How To Stop A Small Dog From Marking In The House

5 min read Jul 11, 2024
How To Stop A Small Dog From Marking In The House

How to Stop a Small Dog from Marking in the House

Small dogs can be just as prone to marking territory as their larger counterparts. This behavior, which often involves urinating in small amounts on vertical surfaces, can be frustrating for pet owners. However, with patience and consistency, you can successfully train your dog to stop marking in the house.

Understanding the Cause

Before you begin training, it's essential to understand why your dog is marking. It's often a natural instinct to establish their presence and communicate their dominance. Here are some common reasons why a dog might mark:

  • Anxiety or stress: Changes in the environment, new people, or even a new piece of furniture can trigger anxiety and lead to marking.
  • Territoriality: Dogs mark to let other dogs know that this is their space.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions like urinary tract infections can also cause increased urination, which can lead to marking.
  • Lack of training: If your dog hasn't been properly trained on housebreaking, they may not understand that marking indoors is unacceptable.

How to Stop Marking

Once you understand the cause of your dog's marking, you can start addressing it with these strategies:

1. Neutering or Spaying: For male dogs, neutering can significantly reduce the urge to mark. Spaying females can also have a similar effect.

2. Consistent Housebreaking:

  • Establish a routine: Feed your dog at the same time each day and take them out immediately after meals, as well as first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Praise and reward your dog generously for eliminating outdoors.
  • Supervise your dog closely: Keep a close eye on your dog, especially during the first few weeks after bringing them home or after a change in routine. Confine them to a crate or a designated area when you can't supervise them.

3. Clean Thoroughly:

  • Clean any accidents: Remove urine or feces immediately using an enzymatic cleaner that removes the scent, preventing your dog from re-marking in the same spot.
  • Block access: If your dog is marking a specific area, consider blocking off access to that area until they are better trained.

4. Address Underlying Issues:

  • Manage anxiety: If stress or anxiety is the cause of marking, consider ways to reduce your dog's stress, such as providing them with a safe space, calming toys, or engaging them in interactive play.
  • Consult a veterinarian: If you suspect a medical condition, consult a veterinarian for a check-up.

5. Consider Professional Help: If you're struggling to stop your dog's marking on your own, consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can help you create a customized training plan and provide personalized advice based on your dog's individual needs.

Patience is Key

Stopping marking behavior can take time and patience. Be consistent with your training and reinforce positive behavior. With persistent effort, you can help your dog understand that marking indoors is unacceptable and teach them to behave appropriately.