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how to end your dog's urine marking

How to End Your Dog’s Urine Marking for Good

Urine marking is a natural behavior for dogs, especially males that are sexually intact. It’s their way of claiming territory, leaving a message for other dogs that a particular object or area is theirs. Even female dogs, especially when in heat, may urine mark.

What’s the Difference Between Peeing and Marking?

Your dog may pee inside if they haven’t been let out enough, if they have a small bladder, or for many other reasons. But the peeing will result in a full puddle of urine. 

Whereas, dogs that urine mark will only squirt out a small amount of urine and will often do it on the same spot or object. 

how to stop your dog from peeing in the house
Peeing and marking are very different. Peeing leaves a full puddle of urine, whereas marking is a quick spray.

Although it’s natural behavior, it’s certainly not acceptable in the house. Furniture, floors, walls, and other items are ruined or damaged when your dog decides to claim them as his own. 

Urine marking is not the result of faulty housebreaking. In fact, most of the time, urine marking can be curbed with behavior modification.

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How to Stop Your Dog from Marking in the House

Spay or Neuter Your Dog

Spaying or neutering your dog will reduce or eliminate urine marking in many dogs. According to the North American Veterinary Community, as many as 50% of male dogs stop urine marking, or at least do it significantly less often, after being neutered. 

Dogs usually begin urine marking when they start to reach sexual maturity. 

If you have a puppy, neutering him as soon as he’s old enough is one of the best ways to prevent urine marking from starting in the first place. 

7 Ways to End Your Dog's Urine Marking.

However, it may be days or even weeks for the urine marking to stop after your dog is altered since hormones gradually decline rather than come to a screeching halt. 

And it will likely also take some additional training on your part to change the marking behavior if it has become a deeply ingrained habit. 

If your male dog is peeing in the house weeks or months after he’s altered and after you’ve taken the steps below, there could be other behavioral or physical issues that need to be addressed.

Address Your Dog’s Anxiety

If your dog’s urine marking is caused by anxiety, you’ll want to address it sooner than later, especially since anxiety can escalate as your dog ages.

This is one reason why it’s important not to yell at your dog when he marks. If he’s doing it out of anxiety, yelling may make it much worse. 

Some dogs experience noise anxiety, social anxiety, or separation anxiety. These fears can make a dog react with unwanted behaviors, like urine marking.

Photo of ADAPTIL Dog Calming Pheromone Diffuser

There are several OTC (over-the-counter) anxiety tools that can help alleviate your dog’s anxiety. I love this pheromone collar from Adaptil.

My dog, Chilly, had severe anxieties, especially around loud noises, and this collar was a very effective tool we used to manage it. The pheromones have a calming effect on some dogs and can reduce the urge to mark. There is also a room diffuser if you prefer that.

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Ultimately, if your dog has anxiety, you may need to enlist the help of a veterinary behaviorist to work through it. You can find a behaviorist in your area using this page on the dacvb.org site

You can also check out my pet anxiety resource page for more information about anxiety signs and solutions.

Eliminate the Odor

As long as the odor from your dog’s urine is still there, he’ll likely continue to mark the same spot. So it’s important to clean it up the right way, with a bio-enzymatic cleaner that’s designed to eliminate biological waste, like urine. 

An enzyme cleaner works by eating the bacteria that’s causing odor and stains. Ordinary household cleaners will do little to eliminate the mess. If you’re in doubt, take a black light to any mess you’ve cleaned without using a bio-enzymatic cleaner and you’ll be convinced!

Kinderbean No-Stress Mess Eraser is paws-down, the best cleaner for pet mess, in my opinion. I’ve tested a lot of cleaners and most have come up short in one way or another. 

Dog Sniffing carpet with Kinderbean enzyme cleaner in view.

Whichever cleaner you choose, make sure it is: 

  • Bio-enzymatic
  • Safe for pets (both in chemical composition and odor)
  • Doesn’t contain harsh dyes that could discolor surfaces
  • Contains natural ingredients 
  • Has a durable dispenser (many have cheap spray tops that break in shipping)

Once you have your cleaner, you need to use it properly to make sure it eliminates the odor.

Photo of Kinderbean Dog and Cat Urine Stain and Odor Eliminator
  1. Soak up as much of the urine as you can with a paper towel.
  2. Saturate the spot with the cleaner. This is important so it can make contact with the urine and eat the bacteria. 
  3. If the spot is horizontal, lay a clean cloth over the top and allow it to set overnight. If the spot is vertical, allow the cleaner to air dry. 
  4. Retreat if necessary.

It’s a very simple process, but it’s so important not to simply “spray and wipe away.”

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Fight Urine Marking with Treats

Most dogs won’t pee where they eat. You can change the meaning of the place where he has marked by leaving treats directly on the spot after it’s been cleaned.

