How to Prevent Dog Marking in Your Home

beagle lying on the floor in a living room

Dog marking can be a big problem in your home. It can leave a bad odor and stain furniture and flooring. If you’re having problems with this type of behavior, here’s how to prevent dog marking in your home:

What is Dog Marking?

Dog marking is when dogs leave small amounts of urine on furniture, trees, or bushes. It’s a way for dogs to mark things as theirs. It leaves behind a scent that other dogs will smell and know that tree or couch has been claimed by that dog.

This may also be known as urine marking or territorial marking. Territorial marking is also very different from dogs having accidents in your home. Dog marking usually begins at the adolescent age, typically after your dog has been potty-trained. While dogs do mark to claim things as theirs, it can also be a sign of anxiety in your dog.

How to Prevent Dog Marking in Your Home

Here are some tips to help prevent dog marking in your home:

1. Have Your Dog Neutered or Spayed as Soon as Possible

Neutering or spaying as soon as your dog is old enough will be helpful. Waiting too long for this procedure will make it more difficult to train your dog to not mark their territory. Spaying or neutering will reduce the problem dramatically and may even eliminate the problem entirely.

However, if your dog has been marking for a while, neutering or spaying will not solve your problem entirely. This will be something you will need to train out of your dog’s behavior. Use the same techniques or methods you used to potty-train your puppy.

2. Schedule a Checkup With Your Vet

If your dog continues to mark his territory, make a visit to your vet. There may be a health reason for the marking. Urinary tract infections or other medical issues can lead to urinating that mimics territory marking. This is one of the symptoms to never ignore in your dog, so getting your dog checked out can eliminate these possibilities or fix the problem if it’s a medical issue.

3. Keep New Items Out of Reach

Dogs will want to mark new items that come into your home, like pillows, new furniture, or rugs. Keeping these things out of reach for a while will keep these items clean and soon your dog will adjust to them.

4. Block the Area

If your dog is marking in a specific spot, try blocking him from that area. Use puppy or baby gates to keep him out of certain rooms. If you can’t block off an entire room, use double-sided tape to keep your dog from certain areas.

5. Supervise Your Dog

If your dog continues to mark, you may need to supervise and make sure he’s not home alone. If your dog is crate trained, using a crate for when he’s home alone or when you can’t supervise will help cut down on marking.

If you come across your dog in the act of marking in your home, gently startle him a bit and take him outside immediately. Reward him for using the bathroom outside. This way, he learns to only mark outside.

However, if you find he has marked something, but you didn’t catch him in the act, do not punish him. He cannot connect the punishment to something he did earlier. This can make him anxious and scared and will not solve the problem.

Hopefully, these tips on how to prevent dog marking in your home work for you and your dog. Just remember to be calm and patient with your dog as he learns. This will make the process easier on both of you!