I’m sure this question has crossed every dog owners’ mind at least once. I decided to do some research on this question to see if there is a clear answer or a definite solution to the problem.
The act of marking one’s territory is a natural instinct for all dogs. Yet this behavior is not appropriate for one that lives inside. We all need to remember that being territorial is a natural characteristic when it comes to dogs. Dogs don’t usually mark their territory to “spite” their owners. It is their way of saying “this is my house”, “don’t make yourself too comfortable”, or “this is my family”. As human beings, we can just simply write our name on an object to let others know it belongs to us. For dogs, on the other hand, it’s not that simple.
When your dog becomes anxious, this can also trigger excess territorial marking. For example; a new baby, remodeling the home, packing to move, adding a new piece of furniture, or even hearing another dog bark outside the window. Change is a factor that can cause not only humans to be anxious, but dogs as well. As pet owners, we need to reassure our pets that everything is going to be okay and they are still wanted in our lives.
There are easy ways to distinguish between the two. When a dog is soiling inside your home, you will notice a large urine stain from them emptying their bladder. This could be due to the lack of house training, medical concerns, or even because your dog becomes scared and loses control of his/her bowls & bladder.
If your dog is house-broken & soiling becomes an issue, you may want to re-evaluate what is going on not only in your home, but your dog’s life. Are there changes in your dog’s life that are scaring them? For example; construction in the area which can be very loud and frightening, or maybe your dog is having medical issues that you can’t see from their outward appearance. Since dog’s can’t talk, it is our job as their owner to be their advocate and to pay close attention to signs they give us.
Territorial marking (urine-marking) is a small amount of urine, that is generally on vertical surfaces. Most dogs will lift their leg to mark their territory. Some owners make take this marking to heart. For example, if you bring home a new baby or even a new significant other, your dog may make their mark on the intruder’s personal items. This isn’t their way of saying “I don’t like them,” it is just a way for your pet to reassure themselves that they still have boundaries in the home. Let’s say you go to a friend’s house and play with their dog. When you arrive home, your dog smells the new sent and may mark their territory to reassure themselves that this is their home.
If you and your family move into a new home and there was a dog prior, your dog will want to mark their territory right away. As pet owners we need to be more understanding of certain situations for our dogs. We put them in a new home full of the previous owners sent, not to mention the old dog’s sent as well. Your dog is going to be anxious not only because they are in a new house, but also because they can smell the old dog’s scent. Please be patient with your dog. They are decorating their new home as most home owners do; except instead of picture frames and lawn ornaments, they use a more smellier tactic.
There are no guarantees that dogs will stop territorial-marking permanently. Hopefully after reading this post you may have learned some new ways to assist your dog in becoming more comfortable, re-evaluating situations at home, or even taking them in for a check-up to make sure they are healthy.
Below are some helpful sites that list products to help eliminate urine odor and tips/guides on how to clean soiled areas.
- http://www.howtocleanthings.com/pets/how-to-clean-dog-urine.htm (how to clean & lists natural options)