Consistency is key here because as soon as you’ve banished one area as a pee spot, your dog may choose a new area. It may take weeks before your dog realizes that the entire house is off-limits to peeing. But this solution is usually permanent, so it’s worth the wait.

I like to use these treats because they’re low in calories and all-natural. When you’re training you’ll go through a lot of treats so you don’t want to give your dog full-size bones or cookies that will pack on unhealthy pounds.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Breeds that are known for their high energy or above-normal intelligence are in special need of exercise. Getting out that pent-up physical or mental energy can help calm your dog and avoid behavioral issues, such as urine marking. 

If you’re already walking your dog and he’s still peeing indoors, you may need to step up your game and either walk him longer or take him for a run. 

Photo of a Chuckit! Fetch and Fold Launcher

If running doesn’t get you paws-itively excited, try taking your dog to the park for a game of high-intensity fetch. One of my favorite fetch toys is the ChuckIt! Ball Launcher. It allows you to throw the ball long distances without tiring out your arm.

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Exercise may seem like a very simple step, but it’s probably one of the most important!

Limit Opportunities to Mark

If your dog is a stubborn marker, you may need to take stricter measures to curb the behavior. 

Some experts recommend the umbilical cord method. When your dog is inside, he’ll remain leashed to you so you can closely monitor him. As his behavior improves, you can gradually give him more freedom to explore the house. 

I’ve tried this method to housebreak my dog, Tulip, and it works fantastically. I’ll caution, though, that you do need a lot of patience and consistency to see results.

When to See Your Veterinarian

In most cases, behavior modification is enough to curb your dog’s urine marking. However, in some cases, urine marking can be caused by medical issues. 

Your dog may have begun marking because of a urinary tract infection and the only way to know for sure is to visit your veterinarian. 

If your dog has begun urine marking and there doesn’t seem to be any apparent trigger, it’s time to visit your veterinarian to rule out anything that needs treatment. 

Additionally, if your dog has extreme anxiety that’s causing the urine marking, you may need to seek help from a veterinary behaviorist. They can help get your dog the relief he needs.

The Tail End

If your dog is urine marking in the house, rest assured, you’ve done nothing wrong in their housetraining. Urine marking is a behavior and with behavioral modification along with neutering your dog, you can stop marking for good!

Get the free urine marking ebook today!

Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert and influencer with over 30 years of experience in the industry. She's helped millions of pet parents provide the best care at every stage of their pet’s life.

Her blog, Pet Living with Kristen Levine has been featured in Pop Sugar, Good Housekeeping, New York Times, USA Today, and more.

She's also the founder of FWV Fetching, the first marketing agency exclusively serving pet and animal health companies.

Her early work with the SPCA led her to a lifelong career in the pet industry, advocating for pet adoption and rescue as well as for pets and their parents here on her blog and in the media.

She’s frequently booked on satellite media tours and national shows, like FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, and Daytime, to talk about pet trends and new products.

Insanely passionate about pets since she was a little girl, Kristen has had more than 30 pets in her lifetime — including dogs, cats, goats, donkeys, a horse, a gerbil, mice, and chickens!

Today she lives in Florida with her dog Tulip, cat Olivia, and husband Paul.

This Post Has 249 Comments

  1. I have 2 unaltered male dogs. One is 13 and is the father of the 1 1/2 yr old. The younger is challenging the older for the dominant position and their marking inside is really getting old. Besides neutering, how can I help the transition of the dominant male or keep it established w the older dog? We also have 2 spayed females in the household, the mother, 4, and the sister to my male, 1 1/2. The mother dog is also a dominant female!! They all wait for the younger female to potty and then all 3 Mark it!! It’s a crazy household!! Please give some suggestions!! Thanks in advance!!

    1. Oh my goodness! You have a lot on your hands Kelly! I assume you do not wish to neuter the males? Because that would be my #1 recommendation. Do they mark the same places? Or different ones all the time? If the same place, it could be because they smell it from before and continue to “refresh” the scent marking. An intense cleaning of those areas with a bio-enzematic cleaner could help. But my gut tells me this is a complicated behavior problem that would best be addressed by a veterinary behaviorist. Here’s a link to help you find one near you. Keep me posted. I hope this helps Kelly! You must be so frustrated!

      1. I have a question, my puppy is 8 months and before we used to go out he used to take a long pee, now all he does is mark many places outside but doesn’t take that long pee. Is this normal ?
        Thank you

        1. Hi Jude,
          It sounds like he is marking his territory. This could be due to an environmental change. If he is only making outside, it is possible there have been other animals in the area marking in the yard, too. So, naturally he goes and marks his territory in those areas. As long as he is getting all of the urine out, and he is not marking inside the home, it shouldn’t be something to be too concerned about.
          Hope this helps!
          Kristen

          1. My puppy who’s almost 6 months started doing the same thing, marking all over the street, and it was the same time he started marking on my bed, he now can jump on the bed, and I’ve noticed he doesn’t mark the areas I let him come up on, like the couch. I was just thinking that maybe his behavior outside has a link of him marking the bed as well.

