If you think of territorial urine marking as a behavior exclusive to male dogs, think again. Although marking occurs even more often in male canines, females partake in their fair share of labeling their personal "spots," too. Gender offers no guarantees when it comes to this pesky, messy but totally normal behavior.
About Territorial Urine Marking
Canines naturally possess strong territorial instincts, like many other animals. If a dog considers a certain location or item as being her own, whether a doggie bed or easy chair, she might label it as being so to keep outsiders away. Urine marking is just a common way in which dogs "mark" something as a personal belonging. If a dog feels tense and upset about her owner's adoption of another pet, she might "declare" her status in the home by marking some of her favorite, most frequented spots, for example. In doing this, she's essentially telling the newbie to keep away from her turf.
Gender and Marking
As indicated previously, girl dogs do mark their territory. The behavior is, however, most prevalent in male dogs who haven't been neutered. Female dogs who are neutered also tend to mark less than those who haven't been. If you're looking for a new animal to welcome into your life, don't assume that territorial marking is absent or even rare in females.
Estrus and Female Dogs Marking
Unaltered male dogs might be compelled to mark any time, but things aren't exactly the same with unaltered female dogs. Female dogs go into their estrus cycles roughly twice annually. Urine marking behaviors in females typically emerge when they're in the midst of estrus, or immediately prior to it, although exceptions do occur.
Spaying and Marking
Spaying often helps diminish territorial marking actions in dogs. The surgery sometimes even puts a complete stop to it. When it comes to doing away with the whole thing, younger dogs usually have better chances of cutting out the behavior entirely. Discuss with your veterinarian the best time to spay your pet. If you do so before she becomes fully sexually mature at roughly 6 months old, you might even keep her from ever doing it. If you wait until the cutie is physically mature and has urine marked many times, it might be a lot tougher to rid her of the habit.
- ASPCA: Urine Marking in Dogs
- Partnership for Animal Welfare: Marking - Understanding It, Stopping It
- The Humane Society of the United States: Urine Marking Behavior - How to Prevent It
- The Humane Society of the United States: Urine Marking - Why Dogs Mark Their Territory
- ASPCA: Spay-Neuter
- ASPCA: Estrus or Heat