Why “Marking” on a Walk is Not Allowed at My House

Thanks to Agility Fusion for this funny photo!

I am sure some of you are gasping in horror right now, but before you have a nervous breakdown let me explain.

I have two boy dogs and because my dogs are athletes and play in protection and agility and other sports I allow them to remain intact longer than I suggest for others.  I have read studies and I agree that their bodies need the added testosterone to develop strong bones.

So they have more of a propensity to want to mark their territory, both outside the house and inside the house.

Now, of course I don’t allow them to mark inside the house and I think my 2 year old boy only tried it twice before he realized there was nothing in that for him.

He now prances around outside in his yard and marks to his heart is content.

I have no problem with him marking his yard.  Even if he was neutered I would expect this behavior.  Even dogs who are neutered early often lift their legs to pee.  Very few spend a lifetime squatting.

female dog marking, dog peeing while walking, dogs marking their territory

Marking on a walk is on My Terms

But dog who remain intact longer have more of a need to spread their testosterone and mark or sign their names to their things.

However, I do not want my house to become one of those houses that you want to vomit a little in your mouth when you go in.  You know the pet home, where there is urine all over the floors and the walls, and it smells like cat or dog or both.

Even though I have dogs and I am a dog trainer and I make my living working with animals… I like a clean and sweet smelling house… now don’t get me wrong… I wouldn’t eat off my floors but I do my best to keep things clean.

Cleanliness is next to godliness, I was taught when I was young!

So as odd or horrific as it sounds, I don’t allow my dog to mark all over when I take him for a walk or for a run.

Let me say first that he goes outside to relieve himself.  I would never deny him the ability to drain his bladder when he needs to go potty, but anyone who has had a male dog knows the difference between draining his bladder and leaving one drop of urine every 2 feet.

I number one don’t want to be drug around from tree to tree or bush to bush.  I don’t want him smelling and urinating everywhere we go.  I want him to learn to control his urges.

This way when he is home and he has a desire to pee in his house, or when we are visiting family and he would really like to pee on their furniture he has already learned some impulse control.

Imagine if you allow your dog to urinate everywhere he wants, he pulls you from tree to tree, he occasionally urinates in your home and then you take him to your parent’s house, or your boss’ house how can you expect him to control his urges at that moment?

He probably can’t because he has never learned control of that part of his body and behavior.

So when we are on a walk or before we go I make sure he goes out and goes potty before we get underway.

And, if he has had a lot of water during our walk or we are gone for a long period of time I tell him when he can go to a tree and I have put his potty command on cue.

female dog marking, dog peeing while walking, dogs marking their territory

I want a Dog that Can Control his Marking

This way I can still allow him to go potty when we are on vacation or visiting somewhere, but he gets use to not pulling me and signing his name to every spot he wants.

I want to have enjoyable walks and runs and I don’t want to be pulled.

I also want him to learn some impulse control so I know I can take him to new places and I don’t have to worry that he is going to cock his leg in an instant and embarrass me and stain someone’s things.

Putting it on command and teaching your dog impulse control is really the only way to go if you think about it!






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  1. Pearlie says:

    At least someone agrees with me! I have a 2 year old Munsterlander who I simply refuse to let him “mark”. He hasn’t gone in the house since he was a puppy, and I can safely take him anywhere confidently that he won’t do it. My friend also has an intact male, and their dog, a lab mix marks everywhere he can in their house. She is older & can’t really control her dog, but it is actually her son’s dog, and he is leaving him there as a “presence” to deter crime. I won’t let their dog in my house, but I can take my Diesel there, and even though it smells of pee, he won’t go. Also, because I take him hunting, it’s nice because I don’t have to worry about him not being focused at the task as hand because of many dog smells along the trail. It really is nice to have a well mannered dog!


    Jessica Reply:

    But how do you teach him not to mark when you are at work or asleep? That’s when my Buddy does it, never in my presence. And it’s not everyday, it’s random. I thought about a diaper, but that just seems awful.


    Linda Reply:

    Jessica, You may benefit from the disposable male dog wraps. They are excellent for this issue and only fit around the waist…very comfortable for the guys. And besides, who cares about looks when you are sleeping or at work. Take the wrap off when you’re home and awake. Just a suggestion since it’s better than the alternative.


    Wendy Reply:

    I have tried the wrap for my hairless dog and he hates it. He acts as though it hurts him. Have you heard of the wraps causing any discomfort? Or have any other ideas when they do? I have tried several different brands, even made some myself.

    Minette Reply:

    It probably does rub (since he is hairless) and it probably is uncomfortable.

    I would suggest crate training, neutering of course and training instead of relying on a belly band.

    Wendy Reply:

    I have him wear onesies instead of the pads. This has helped but has not eliminated the marking. I made him an appointment to have him neutered. I just found this site and have received some really great ideas. He is crate trained, but I didn’t realize I don’t utilize the crate like I could. I just haven’t heard other dogs being bothered by the pads. Thank you for the response!


