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My dog ​​marks territory inside the house, how can I avoid it?

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What to do if your dog dials inside the house? We give you some tips to avoid this unwanted behavior in your pet.

Dogs use marking to communicate to other dogs that they are sexually available or that a territory is theirs. The marking is a habit that, although part of the nature of dogs, can cause problems if our pet acquires the habit of doing it inside the house. We cannot prevent our dog from marking because it is part of his instinct, but, just as we can teach him what are the right places to do his needs, we can teach him where to dial and where not to.

If the dog has marked territory inside the house, it is very important to clean the surfaces where the animal urinates well. Dogs usually make their needs in places where they have already done so, so we must completely eliminate the smell to prevent recurrence.

We must identify the objects in the house that you usually mark because he considers hers and teach him that they are not, that they belong to us. One of the objects that dogs tend to mark the most are the beds of their owners, so it is important to teach them to climb only when we allow it and, thus, we will show you that it is not the leader and will stop marking that territory as his.

Limit your access to the house keeping doors closed can also help us keep it more controlled and prevent it from urinating away from our presence. If you do it in front of us, we can rebuke him at the moment with a noise (a knock on the table or a clap) while we say "No!" with authoritative voice. This procedure will teach you that this is not the right place to mark territory and that what you are doing is wrong.

If after reprimanding him we take him out to the street and reward him when marking an object, he will understand not only where he should not do it, but also where he is allowed to. This training can last weeks until it is successful, so you have to be very patient and not punish or hit it if you don't obey the first few days.

Although following these guidelines you will significantly improve your behavior, the best thing to avoid these problems is to sterilize your dog. In this way, you will avoid problems such as the marking itself or aggressive behavior in the bit of heat of the dogs. You will also help keep him away from diseases such as the appearance of tumors and increase his life expectancy, as sterilized dogs usually live longer.

The importance of marking for dogs

Humans see urine as something unpleasant, but for a dog it is something of great importance and value in many ways, not only physiologically. Through the smell of urine A dog is able to send messages to other dogs. These messages range from personal territory, order and social hierarchy, to mating availability. Dogs use marks to make themselves noticed, show authority and belonging to objects, places and even subjects.

It also happens that dogs begin to mark in places where they did not before because they are in a state of stress. Analyze if your dog is going through an episode of separation anxiety where feelings of insecurity are emerging. Experts indicate that marking the territory has the capacity to build the confidence of our canine companions. Your dog may also be feeling threatened by some new situation or a sudden change in the environment or in the dynamics of the home.

For example a move, the arrival of a new baby, a new pet, a new couple, a visit or even a home remodel. If other animals arrive, especially dogs and cats, the dog may be attracted to body odor and mark the places where it has passed: this includes shoes, carpets and pieces of clothing.

It is important to know that most of Dogs that are sterilized at an early age do not usually mark territory inside the house. Prevention is better than cure, it is also very healthy for your pet.

Peeing is one thing, marking is another

We must be careful to confuse the marking of urine with the fact of urinating, for a dog it is not the same to mark the territory through this action, than to relieve a full bladder. By this we mean that although your dog is very well educated so as not to fulfill his needs at home, this does not mean that he sees incorrectly marking the territory. The motivation of the dog is totally different, therefore, it will be a different behavior.

When a dog marks territory, the amount of urine you deposit is less. So if you find large puddles of urine on the floor, it is because your dog has not endured and has relaxed his bladder.

It is also good to identify that the marking in the house is done generally on a vertical surface like a door, a table or a piece of furniture, in addition to any other object, however strange it may seem. These objects are usually new, have different and unknown smells, although perfectly your dog could repeat them if they liked it a lot. This can become a possessive obsession with elements or spaces of the house. Everything in the house will be his possession, even you could become it too.

Another factor to take into account if your dog suddenly begins to mark territory inside the house in a constant way, may be the fact that he is suffering from a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection and his urge to "discharge" results Be very urgent and overwhelming. In this case, take your dog to a consultation with your trusted veterinarian to rule out diseases.

