How to Break Male Dogs From Lifting Their Leg on Furniture

by Melinda Weaver
    If you want your dog to mark outside, you have to train it to do so.

    If you want your dog to mark outside, you have to train it to do so.

    dog image by Ergün Ã--zsoy from Fotolia.com

    Dogs mark on furniture for a variety of reasons: they haven't been properly potty trained, a life change has made them insecure or another dog's odor is tempting them. However, your dog's reasoning is not to get revenge or show you that it's dominant. In fact, the marking is most likely caused by insecurity. No matter what the reason, if your dog is inappropriately marking, it has too much freedom. To fix the problem, you must restrict your dog's freedom and teach it what you would like it to do instead.

    Training Male Dogs Not to Mark Furniture

    Step 1

    Clean all accidents thoroughly. Dogs can smell much better than we can, so your dog may be reacting to smells of which you aren't aware. Don't use an ammonia-based cleaner. Choose one specifically designed to remove urine, and soak your dog's favorite spots several times.

    Step 2

    If the marking began suddenly, visit your veterinarian. Though marking rarely happens because dogs can't hold it, your dog could have a urinary tract infection. In addition, neutered dogs are less likely to mark, so think about neutering your dog.

    Step 3

    Determine any changes in routine that may have disturbed your dog. Did you add another dog? A family member? Loss in the family? All of these can cause a house-trained dog to act out. To reduce this, stabilize your dog's routine. Make sure it eats, exercises and plays at similar times daily. Do your best to give it plenty of attention, no matter what's going on in your life.

    Step 4

    Restrict your dog's house freedom. If it is sneaking off to mark, you are giving it too much freedom. Any dog that is marking should always be within your sight. Use a leash to tether it to a certain area or use a crate or baby gates to restrict where it roams. Prevent it from reaching favorite marking spots unless you are supervising.

    Step 5

    Stop your dog immediately if you see it start to sniff or lift its leg. Make a loud noise such as a yell or clapping. Grab your dog's leash and run it outside. If your dog lifts its leg outside, praise and reward. Continue this training until your dog loses interest in those spots. Gradually reintroduce freedom. If your dog makes a mistake, restrict the freedom for a longer period of time.

    Warning

    • Don't punish your dog for marking. Unless you catch it in the act, the punishment won't be associated with the action anyway. If the marking is caused by insecurity, punishment will only make the marking worse.

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    About the Author

    Melinda Weaver graduated from the University of Kansas with a journalism degree in 2001. Weaver has worked as a writer since graduation, published in several newspapers and websites. She currently owns a dog training business in Phoenix, Pawsitive Partners, and is pursuing a PhD in animal behavior at Arizona State University.

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