MALE DOG MARKING TERRITORY
QUESTION: I am keeping a friends 3 year old male dog while they sell and buy a new house. He has started peeing (leg lifted) especially at night when we are sleeping. Table legs, plants, etc. He hasn't been here long and during the day he usually doesn't and goes out quietly with our own dog. Why is he doing this and what can I do about it? He is going to be here for quite awhile I suspect? They said he was house trained???
ANSWER: He is "Marking Territory" and really has not much to do with house training. He has decided that he wants to be "Boss Dog" or "Leader Of The Pack" at your house and is lifting his leg and Marking your house as his Territory.
If not already neutered, then do so immediately. Because he is no longer a pup, expect up to minimum 3 (maybe longer) months before the Testosterone is completely gone from his system. Testosterone is not only in the Testes but also stored in the animals body tissues. This will help a lot by changing his mind on what is really important. If already neutered, then he was not neutered young enough (6 months old).
If this is only happening at night when you cannot keep an eye on him, then he should be kenneled during the night but of course for absolutely no longer than 8 hours MAX. That is 8 hours max out of a total day of 24 hours.
A dog must be caught in the act to discipline them for bad behavior. Even a minute afterwards is "After The Fact" and the dog will not, does not know why it is being punished. All the dog knows is that you are mad at him. (When people tell me "you bet my dog knows he did wrong, the people fail to realize that the dog knows they did wrong but NOT what they did WRONG)!!!
I have stopped this by keeping squirt water bottles (good ones with JET STREAM in "Each and Every" room and grabbing it and giving the dog a shot in the face when caught. I use a one word command not "Ever" used before. That one word is now only for Marking Territory and nothing else as to not confuse the dog. Such as the sharp sounding word "QUIT" or the word "ENOUGH". I say nothing but that word in a very, dominant voice, "Quit", shot from good spray bottle, and then repeat once more only. Dogs quickly learn when only one word and are not injured in anyway by the squirt of water.
For breeding dogs (stud dogs) that cannot or have not been neutered, I will suggest giving them a "Scent Post" where they can leave their Mark but no where else in the home. Such as a chunk of firewood or some such object with newspaper under it in an out of the way corner.
They can be told "Good Dog" when they use it and "Quit" or "Enough" when they don't.
I have also had success by moving this "Scent Post" gradually closer to the back door of the home and finally outside of the home and some males will then ask to be let out to do their "Manly" duty of "Marking Territory" then.