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  • Writer's pictureMeileen Yee

How to Stop Your Dog From Marking Their Territory

Urine marking, more commonly known as a dog marking their territory, is normal behavior for dogs, though it can become a nuisance for the owners. Although most people only see it happen on walks, urine marking can happen indoors and for different reasons besides a dog wanting to mark their territory.

Why Dogs Urine Mark

Dogs usually urine mark when they want to claim their territory or when they come across new scents, especially from other dogs that have marked in the same spot. This typically happens outdoors but can also happen inside at home. Another cause of urine marking can be anxiety. To learn more about anxiety, you can read our past blog post about anxiety and separation anxiety to determine if your dog is marking out of anxiousness and how to help him. If you have ruled out anxiety or any medical problems, there are ways you can prevent your dog from urine marking.

How to Prevent It

  1. On walks: If you don’t have the time for your dog to urine mark every ten feet (like mine does), train your dog to walk continually. You can use the capturing technique when they walk without marking to let them know they are making a good choice! In order to capture the desired behavior, you can use treats and praise. The praise can be something as simple as saying, “Nice walk!” or “Good job walking!” If you’d like more information on capturing watch this video of our trainer Wesley explaining capturing! Just keep in mind that letting your dog sniff around is great for her wellbeing, so try to figure out the balance to allow your dog to sniff without continually marking his or her territory. It will take time but it will be worth it in the long run.

  2. Inside the house: If your dog urine marks inside the house, try to figure out why. If another dog was over, try to get their smell out of the house. If you got a new couch with a new smell, monitor your dog around the couch for a few days. If your dog keeps marking in the same place, block off that area from him or her. And whenever marking happens, be sure to use the proper cleaner for urine, so that the smell goes away. If the smell is gone, chances are your dog won’t mark there anymore.

Every dog is different and ultimately, you will have a better idea of knowing whether your dog’s marking behavior is a small occurrence or if it's a problem. If you would like more information about how you can help your dog with urine marking, please visit our training page to contact our trainer, Wesley! We hope this has been helpful.


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All proceeds from Thousand Hills Pet Resort support New Life K9s. New Life K9s provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to them.




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