If your dog is suddenly house soiling and going No. 1 in the most undesirable of areas, don't assume that he's doing it out of anger or retaliation toward you or any other member of your household. Canines just don't operate like that. However, the marking may indeed be stress-related.
If your dog is house-trained and completely aware that he needs to be conducting all of his business outdoors, any inappropriate urination may be completely intentional urine marking. When a dog marks the interior of a home with his urine, he's doing it to lay claim to his turf. He's essentially communicating to the world, via his own urine scent, that the marked area is his, and only his -- a display of dominance. Dog marking generally is done vertically -- think walls and doors, for example.
A dog's need to claim ownership to parts of your home may be a sign of frustration, stress, uncertainty or overwhelming helplessness rather than anger. A variety of different and major life situations may cause a doggie to feel anxiety, including the sudden absence of a beloved human companion, a big move to another house or competition with a new puppy. If your dog is urinating inappropriately, rule out anger and instead focus on what may be contributing to his nerves -- quite possibly the need to make a declaration of his household status.
Urine marking may also be a hormonally-driven behavior in canines. Dogs who aren't neutered or spayed urine mark much more frequently. Male dogs may participate in testosterone-induced marking at any time, and female dogs do so while they're in heat, or right before. Fixing a dog usually -- but not always -- eliminates or curbs the behavior, especially in younger pets.
Before you make any assumptions regarding your doggie's urination issue, take him to the veterinarian to make sure he isn't suffering from a health ailment. Certain medical issues, such as urinary tract infection (UTI), urinary incontinence and diabetes, may cause dogs to urinate with more frequency, or to even lose full bladder control.
- The Humane Society of Southern Arizona: Urine Marking Behavior in Dogs
- SPCA of Texas: Urine Marking by Dogs
- ASPCA: Urine Marking in Dogs
- ASPCA: Diabetes
- The Humane Society of the United States: Urine Marking
- The Humane Society of the United States: Urine Marking Behavior
- Humane Society of Charlotte: Reducing Urine Marking Behavior in Dogs and Cats
- Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA: Urine Marking
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