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THE GOOD DOG: Break dominant dogs from marking

By: Jim Beinlich
August 7, 2012
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Question: loved your column on July 22 about dominant dogs, which describes my neutered male 12-pound Pomeranian to a T. Usually not a problem, until my daughter brings her two Poms, both neutered males, for a visit, and then I find “markings” in several spots after they leave. And he’s sneaky about it because I have never actually caught him doing the marking.

Would it be possible to do a future column about how to deal with this marking behavior when it affects the inside of your home? Thank you for considering this idea. — Marsha

Answer: Thank you for the feedback, Marsha, and I am sure that there are plenty of dog owners who are going through the same thing.

Here are some quick ways to take care of the problem:

First, as I mentioned last article, pick up a big jug of either Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution (whichever brand is cheaper at the time) from any pet store. These are the two best products that we’ve found for cleaning up urine and feces in the house. Both products have enzymes in them that digest every molecule of urine and feces, leaving no olfactory cue for the animal to either mark over or go to the bathroom. Just clean up as much as you can with paper towels, then saturate the area with the product, and walk away. You can even use a black light to find older spots, as they will glow.

Next, you need to figure out if it is just your dog, or all of them, doing the marking. Start off the same way that you would house-training a new dog. Limit access to parts of the house that you are not in, using inexpensive baby gates, furniture, closing doors, etc. The key is to keep a close eye on all of them, which can be tricky, but feasible. Before long, you’ll catch the culprit(s), and that’s when you go to the next step.

When you catch one of them marking, you become Godzilla with a hangover! Stomp your foot, clap your hands, and scream “Leave It” at the top of your lungs. You want to scare them half to death. After they settle down, call them to you and praise them for compliance.

Then clean up the mess. If you do it right, it will only take one repetition.
And to make everyone feel better, we have gone through the same process with every male that we’ve had. And, we only had to do it once.

If this doesn’t work for you, please feel free to contact me directly. There are a few other tricks available, but this should get it done with dogs that are already housebroken. Good Luck!

Jim Beinlich and his wife Bianca own Cool K9’s Dog Training in Colorado Springs. Find them at www.coolk9s.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coolk9s.

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