My 3yr old is Marking! Help!

Posted by HaileyTy
Aug 26, 2008
My 3 year old just started lifting his leg in the house...on the curtains and the corner of the bed comforter. He was fixed at 5 months old and to this day does not lift his leg when he goes potty outside. He also does not lift his leg during walks... but he has just started lifting his leg in the house when we're not looking or when we leave. How do I make him stop marking? Will he "grow" out of this?? Help!!
Posted by eyeluvdogs
Sep 2, 2008
Hi there,

Thanks for your post. You will need to try and catch your dog in the act of urinating indoors. The difference between a dog uring marking and one simply eliminating inappropriately indoors amounts to:

A dog urine marking will often urinate on objects you have recently added to your home, including belongings of a visiting friend or relative.

There will often be dominance behavior displayed by the dog, including starting fights with other dogs in your house or reacting poorly to your commands

Often in multiple dog households, a dog may feel insecure about its ‘position in the pack’ and feel the need to find dominance. This is often achieved by expressing itself via urine marking.

The dog urinates in small amounts, and usually on vertical surfaces. A male dog will usually lift his leg and spray a small amount of urine on an object. Although urine marking is less common in females, it still occurs. They will squat to urinate.

If, from observing some or all of the above, you believe that your dog is in fact urine marking, you will need to:

Resolve conflicts between animals in your home.

Restrict your pet’s access to doors and windows through which they can observe animals outside. If this isn’t possible, discourage the presence of other animals near your house.

Be sure to clean soiled areas thoroughly using an appropriate cleaner and pet odor neutralizer. Don’t use strong smelling cleaners as these may cause your pet to “over-mark” the spot.

Make previously soiled areas inaccessible or unattractive. This can be done by the use of aversive substances such as Bitter Apple (available from all good pet stores) or a substance such as vinegar, chili pepper or Tabasco sauce. If you are able to apply something like this to an area your dog has urinated on, you will help deter it from marking this area again.

If making soiled areas inaccessible or unattractive isn’t possible try to change the significance of those areas. Feed, treat and play with your pet in the areas he is inclined to mark.

Always be sure to keep objects likely to cause marking out of reach.

Any guests belonging, new purchases and so on should be placed in a closet or cabinet, or out of reach of your dog. This bit of common sense goes a long way.

I hope this helps! All the best!