6 Reasons Why Dogs Pee in the House
By Cat Pesale
Chances are, you’ve visited our website or others to figure out why dogs pee in the house. While a number of factors should be considered, your dog might be doing so for behavioral reasons. The most common one related to this is dog marking. Dog marking occurs when a male or female dog pees in small amounts around various locations either outside or inside a house, and is a normal form of communication among dogs. Dogs are often drawn to urine marks left by other dogs, and are supposedly able to get information about the identity, sex and reproductive status of a marker by simply sniffing his or her urine marks. Urine marking is often misdiagnosed as urinary incontinence or a house training issue, when in reality it is a common, instinctual behavior in dogs.
Common Reasons Why Dogs Pee in the House
Dogs start marking at a young age, and even house trained dogs can start marking in the house. According to the ASPCA, one study found that “10 percent of the dogs who urine marked started the behavior at 3 months of age, 20 percent by 6 months, 40 percent by 12 months, 70 percent by 1.5 years, and 90 percent before 2 years.” Dog marking is usually brought on by:
The presence of something new in the environment (such as the introduction of new furniture, rugs or drapes, or an encounter with a non-resident dog)
Social triggers (such as when male dogs mark in the presence of female dogs in heat, or when visiting homes where other dogs have marked before)
Anxiety due to perceived insecurity or the introduction of a threat (such as when a friend visits your home, the introduction of a baby into your home, or during a conflict between a dog and other humans or pets in the home)
Changes in routine
Living situations with two or more dogs in the same household
While male dogs and small dogs tend to be the most common dog marking culprits, dog marking can also occur in female dogs who are in heat, as well as larger breeds. Some findings on urine marking published in The Bark and in the scientific journal Animal Behavior have also suggested that alpha dogs tend to mark over other dogs’ urine marks more frequently.