An intact male dog question re: marking

Discuss training topics and dog related activities, such as conformation, obedience, dog sports etc.
connie
Built-in Forum Feature
Posts: 11207
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:53 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

An intact male dog question re: marking

Postby connie » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:49 am

I still haven't decided if Alex will be neutered. I'd prefer that he not be, but he's 19 months old and I am still thinking it over.

This behavior drives me completely insane: Shiri has CHF and occasionally 'leaks' a bit if I don't get her outside to potty every few hours. She wears a diaper at night. However, any time that Shiri 'leaks' in her bed, which is at the foot of my bed, Alex MARKS ON THAT AREA AND GETS MY BED. There is no way in any universe that I will live with this behavior; I never have, and I never will.

Last night I was getting into bed and I found that Shiri had leaked on her bed. I hustled her outside for a last potty before I put on her diaper for the night, and when I got back inside, five minutes later, I found that Alex had marked and that my top sheet, hanging down, now had boy dog pee on it. Words can't describe my fury. I was in a car accident yesterday; I had to deal with NFA auditors at work; and to have to change my sheets at 11 p.m. was the last straw. I laid Alex out verbally, hurling the marked sheet at him, and then I told him that he is banished from my bedroom forever. I put up a gate and for the first time since he came here, he couldn't sleep in my room, right next to Rowley. He was pretty freaked out. Too bad, so sad.

So my question is this: Can intact boys learn that marking is unwanted behavior? I think they can. I think with all that dogs can and do learn, this is NOT beyond the limit. I can and do put a belly band on Alex, but I'll be completely honest here: if I have to belly-band a dog when he's in the house and he can't be trusted to keep his leg down, I won't let him keep his boy bits. I don't want to live with that level of hassle, and yeah, it's all about me. :whistle:

Anybody who has lived with intact males, can you give me any answers or suggestions? For now, I'm really enjoying the 'no Alex in the bedroom' thing, since he doesn't let me sleep past 6 a.m. when he's in there, and today I slept until 7. Maybe the solution is this simple?

User avatar
QBert
No, I don't have a life!
Posts: 5636
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:55 am
Location: USA

Re: An intact male dog question re: marking

Postby QBert » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:34 am

Yes they absolutely can learn that marking is beyond the pale. It's a matter of diligence and commitment to training, and it's not easy. Castration might reduce the urge but it won't necessarily end the behavior now that it's a habit. The neutered male here still needs reminding when a girl comes in season or a new dog visits. A neutered male I groom is an incorrigible marker. And my spayed female is a bloody nuisance about it, and needs close supervision in a new environment until she's settled in a bit.

connie
Built-in Forum Feature
Posts: 11207
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:53 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: An intact male dog question re: marking

Postby connie » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:38 am

Thank you, Kara, that's in line with my assumptions, good to know I'm not delusional. About that, anyway. I don't know that neutering will end the marking, and an intact male is often a healthier male, so I am going to address this behavior with training and relationship measures.

Alex is also in the process of learning than when working a search area in Nosework, he MAY NOT lift his leg on anything, even if the pee-mails of 50 other dogs are displayed in the area. Self-control, the bugaboo of young dogs, seems to be our topic de jour -- for quite a while, I think.

Calypso
Built-in Forum Feature
Posts: 12535
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 6:51 am
Location: Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: An intact male dog question re: marking

Postby Calypso » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:21 am

I am working on this with Pixel. He's doing much better about not marking in the house or at work or in class, but I am very diligent. I have noticed that he will still mark in the office if he smells an intact male was there or if one of the other office dogs - who is a horrible marker - manages to sneak in a pee.

The wrath of Mom comes crashing down on dogs who mark inside. I try to be positive with my training, but if I'm going to do a correction, it's going to be enough of a correction that I hopefully won't have to do another one. So I will follow him around in class and if he gets that "look", I redirect him and praise him for moving away. But when he does lift his leg, I will roar at him - over the top, and remove him from the area while I clean it up. Or if I can't remove him, he has to hold a down stay while I do it.

