marking his territory?

Posted by felix
Jun 29, 2009
Hi, My 1.5 yr old, un-neutered male Lab, Baxter, recently started lifting his leg and peeing on the end of my bed. So far, I don't think he's done this in any other location in the house. Could this be him marking "his" territory / attempting to assert his dominance / testing his limits? If so, how to best nip this in the bud?

He is normally very well housetrained and, aside from if he is sick, never messes in the house. This bed peeing happened after he had ample time outside and was not be in a position where he needs to go out but can't.

The only other thing I can think of: recently he must've eaten something in the woods that gave him diarrhea for several days. During this time, he had 2 -3 accidents in the house. I did not scold him about it because he was sheepish about it and I knew he was sick and couldn't help it - did that send the wrong message that it's ok to go in the house?

Thanks for your help!
Posted by KOPsarah
Jul 8, 2009
Hi felix and thanks for your post,
It is hard to say if the recent illness related accidents have contributed to the new peeing inside problem. However there are several things you can do to try and eliminate this. First it is worth considering getting your dog neutered as this will almost certainly decrease dominance and marking behaviors while also greatly reducing the risk of several types of cancer, if this is an option for you discuss the benefits and risks with your vet.

Secondly make sure to clean up all messes with an odor neutralizer so that the marked place does not smell inviting to your dog. You can also try putting something with an unpleasant texture on the floor around where he pees as this will discourage him from standing there to pee. This could include tinfoil (if you are sure he won't try and eat it) or a slipery piece of plastic etc or you could just block access to the area by placing a chair or similar there.

Thirdly every time your dog goes to the toilet in the right place immediately praise him excessively and even give him a treat so that peeing in the right place becomes a big deal and worth his while.

Finally if you actually catch him in the act or sniffing around the area about to pee give him an AHHH and then quickly and calmly take him outside. If he pees outside then praise him warmly.

Also keep up your alpha dog training. Your dog is just coming out of his teens and will still be testing the boundaries so keeping up alpha training and normal obedience will help prevent any problems from arising.

I hope this helps and let me know how you get on.
All the best