If your dog is suddenly going Number 1 or Number 2 in the most undesirable of areas, don't assume that he was motivated by anger or it was in any way an act of retaliation toward you or any other member of your household. Canines just don't operate like that. However, what you may be mistaking for spite may actually be stress, brought on by certain events and/or his environment.
If your dog is house-trained and completely aware that he needs to be conducting all of his business outdoors, any inappropriate urination may be completely intentional urine marking. When a dog marks the interior of a home with his urine, he's doing it to lay claim to his turf. He's essentially communicating to the world, via his own urine scent, that the marked area is his, and only his -- a display of dominance. Dog marking generally is done vertically -- think walls and doors, for example.
Stress and Frustration
A dog's need to claim ownership to parts of your home may be a sign of frustration, stress, uncertainty or overwhelming helplessness rather than anger. A variety of different and major life situations may cause a doggie to feel anxiety, including the sudden absence of a beloved human companion, a big move to another house or competition with a new puppy. If your dog is urinating inappropriately, rule out anger and instead focus on what may be contributing to his nerves -- quite possibly the need to make a declaration of his household status.
Urine marking may also be a hormonally-driven behavior in canines. Dogs who aren't neutered or spayed urine mark much more frequently. Male dogs may participate in testosterone-induced marking at any time, and female dogs do so while they're in heat, or right before. Fixing a dog usually -- but not always -- eliminates or curbs the behavior, especially in younger pets.
Before you make any assumptions regarding your doggie's urination issue, take him to the veterinarian to make sure he isn't suffering from a health ailment. Certain medical issues, such as urinary tract infection (UTI), urinary incontinence and diabetes, may cause dogs to urinate with more frequency, or to even lose full bladder control.
By Naomi Millburn
The Humane Society of Southern Arizona: Urine Marking Behavior in Dogs
SPCA of Texas: Urine Marking by Dogs
ASPCA: Urine Marking in Dogs
The Humane Society of the United States: Urine Marking
The Humane Society of the United States: Urine Marking Behavior
Humane Society of Charlotte: Reducing Urine Marking Behavior in Dogs and Cats
Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA: Urine Marking
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.