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December 25, 2016 4 min read

Dog spraying indoors?

Urine marking is an act common to male dogs and some female however it becomes a problem to owner when an indoor dog exhibit this quality. The first way to stop this act is by neutering or spraying although the marks of female dogs are lesser than the males. Marking can also be reduced greatly through confinement, scent elimination, positive reinforcement and minimizing anxiety. Dogs can be treated of this problem with the use of anti-anxiety medication.


A natural instinctive behavior in dogs is canine urine marking however it is abnormal for indoor dogs to exhibit such.

Dogs, especially those that are sexually active mark their territory or pass message to other dogs by urinating on objects. Dogs begin to exhibit this behavior when they attain sexual maturity.

There is a higher chance of the intact male dog to mark when a female dog in heat is around. The intact female dogs also mark when they are in heat. Nonetheless any dog can mark whenever another dog urinates in the house. A dog remarks by urinating on an already marked place and would constantly urinate there unless the scent fades away completely.

In a house filled with dogs especially those of same gender there is always competition for dominance and it might result to urine marking. This can also be done by a dog that feels dominant to the owner.

Urine marking can also be caused by any anxiety-producing situation. Anxiety can be triggered in a dog by the arrival of a new baby, workmen in the house or presence of relatives. A dog may also feel threatened and anxious when a new item is added to the house which might cause them to mark on the boxes. Urine marking is a normal and natural behavior among dogs although it is quite annoying.

Symptoms and Identification

You do not need one to tell you your dog is urinating inside your house as the signs of urine can be easily seen. But there is a difference between a dog that lacks house training and urine marking.

Marking on vertical surfaces and corners could be a sign of urine marking but it could as well mean incomplete house breaking. Speak with a veterinarian or hire a trainer that would help to identify what the marking signs really mean. In addition, it is quite important to find out if your dog has any medical issue such as urinary tract infection as this might be the cause of the urination.

Affected Breeds

All kinds of breed can suffer from this problem.


Most times there are several steps that need to be taken in order to overcome urine marking:

Neutering.Neutering would always be the first step for a sexually intact dog. A good number of neutered dogs drop the urine marking behavior in about a month after introducing the procedure. For the female dogs to stop urine marking it needs to be constantly sprayed. However, there is the need to also modify this behavior.

Positive reinforcementurine marking should not be a reason to punish any dog as it might lead to greater level of anxiety which would only make the problem worse. Rather than punishing the dog it should be supervised. Give the dog a firm “NO” when caught in action and then take it outside. Encourage and praise the dog whenever it urinates outside the house. A dog can easily drop the habit of urine marking if it is constantly taken outside and rewarded whenever it urinates outside.

Scent eliminationit may necessary to get rid of the scent from the previous marking using an enzymatic cleaner. Using another scent to cover the odor of the marking is hardly effective. The enzymatic cleaner is used to neutralize and digest the odor from the previous urine marking to avoid continuity of the behavior. Apply Dog MACE after enzymatic cleaner is used to effectively train dogs to avoid treated areas.

Minimize anxietiesfind out the factors causing anxiety to the dog and minimize their importance or remove them completely. The stress on the dog can also be reduced with the use of A.D.A.P. (dog appeasing pheromone) collar or diffuser. The function of this drug is similar to the pheromone a mother dog gives her puppies to calm them down and relieve them of anxiety.

Confinementthis would help prevent the dog from frequently visiting its marked area. Limiting the movement of a dog by confining it to a small area which is protected by crates, baby gates or shutting doors can help stop marking behavior.

Establishing dominancesome dogs need to understand that their owners are dominant and that they need to work to get rewards.

Medicationssome veterinarians prescribe medication as a final means of treatment. It takes about 4-6 weeks before the impact of the drug can be felt. Nevertheless, irrespective of medication behavior improvement must always be introduced.

PreventionAlthough early neutering can be helpful, it is not a guarantee. The best way to deal with marking behavior is to identify and deal with it early.