Behaviour tips for dogs

House Training/Urine Marking

  • Supervision is very important to prevent elimination inside the home. Either keep your dog on a leash with you, or have them in a crate when you cannot supervise. If they are on a leash, give them a fun puzzle toy/enrichment activity to engage in so they don’t become too attached/used to getting attention from you all the time.

  • Watch for signs of needing to eliminate, like excessive sniffing or going near a wall/object and lifting their leg (marking). If you notice these signs, immediately take them outside and bring treats to reward them for going outdoors.

  • Use bells to train them to go inside in case they don’t know how to alert you. Please see this link for bell training.

  • Set a consistent schedule for when they have to go outside. Keep track of when they seem to be eliminating and see if you can notice certain times (they go every couple hours, every few hours, etc). This way, you will know when to take them out to prevent an accident from happening inside.

  • Make sure you use the right product designed for eliminating odour. DO NOT just use household cleaning products as there are lots of different chemicals/smells in them that are not meant for urine. You want to use something that will pull the smell out so they aren’t drawn back to the same spot. Things like natures miracle, or a homemade mix like this one.

  • Urine marking can be tricky, especially considering most of them aren’t spayed or neutered and hormones are driving the behaviour. Constant supervision is important while ensuring you are taking them outside frequently. Working on obedience cues like ‘leave it’ for example, can help teach a dog to disengage from what they are doing and can be reinforced if you notice they may be able to mark something. More info:

  • Belly bands can be helpful for dogs that urine mark. You can purchase one here.

  • Some dogs may not go to the bathroom outside, and eliminate indoors. Here is a helpful read regarding this issue.