Modifying Marking Behavior
Marking behavior can be modified fairly quickly
IF you make the rules the moment you take the dog
home. You want to help the dog learn what feels
good and what doesn't.
• Spray bottle set to a good strong stream
– not spray;
• Leash – 5-6 feet in length;
• Treats; and
- When introducing
the dog to your house, be prepared. Dogs often
mark when they first come into a new place. You
will keep your dog on the leash, be sure to have
your spray bottle hanging on your belt and have
your treats handy. Introduce the dog to each room
in the house, if you see any indication that the
dog is going to mark, give him a squirt from the
bottle. If he walks in and is not indicating he
is going to mark, praise and give a treat. Proceed
through the house in this manner.
- You will use the
umbilical cord method, this means the dog will
not be on his own around your house AT ALL for
the first couple of days. He will be attached
to you with a leash looped around your belt loop,
ankle or wrist. When you are not able to do this,
he is either crated or outside. It is important
to devote this early time to the dog, as it will
quickly help him learn the rules. If he does attempt
to lift his leg, you will have your bottle handy
to spray him.
- Give him plenty
of marking opportunities outside.
- Once he has
been consistently good on the leash attached to
you, detach him, but let him drag the leash for
a couple more days. Again, do not give him the
option to "sneak off" and keep your spray bottle
and treats on you. If he attempts to mark, put
your foot on the leash, then spray. If he passes
a previously attempted mark spot without attempting
to mark, praise and treat.
to be very consistent.
If you would
like to work with a Wisconsin Humane Society behaviorist
one-on-one regarding this behavior topic, please
call 414-431-6173 to schedule a consultation.