Housebreaking Housetraining Issues Why Dogs Mark

There’s an awful lot written about this, why dogs mark stuff by urinating on it. If I didn’t find it so tragic the answers that are given, it would actually be quite comical to me. The two most egregious errors that are commonly made are, ( 1 ) A dominant dog marking what he considers his. And ( 2 ) A pack that is marking their territory.

This is yet another case of people reciting what they have read in dog training and behavior books. Unfortunately many of today’s dog trainers and behaviorist are simply following the information of animal researchers that misinterpreted the inherited behaviors they were observing.

Remember there are five related packs that I study here at Spirit Animal Sanctuary. Not to mention the four non related packs I also observe.

I’m going to address the first of the given reasons for marking, since it does the most irreparable damage to new dog owners looking for answers. If a new dog owner is searching for how to solve a marking issue they are having with their dog. And read the experts advice, that the dog is attempting to show his dominance by marking things he considers his. How much longer do you think that young dog or puppy has to live, if the owners think they have a dominant dog on their hands.

Just about every dog marks new things.

I will tell you right now, most of the pack will mark the same thing, one after the other. Although you do have some dogs trying to mark the object at the same time, can you guess what happens when they do this. That’s right, they piss on each other. Let me get back to why the dominant dog theory on marking behaviors, is all wrong. The alphas of our packs, sometimes they are the first to mark something and sometimes they are the last to mark. But if you believe in the dominance thing, he would be the only one to mark something. Because the lower pack members would know better not to try and mark the alpha’s stuff, or they would get attacked.

Marking their territories

This one even know they have been getting it wrong all these years, is not that big a deal. A dogs life is not going to end because of this misinformation. Animals don’t mark their territories. To give you an example, wild coyote packs are always passing through our land. Pack animals in nature will routinely roam a vast area of land, fifty to a hundred square miles or more. To think that they would mark or even care about the areas they roam in, could only be thought up of by man. It makes sense to us to mark our territory or property lines, not animals.  While dogs, it doesn’t matter what breed they are, German Shepherd breed, Poodle breed, Coyote breed or Wolf breed. When they are wandering around they love to urinate on anything that they like the smell of, or anything that is new to them. That’s why people often have some housebreaking issues, when they bring a new dog into their home. everything is new to them. Or when someone buys a new living room set and their dog starts peeing on it.

By the way, if your having a hard time determining whether or not your dog is marking something or it’s a housebreaking problem. When he has accidents in your house if it’s a little bit of pee, he’s marking. If it’s a lot of pee, he had to go to the bathroom and this is a housebreaking issue. And neutering or spaying your dog, although you should so no more dogs have the chance of dieing in a shelter, may or may not help out with your marking problem.

The Spirit Dog


8 Responses

  1. Hi,
    I’m actually concerned because my dog is 7 years old and never before exhibited this behavior. He is soiling drapes and bed ruffle. It is small amounts and on specific areas. Why would he all of a sudden start doing this? He is the only dog in the house and no changes have happened recently.

  2. Hi Terra,

    How old is this guy, we recently got a boxer about 18 months old that presently has a real weak bladder. Vet’s can’t test for that.

    Also some dogs that are nervous will drink more than their required amount of water. In regards to his pack position, you know better than that. I checked your site out, love the dog pictures.

    But if you really pay close attention to your packs, you will notice that the more confident dogs don’t act like idiots (picking on other guys). It’s the less than secure dogs, that will pick on dogs less comfortable then them.

    The point of that is, don’t concern yourself to much about supposed pack hierarchic, they don’t really exist

    Tell me a little bit more about this guy, Does he play with any other dogs, can you get him to play and be happy with you (while other dogs are around or by yourself) .

    Send me some links to your pictures that he is in, I can tell a lot by just looking at him in different situations.

    By the way, I couldn’t stop laughing from your husbands joke about the guy that was trying to dump the cat.

  3. I run a rescue shelter so therefore I must keep the weird dogs lol…. Anyway I have a dog that is a cudundrum of sorts, he is submissive by nature to my family’s entire pack 5 other dogs he will chase the cats off however well 2 out of 3 cats anyway, but my problem is he marks all the time everywhere. Door ways, toy rooms, furniture, cat pole, there is literally nothing safe, so we have crated him, done obedience with him, allow him to make the attemp to mark correct immediately but still 4 months later given the chance he will pee.
    This is not a health issue we have checked, and I am at the end of my rope. Is the fact we simply have to many dogs for him to find his position in the pack, and may never quit peeing on every fricken thing in my house. Anyway any advice is appreciated.

  4. Well, the rescue people and the vet think she is about one and a half years old or maybe two. Her bladder movements outside depend on whether she is in our yard (which she does not like and does only a small amount) or whether she is on a walk or in a common park area that she does like (in which case she leaves more urine). No lifting, only squatting since she’s female. Do females not mark like males? Thanks for taking time to respond! (BTW, she is crate trained.)

  5. Hey LC

    First off, how old is your little guy ? The marking thing really applies to adolescent dogs in the one and a half years old range ,and older. Give or take a month or two.

    Is he still a baby ? When he does his business outside, how often does he have a good bladder movement. And how often does he go a little bit.

    Is he lifting his leg yet, or still squatting ?

  6. We brought home a cairn terrier mix from a rescue shelter about a month ago who is having many accidents. Since they are very small amounts, I guess it is marking rather than housebreaking problem. So, what do we do?!!??

  7. Hi Jaymeey

    What didn’t you find informative about it ?

  8. This is a very uninformative “article”.

    ( Administrators Note ) This site “” is not listed in GuideStar’s data basis. list’s all federally registered Not For Profit Charities.

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