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One of the biggest problems we face when our dogs' puberty comes is territorial marking. But what does this consist of? During the 8 and 9 months the sexual hormones of the dogs begin to develop, triggering certain behaviors that they had not experienced before. One of the most important has to do with the territorial domain, which they carry out through urine marking. It is common to see that, mainly males, repeatedly urinate the same physical spaces. However, if we live with them inside our home this becomes a much worse problem, because both armchairs and beds or tables are easy targets for our dogs to put all their authority over them. It should be noted that these behaviors are carried out by natural instinct, however, there are certain ways to deal with it. Next we will detail some of them.

Positive reinforcements

One way to make your dog stop urinating inside the house is to reinforce certain behaviors through rewards. If you see that your dog is urinating your favorite armchair, teach him that he should do it outside and every time he does it, reward him with a snack he likes. In this way, your pet will become accustomed until urinating outside the house becomes a natural behavior.

Lead the pack

One of the main reasons why our dogs urinate certain spaces is directly related to the protection of the pack, through marking. That is why, an ideal way to avoid these behaviors, which many times can be quite annoying for us, is leading the pack. Reaffirm your authority in front of him with rules and regulations. Dogs need a leader to guide their behavior to some extent. Teach him that not all physical spaces in your home are his domain and that, therefore, he cannot and should not urinate them. In addition to this, you can establish other rules such as ordering him to eat after you have served his food and not before, or that he waits calmly and submissively for the time to go for a walk.

Clean areas that your dog has marked before

It is very likely that dogs urinate the same physical spaces again and again, as they are attracted to the smell. Therefore it is highly recommended that you clean the urinated spaces very well in order to remove any remaining odor and neutralize the objects.

And most importantly: Sterilize!

While the points mentioned above may help us a lot to deal with the instinct of our pets, sterilization is one of the most effective methods to control this problem. Why? Sterilization acts directly on male hormones reducing certain behaviors associated with testosterone. In fact, certain studies or articles specialized in canine behavior, ensure that this procedure would reduce by 50% the chances of your dog using territorial marking, since sexual instincts would be reduced. But sterilization not only helps avoid these behaviors but also constitutes an ethical action and promotes the safety of your dog.

By sterilizing your dog you will be contributing to avoid, in a responsible way, dog overpopulation and abandonment of pets, as you will prevent a possible reproduction. Currently in Chile there is an indiscriminate overpopulation of dogs, therefore, It is inhuman that more dogs continue to be born when civil society does not provide for and is not responsible for animals that are born day by day on the streets or worse still born and then abandoned by their owners.

If you are tired of the "footprints" left by your puppy, consider castration as an option that will bring multiple benefits to everyone.

Homemade repellents with one goal: that the dog passes by

  • Sulfur powder
    It is a remedy prohibited in Spain for its toxicity. Experts say it "does not work," despite its popularity.
  • Hypochlorite
    Half a cup of chlorine and three of water. Care must be taken when preparing the mixture (half a cup of chlorine for three of water) because the hypochlorite removes the color of the surfaces.
  • Bleach
    The bleach serves to eliminate the smell of orion, but not to prevent the dog from urinating again since the bleach leaves an aromatic trace that attracts them.
  • Cayenne pepper
    This spice contains a substance called capsaicum, which is capable of causing eye and skin irritation and annoys animals.
  • Vinegar
    Dogs hate acetic acid. With the help of a sprayer spray plenty of pure vinegar where you do not want dogs to approach.
  • Ammonia
    A solution of water with ammonia is prepared at a rate of half a cup of the latter for 2 of water. You have to spray the area frequently.
  • Water
    It is one of the most popular solutions because pets do not urinate near water and because of the belief that their reflection scares them.
  • Lemons
    The juice of one or two lemons is mixed in two cups of water and the area is sprinkled. Animals do not like that smell.
  • Aromatic plants
    A wormwood, rue and sage concentrate is prepared. It must be poured into a sprayer and spray the surfaces abundantly.
  • White alcohol
    Spray the affected area every day for at least one week. The measure is a cup of white alcohol and two of water.