          2. My 2 1/2 year old dog is starting to frequently pee in the house and we have no idea why. He knows to scratch at the door when he has to go but now he doesnt anymore. Nothing has changed in the house and now my parents wish to get rid of him. They dont know this but he helps me calm myself down when they fight. I need advice. How do we stop him if we can find the available resources or dont have time to take him to a trainer?

          3. Hi Emily,

            I am so sorry to hear this! Dogs can begin marking for many reasons. It could be anxiety related, too. If he is experiencing stress, he could turn to marking to help calm himself down. Try putting Adaptil diffusers in the rooms that he marks in. These release natural, calming pheromones into the air that communicate “happy messages” to dogs. You can get them here: https://amzn.to/2JVJQsm

            Additionally, is he neutered? Un-neutered males are much more likely to mark their territory. Neutering him could correct the issue.

            You should also clean the areas he marks regularly with an enzyme cleaner to get all the odor out. If he can still smell it, then he can still smell his urine, he will be more likely to continue to pee there. I use this one: https://amzn.to/3oEVNl1

            Also, make sure he is being let outside often enough throughout the day. As a rule, dogs under 8 lbs, take a trip outside about once per hour. For older puppies and larger breed puppies, aim for at least every two hours.

            I hope this helps! Good luck.

            Kristen

          4. I have a question regarding marking in my home. I have two male dogs that live in my home with a third male dog that comes to visit often. Living in the home one of the males is 11 1/2 and is not neutered the second male is just a year old and has recently been completely neutered. The third male who comes to visit is also neutered but used to live here.
            The younger male that lives in my home is marking everywhere. Although neutering completely is only about a week or so old it does not seem to have gotten better in fact it might have gotten worse. He did have a bladder infection and has been on medication for eight days so that does not seem to have made the situation better either. Do you have any suggestions on how to stop him from marking

        2. We have a 6 and 1/2 week male Golden puppy. He is doing very well with training, as long as we take him out every hour or so. When he does go in the house, it is always on the runner in front of the door. A friend wants to bring her adult male dog to our home this evening while we have game night. Would this cause our pup to start marking where this other dog has been, or is he too young to start that? Can’t seem to find this info on internet.

          1. Hi Lynne,

            Hmm it is hard to say if having a visitor may cause him to mark. Typically, un-neutered males are more likely to mark, but it sounds like the accidents your puppy is having inside are not marking related. It seems like he just can’t hold it, and he accidentally goes in front of the door. So, I would say if he hasn’t marked before, having a new dog over shouldn’t be an issue as long as they are introduced properly.

            If you are worried, I would recommend vacuuming and cleaning really well in the areas that the other dog has been after he leaves the house. That way, your puppy is less likely to smell where he has been! An enzyme floor cleaner, like this one https://amzn.to/3pD9TVq , can really help in getting those odors out completely!

            Hope this helps!

            Kristen

      2. We adopted our 8 month puppy 2minths ago. He has settled in well but has started marking on items belonging to my 11 year old daughter!.
        First her school bag and now a beanbag in her room and any where he pleases. We have used the enzyme breaker to clean but now he is only allowed in any room if someone is there. I want him to have freedom but can’t stand the thought of him marking everywhere.

        1. Hi El,
          Oh no! I am sorry to hear your new puppy is marking. Has he been neutered? That is my #1 recommendation since neutered males are much less likely to mark. Continue to clean each area he goes with an enzyme cleaner, and be sure to follow the directions exactly. I use this one: https://amzn.to/37aGk6D When he marks, take him outside so he knows that is where he is supposed to go. As he is adjusting to his new home, he is likely marking his territory. Adaptil diffusers communicate “happy messages” to dogs, and this could help him feel more calm. I would put one in all the rooms he marks in. You can get one here: https://amzn.to/2SVi9Rk

          I hope this helps! Keep me posted.
          Kristen

    2. I need help!!!! I have a 2 yr old male Yorkie that is a rescue. He marks more than normal. And I don’t know how to stop him. He is now getting on my table and marking in the middle of the table. I CAN NOT have this behavior!!!! What do I do?? Is it to late to get him fixed to stop yye behavior??!! Is anyone can help PLEASE email me at sarahhall665@gmail.com
      Thank you ❤️

      1. Sir I had a pomeranian 5 month old when he saw a a Street dog lifting his leg and then he also began. Now he has been 10 months he is marks on the walls . I am fed up of his behaviour.
        He is not not neutered.
        Pleaseee help

          1. I have a two year old min pin Pomeranian and he is fixed and yet he pisses on everything. It don’t matter what it is. Then of course the older and bigger dog piss where he pissed. It is getting so old. What can I do?

