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My dog is "marking" inside my house! What can I do?

Smartliving Guest asked this
May 30, 2013 at 1:04 PM

A:

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There are several questions that need to be answered first. How old is the dog? Was the dog previously potty-trained? Is this a new behavior? Is the urination large amounts or small amounts? Is there an increased frequency of urination? Is the dog straining? Is the stream of urine a good flow or a dribble? Are there urine spots where the dog currently sleeps? Is there blood in the urine?

There are many reasons a dog may urinate in the house. My best recommendation is to have the dog evaluated by your veterinarian to determine if there is a urinary tract infection, urinary crystals, or bladder stones. If the dog is male, prostate disease is a possibility. Urinary tract infections, urinary crystals, or bladder stones can cause discomfort and urgency which results in urination in the house. Once medical causes have been ruled out, then behavior recommendations are the next step.

Dr. Lynn Happel DVM Health Coach answered
May 30, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Once medical issues are ruled out by a vet it is time to look at the behavioral side. Is your dog neutered or spayed? Yes, female dogs can "mark" too. Marking is very typical for an unaltered dog who wants to let the opposite sex know they are present, and alert same sex dogs to their territory. The first step is to get the dog spayed or neutered right away. It can take a few months after this surgery for the hormones to dissipate.

If your dog is neutered or spayed, it is time to look at who is "running" the household. Meaning this, does your dog have rules, boundaries, and consequences set up? Dogs are a species that thrives in an orderly pack that is driven by strong leadership. If a pet-parent is lacking that leadership and allowing their pooch to do whatever, this is a recipe for a dog that will control their environment. This includes marking to insure that other dogs know who is "top dog!"

Contact a behavioral trainer to help knock Princess Fifi or King Fido off their throne and to help you gain control back in the pack. The behaviorist should offer tips on setting up rules, and effective discipline (no prong, choke or e-collars should ever be used for discipline).

Once you start applying these training techniques Princess Fifi or King Fido will no longer have the need to "mark" anymore.

Victoria Swanson Health Coach answered
May 30, 2013 at 1:10 PM
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