Chemical products in spray or paint that try to replace home remedies such as sulfur, ammonia or water bottles that are not 100% effective. However, experts say that the only way to prevent a dog from always marking the same corner or facade depends on their education. Urinate by instinct, even if the owner only takes action when he does it indoors

There is no dog that does not. The scene is most common: while the walk lasts, the dog urinates on a pole, on a lamppost, on a tree, on the facade of a farm, on a wheel, in any corner. He does it institutionally. That is their way of communicating, of telling their peers that this is their territory. In fact, until a dog does not urinate several times at the same point it does not feel that place.

But it doesn't end there. Each time a dog passes through the same point, it will mark it. He will not empty his bladder, nor does he need it. The goal is to leave a scent mark, but those marks lead those who suffer the consequences. How to prevent animals from always marking the same point? The answer is simple and has only one protagonist: its owner. However, this will only correct this action (or try) when the animal marks inside the house. If he does it outside. That is another song that only worries those who suffer it, that is, the owner of the motorcycle, the neighbor who lives on a ground floor with urine on the facade or the shopkeeper who runs a corner business.

However, the market is full of chemical products prepared to repel urine, similar to that applied by the City Council of Paterna in urban furniture to prevent dogs (and some people) from performing these practices. The prices are the most varied (between 7 and more than 300 euros). The composition of the products, too. They are distributed both in paint and spray. The market is booming before the multitude of home remedies that, although they proliferate, have no proven effectiveness. Sulfur, bottles of water, lemon, pepper or alcohol diluted in water.

The canine behavior expert and responsible for the Yaakun.com Group, José Antonio Mézlau, makes a basic note: «If we do not re-educate the animal, if we do not reconstruct a new behavior for it, it is a very difficult objective. The products, the home remedies, are a patch that will not solve the problem. However, that the dog dial only worries the owner when he does it inside his house. That is the question".

Chemical products in the market

In paint
The one used by the City Council of Paterna (Protesek) "repels" the urine. There is a wide variety in the market.

Spray
Urine spray repellents, in smaller containers for domestic use, are easily found starting at 7 euros although the price range exceeds 300. The products are applied on the treated surface and there is enough variety in the composition of the same.

How to prevent my dog ​​from marking territory inside the house

In ExpertAnimal we always talk about prevention. Castration at an early age helps to eradicate this type of behavior in most dogs. Sterilizing it can prevent the formation of different types of habits, such as marking territory within the home. For more adult dogs, this may work even if it does not have the same effect. In this case you must break this dynamic yourself. Try the following supervision based training:

  • You must catch him on the spot and immediately correct the behavior. Your dog will begin to feel that what he is doing is not correct.
  • Close monitoring is necessary, we call this "the intense method of supervision." You must be constant and dedicate yourself to the mission of breaking this habit. With good commitment and luck, a couple of weeks or, often, less correction time will be enough.
  • Although it seems ironic, do not limit access to water, in fact, you will want your dog to drink more. Drinking water helps to purify the urinary system and prevents the accumulation of bacteria that make the situation worse.
  • During this process keep your dog in an area of ​​the house where you can always see it. Close the doors to other parts of the house or place barricades to limit your access to other places where you have marked.
  • Observe the behavior of your dog and be aware of the previous signs of marking such as sniffing and spinning. Get a can or plastic bottle and fill it halfway with small stones, the moment you start to lift your leg, shake the can to get your attention. This will interrupt and break the focus. Turning to see the sound object will be your moment. Firmly, give the command No!
  • Praise him and reward him when he transforms the behavior, pee wherever you want and mark in the right place, even outside the home. Dogs learn fast>

If you want to read more articles similar to My dog ​​marks territory inside the house, how can I avoid it?, we recommend that you enter our Behavior Problems section.

Hello Kenneth, the first thing that I advise you is to assess the castration of the Belgian shepherd, since it is demonstrated by veterinary studies that in some cases the aggressiveness and marking patterns can be improved. Apart from this, avoid cleaning with chlorine and bet on enzymatic products, they are the most effective to eliminate organic debris.