        1. I have a daschund and a pug and the pug keeps jumping on my sons bed and weeing and it’s really getting annoying! What can I do he isn’t done as he is still u der one and my daughter (his dog mum) doesn’t want him doing yet? Heeellllpppp!

          1. Hi Diane,
            It’s perfectly safe to have him neutered under a year old. But if your daughter wants to wait, I understand.

            Regarding the pug weeing on your son’s bed, is this the only place he goes? If so, a temporary fix would be to restrict his access to the son’s room. It’s hard to know for sure why he’s marking your son’s bed. It could be a territorial behavior as you have another dog.

            Sometimes dogs mark due to a health issue or due to anxiety. I’d suggest you take him to the vet to rule out any medical issues that could be causing or contributing to the behavior. The veterinarian can also determine if anxiety may be a factor.

            Good luck!
            Kristen

          2. I have a 3 year old pug that marks throughout the house. He is a rescue that have been neutered. We feed him at the spot that he many marks on and I have a good pet cleaner that is suppose to remove the scent. When we go on walks, Rocket constantly stops and marks every bush, pole, tree, etc. even when he doesn’t even have any ore urine coming out he still lifts his leg.
            I do t know what to do??

      2. Hi Sarah!
        Yikes, you poor thing! No it’s definitely NOT too late to neuter him. As a matter of fact, that might stop the behavior all together or at least reduce the marking.

        It takes a few weeks after a dog is neutered for you to see the difference, so I’d book the appointment today!

        I would also talk to the vet about the problem so he/she can examine him and do diagnostics to rule out any medical issues that could be causing the behavior.

        I hope this is helpful! Keep me posted.
        Kristen

        1. I have a 20 month old Shihtiz. He has been neuter. He still hikes & pees on my furniture or anything that is in the floor. He will pee in my kitchen & bathrooms. It’s just me in the house no other dogs hike here. I have asked the vet & he said they get it from a family member. It’s just about to drive me crazy. I am a clean nut anyway & I just don’t know what to do. I have pads down for him. What would help me please I need it. Thank you

          1. Hi Linda,
            I’m sorry to hear of your struggle with your pup marking in the house!

            Some dogs urine mark due to anxiety. I would try getting him a pheromone collar like this one: https://amzn.to/2Pmj37G. You might also try limiting his access to certain areas of the house, especially those where he’s marking a lot.

            Keep me posted!
            Kristen

          2. Hi I have a 6 years old shitzu mix he pees everywhere in my house I always have pads in the house but in a certain area so he can just pee there but the pads are always dry I’m going crazy because is getting out of hands I started adding pads everywhere in the house but I don’t know if it is a good idea please help me

          3. Hi Josie!

            Oh gosh, that is difficult! Is he neutered? That would be my number one recommendation since neutered males are much less likely to mark. Additionally, puppy pads can be good for training and to help with accidents, but when you use them all the time it can cause dogs to think it is okay to pee inside. So, if you notice him peeing on the pad, take him outside as soon as he is done to help redirect the behavior. Also, clean the area well after he goes so he can’t smell the pee anymore. That will help him to not go there again. This is the cleaner that I use: https://amzn.to/32m14pk and I love it!

            Let me know if this helps!

            Kristen

        2. My dog stopped peeing in the house the very next day after surgery! I was shocked it happened so quickly he was a year old when I had him neutered! I still want to know why! He abruptly stopped? I am very happy he did but what happened to stop it?

          1. Hi M,

            That is awesome! Often times, neutering fixes the issue entirely. That is because neutered males are a lot less likely to want to mark their territory as opposed to non-neutered males! I am glad that neutering worked for you!

            Kristen

      3. Hi we have a neutured male Jack Russel. He has been great with our cat in the house but sibce we bought in a rescue cat he has started marking. Up against my drapes and on brand new carpet. Up against my washing in a basket on the doors. On the tiles by a door and those drapes as well.
        What do you suggest?

        1. My Jack Russel does the same thing and I can not break him of it. Along with curtains, furniture legs, corners of beds, Teen backpacks are his favorite! I am at my wits end and am moving to a new larger house and do not know what to do with him. I feel I may have to restrict him to one room and this makes me sad. I now diaper him in the house, which embarrasses the hell out of me, but he is quite masterful at getting it off… I know it is a dominance issue with my older border collie. Also, its always worse during and after boys and men have been over…as he shows off for them seriously bad. His in every other way is great, but this is really got my anger issues up with him.

          1. Hi Skye,
            Oh boy. Sorry to hear your Jack Russell is giving you such trouble with his marking! Is he neutered? If not, get him neutered as this will reduce or possibly eliminate the behavior.

