How to Stop a Dog from Marking

QUESTION:

I have 2 male poodles, a toy and a miniature, the toy uses the pad sometimes, I can't let him out at night because of critters. The Min. Has started marking all the furniture how do I stop him?

AKC ANSWER:

  • Marking is not relieving oneself – it is leaving small amounts of urine on items (trees, bushes, couch) to leave their “calling card” and to say “this is mine.” This often starts happening in adolescence as dogs mature. Marking is more common with intact dogs so if your dog is not neutered, having him “fixed” can help with the marking issue.
  • First have a veterinary exam to determine that the dog does not have a UTI or other medical condition and that it sounds as though the dog is indeed marking and not actually frequently urinating due to an infection.
  •  If marking just recently started, evaluate if something new in the house or neighborhood might have triggered this – a new pet, visitors, new person in the home, new furniture, etc.
  • Take preventative measures – clean marked spots thoroughly with a commercial pet odor remover. If your dog tends to mark just certain spots in the house, block access to these areas.
  • You mention that you cannot catch him in the act, but you have to do this in order to curb the issue. You should limit his access to the entire house, especially areas with furniture that he marks, by using baby gaits or exercise pens. When you cannot watch him, he should be in an enclosed area – or in a crate. (If he is not crate trained, we highly recommend that you start using a crate).You can also can use a leash which you tie around your waist or snap to your belt so you keep him near you.
  • If you catch him in the act, make a loud noise to distract him (clap your hands, say “eh, eh”, etc.) and then immediately take him outside to his potty area. If he finishes outside, then praise and reward.
  • Don’t ever punish your dog if you find marked spots after the fact. The dog can’t connect what he marked an hour ago to your punishment. Just clean it up and do a better job of watching him next time.

Get Dog Training Help