Marking Behavior in Dogs

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Urine-marking occurs when there is either instability in a dog’s relationships or when a dog is feeling anxious. It is not a house soiling problem. To resolve the problem, you need to address the underlying reason for your dog’s need to mark.

House Soiling or Urine Marking? How to Tell the Difference!

Your dog may be urine-marking if:

What You Can Do:

What Not to Do:

Don’t punish your dog after the fact. Punishment administer, even a minute after the event, is ineffective because your dog won’t understand why he is being punished. It can also lead to issues of fear or aggression.

Pets Aren’t People

Dogs don’t urinate or defecate out of spite or jealousy. If your dog urinates on your baby’s diaper bag, it’s not because he is jealous, or dislikes your baby. The unfamiliar scents and sounds of a new baby in the house are simply causing him to urine-mark.


Urine-marking is usually associated with instability in relationships. While this is often the case, some dogs may mark when they feel anxious due changes in their living situations. For example, a new baby in the home brings new sounds, smells, and people, as well as changes in routine. Your dog probably isn’t getting as much attention as he was used to getting. All of these changes cause him to feel anxious, which may cause him to mark. Likewise, a dog that is generally anxious may become more so by the presence of roaming neighborhood animals in your yard, or by the introduction of a new cat or dog into your household. If your dog is feeling anxious, you might consider talking to your veterinarian about medication to reduce his anxiety while you work on behavior modification.