Why Does My Dog Spray In Front of Me?

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House-soiling is one of the top reasons why dogs are relinquished to shelters, according to a study sponsored by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy. If Scooter has resorted to spraying pee right in front of you, you're probably not a happy camper. Rather than giving up your beloved pet companion or constantly cleaning up the mess, figure out what's triggering his behavior. A visit to a veterinarian or a lifestyle adjustment in the form of training might be all that's needed to correct Scooter's behavior.


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Medical Conditions

Before trying to get Scooter to stop peeing in front of you, take him to a veterinarian to rule out medical conditions that might be causing the behavior. If Scooter's in his senior years, he might have trouble holding his bladder for as long as he used to. Maybe he's becoming incontinent and isn't able to control his bladder. If this is the case, your furry pal might not even know he's soiling the floor. A seizure can trigger undesired peeing, as can a urinary tract infection or parasites.


Going Potty

If Scooter hasn't been potty-trained, you can't blame him for doing his business right in front of you. Scolding and punishing him isn't effective and might scare him to the point that he goes potty on the floor when you're not around -- or every time you get loud. Instead, when you catch him in the act, clap your hands to startle him, stopping him in his tracks. Then bring him to a designated potty area to continue relieving himself. Focus on consistent potty training, and always clean up accidents with a commercial pet stain cleanser.



Scooter might spray pee in front of you to claim his territory. Marking is more prevalent in unadjusted dogs, and neutering or spaying might help reduce or eliminate the behavior. Marking is your dog's way of communicating with other animals, letting them know that they're entering his territory. The behavior can be triggered by anxiety and changes in the environment. The presence of new furniture, a new resident or another dog can trigger your dog to spray urine.


Submissive Urination

Submissive urination might be the reason Scooter is peeing in front of you. It can happen when he's excited, intimidated or in a submissive state. This behavior is common in puppies and, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it often goes away by the time the dog reaches the age of 1 year. To reduce accidents, ignore your dog when you walk in the house; don't interact with him until he's fully calmed down. Avoid getting him even more excited.


By Kimberly Caines

Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science: Behavioral Reasons for Relinquishment of Dogs and Cats to 12 Shelters
The Humane Society of the United States: Housetraining Adult and Senior Dogs
ASPCA: Urine Marking in Dogs
The Humane Society of the United States: Housetraining Your Dog or Puppy
ASPCA: Submissive Urination


About the Author
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.


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