Why do dogs mark? As a professional dog trainer, I get a lot of calls from people wondering just that because they have male dogs who mark in the house. They usually call after they are beyond frustrated because they can’t get their dog to stop marking on their furniture or walls. I can completely understand why this is such a frustrating issue – it is your home, not your dog’s personal fire hydrant.
Our dogs are cute and cuddly and we love to love on them. However, without structure, they will never “get it.” Just because your dog is inside doesn’t mean he automatically understands the rules. He must be taught to do his business when nature calls outside, not inside.
Why do dogs mark?
Is marking different from being housebroken? Yes and no. Ultimately, your dog needs to know that inside is not the place to relieve themselves, in ALL cases. The question to be able to answer then is: Why does this happen?
Dogs mark for a number of reasons:
- There is another dog’s scent in your home (a previous pet left their scent)
- They are being territorial and/or scared
- They are confused because they aren’t getting clear direction from you
- They are confused because they are getting mixed messages from another person in the house
Overall, dogs like a pecking order; it’s what they understand. They communicate age, gender and status within their packs via the pheromones in urine. For example, when you walk your dog, he will go to a specific area and sniff and smell until you’re thoroughly bored waiting for him. For your dog, it’s like a newspaper written by other dogs. All the new smells are there for your dog to determine what other dog has been around. So, dogs use urine marking to help make a new environment smell like home, disguising the unfamiliar smells with his own scent.
To overcome marking, check out this blog, or, if you are local to the Greater Colorado Springs area, give me a call. A professional dog trainer for over 20 years, I am here to help you connect with your dog in a way that is mutually beneficial.
Puppy issues? Check out our Calendar of Dog Classes for Basic Obedience.