Puppies are likely to try to mimic the behavior of the adult dog, so I recommend you walk them separately and socialize them thoroughly.

With regard to the issue of urine, I leave an article with guidelines for you to review and values ​​if you are doing everything: https://www.expertoanimal.com/como-ensenar-a-un-cachorro-a-hacer- your-needs-on-the-street-20161.html

Finally, I would like to congratulate you on the adoption 😊 if you have any further questions, contact us. Regards!

Hello Francisco, to avoid it you must teach him to pee in the newspaper: https://www.expertoanimal.com/como-ensenar-a-un-perro-a-ir-al-bano-20492.html later, when he has all vaccines a day, then you will teach him to urinate in the street: https://www.expertoanimal.com/como-ensenar-a-un-cachorro-a-hacer-sus-necesidades-en-la-calle-20161. html if you are patient and you use positive reinforcement you will get it fast.

Hello Alma, the first thing will be to rule out that it is a health problem, so I advise you to go to your veterinarian to perform a complete urine test.

On the other hand, do not forget to properly clean the area with enzymatic products (sanytol type) and try to find out if there is any factor that could have caused the appearance of this behavior: a new dog at home, lack of walks, etc.

Hi, it's me again. The same as the last comment of 03/22/2018.

I wanted to thank the information and the response so close!

On top of that, comment that he had already been reading about separation anxiety. My dog ​​seems to have several behaviors that match, so I will follow the advice that is also on that note.

I hope that with castration surgery, plus the reinforcement of tips / techniques, my dog ​​manages to stop marking. The good thing is that he goes for a walk every day, at least one hour, every time my partner or I arrive home. And that is precisely why we were struck by the attention that I started to mark inside the house after 1 year and 3 months of life, since from the 6 months it already marks, but it did not do it in the house.

On the other hand, I wanted to consult on another subject. We have noticed that in the last 4-5 months my dog ​​has become a bit more aggressive, quite territorial. When he is in the garden, he barks a lot at dogs, people (adults and children), bicycles, motorcycles and cars. Which I didn't do before. But for about 3 months, on the walks he has become aggressive with other dogs and has even tried to tie people. And until three months ago he was too friendly, he loved that people approached him to care for him, and approach other dogs to socialize. In the last three months it has been launched as 5 people. Luckily nothing has happened, he has only managed to scare them with so much barking. Anyway you have all your vaccinations up to date, including rabies. But that topic has me very worried. I would like to correct him, because I loved that he was such a loving dog with other dogs and people. If you could help me or guide me, it would be great.

Hello to all the Expert Animal team!
I wanted to tell you that I found this article wonderful at least. I think I will continue reading more notes. I really appreciate the information.

Now, I have a little doubt. In the article they mention the issue of sterilization, and I was wondering at what age they specifically refer when they say "early age."
What happens is that I tell you my situation. I have a black fire dachshund (male) dog almost two years old (1 year, 9 months, 19 days). He spends most of his time inside the house, but he had already acquired the habit of doing his necessities outside the house (patio), because they have free access to go out all day. Actually, we leave for work at 8 in the morning and return between 5-6 in the afternoon, even before he arrived at our house. However, in the last time (approximately 6 months) he began to dial inside the house: kitchen, bathroom, armchairs, even in a bed where we did not sleep. And it has quite exhausted us. We have tried many things. Even on vacation we take advantage of doing the "intense method of supervision". The only thing we achieve is that he acknowledges that what he is doing is not correct, however now that we have returned to the rhythm of work, he marks in the periods when we are not.
I will still follow a couple of tips that I have not yet tried and that were in this note, but the bottom of my comment was to know by age to sterilize. We have already made the decision, and in fact, he has time with his veterinarian for next Wednesday, March 29 (less than a week). But we still have the uncertainty of whether it will really help in terms of marking, given that in a couple of months we will change our homes, so we don't want the new place to be all marked, and especially because of the smell. Because even my partner gets headaches because of the strong smell (in general they get headaches with very strong odors).

Anything you can tell me, I will be greatly grateful. Thank you in advance. Keep up the good work. Much success!

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