            Also, you can try getting some pheromone diffusers for the room/s he marks the most. This mimics is a natural calming hormone in dogs. If he’s more relaxed, he may mark less. I like these: https://amzn.to/34U8phz

            You can also take him to a veterinary behaviorist who can help resolve the problem through behavior modification or possibly medication.

            Keep me posted.
            Kristen

        2. Hi Helen,
          It’s not uncommon for male dogs (even neutered ones) to start marking when there are changes in their environment.

          It’s possible it may subside. In the meantime I would talk to your vet about this behavior and have him examined. The vet can rule out any potential medical issue.

          Also, he could be marking due to anxiety related to the changes. You can try getting him a pheromone collar — a natural way to calm dogs. I like this one: https://amzn.to/2Pmj37G

          Good luck and keep me posted!
          Kristen

    3. Did you get an answer?
      I have a neutered 1 1/2 year male that wants to keep urinating on my 6 month old female.

    4. I have 2 dogs that pee in the house, they go outside and back in and pee. One is an older yorkie the orher is a 7 year wenner. I’ve tried taking them out more often, putting away the water bowl and nothing helps, they are both rescue dogs. HELP they are fe.ales and fixed

      1. Help! Our two Italian greyhounds (ages 9 and 10, both neutered) have a space to use the bathroom indoors – a large Rubbermaid tub with a washable puppy pad in the bottom that is changed regularly. When the younger dog uses the bathroom, the older will frequently follow him and mark on the outside of the tub while the younger is doing his business (we’ve caught him on camera!! He also does the same thing outside). This typically only happens while we are gone and they are confined to a small area of the house together. We’ve cleaned the outside of the tub with an enzyme cleaner. Do I need to keep them in separate areas when we’re gone? They’re buds so I hate to split them up but the mess is awful!

        1. Hi Rachel,

          It sounds like your older dog is trying to establish some dominance over the younger dog. So, he is marking on him. However, since they have both been neutered, it is possible this behavior has become a habit for him.

          My first recommendation is to speak with a veterinary behaviorist. They are often not more expensive than a regular vet visit, and they can help determine a cause (and a solution) for the marking behavior. You can find one here: https://www.dacvb.org/

          Next, try placing treats in spots where he pees inside so he is less likely to keep going there. And, always use a enzymatic cleaner for where he marks inside. I like this one: https://amzn.to/3l2cDs3

          I hope this gives you a good place to start. Good luck, and please keep me posted!
          Kristen

    5. I have an 8 year old miniature dachshund. We live with my in-laws and he always marks the corner of their bed in their bedroom. We try to keep the bedroom door closed as much as possible but sometimes he sneaks in and marks there or other spots in their spaces upstairs (we live in the basement apartment).

      He will also poop in the basement if we leave him alone, even if he just went poop outside right before. I will buy the spray and get the diffuser, but do you have any other tips to discourage marking/pooping in the house?

      1. Hi Caitie,

        Unfortunately, small dogs are notoriously difficult to train, and they also experience unique issues with bladder retention. They tend to pee more often than larger dogs. I would start taking him out more often than you do now, to see if that decreases his marking.

        His he neutered? I would recommend doing that as well. Neutered males are less likely to mark their territory. The pooping could be due to separation anxiety, since he only does it while he is alone. Adaptil diffusers can help him feel more comfortable when he is alone: https://amzn.to/372L9xf

        I hope this helps! Be sure to clean the areas he marks completely each time so he can’t smell it when he goes back. I use this one: https://amzn.to/3m1iFu1

        Keep me posted!
        Kristen

    6. We live on a 5 acre farm . Out malamute just started marking inside after 2 years. The only change is we won’t let him run the whole farm anymore . He has about a acre dog run now they leads to a dog door to our house. I’ve nuetered him etc and he just won’t stop . Our older male and finale aren’t doing it thankfully .

    7. I need help too!! My Shihtzu is potty trained when we got hi . He’s now 10mos. 2weeks ago he got neutered. We’re wondering how come now he stopped peeing in his pads 🙁

      1. Hi Joanna,

        Congrats on your puppy! I am sorry to hear that he is marking. Have you always had pads in the home? Pads can be a good thing when first starting out, but they can encourage pets to pee in the house. They think if the pads are in the home, it’s ok to go inside. So, I would recommend trying to get him to only go outside, if that’s where you want him to go! You can achieve that by taking him outside more often so he knows that is where his potty is.

        First, clean the area he marks completely with a bio-enzymatic cleaner. This is key to getting the smell out of the area. If he can smell where he marked, he will keep going back. I really like this one: https://amzn.to/3qP7A1r

        Second, put treats where he has begun marking. If he associates that area with food, he won’t want to mark there!

        Hope this helps! Potty training takes time, so don’t be discouraged! Keep me posted.

