your dog seems to be perfectly potty trained.

He always asks to go outside.  He never has an accident inside.

Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, he starts lifting his leg in the house, watering your or some favorite spot on the wall.

What’s gotten into your dog?

Why is your dog marking indoors?…….. And, what can you do to stop your dog from marking indoors?


First of all, you should know that dogs mostly think that house training is silly.

They understand that you shouldn’t soil the place where you sleep but, other than that, they probably don’t understand why humans freak out when a dog has an accident in the house.


But dogs are very smart animals and if humans want them to specifically potty outdoors, that’s what most dogs are happy to learn to do, especially if there are treats and praise involved.


Secondly, you should know that marking in the house is not actually a house training problem. Your dog most likely knows the rules about house training. When he chooses to mark in the house he’s doing it for a completely different reason.


This behavior has much more to do with instinct and communication than with relieving himself.

In the wild wolves and your dog, if he’s running loose, use marking behavior as a way of leaving messages.

Dogs have great scenting ability and they can gather an enormous amount of information from sniffing where another dog has marked. This is an instinctual behavior.


The information can include your dog’s general age, sex, health, sexual readiness, and so on.


Often he’s leaving a message that he’s looking’ for love or a message of possession — this is his place and you better stay away. Your dog will start behaving this way and marking in the house under some circumstances.

If your dog feels threatened in some way he may start marking in the house.


Do you have a new baby?


A new husband or wife?


Are you dating a new person?


Have you just moved into a new home?


Any of these changes in your dog’s life could prompt him to feel insecure and make him feel like he needs to assert himself by marking in the house.


Conversely, your dog may also feel protective of a new baby or a new family member. He may feel like he needs to take possession of a new home. In these cases your dog may temporarily mark in the house as a way of leaving the message to other dogs that may happen to come along (if any) that you are his people, this is his house and they better stay away.


In other cases, your dog may feel that he needs to mark in the house if you have a female dog, especially if she is in season. Your dog’s marking behavior is, essentially, like leaving love notes for her. There is sometimes marking behavior if you have another male dog in the house and the two dogs are trying to one-up each other.



Most dogs who exhibit marking behavior are young, unaltered males. Neutering does usually stop the problem. However, if your dog is feeling insecure about his place in the home you should also make sure that you spend more time with him. If you have a new family member your dog may be feeling neglected so make sure that you spend time with him and let him know that you still love him and that he’s appreciated.


Some people resort to having their male dogs wear belly bands or pants for male dogs but these are usually only temporary solutions.


Female dogs can also scent mark so don’t be surprised if you have a female dog who engages in this behavior. She is doing it for the same reasons that male dogs do.


If your dog has been marking in the house it’s very important that you immediately clean up the area. It’s not enough to clean the area so that you can’t smell any scent. You need to clean the area thoroughly so your dog can’t smell the scent. Otherwise your dog will be tempted to keep going back to the place and repeating the behavior.



There are occasionally some other reasons why a dog may mark in the house, such as a urinary tract infection. If you suspect that this may be the cause of your dog marking in the house you should take him to the vet to have it seen about. However, by far the most common cause of a dog marking in the house is behavioral.



If your dog is urine marking in the house you should give him a refresher course in house training and keep an eagle eye on him at all times. DO rush him outdoors if you see him start to lift his leg.


Praise and reward him for urinating outdoors where you want him to go. Remember that neutering young male dogs usually solves the problem, especially for dogs that are not going to be used for breeding.


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