Many folks I know have problems with their male dogs marking their homes. Here are some tips in hopes to break the habit once and for all!
We’ve all seen it and we all feel the same about it. Nobody likes a dog that marks in their house. It stains furniture and makes the house smell like a kennel. It’s definitely one of the drawbacks of having a male dog. Most of us don’t even realize the dog is marking till one day we notice one area and then another and so on. Suddenly we look around our house and see countless areas our dog has been lifting his leg on for months. It’s at that moment you realize your dog isn’t as house-trained as you thought. Well I’ve created the perfect solution to break this annoying habit for good. I’ve used this technique on countless dogs over the years and I’d say 90% of them picked it up within a week or so.
Let’s get started-
You’ll need a few tools for this. You’ll need a regular flat leash, and a cinder block, a baby camera and a fluorescent black-light.
Now we’re all geared up let’s break this down-
The first thing we have to do is determine where the problem areas already exist. Many times we don’t realize our dog has been marking the same areas for months. That’s the reason they keep marking the areas; it becomes their territory and marking is just a routine at that point. If we can locate all the problem areas we can eliminate a huge part of the problem. To locate these areas we’re gonna wait till the sun goes down and pull out that black light you bought. Once you turn it on and shine it around the room you’ll notice a few things the naked eye can’t see. See those areas around the room that are glowing? Well those most likely are urine stains that your dog has so politely showered your furniture with. We need to locate them all and clean them with a cleaner strong enough to get the mess and odor out but not too strong to ruin the furniture. Be sure to clean them good; some might require to be revisited a few times. This is the root of the problem and must be dealt with before training. Your dog consistently goes to these areas and marks his territory. His smell is marinated in these areas and he’s continuing to grace them with his markings out of instinct. By cleaning them you’re taking away the smell and throwing him slightly off his game.
Now we’ve cleaned the areas as best we can let’s begin the training-
We’re going to set up the room we just cleaned with the baby camera. Next we’re gonna let our dog roam free in the room while viewing him on the monitor from another part of the house. The really bad markers most likely will show their cards in a minute or so. Many dogs will take a little longer. Whatever the case we’re simply gonna be patient and wait. Once they lift their leg on something we immediately walk into the room and reprimand with a “No” command while showing them the area they just marked. Make your reprimand short and sweet as the next step is the one that makes all the difference. Once we’ve showed them the area we’re gonna take that leash, attach it to them and tie the other end up to the corner of what they just marked on. Be sure to tie it with enough slack where they can stand up and lie down only. No more than that. For the dogs that marked on an area that we can’t tie the leash up to (middle of a couch, middle of dresser, etc), we ‘re gonna pull out that cinder bock and utilize that. Place the cinderblock right by the area they marked and wrap the leash around it leaving just enough slack for them to stand up and lie down. From there we’re gonna give them 30 minutes (supervised) to think about what they just did by making them sit next to their handy work. If they start crying or barking just ignore them. DO NOT take them off if they start crying or barking!! This will defeat the entire purpose of the training. Once they’ve spent the entire 30 minutes there we’re gonna unclip them and repeat the process by going outside and once again viewing the monitor. DO NOT praise, reward or even do baby talk to them after you unclip them. The best thing to say is nothing at all. This is a discipline exercise and must be treated as such. Now we’re outside and viewing them we’re gonna wait them out and repeat this process, quickly busting them in the act & following the training procedure again. It’s very simple & straight to the point.
This process will be repeated for as long as it takes. Some dogs I’ve trained this on have learned it in just a couple days. Others might take a week or so. No matter what the case just keep on them. The theory behind this is simple. Dogs hate being near their own mess so by making stand next to it for a period of time it’s like a form of reverse psychology. We’re basically turning their positives into negatives. Their positive in their eyes is marking the furniture which happens to be a negative. By making them sit next to their own mess we’re now using a form of reverse psychology to make them not want to do it anymore. Kinda like the old theory of making your child smoke the entire pack of cigarettes when you catch them smoking. This obviously isn’t as harsh but the same rule applies here. We’re simply reversing our dog’s way of thinking, eliminating their bad habits in the process. Marking in the house is completely unacceptable behavior for any dog and needs to be dealt with.
A few vital things to point out here. First of all be sure the leash has the right amount of slack I recommended. Enough to lie down and stand up only. If you give too much they’ll simply walk to the end of the leash and be far enough away from their mess where they’re not learning a lesson. Too little slack and they can’t lie down so measure correctly because every dog is different. Also be sure to supervise them during the process. You can simply be doing chores around the house but DO NOT leave the house while they’re tied up and DO NOT connect them to chokers or prong collars while doing this. A regular flat collar is all that’s needed. Furthermore if you see them chewing on the leash (lots of dogs do) just give them a “No” or maybe rub a little lemon on the area. That should stop them.
And last but not least…be consistent. Giving up on them is only teaching them more bad behavior. This is the main reason dogs get away with so much; because the lack of consistency in dog owners. Always remember you’re the teacher so be the best teacher possible. The face you show is the face shown right back to you. Try it out and let me know how it goes. Ruff.
by Brandon McMillan