When one dog pees on another dog, it’s usually a sign of dominance. If the dominant dog suspects another dog is trying to claim territory or become alpha, the dominant dog might lift his leg on the other dog. This behavior is more common in dogs that are not neutered.
Dogs bring their owners an endless amount of love and joy, but they can also bring a lot of embarrassment and awkward moments!
Have you been in the embarrassing situation of having to apologize for your dog peeing on another dog? You may have tried yelling for your dog to stop or attempted to pull your dog away, but it was too late.
If you’ve been in that situation, you aren’t the only one. Thankfully, most dog parents are forgiving of the situation and understand dogs sometimes do strange things that we can’t explain.
The good news is this behavior DOES have an explanation. In fact, it has many explanations. Once you figure out why your dog is lifting his leg on other dogs, you can take the appropriate steps to put an end to it.
This article explores why dogs pee on other dogs and what you can do to help prevent it in the future.
Reasons Why Dogs Pee on Other Dogs
Although there are an endless amount of reasons dogs pee on other dogs, there’s a good chance that one of the following six explanations is the culprit for this strange behavior.
Close Proximity to Other Dogs
If this only happens once or twice, there’s a good chance this is the reason. Dogs love to sniff. It is one of their favorite hobbies when outdoors. Sometimes the sniffing can put them in places they don’t belong.
When there are two or more dogs in the same area, one may be sniffing and not be alert to the fact that the other dog is about to do his or her business. This can result in one dog getting peed on. This is one of those “no harm no foul” situations. The behavior was entirely accidental, and there’s nothing the dog owner needs to correct. Hopefully both parties will get a good laugh out of it.
Marking His Territory
By nature, dogs are very territorial. You may notice your pup wanting to mark his territory more at your home or daily walking route than anywhere else. However, if a dog perceives another dog as infringing on his or her territory, the dog might actually pee on another dog to leave his scent and to warn the other dog to stay away. Typical times when this occurs are when you introduce a new pet to the home or if a new animal wanders into your yard. It’s a simple warning to the other dog or animal that they’re in territory they don’t belong.
There is a Medical Problem
Although most dogs pee on other dogs for territorial reasons or out of lack of awareness, peeing on another dog could also be a sign that your dog has a new medical issue. Your dog may inadvertently pee on another dog because he is unable to hold it anymore, and he does not have enough energy to walk further away from the other dog.
A few of these medical problems include:
- Bladder Infection
- Urinary Incontinence
- Increased Urine Production
- Kidney Disease
If this behavior is new, you may want to schedule an appointment with your local vet.
Female dogs tend to use urine more to mark areas right before they go into heat. If your pup has not been spayed or neutered, they may be peeing on other dogs to find or repel mates. In this sense, the behavior of urinating on other dogs is biologically driven. It’s one of the few times a female dog will urinate on another dog.
Male dogs can also pee on female dogs in heat, although this isn’t as common. When it does happen, the male dog is “marking” the female dog as his. He’s letting other male dogs know that even though she’s in heat, he’s the one that is going to mate with her.
Just like humans, dogs have a lot of emotions. If dogs feel anxious or threatened, they may use peeing on another dog as a way to help them calm themselves. This can be especially true if something new in the dog’s environment makes him or her feel stressed, such as a new dog or a new smell on an already familiar dog.
Certain types of infections can make dogs have to pee more frequently, which could lead them to urinate in unlikely places. For example, urinary tract infections and bladder infections can cause dogs to have to pee a lot.
Usually, dogs will only have a little urine come out but need to go many more times per day than usual. So, if you are chatting with a friend who also has their doggie leashed, Fido may be unable to hold it and let loose on your friend’s dog. It is important to get infections treated early to prevent other issues.
What Can I Do to Help My Dog Stop Peeing on Other Dogs?
The solution to getting your dog to stop peeing on other dogs depends on the cause. After reading the list above, you should have a general idea of what could be causing this behavior. Once you figure out the reason, it’s time to move onto the solution.
Keep Your Distance
If you believe this behavior is a complete accident, one easy technique you can use to help your dog stop peeing on others is to keep your dog away from other dogs. This may mean you need to keep your dog leashed or in a private area of your yard. If your dog is not near other dogs, he or she will not be able to pee on them.
Doggie obedience classes can help give you techniques to assist you with handling Fido’s poor peeing habits. These classes typically include skills about manners, giving commands to your dog, and how to socialize your dog.
Additionally, trainers are well equipped to problem-solve dog urination issues and give you concrete strategies to help your pup stop that behavior. This problem will often fix itself when your dog becomes properly socialized.
Spay or Neuter Your Dog
Since peeing on other dogs can be related to mating, having your dog spayed or neutered can help solve the problem. You will want to do this as early as possible once you notice the behavior, as it can be more challenging to get rid of a behavior that has been around for a long time.
Getting your male dog neutered can also help them become less territorial, which may put an end to peeing on other dogs.
Avoid Delayed Punishment
When a child acts out in public, the parent will often wait until they get home to punish the child. This might work with children because you can explain to them why they are in trouble. This doesn’t work with dogs because you can’t explain to your dog what they are being punished for.
If you choose to punish your dog, the dog must be able to associate the punishment with peeing on the other dog. Thus, the punishment must be immediate. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
Punishments such as an air horn or using coins in metal containers (both yield sounds that are aversive to dogs but are harmless overall) may produce promising results and are techniques that can be used in the moment.
Take Your Dog to The Vet
Ask your vet to check out your dog. This step will be especially crucial if your dog’s peeing on other dogs is related to an infection, anxiety, or some other medical conditions. Veterinarians are in a unique position to help determine whether behavioral or medical interventions are needed.
In the case of a urinary tract infection, your dog’s behavior may improve significantly and quickly once an antibiotic is started. Your vet can diagnose whether other medical conditions may be contributing to this behavior as well.
Spend More Time with the Other Dog
If the dog who is getting peed on is one you see regularly, try to have your dog spend more time around him. This is important if the dog is a new addition to the home or another pet that you will see regularly. The behavior may decrease once the dogs become friendlier.
There are several common reasons why a dog might pee on another dog. These include medical reasons, marking territory, being too close to another dog, and not being spayed or neutered. Luckily, there are a variety of things owners can do to help curb this behavior. Some suggestions discussed included signing up for doggie obedience classes, spay or neutering your dog, and visiting your vet.
Hopefully a few simple changes will put an end to this potentially embarrassing behavior. It’s never fun to take your dog outside when you aren’t sure what they’re going to do!
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.