  2. Daina says:

    I’ve started up a business, Dog Walking. I started on Tuesday, I walked a 5 year old Golden Retriever. His name’s Boston. He kept pulling on the leash, then taking me for a walk. Please tell me how I can train him to not pull on the leash when I walk him and let him know that I am in charge.


    Mary Beth Finnerty Reply:

    Can’t believe you have started a dog waling business if you don’t know how to stop a dog from pulling on his leash. As a “dog walker” you need to go to a dog obedience class! They train the people too!


    Doreen Reply:

    Diana, congrats on your dog walking business. Do not listen to negative people like Mary Beth Finnerty’s post. People like that are very miserable in there life, so they try to put other people down! keep the leash very short right next to you when he pull stop walking. Then try again, talk softly when you stop. Use the same word every time he pulls and you stop walking. be firm and consistent in your efforts and he will get the point. Good luck honey,


    karen Reply:

    Mary Beth is right. Before starting a dog walking business, you need to know how to handle the dogs. You can get hurt if you don’t. I was walking one of my daughter’s dogs one day with her when all of a sudden 2 small dogs started barking behind a fence and the dog I was walking went crazy and drug me across the street. I tried to wrap the leash around a tree to stop him but was a little too slow and got my head slammed up against the tree bouncing off and hitting a second time. I agree a little kinder remark was called for but she was was right on in her advice.



  3. Sandy says:

    So what’s the excuse for a female dog to have the urge to mark everything on her walk?? She doesn’t mark the house, but when we are walking she’s impossible.She hangs out with her brother, who lives across the street. He marks in his house, mine, and the whole neighborhood. Is this a learned behavior from him? For her, Its only on a walk, never in anyones house…but nonetheless, it can be annoying on a walk.


    Minette Reply:

    Females can mark just like males!


  4. Hula Balang says:

    my male chihuhua dog like to mark in the house unless I did not bring him for a walk. He hates vacuum cleaner, metal fan and detergent. He will pee the moment he walked pass. My female chihuahua cannot resist whenever she sees the carpet she will tear. How to stop dog from stealing other dog food. Is it common?


  5. chrstine says:

    Can you please give specific advise how to stop them from marking everywhere, do I say ‘no’, pull him away from everything he goes for, how do you stop them when off leash at the dog beach? My dog has a massive problem with this and marks everything he sees, even smaller dogs, its hideously embarrassing and i have no idea how to make it stop.


    Minette Reply:

    You have no control if the dog is off leash! In order to teach him you have to have control.

    So if I was trying to fix this problem, it would be walking on leash until it was better under control.


  6. Floren says:

    OK I`m confused
    I get regular e-mails from your site and went in and was curious as to what your answer to stopping marking would be.
    Other than saying teach your dog impulse control commands their was no clear answer.
    I have a Bitch that marks continuously, never indoors thankfully, and will go potty on command but still thinks that she should mark over those nasty boys.
    Lets face it, prevention is a lot different than correcting for catching them in the act.
    I am curious as to the answer to this


    Minette Reply:

    If you prevent you don’t have to correct… simple as that.


  7. Becky says:

    I have a 5 year old male Morkie. He marks inside the house. I am running out of patience trying to stop his marking. He was neutered after he turned one. Is there any hope that he will ever stop marking? Should I start with crate training again? Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  8. Mary Beth Finnerty says:

    PLEASE respond to those asking for help in CORRECTING marking behavior. My dog is pretty well behaved but my family will no longer let me bring him to their home for the holidays, even with diapers and because of this and I am devastated. It has nothing to do with having to go potty either. People don’t appreciate it when your dog pees on their Christmas tree, and they don’t forget it either! All of their dogs will be present so it isn’t like they don’t like dogs, just mine.


    Minette Reply:

    That is why I wrote both of these articles http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/stop-male-dog-urine-marking/


  9. Quizative says:

    Well you said what we should teach them…you didn’t say how to teach it.


  10. Harley says:

    I agree that every behavior your dog has should be trained to a cue. This affords the owner a high level of control over every aspect of their dogs behavior. After all you don’t want your dog making decisions for themselves. Thanks for sharing.


  11. sophia says:

    I havent got a dog but twice a week I am walking the neigbours Jack Russell. he is a year old. He really dont want to walk next to me although I try him on a short leash. He is choking himself and pulling the whole time. I cant afford to take him to a dog school. Must I just keep on trying on short leash- will a harnas be beter


    Minette Reply:

    If he was your dog, I would say TRAIN HIM. But since you are not and he won’t learn consistently with someone else then I say get a harness so he doesn’t hurt himself from pulling 🙂 and good luck!


