8 month old male has started marking his territory in the house


My 8 month old Rottweiler has started to mark in the house,and it always seems to be when we aren't looking. He has always had excellent house training and knows to go to the toilet outside.

We also have a 3 yr old Golden retriever bitch. We were wondering whether he has started this to try and show her who is 'boss'? or whether it may be us he is trying to dominate with his territory marking? This behaviour needs to stop as it's not sanitary for him to be pee'ing inside.

He has been to puppy training classes, and we also do obedience training with him on a daily basis. He gets on with our bitch fantastically, like best friends in fact! Please help us with putting a stop to this!

Amy & Andy

Hi Amy and Andy
This territorial marking is absolutely normal in an a male puppy who hasn't been neutered. Neutered pups sometimes do it too, but generally only if they haven't had the procedure before reaching sexual maturity (which is somewhere around the 8 month mark in Rotties).

The first thing I'd recommend is having him neutered if you haven't already done so. It may not stop the behavior entirely at this point, but it should help it to decrease.

Secondly, it's important to realize that this isn't a housebreaking issue, it has nothing to do with his potty training, obedience training and so on. It's a totally instinctive action and he is doing it to show that your home is his territory. The fact that you also have an adult female in the home will also encourage him to do this as he's staking her out as 'his', this will be even more apparent if she's not spayed.

You're going to need to be very vigilant with him and supervise him closely at all times because you have to correct him firmly (don't shout, smack or scold though, this is an instinctive behavior and he doesn't know it's wrong) ever single time he lifts his leg to spray. I'd recommend using his crate a bit more than you normally would during this training period as it will help you to avoid him spraying when you're not watching him. If this happens it interferes with the training.

There are products you can use in conjunction with the supervision and corrections that will help protect your furnishings and carpets during his 'learning curve'. They're called 'belly bands' and are sort of like doggie diapers, but are designed especially for male dogs and wrap around his middle, covering the penis and therefore catching any urine.

They're not a long-term solution but are definitely worth using as part of his training. You can see what I mean here Belly Bands Dog Diapers Size: Large.

If you're patient, consistent and loving in your corrections and supervise/contain him properly you should be able to overcome this situation given some time.

Good luck with your pup.

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