        Kristen

  2. Hi I have a male standered poodle who’s 6 months fully potty trained he isn’t aloud on couch but yesterday was different I was in kitchen he got on couch and just peed then hours later I was in bathroom and came out he had doe it again HELP

    1. Oh my! That’s not good Verna! It’s possible he has an underlying medical issue leading him to urinate inappropriately. I would ask your vet about this. If there’s no underlying medical issue, he could be marking territory he knows you often frequent. Is he neutered? If not, neutering him can really help with inappropriate elimination. I hope this helps!

      1. I am almost scared to get a second dog do not want to deal with possibility of tripp marking inside the house (my two year old morkie) he really is house trained but when we went to visit a friend recently he did mark inside their house and they have dogs

        1. Hi Annette,
          Maybe you could try inviting a friend to bring their dog over to see if Tripp marks in the house during or after the other dog is there.

          I don’t want you to be afraid to get another dog! But its definitely good to know if you have a dog that will possibly mark his territory when his “environment changes” (aka, new dog!).

          Keep me posted!
          Kristen

  3. We adopted a 30 lb mixed breed short haired rescue dog last summer. He is 3-4 years old. He is an active dog and we are an older retired couple. As I look back on it, we were not a good match, but the dog needed a home, so we took him in. He was supposed to be house trained, according to the foster family ( who had another dog and a fenced yard). We have a cable run and no other pets. After several accidents in our house last summer, he understood house training on his own, not dependent on another dog to go out. He went to daycare once a week run and play. Since this pandemic, the doggie daycare is open only to medical personnel and police, firefighters, paramedics, etc. so our dog has not been to daycare in almost two months. I have back issues and play only easy games like fetch with him. He used to sit in our front bow window and watch the quiet street. About two weeks ago he suddenly started marking in that front room. I found dried drips on the floor by the couch, the chair. And the draperies. I cleaned up each as I found it, but he went to another area. He goes out many times a day so it certainly isn’t that . This seems to be marking.

    1. Yes, it sounds like he’s marking. Is he neutered? Unneutered male dogs are more likely to mark territory. If he’s already neutered there are a few things you can do. First, be sure you’re cleaning the urine with an enzymatic cleaner. Other cleaners don’t remove the odor entirely. When they can smell it, they are more likely to go again on the same spot.

      His routine change (not going to daycare) could be part of the problem, so hopefully they will be able to open soon so you can get him back on a routine. The activity and socialization is good for him.

      I hope this is helpful! Keep me posted.

  4. I have a dog called prince he is one years old. He is marking on all the furniture in the house and on the floors.
    please let me know how to stop it al together

    1. Oh gosh. You must be so frustrated! Is Prince neutered? If not, I highly recommend you have him neutered. Unneutered males are more likely to urine mark their territory. They do this to let other animals know this is their territory and also to communicate their reproductive status. Also, it’s important to clean up all the urine smell, stains with an enzymatic cleaner. Eliminating those odors may prevent your dog from peeing on the same spot. A vet checkup would be a good idea to make sure there’s not a medical issue causing him to excessively mark and finally, try taking him outside more often to encourage him to mark outdoors. I hope this is helpful! Please keep me posted.

  5. he is not neutered.but Is their any other products we can use instead of enzymatic cleaner because he keeps doing in the same place or any other products since the places we can find enzymatic cleaner is in pet stores which are close due to the pandemic. let me know thanks

    1. Hi Serena,
      There are links to some enzymatic cleaners in this article above that you can get online. The trick with enzymatic cleaners is you have to soak the area where the urine is. Soak it (but don’t flood it), scrub it just a bit, gently, then cover it with a cloth and give the enzymes 24 to work their magic.

      Another thing to try is to watch Prine when they are indoors for signs that he’s thinking about urinating. When he begin to urinate, interrupt him with a loud noise and take him outside. If they urinate outside, praise them and give them a treat.

    2. Hi Serena, If you’re using an enzymatic cleaner, there’s a trick to making sure it completely removes the stain and odor. You first soak up as much urine as you can with a paper towel, then you have to soak the spot with the enzymatic cleaner. Dont’ flood it, just apply enough liquid to “soak” the stain spot. Then, lightly rub the cleaner into stain area. This is is what activates the enzymes to work. Then, cover with a cloth (white preferably) and let it sit for 12-24 hours. When you remove the cloth, it should be gone and dry or mostly dry. You can then vacuum the spot.

      Hope this helps!

