My 11 Month old rottweiler keeps marking EVERYWHERE??
by tina pople
(west yorkshire, uk)
I have an 11 month old male rottweiler and a 2 year old bitch Alsatian cross Rottweiler. He has started marking everywhere in the house.
Sometimes it's a full blown wee others it's just trickles but the smell is horrendous and my carpet is now starting to really smell. What can i do to stop him doing this. If i leave him in the kitchen he doesn't do it just on the carpet in the rest of the house. However when he is in the kitchen he regularly jumps onto the work surfaces so i have paw prints everywhere and he will take whatever he can get (which once included a full tub of margarine).
He knows it's wrong to do it but still insists on doing it.
I know how frustrating this type of behavior can be, but both things you mention are actually very normal canine behaviors. Of course, just because they're normal doesn't mean that they're okay and you definitely need to discourage them, but your pup is simply following his instincts.
At 11 months he's still a pup but is an adolescent rather than a baby. He is maturing sexually and his guarding instincts will also be emerging. The 'marking' or 'spraying' is an instinctive behavior in male pups who haven't been neutered. Neutering early and before this habit begins usually prevents it from occurring altogether, and although neutering afterwards isn't as effective in many cases is still helps reduce the problem.
Apart from (and in addition to) neutering, you will need to correct your pup every single time he does this. It will take a lot of repetition and a lot of patience because this act is unthinking on his part, it's a reflex and his way of showing that your home is his home too. While you work on correcting the behavior you could try using 'belly bands' which are absorbent pads made especially for this problem - a little like doggie diapers but designed specifically for male dogs. They come in a variety of designs, check out Peter Pads Dog Belly Bands - LG or Signature Running Dog Wizzer Belly Band to get an idea of what I mean.
Although these won't stop your pup from spraying, they will protect your carpets and furniture while you work on training him NOT to do it.
The 'counter surfing' you mention is another common dog behavior, especially in the large and giant breeds who can reach counter tops and tables with ease. Again, the solution is consistent correction, telling him 'no' every single time and physically removing his paws from the counter.
I'd recommend that during this training period you keep anything edible, and anything else that doesn't absolutely HAVE to be on your worktops, out of reach or in cupboards. If he doesn't get 'rewarded' by finding a tasty snack, and gets consistently reprimanded (just verbal though, no physical punishment) your pup will eventually give up on this too.
Training a puppy is an ongoing process and takes a lot of time, effort and patience. Large breeds are puppies for longer than small breeds, so this training period lasts for a long time too. Luckily Rottweilers are very intelligent and usually willing to please their loved ones, so if you are loving but firm in setting house rules he will learn to obey. You can find more help and advice on this on my Free Puppy Training Tips page.
Hope this helps, best of luck with your pup.