Peeing (or marking) on walks

One of the things my clients are often surprised to discover is that their dogs really shouldn’t be peeing on their walks.

Now, don’t get me wrong: if I take my dogs on a long walk, we will probably stop to pee once. But no more than that. A dog is like a person: they can easily hold it for 3-4 hours even when they’re out walking. Most likely, your dog holds it for 3-4 hours in the house: why would they suddenly need to constantly pee outside? If your dog is peeing more than once on a walk, their either have a bladder infection (highly unlikely, and then they would also need to pee frequently in the house) or they’re marking. Both male and female dogs mark; male dogs lift their leg, while most female dogs squat.

Dogs mark when they want to establish that something is part of their territory. There’s no reason for them to think that the lamp post down the street is their territory! If you want to stop your dog from marking, every time they pause to mark just give them a quick tug and keep walking. Once during your walk, stop and let them pee.

There are many reasons to teach your dog not to mark:

1. If your dog doesn’t mark, you can take him into dog-friendly stores fearlessly.

2. If you teach your dog to hold it, it will strengthen the muscles and help her hold it in the house and delay or avoid elderly incontinence.

3. If your dog knows that they need to fully empty their bladder when you tell them to, they are much less likely to have an accident in the house. (Or in other words, if you let them mark they will always hold urine in reserve, and their bladder will fill back up faster so they have to pee sooner!)

Is your dog marking? There’s an easy way to tell: if she pees more than once on your walk, she’s marking!

Jenna

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