  6. Hi Kristin. I am seriously at my wits end with my male dog! I have had Milo, male, and Mia, female, since they were puppies when we adopted them from a rescue shelter. They have the same mom. They are 9 years old now. Milo has always been anxious and has always marked, but we lived in a home with wood floors and blinds not curtains. So the few places he marked we could spot clean easily. We have moved in the last 9 months! We have brand new carpet and new curtains that hang by the backyard slider where there doggy door is. On the curtains and carpet by the slider is where he loves to mark now. It just smells! I spot clean, I carpet clean. What do I do??? Help! This boy drives me crazy. I need those curtains up too or my will be an oven. Oh and yes they are both spayed and neutered.
    Marking in Oregon,
    Nicole

    1. My young pup is peeing on my clean laundry as well as my bedding, one night she even peed on the bed with me laying in it yet I wasn’t able to catch her in the act. She is neutered and doesn’t have any health issues so I honestly don’t know how to tackle this issue

      1. Hi Lauren,
        How frustrating! I’m sorry to hear you’re pup is peeing on bedding and clean clothes. Here are a few suggestions to tackle the problem.

        Take her to your vet to rule out a medical problem (UTI, etc.).

        Sometimes neutered dogs mark because they’re stressed too, so you might try a calming pheromone (see link below) to relax her.

        Be sure to completely eliminate the odor in your bedding and clothes with an enzymatic cleaner (link below). You can use it in your laundry, which is what I do, and it works great.

        Also, and this is obvious, keep a REALLY close eye on her when you think she might mark the bedding or clothes. If she signals she’s about to start the behavior, immediately take her outside, and praise/treat her when she potties outside. If you can catch her enough times before she does it, you may be able to reshape the behavior.

        Helpful links:
        Adaptil pheromone collar: https://amzn.to/3cV3ZaE
        Adaptil room diffuser: https://amzn.to/3e2EPbw
        Adaptil pheromone room spray: https://amzn.to/3e8eFUU
        Enzymatic cleaner for laundry: https://amzn.to/2UImGrX

    2. Hi Nicole (marking in Oregon),
      I’m sorry for the delay, I somehow missed this comment on the blog.

      You mention that Milo has always been anxious. Anxiety in dogs can cause them to mark territory. So, I suggest a few things.

      First, I would try getting him a pheromone collar by Adaptil. Pheromones mimic the natural scent produced by a mother dog to calm her puppies. You can also get Adaptil in a room diffuser or spray form. Try those first to see if it calms him and reduces or eliminates the marking.

      If that doesn’t work, I would talk to your vet about Milo’s marking to rule out any medical issues. You might also inquire about working with a veterinary behaviorist to help you modify his behavior. There are also some mild medications your vet may prescribe to calm his anxiety to stop (hopefully) the marking.

      Keep me posted. I know how frustrating the problem is!
      Kristen

      1. Hi Lynn,

        I am sorry to hear your male dogs are marking! My first recommendation would be to see your vet. Your vet can rule out any medical issues, such as a UTI. Have there been any changes in their environment lately? If so, that could be causing some anxiety causing them to mark. I would suggest putting an Adaptil diffuser in the room where the marking occurs. These diffusers won’t smell for you, and they release all natural calming messages for canines. You can get one here! https://amzn.to/3dNeOxA Additionally, be sure to clean the area they mark really well with an enzyme cleaner so that you get them smell out completely! I like this one: https://amzn.to/3kp5QJ9

        I hope this helps! Keep me posted.

        Kristen

  7. I have a neutered 2 year old havanese. He is potty trained. I can leave him on the first floor for many hours unsupervised and not have an issue. If he gets upstairs, he will mark on the corner (on the floor) or my bed or my daughters. If he gets into the basement he marks on the corner of the couch/carpet. He only has accidents in places he isn’t allowed very often. I am tired of having a gate on my stairs. He has even done it immediately after being outside. Why is he doing this?

    1. Hi Stacy,
      I’m sorry to have missed this question. This thread gets so many questions! How is your havanese doing with the marking?

      You asked why he does this behavior. It could be a variety of reasons. Neutered males mark for territory, signal to the opposite sex or because they are stressed. Or, there could be an underlying medical issue.

      You say he’s only marking in areas where he’s not allowed. So, he either feels the need to leave his mark behind, or those areas stress him for some reason. Or both.

      After you clean the soiled area to remove the odor, try playing with him in the areas where he’s marking. This might make him feel more comfortable in that area, reducing stress and reducing his need to mark.

      I’d also talk to your vet about this. If the problem persists, it might benefit you to talk to a veterinary behaviorist about how to solve, reduce or manage this annoying behavior.

      I hope this helps Stacy!

  8. I have a 5 year old female rescue dog who is fixed. We go for walks twice a day and she marks many many times on the walk. She squats or will lift a leg up on the curb to mark. We have not moved and no other pets in the house. It seems it is getting more frequent.. I am retired and do the walking with her.

