Things To Do When Your Dog is Marking Furniture

Updated: January 19, 2024

So, your dog is marking in the house? What can you dog to prevent your dog from peeing on furniture? Let's find out.

Dogs are territorial by nature and marking their territory is one of the ways they protect their territory and belongings. It may feel as though dogs mark their territory simply to get under your skin, but dogs actually mark their territory to make their environment smell like home!

"Dogs are territorial by nature and marking is their way of protecting their territory, family and belongings."

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You might want to know why your dog peed on the couch and how to keep your dog from peeing on the couch. Dogs mark objects they feel belong to them or anything else they feel possessive over. It is an instinctual behavior exhibited by dogs when they reach sexual maturity.

Marking is not necessarily a bad thing, although it usually ends up soiling your furniture or flooring, and leaves you with a smelly home. Urine marking also causes unnecessary stress that we are almost positive you don't need. So, how do you stop dogs from marking furniture?

Help! My Dog is Marking in the House

Although stopping dogs from marking furniture at home can be very difficult because it’s so instinctual, there are ways to reduce or curb the behavior, don't you worry!

You can take some preventive measures to reduce your dog’s marking; investigate the potential causes behind this behavior, and try to address them even if your dog keeps marking furniture.

In this article, we have listed the things you can do to stop dogs from marking furniture and what you can do when your dog is marking your furniture. We hope this saves some of your hair and sanity! 

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How to Stop a Dog From Marking in The House

1. Find out the cause of their marking behavior

Why do dogs mark furniture? What is the best way how to stop a dog from marking in the house? You might wonder, why is my dog marking all of a sudden? Getting to the root of the problem is crucial but this will help you manage the marking behavior more effectively and take a lot of stress off your shoulders. A vet check can help you rule out the potential causes of your dog’s marking behavior and then treat or manage the underlying condition accordingly.

Marking behavior, aside from marking territories, can also be a result of underlying health conditions, like a reaction to a medicine, bladder or urine infections, improper house training, separation anxiety, or some other behavioral problems like submissive urination and excitement urination. To learn how to stop a dog from marking in the house, you must first rule out any medical problems or concerns.

2. Be the leader of the pack

Territorial marking can be a way for your dog to assert dominance and establish a pack hierarchy. To prevent your dog from marking, you need to re-establish your position of leadership. As pet parents, we know it can sometimes be difficult to set boundaries when they bring out their puppy dog eyes, but being a pet parent means being a leader. If you find your dog peed on the couch or keeps peeing on the couch, set boundaries to prevent it. If a dog keeps marking furniture, it may actually feel insecure.

One of the subtile ways for how to keep a dog from marking in the house is to re-establish your leadership. Remain calm and confident in front of them to make them feel secure. Setting rules, boundaries, and limitations will also help you with training and preventing marking inside your house. Remember that leadership does not require anger or punishment, just clear rules.

3. Spay or neuter your dog

Having your dog spayed or neutered can be extremely effective in reducing the incidence of developing marking behaviors. Do female dogs mark? Yes, they can although it may not be as common as male dogs marking. These surgical procedures remove your furbaby's uterus and ovaries or testes.

Talk to your vet so they can assess your furbaby's health conditions and determine if they are fit enough to undergo the process. The procedure will eliminate the chances of hormone-driven marking (male dogs and those hormones, I tell ya!).

Along with helping curb your dog’s marking behaviors, spaying and neutering also provide many health benefits. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®), for female dogs, spaying helps reduce the chances of mammary cancer. Female dogs will also no longer be at risk of uterine cancer and infections. For male dogs, neutering helps reduce the chances of testicular cancer and other prostate issues and also helps curb inappropriate or aggressive behaviors.

A neutered male dog marking in the house is much less common. However, keep in mind that spaying or neutering is not a cure all. It is possible to find your neutered male dog marking in the house, especially in the weeks following surgery. However, the chances of it continuing will decrease as time increases.

4. Some preventive measures to stop dogs from marking

Taking preventive measures and properly training your dog can help reduce or even eliminate their marking behavior. Take into consideration the following measures to limit all of that leg lifting and furniture marking.

  • You must catch and interrupt them while they are attempting to mark any of your furniture. You can interrupt them by clapping, whistling, or calling out their names. The goal is to startle them and not scare them. Scaring them will only worsen the situation and we don’t want that. Close supervision and consistently stopping their actions can help you break their marking habit!
  • Use belly bands to keep your dog from making a mess in your house. These washable dog belly bands are specifically designed for male dogs to wrap around their bellies and prevent urinary messes and keep make dogs from marking. If you’re struggling with learning how to stop a dog from peeing in the house, these comfortable belly bands can save you from cleaning pee off of your furniture, carpet, or walls.
  • Do female dogs mark? Yes, they can! If your female dog is marking, we recommend using Pet Parents® Dog Diapers to catch the mess. If your female dog suddenly started peeing in the house, be sure to get her checked for a UTI.
  • You must also praise and appreciate your pooch for peeing in the right place. Reassurance, praise, and giving them extra love when they do something right, causes positive reinforcement.
  • Make sure you limit their access to the furniture or things they usually mark on. You can use barriers to prevent them from marking. This may include placing their treats or food on their marking spots as dogs do not want to mark or pee where their food at, putting them in a crate when you are not home, or placing their dog bed in the area where they usually mark (once cleaned) as they also do not want to mark or pee on their resting spaces.
  • Try to keep other animals away from your home as seeing another animal around often triggers this behavior, because that's his way of saying "Hey you, get outta here! This is my home!" And makes it 'his home' by unfortunately covering it in his pee.
  • Clean the area your dog has marked and make sure to neutralize the odor in that area. Do not just use basic household cleaning products. You must use enzymatic cleaners. These types of cleaners, according to the American Kennel Club, cleaners work on a molecular level to properly break down and remove odors and stains of pee.

How to stop a dog from marking, belly bands for dogs, male dogs marking furniture

Training your dog not to mark

Properly training your dog to mark outside the house or to mark only on designated areas will stop dogs from marking furniture, whether they are male or female. Also, make sure that you provide them an appropriate place to mark. They can mark their spot at any tree trunk their little heart desires, as long as they stay away from your furniture!.

Don’t yell, punish, or physically hurt your dog if they still don’t get the hang of things. Instead, continue the training and praise and reward them by the time they do the right behavior. It’s also important to distract or get your dog’s attention whenever you see them about to mark. The goal is to startle them and not scare them, so you may call their names, whistle, or clap.

dog marking in house, how to stop a dog from marking in the house

"If you can’t prevent your dog from marking then make sure that you provide him an acceptable place to mark."

Now that you know how to stop a dog from peeing in the house, take action to prevent future dog marking. Take pointers from these tips to stop dogs from marking furniture and use them for your own male dog marking. While training, use belly bands for an effective way how to stop a dog from marking in the house. Remain consistent when curbing dog marking in the house. This way, you can effectively prevent and curb your dog from marking furniture.