  12. christina says:

    so i am having an issue with my newly adopted dalmatian marking i try to watch him closely but I am not home and have a few other people looking after him in those hours, but even i miss it sometimes. He will mark in the house and i just had surgery on my leg recently so i can not get to him quickly to try to get him to stop and speaking to him or clapping does not work well at all. In all of the replies I have seen not one actually tells you how to get him to stop nor on the other website listed in posts so if you could please post something helpful. I have already read so many articles i think my mind will explode no one seems to want to give a straight answer. Everyone seems very keen on answering other useless comments though and avoiding the topic.


    Minette Reply:

    Everyone says that, but perhaps no one is actually reading. This article talks about impulse control and if your dog can learn not to mark all over outside, how that and your telling him NO transfers to inside.

    And, the other article actually has many options, I have recopied for you here

    You must catch your dog IN THE ACT of marking to let him know that what he is doing is wrong! Again, this is instinctual for him to mark what he considers “his things”. So you must be able to catch him and tell him NO.

    Keep him on a leash or a tie down with you for many days. If you cannot watch him, keep him in his crate.

    Treat him like an 8 week old puppy and keep him confined to small spaces that you are in until you are certain he is not going to mark.

    Dog Marking A Tree

    Learn to Control the Behavior

    I don’t mind my dog lifting his leg in HIS yard when he is NOT on leash. But, I do NOT allow him to lift his leg on everything while we walk or run.

    He must squat to pee to relieve his bladder while he is on a leash or only lift his leg when I tell him it is okay to do so.

    I don’t want him to get use to lifting his leg and marking everything all of the time. Walks and runs are my time and I wont be pulled to every tree so that he can sniff and pee!

    Clean Up When Your Dog Marks

    Clean up the urine spots well with a urine enzyme cleaner. If he can still smell the urine, he is more likely to re-mark the area again and again.

    If there is ONE favorite spot, I recommend feeding him in that spot. Dogs will not usually urinate where they eat, so moving his food bowl for a week or two might be effective. However, if you are not careful about supervising him he will just begin marking somewhere else!

    A Belly Band covers the penis and stops the dog from marking on objects
    Belly Bands Can Sometimes Work To Stop Your Dog From Marking

    Belly bands which is like a male dog’s diaper can also be effective.

    I am more of a believer in training and supervision than I am in belly bands that can easily be taken off or chewed through; but, some people swear by them. Dog’s don’t want to pee on themselves so one leg lifting in a belly band can be just enough to curb the behavior of even a chronic leg lifter.

    Be patient!

    This is instinctual and can be difficult to curb, but if you put in the effort you will be able to stop a male dog from marking!

    – See more at: http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/stop-male-dog-urine-marking/#sthash.eM2h07Ac.dpuf


  13. jennifer kelly says:

    really appreciate your blog. our rescue dog is still peeing in one spot in the house. he pees full amount. literally 30 min after a long walk. he obviously only marks on those walks…we work full time and it’s hard to figure this out…he has great long dog walk in am, then with walker mid day and is walked again at around 5…do you have a suggestion as to which article to read to help? thanks jen


    Minette Reply:


    and put his food bowl where he is peeing. But if you don’t use the crate while you are gone; he will just find another place to pee.


  14. Buddydon McFarland says:

    I have a 3Yr old Cirbe Terrier who has been with me sice he was 8 Wks. He is neutered. Also have 2 Yr old M.Schnauzer, Also neutered. The Terrier does the little bit of pee, Inside and utside. Now the M. Schnauzer has srarted to pee alot inside the housE. They both poop outside as I put them out to do business about every 2 Hrs. Retired!

    The Terrier has seperation and return hyper behavior. Vet says no medical reason, After 800.00 tests and evAl. Suggested a Vet wHo specializes in behavior ssues “Might work”. First visit is 525.00 And 275.00, 1 Day a week for 3 mnths. Ugh did I mention I am on fixed income? Lol. If I could stop the peeing inhouse I would be very happy. Already replaced carpet in bedrooms and contractor starts Monday to replace Natural hadwoid flooring with the new non pourous fake wod florng, HELP



  15. HuskyOwnerInDE says:

    Sophia: Also in the meantime please try a head collar such as the Halti. Keeps the leash at a fixed point (not on collar, wherein people fear trachea damage) and safer until you hopefully can fix the pulling.


  16. Maggie says:

    I do have to say, tho maybe she was brutally honest (Mary Beth,maybe you’re an ISTJ like me on the Myers Briggs test!?), she replied with what I was thinking. It makes no sense to start much of anything,esp businesses without having an understanding of your customers and these can be complicated customers as Karen has experienced. Having more than just having had s dog is not nearly enough. Reading body language, I’d have to teach these dogs heel, leave,off etc. My own dogs have always learned the basics, they will pee,poop,drink on command,never go out a door unless given the command etc. And that’s before basic obedience starts. You can certainly learn Daina and there’s much to learn! But you were determined enough to start your business, you can learn the basics of dog behavior,obedience. Good Luck!! M


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