    1. I have a 6 yr old neutered male Rottweiler/ American Bulldog mix. My other dog is a 2 yr old spayed female Pug. When he sees her urinate in the back yard he runs over and pees onn her back. If im outside and he knows I’m watching he will wait until shes done then run over to cover her scent with his…but if im not there he wont wait . This tells me he knows he is not to pee on her but does it anyway. How can i cure him of this ??????

      1. Hi Ted,
        He may not necessarily know you don’t want him to pee on her, he may think you just don’t want him to pee where she peed. Possibly, anyway. Can you let them out separately? I realize that may not be very convenient. Could it be that he pees on her back because he means to pee where she peed?

    2. Very interested in your response to this as my 19month female pomchi is the same. However she will periodically Mark in the house on the spare bed if I accidentally leave door open. Brand new mattress to me so no dog there previously.

  9. I have a 7 month old male puppy who has been neutered and we have been using an enzymatic cleaner when he does mark, but he continues to do so. I’m pretty sure its marking because it’s just small amounts in drops that spread across pillows, couch, wall trim, etc. I really have no idea what else to do! Help!

    1. Hi Kristen,
      How’s your puppy doing with the marking? I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner. This thread gets so many questions!

      Here are a couple of things you might try.

      Clean the soiled areas super thoroughly using a cleaner specifically designed to eliminate urine odor. You may have been doing this already, but if not, make an effort to completely eliminate the odors in case he is marking in those places because he can still smell it from the last time. You’re using enzymatic cleaners which is good, but be sure to thoroughly soak the area he pees on (don’t flood it, just soak it) and let it sit for 24 hours to allow the enzymes to completely eliminate the odor/stain.

      Another thing to try, make previously soiled areas unappealing or inaccessible to your dog. Put something around the area to prevent them from getting to it (like a piece of furniture or something). This can be temporary to see if he stops the behavior or he begins to mark somewhere else.

      If this isn’t possible, try to change the significance of those marking areas to him. Feed, treat and play with him in the areas where he marks (after you’ve eliminated the odors).

      I should also say that it would be a good idea to take him to see your vet about this specific issue to rule out a medical problem like a urinary infection or something.

      I hope this helps. Keep me posted!
      Kristen

  10. We have had an increase in marking over the last 2 weeks with our 2 1/2 year old neutered male that was adopted 8 months ago. When he was adopted there was 3 adults and 4 kids in the house. About 3 months ago 2 adults and 4 kids moved out and two adults moved in. There was no change in marking behavior and his overall behavior became drastically better. Now he has started to mark in the house over the last two weeks. He peed on the bottom of a recliner and on the bottom shelf of a coffee table in the last week. Recently we brought home a rug (that was borrowed for about a year by a friend who has a dog). Our dog is best friends with their dog but I am wondering if there is any lingering smell of the dog causing him to mark? But he has also pooped in the back bedroom (not where the rug is) and marked on a bag of pool supplies outside. Now I am not sure if there is a larger issue. He is outside a lot of the day with the option to come inside whenever he wants. He has an acre to roam around outside. What do we do?! We cant take away the furniture. I was going to try to shampoo the rug. I have already been spraying where he has marked with urine remover spray. HELP please!

    1. Oh my Lindsey! Your poor kitty has endured a LOT of changes recently.There’s probably a very good chance his new marking is a result of his environment changing so much. Cats like to control their own environment and when they can’t it causes them stress. Sometimes it presents as hiding or self harm or crying – in this case, marking and making you nuts! Two things…. talk to your vet to first rule out an underlying medical condition that could be causing the behavior. Secondly, see if you can stablize his environment. Give him an opportunity to control his surroundings. For exmaple, if he has a favorite room or part of the house, keep him there and dont’ change anything or anyone going in and out. Also, I just published a guide intended to help pet owners prepare their pets for going back to work after quarantine. The advice may work for you too. You can download it here and see pages 12-18 specifically about cats! Thank you for reaching out.

      1. I have two dogs that I bought together at the same time and are the same age. I have always found problems with them trying to dominate and mark their territory. The only thing is they are both neutered and only mark selected items like blankets and beds. We could never get them real beds from a store because they would immediately mark them so I gave them old outdoor pillows and have never found a problem. However winter is coming up and they are shaking at night so I have given them a large blanket to keep them warm and they won’t stop marking them. I have tried everything even giving them seperate areas or separating them but it only ends with them barking all night until they are brought back together. I don’t know how to let them sleep together and not mark territory.

        1. Gosh,that’s a really frustrating problem. Have you talked to your vet about this behavior? If not, I would have them checked out to be sure there’s no medical problems causing the marking. Otherwise, you an also consult with a veterinary behaviorist as they are specially trained in understanding dog behavior and they may be able to help you unwind the problem or find ways to lessen the severity. Also, try getting some Adaptil collars and diffuers. Adaptil is a pheromone for dogs that naturally calms them. It’s definitely worth a try.

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