Ask Jake & Scout

Dealing With Domain Marking

Jake and Scout Articles

Dear Scout,

I hope you don’t mind me asking instead of my dog, but he doesn’t think there is a problem. I, on the other hand, think there is a big problem that needs correcting! My 9 month old schnauzer mix named "Tricky" has suddenly begun urinating and not just on everything that stands still, but on everything that moves as well! It started as the typical walking around the yard lifting his leg on every other bush, then it progressed to every bush, then every bush plus every post of the fence, and, as of one week ago – it has escalated to him even lifting his leg and urinating on our other dog, his littermate! I scold him, but it doesn’t seem to deter him at all. Could there be something wrong with him or is this just his personality? Please help!

Drowning in Duval

Dear Drowning in Duval,

Common Reasons for urine-marking

  • Your dog isn't spayed or neutered. Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to marking than neutered ones.
  • There's a new pet in the household.
  • Another pet in your home is not spayed or neutered. Even spayed or neutered animals may mark in response to other intact animals in the home.
  • Your dog has conflicts with other animals in your home. When there's instability in the pack dynamics, a dog may feel a need to establish his place by marking his territory.
  • There's someone new in the house (spouse, baby, roommate); your dog puts his scent on that person’s belongings as a way of proclaiming that the house is his.
  • There are new objects in the environment (a shopping bag, a visitor's purse) that have unfamiliar smells or another animal's scent.
  • Your dog has contact with other animals outside your home. If your pet sees another animal through a door or window, he may feel a need to mark his territory.

Learn more from the Humane Society of the United States about urine marking in canines.