What can I do about my dogs marking behavior?


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Our question this week was:

I have a 2-year old male, very mellow, non-aggressive neutered yellow lab who is house trained and does not mark in our house or the home of friends with female dogs (so far). However, he marks if there is or was a male dog in the house, and thus is not welcome in friends home, which eliminates overnight visits with him because we don't know how he will behave. Is there anything we can do?

Barbara Prynoski


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that you 2-year-old neutered male lab will "mark" territory where other male dogs are or have been. Most commonly the treatment for urine marking evolve around neutering (already done in your dog), dominance control programs (it may be worth considering this), anxiety-reducing measures, and thorough clean up are ineffective. Pharmacological intervention may be the last resort.

I have a couple very good articles that might be helpful to you. When Your Dog's Urine Marking Is a Problem and Reducing Dog Urine Odor.

I'd recommend that you read these. I think they may help.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.