1. Neuter: For pet dogs, early neutering will stop marking behavior in the majority of dogs. Neutering at an early age can prevent the habit forming. For older dogs, neutering may still have the desired effect but marking in the house may have become a habit that you will have to break.
Testosterone seems to play a role in urine marking. At least one study has shown that neutering a dog at any age will help prevent it. It can’t be guaranteed that neutering a dog is going to magically cure this problem but if you don’t neuter a male dog, your chances of breaking the habit are greatly reduced.
2. Supervise and Break the Habit. You MUST catch him in the act! DOGS LEARN QUICKLY FROM THIS!
Close supervision is necessary. You must be dedicated to stop the marking behavior of your dog and you must be consistent. Some people have reported that it has only taken a day or two using the intense supervision method.
Confine your dog to one area of the house where you can watch him. Shut doors to other areas of the house or barricade them off with baby gates or improvise with whatever is at hand.
If barricading is not possible another option is to put your dog on a retractable lead while he is in the house with you and for you to have total control at all times.
3. Make yourself a Shaker Bottle or Shaker Can: A shaker can is simply an empty cola can with a several coins inside it. The opening is taped over to prevent the coins flying out. It makes a lot of noise when you shake it up and down.
A shaker bottle is a plastic bottle with some small pebbles or coins placed inside.
Watch your dog for any signs (such as sniffing and circling) that he is even thinking about marking. The moment he begins to lift his leg shake the can once only to get his attention. The loud noise should startle him and interrupt what he is doing. As he looks towards where the noise has come from. Give him the command in a stern voice ‘NO PEE’.
OK, so you have stopped him peeing once. Now you have to be consistent and diligent and continue with the behavior modification each and every time you see him attempt to mark urine.
Do not rant, rave or smack your dog at any time. Punishment will make an insecure dog more insecure.
This method is not intended for house training your puppy, only for urine marking. Potty training is another issue.
4. Praise him when he pees where you want him to: Don’t forget to praise your dog when he marks in an appropriate place. If you are outside and he marks on a tree or other acceptable object or area tell him what a good boy he is. Tell him, ‘Pee here, good boy’ in a happy voice. Dogs learn quickly from positive responses to their behavior.
The message you are trying to get across to him is that urine marking isn’t bad, but that marking inside the house isn’t such a good idea.
When you go out. Dogs who suffer separation anxiety may pee while you are out. They are not peeing out of spite because you left them, dogs just don’t think like this. They are feeling anxious at being left alone. Try leaving them an item of your worn clothing with your familiar smells on it. This just might be enough to settle their anxiety.
5. Confinement is the only answer for some dogs: Some dogs will never be able to be trusted with the run of the house. Although inconvenient to you it may be necessary to close doors to certain rooms and only allow freedom in the rooms he can be trusted. Another alternative is to use Belly Bands (see below)
6. Deterrents. Spray Commander is a system which uses a device that is attached to the dog’s collar which delivers a harmless but unpleasant spray to the dog. You activate the spray with a remote control when you catch the dog in the act of inappropriate behavior such as urine marking on your furniture.
You may be able to deter your from dog peeing on the furniture by attaching strips of aluminum foil to his favorite spots. The urine will make a noise when hitting the foil and may splash back on him. This may deter some dogs but it will have no effect on others. You could also try putting his water bowl in his favorite spot.
7. Cleaning is important. You must thoroughly clean areas where your dog has peed in the past and completely remove the scent to discourage your dog from re-marking in the same place. Use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water and wash the soiled areas well.
Avoid using ammonia based products to clean dog urine. One of the ingredients of dog urine is ammonia and he may well be encouraged to re-mark in the same area.
8. Visiting Friends. If you think your dog is likely to urine mark in your friend’s house don’t give him the opportunity to do so. Keep him on a leash at all times. You can walk him around the new environment on the leash and if he gives the slightest hint that he may cock his leg, tell him ‘NO’. Or you could take your Shaker Can with you. You may eventually be able to trust him but if the house you are visiting has pets living there it could be a very challenging task.
9. New Baby? If your dog has newly acquired the habit of urine marking since bringing a new baby home you will need to reassure him that he is still loved and part of the family. Involve him in fun activities while the baby is around making the baby and associated baby smells less of a threat to him.
10. Belly Bands. Sometimes it can be very difficult to stop your dog peeing everywhere in the house, on your furniture and other objects.
Belly Bands may be a solution when all else has failed.
As with any behavior problem, there may be an underlying medical condition which is causing the marking. Get your vet to check him out.