This would not in any way work for a soft, sensitive dog or if there are other soft, sensitive dogs in the area. In Pixel's case, he sends out tons of submissive signals while I send out angry signals, then he goes back to his little life just as happy and confident as ever. If he was apprehensive or acted afraid of me, I'd never do that again, obviously. And if I don't catch him doing it, I can't correct him, so I just curse under my breath and shoot him dirty looks. Which we all know works wonder in dog training...

connie
Built-in Forum Feature
Posts: 11207
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:53 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: An intact male dog question re: marking

Postby connie » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:12 am

Yeah, Jill, Alex has about the same reaction as Pixel. However, last night was the first time I whipped a marked-on bedsheet at him and told him the fun is over. I do hope that had an effect on him! :tongue: Alex is a fairly soft dog, but true to the hunting origins of his breed, he is unfazed by most corrections and does not shut down. I do not know a positive-training way of showing that marking in the house is verboten, and if I did I wouldn't use it. Cause and effect are the rules here, buddy boy! You mark, I roar! Don't mark, life is good.

He doesn't seem scarred today after a trip to the nature preserve, and I intend to manage this so he has fewer opportunities to indulge himself with the behavior, but if he does it again he will think that the world just tilted sideways and he is sliding into the abyss. I was trade-checker on the floor of the Board of Trade for many years and I still have The Voice!

User avatar
maxs_mommy
Yes, I do have a life!
Posts: 2524
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:29 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
Contact:

Re: An intact male dog question re: marking

Postby maxs_mommy » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:27 pm

I also wonder if you can somehow teach him that marking HRH's bed/indoors is forbidden? Max marks to answer any and all pee-mail but does not mark anything in the house ever. (Not to be confused with peeing in the garage, but actual leg-lifting). I honestly don't know where he learned/unlearned that behavior, he was like that when we adopted him at 3 y/o but he was ped neutered too. I don't think neutering will "solve" the problem, though I don't know to what extent it will curb the impulses, especially if he's already accustomed to doing it as a pseudo-habit.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

User avatar
Trademarkbark
No, I don't have a life!
Posts: 7705
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 7:06 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: An intact male dog question re: marking

Postby Trademarkbark » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:05 pm

Yes they absolutely can learn that marking is beyond the pale. It's a matter of diligence and commitment to training, and it's not easy. Castration might reduce the urge but it won't necessarily end the behavior now that it's a habit. The neutered male here still needs reminding when a girl comes in season or a new dog visits. A neutered male I groom is an incorrigible marker. And my spayed female is a bloody nuisance about it, and needs close supervision in a new environment until she's settled in a bit.

^^ this. My worst "marker" is OE, a girl. ;) None of my boys did this. But if anyone has an accident inside, OE has to mark over it. (Outside, Spud marks over anyone's urine, but not inside. Dogs can be so weird!)
CA UFGRCH USCH GRCH "Spud" TT FDC CA CGC TKN
CAX UFGRCH USCH GRCH "OE" TT CA TKN FDC BCAT CGC
USCH UFCH GRCH GCH "Grytz" TT CGCU TKN FDC
CH "Doozy" FDC CGC TKN

connie
Built-in Forum Feature
Posts: 11207
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:53 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: An intact male dog question re: marking

Postby connie » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:25 pm

That's exactly the situation that I have here: if either Shiri or Charlie has an accident or leaves so much as a drop of urine in the house, Alex marks over it.

So far, my management program is working. It consists of:

1. Charlie wearing a belly-band in the house AT ALL TIMES. Even if he goes out into the yard with it on, I'd rather throw away an incontinence pad than scrub my floor or furniture. He has an indentation in his coat from his band being tied on him. I can live with it. :smirk:

2. Shiri not being allowed to sleep away the day in my bedroom. In fact, NO DOGS are allowed in my bedroom during the day; it's gated off. Shiri is forced to nap in the bathroom, which actually perked her up, since from there she sees more canine foot-traffic and that in turn prompts her to snark at the boys as they pass by. She also likes to lie in the doorway of the bathroom and tell them they can't come in. Do they want to go into the bathroom? Not really, but Shiri is entitled to her own reality, I guess. :rolleyes:

3. Shiri, Charlie, and Banjo being gated into a separate area of the house when I am not home. This is due to their age, fragility, and level of obnoxiousness. It promotes peace in the household. Baby gates are wonderful things.

Since the implementation of Zero Marking Policy, I have not had to wash my bed-skirt, box-spring cover, comforter, or sheets to remove dog pee. :thumbup:


Return to “Activities, Training & Behavior”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests