How To Stop Your Dog From Marking In Your House… - Brandon McMillan's Canine Minded
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How To Stop Your Dog From Marking In Your House…

How To Stop Your Dog From Marking In Your House…

We’ve all seen it and we all feel the same about it. Nobody likes a dog that marks in their house. It stains furniture and makes the house smell like a kennel. It’s definitely one of the drawbacks of having a male dog. Most of us don’t even realize the dog is marking till one day we notice one area and then another and so on. Suddenly we look around our house and see countless areas our dog has been lifting his leg on for months. It’s at that moment you realize your dog isn’t as house-trained as you thought. Well I’ve created the perfect solution to break this annoying habit for good. I’ve used this technique on countless dogs over the years and I’d say 90% of them picked it up within a week or so. Let’s get started…

You’ll need a few tools for this. You’ll need a regular flat leash, and a cinder block, a baby camera and a fluorescent black-light. Now we’re all geared up let’s break this down…

The first thing we have to do is determine where the problem areas already exist. Many times we don’t realize our dog has been marking the same areas for months. That’s the reason they keep marking the areas; it becomes their territory and marking is just a routine at that point. If we can locate all the problem areas we can eliminate a huge part of the problem. To locate these areas we’re gonna wait till the sun goes down and pull out that black light you bought. Once you turn it on and shine it around the room you’ll notice a few things the naked eye can’t see. See those areas around the room that are glowing? Well those most likely are urine stains that your dog has so politely showered your furniture with. We need to locate them all and clean them with a cleaner strong enough to get the mess and odor out but not too strong to ruin the furniture. Be sure to clean them good; some might require to be revisited a few times. This is the root of the problem and must be dealt with before training. Your dog consistently goes to these areas and marks his territory. His smell is marinated in these areas and he’s continuing to grace them with his markings out of instinct. By cleaning them you’re taking away the smell and throwing him slightly off his game. Now we’ve cleaned the areas as best we can let’s begin the training…

We’re going to set up the room we just cleaned with the baby camera. Next we’re gonna let our dog roam free in the room while viewing him on the monitor from another part of the house. The really bad markers most likely will show their cards in a minute or so. Many dogs will take a little longer. Whatever the case we’re simply gonna be patient and wait. Once they lift their leg on something we immediately walk into the room and reprimand with a “No” command while showing them the area they just marked. Make your reprimand short and sweet as the next step is the one that makes all the difference. Once we’ve showed them the area we’re gonna take that leash, attach it to them and tie the other end up to the corner of what they just marked on. Be sure to tie it with enough slack where they can stand up and lie down only. No more than that. For the dogs that marked on an area that we can’t tie the leash up to (middle of a couch, middle of dresser, etc), we ‘re gonna pull out that cinder bock and utilize that. Place the cinderblock right by the area they marked and wrap the leash around it leaving just enough slack for them to stand up and lie down. From there we’re gonna give them 30 minutes (supervised) to think about what they just did by making them sit next to their handy work. If they start crying or barking just ignore them. DO NOT take them off if they start crying or barking!! This will defeat the entire purpose of the training. Once they’ve spent the entire 30 minutes there we’re gonna unclip them and repeat the process by going outside and once again viewing the monitor. DO NOT praise, reward or even do baby talk to them after you unclip them. The best thing to say is nothing at all. This is a discipline exercise and must be treated as such. Now we’re outside and viewing them we’re gonna wait them out and repeat this process, quickly busting them in the act and following the training procedure again. It’s very simple and straight to the point.

This process will be repeated for as long as it takes. Some dogs I’ve trained this on have learned it in just a couple days. Others might take a week or so. No matter what the case just keep on them. The theory behind this is simple. Dogs hate being near their own mess so by making stand next to it for a period of time it’s like a form of reverse psychology. We’re basically turning their positives into negatives. Their positive in their eyes is marking the furniture which happens to be a negative. By making them sit next to their own mess we’re now using a form of reverse psychology to make them not want to do it anymore. Kinda like the old theory of making your child smoke the entire pack of cigarettes when you catch them smoking. This obviously isn’t as harsh but the same rule applies here. We’re simply reversing our dog’s way of thinking, eliminating their bad habits in the process. Marking in the house is completely unacceptable behavior for any dog and needs to be dealt with.

A few vital things to point out here. First of all be sure the leash has the right amount of slack I recommended. Enough to lie down and stand up only. If you give too much they’ll simply walk to the end of the leash and be far enough away from their mess where they’re not learning a lesson. Too little slack and they can’t lie down so measure correctly because every dog is different. Also be sure to supervise them during the process. You can simply be doing chores around the house but DO NOT leave the house while they’re tied up and DO NOT connect them to chokers or prong collars while doing this. A regular flat collar is all that’s needed. Furthermore if you see them chewing on the leash (lots of dogs do) just give them a “No” or maybe rub a little lemon on the area. That should stop them. And last but not least…be consistent. Giving up on them is only teaching them more bad behavior. This is the main reason dogs get away with so much; because the lack of consistency in dog owners. Always remember you’re the teacher so be the best teacher possible. The face you show is the face shown right back to you. Try it out and let me know how it goes. Ruff.

– Brandon

  • Andrea
    Posted at 20:19h, 25 August Reply

    What kind of strong cleaner? I’ve used all kinds of commercial pet store cleaners to no avail.

  • Lise
    Posted at 07:33h, 05 September Reply

    Now your advice has reached Denmark. I am just wondering, how many times each night do you leave him in the room?
    Best regards, Lise

  • Ministik
    Posted at 11:36h, 05 September Reply

    I am confused by your second part where you say ” Now we’re outside and viewing them we’re gonna wait them out and repeat this process, quickly busting them in the act and following the training procedure again. It’s very simple and straight to the point.”
    When is the dog praised for peeing in the appropriate place?
    I understand your thoughts on the dog avoiding the marking in the house after the verbal NO aversive. However 30 minutes the dog has acclimated to the spot and has lost all interest or concern about this particular spot. Dogs have a live in the moment mind, no past, no future. Think that is why we love them so they don’t blame us for something we did or didn’t do last week. Like the promise to go for a walk and the phone rings and we just end up chatting for an hour and the walk is now off the agenda.
    I have been a dog breeder for 30 years and would say a trainer for as long teaching many classes so I come to this little training tip section with some experience in keeping intact dogs with in season girls. I have always trained my pups to never pee in the house and know when to expect certain male behaviors to develop in both large and small breeds. Catching the dog in the act is important and primary. At that time I verbally chastise the dog and use the command “Don’t Pee In My House!” I rarely have to do this more than twice. Then my dogs are under constant supervision until they have gained enough training and maturity to have full control of their bodies functions. I also train all dogs to defecate on command as soon as leash trained. I cannot imagine the owner of a dog who repeatedly marks in the house; not notice the signs nor the smell. LS

  • Kathy Van Clapdurp
    Posted at 22:02h, 30 October Reply

    First of all, let me say how I love your show and I wouldn’t miss a week of it!
    Now to the point, I have a grand dog that keeps pooping and peeing in the same place everyday. It’s always in the hall so there is no place to put her in a time out like you did with one dog on your show. My daughter has four children and Brooklyn fits right in with the family, except for jumping on the counter to get food and peeing/pooping in the hall. Well, there are a few more things but first thing first. She’s even thought about taking her to the local shelter because it’s hard enough caring for 4 children, so Brooklyn needs to be on her best behavior while everyone is in school or work. I wish we didn’t live on the other side of the world or I would love for you to train her. She went to training but it didn’t help much with walking, etc.
    The kids would be devastated and so would I because she is so great with the kids.
    So consider me as trying to save a dog. Help!!!
    Thanks for your help
    Kathy Van Clapdurp 101 Teal Court, Lynchburg, Virginia

    • Japz
      Posted at 02:28h, 19 February Reply

      hello, i have a puppy shes a hound will be a year in january, i slrveey need some training for her in multiple ways ive done training before and she was perfect, now shes acting out again as her mommy ( me ) am not home as much as i used to be cause i work fulltime, she isnt home alone all the time tho my father or friends are there with her, i need prices for training if possible & would like to hear from you.Thank you GraceSincerly Brittany & Bailey..:)

  • mary mcmanaway
    Posted at 14:56h, 06 December Reply

    How can i stop my dog taking off across the street after cats. That is the only time I can’t make him stop. Oh yes that and squirrels. He is a mix long hair chi and ? Have not found out the other part yet. He is 18 months old and neutered.

  • Rhonda Adams
    Posted at 13:20h, 17 January Reply

    I enjoy your show very much and have been able to do more training of my Chico. He is part pomeranian(?) and chihuaha(?). My son also has a male dog here. What can I do to keep them from fighting? Will having them spayed help this problem of dominance and of marking?

    • Rajib
      Posted at 03:17h, 19 February Reply

      hi i could use some help .we have an 11 wk old puppy border colile cross do i get him to stop chewing on the kids ..he has toys and i understand that is a puppy but my youngest is getting afraid she is 7 .i tried yelping like the vet said..i must suck at it because she is still any tips i would appreciate and merry xmas

  • Marilyn
    Posted at 20:27h, 06 April Reply

    I use Folex carpet and upholstery cleaner. At least to my nose it removes the odor entirely. More than once I’ve had guests tell me they would never guess that I had dogs in the house. Can be purchased at most pet stores.

  • Paulette
    Posted at 16:19h, 07 April Reply

    How do you train male show dogs to not pee in their crate or out it? I can’t let them roam freely (I have two) because they jump on each other and I need to keep the hair from becoming knotted

  • Gina Darling
    Posted at 01:04h, 18 June Reply

    Wow have you nailed a problem I’m having with our oldest rescue dog!!

    Don’t understand why he started it, but no cleaner is taking away the smell.
    Vet states there is nothing wrong with Kye.

    What cleaner please help?
    I can not have the other two rescues following his trails….mamma won’t be happy
    Odor in ohio

  • David Baron
    Posted at 23:09h, 15 October Reply

    My suggestion is find the #1 Dog Trainer in America and ask that person to help you. The consultants your producers got suck. The show won’t last unless you offer the public something that really does work. They currently don’t have that on TV, a dog trainer who is actually the best dog trainer in the world and teaches something that works.

    You are a good-looking guy and your show has a nice concept, but let’s be honest, you are a hockey player. Again, I suggest you find the best dog trainer in America, contact that person, and hope he is willing to assist you.

    David Baron

    • Christin
      Posted at 20:15h, 06 April Reply

      At least your response is Superhelpful! Thanks to your input, I now know what I need to do to help break my dog of his marking issues…

    • Christin
      Posted at 20:17h, 06 April Reply

      At least your comment is Superhelpful! Thanks to you, I now know how to help my dog stop his marking issues…

  • Jeanine
    Posted at 23:29h, 17 January Reply

    Brandon I am all for this idea. I had to introduce my mothers male poodle into my pack of 3 girls and one spoiled boy. Now the males are marking. My problem like many is the cleaning solution. Please advise what is best to remove the most!! Thanks!

  • karen bordonaro
    Posted at 13:12h, 18 January Reply

    I have done all of the above and the dog I have just looks at me and walks away. When he does not like something or something that is being done, he lifts his leg and pees everywhere. He is neutered, up to date on everything, given proper attention, gets groomed and he still does it.

  • Jess
    Posted at 12:07h, 23 January Reply
  • Jenniffer Jude Slachtovsky
    Posted at 19:30h, 02 December Reply

    Brandon, how do I make a good argument about not crate training our dogs? I know a-lot of people stand by this method but something in my conscience just doesn’t feel right about caging my furry friends. I know that our pets need discipline through consistency but caging them seems more like cruelty to me. I have heard the other side of the debate and people have said to me that the dogs like it, having their own space calms them and yes as you said above dogs tend not to mess in their comfort zones and that’s the reason I enjoy your method because at least with this time frame of thirty minutes and the leash tie or cinder blocked they are still out in the open and don’t feel so much like prisoners in their homes. However I have to be able to convince the other two adults in our house that this is the best way to go because if I can’t then I’ll be trumped and I know, knowing these two individuals that that crate will be used on the dogs every chance they get, for just about everything the dogs do wrong and it would break my heart if that were to happen and I was out voted in the matter. Is there any solid research out there or other respected trainers who use this method, a statistic of some sort? Lol, I know this seems like a silly thing to ask but I really do love these dogs as do my boys and I need them on they’re best behavior in order to be able to keep them safe. Thank You Brandon, I am going to implement all of your techniques starting immediately and I can’t thank you enough for walking us all through these steps without trying to make us buy them because we are poorer than the next family doesn’t make us any less suitable for our dogs because right training/wrong training they are loved here and and anything’s better than the local shelters in our area and abuse and pure neglect runs rampant in this city as well. Sad to say but true, especially for larger high energy dogs like mine. At any rate thank you for all of this, Captin and Bella thank you as well!

  • Clarissa Wesson
    Posted at 13:51h, 31 December Reply

    Does vinegar help retard them from going in a certain place?

  • Yvonne laing
    Posted at 23:07h, 05 January Reply

    my dog is 17 month and he has just started marking we were going crazy trying to find where the smell was coming from but we caught him 1 day but I didn’t know how to correct him and he still does it sometimes but I will start this presses I just hope it works on him he is a whippet.

  • Lonna Pelton
    Posted at 01:58h, 13 January Reply

    My dog keeps getting onto the couch when we are not home and peeing on it, even though we don’t let him on the couch. We have another dog that sometimes my mom
    let’s on the couch, he has his spot at the end of the couch, but my other dog keeps peeing there to show him that he is dominant! How do I stop him from doing this?

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  • Scott Brinkmeier
    Posted at 01:23h, 01 October Reply

    I think this is a horrible idea. It is the same as shoving the dogs nose into it and spanking him. You are just tying him up to the mess
    for a long time so “he can think about it” . The dog cannot think about it. Dogs don’t “think”. They react to circumstances. He or
    she just knows that it is tied up next to waste and wants to get away from it. Duhh….

  • Tammy Davidovic
    Posted at 17:45h, 18 July Reply

    Hello Brandon, i have a rescue dog that was found outside that someone just dumped up north in the middle of no where- we took her home- vet said she was about 6 months old. Well goes outside potty very well- she insists on going in the house as well- and Almost Always goes poop and once peed in her kennel and stands in it. it doesn’t matter to her- as you stated in the comment above- that no dog wants to stand or sit where they mess. Well my Miss Lily does and she doesn’t seem to care. She also suffers from Separation Anxiety when she is away from me. If i go upstairs and she is sleeping in the living room once she wakes up she cries terribly frantically running around looking for me. she starts shaking the minute i put my shoes on- for fear of thinking i am leaving her. i would appreciate your opinion on her- if you have any ideas for me!! help…. lol thank you tammy

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