Monthly Behaviour Tip – Urine Marking

Nobody enjoys a dog that wees on every vertical surface in its proximity!! But did you know, any dog, male or female, desexed or not, over the age of three months may urine mark? So why do dogs’ urine mark? And what can you do to stop the behaviour?

Urine marking is most commonly performed by dogs that are not desexed. Entire females, usually urine mark more frequently just before and while on heat. However, urine marking may still occur on flat surfaces and by dog that are desexed.

Dogs may urine mark due to the presence of another dog or smell of urine left in their environment; such as around their own home and yard, while on a regular walking route, and during visits to other familiar locations.

Exciting social situations can trigger urine marking. For example, a male dog marking when in the presence of a female dog (especially if she is on heat) and or when interacting with other males. When they visit homes where other dogs have urine marked before. When they become highly aroused and overstimulated in a social situation, marking may occur on nearby objects, people, and other dogs.

A number of events can cause anxiety, triggering urine marking, with the dog usually depositing a greater amount of urine than when marking for other reasons. Events may include the presence of new objects, furniture or luggage in the dog’s environment, the departure of a resident from the dog’s home, a new person moving into the home, or conflict between the dog and people or other animals in the home.

There are many reasons for a dog to urine mark. Once you have found the cause, then you can figure out the best approach to fixing or reducing the urine marking. This may involve desexing your dog, reducing the situations that cause the marking, supply dog appeasing pheromone to help reduce the anxiety and stress level during certain events. For further advice on managing urine marking speak to your vet.


Veterinary Nurse Kirstie Hancock is qualified in animal behaviour with her Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services through the Delta Society. She has lots of great tips and ideas when it comes to misbehaving pets. Keep an eye out for her monthly tips on our Facebook page. Also check out her own business Facebook page - Positive Paws.