Pugs are cute, cuddly, and by and large very well-trained dogs who listen well to their owners with minimal time spent training. However, many pug owners report waking up in the morning, coming back home, etc, to find that their pug has marked in the house, only to wonder “why does my Pug mark in the house?”
Marking in the home, which is a polite way to say your pug peed inside, is a very common problem. The good news is that there are plenty of solutions to stop your pug from doing this.
Why Your Pug Marks in the House
Pugs mark in the house mainly as a way to establish dominance. Don’t forget that dogs evolved from wolves via selective breeding, yet still possess those alpha instincts of wanting to signal to others (dogs and people) that an area they’re marking is indeed their territory, not yours!
This can obviously be frustrating, as it’s your territory and not your pug’s. Though this isn’t the only reason that your pug may be marking, it’s just the most common reason. Even pugs that have displayed ideal trained behavior for years could one day to mark inside the home.
Marking vs Peeing What’s The Difference?
Most pet owners tend to confuse peeing and marking. Territorial marking differs from peeing in that when a dog marks, they will often only leave a small amount of pee on the spot he/she is marking.
Whereas peeing, the dog empties their entire bladder. Even if your Pug is properly house trained, they may still resort to marking both indoors and outdoors.
Your dog’s motivation for marking differs, and therefore doesn’t see the marking behavior as potty time.
Do Male Pugs Mark?
Leaving a scent mark is normal male dog behavior. In fact, marking is a way that a dog communicates with other dogs.
While not all dogs will mark indoors, they do have a natural instinct to mark outside. In fact, all dogs mark their territory with a small amount of urine as a way of saying “hello” to other dogs nearby.
Do Female Pugs Mark?
Yes, female dogs also engage in urine-marking, especially if the bitch is in heat. Some spayed dogs will mark as a way to convey territorial messages. In some instances, she may mark as high as males!
My black Pug used to always top my other dog’s pee outside. I’ve read that this could be a sign of claiming their territory or just a way of establishing dominance.
If your female has been spayed and is engaging in the marking behavior, she could be dealing with anxiety. As anxiety has been known to trigger this problem.
The best thing to do is to call your canine veterinarian to diagnose the issue. They will most likely prescribe anti-anxiety medication. Once the cause of the anxiety is addressed and dealt with, the marking behavior should cease.
What Causes the Urge the Mark
While your little pug might think it’s a large alpha wolf while marking its territory, there are other reasons that may be behind marking the home. Some of the other reasons you pug may be marking in the home include but aren’t necessarily limited to:
- New objects in the house that your pug doesn’t recognize, so it marks them
- New pets that bring out that pack-leader mentality in the pug
- Your Pug has not been spayed or neutered.
- Marking because of anxiety reasons: Thunderstorms, loud fireworks, etc
- Underlying illnesses that need to be diagnosed by your veterinarian.
- Your dog smells urine that has not been cleaned properly in your home.
All of these reasons could be behind why your pug is marking in the home. The good news is that you can train against most of these. Save illnesses, which will have to be handled by a vet, you can handle the other issues with a little more TLC given to your pug.
How To Prevent Pug Marking In House Problems
No Pet owner wants their male Pug marking in their home and causing it to smell terrible. This is common behavior among dogs, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to prevent your Pug from marking your home.
Once you know your Pug isn’t suffering from any medical issues, it’s time to start taking some action to stop them from marking their territory.
These tips will help you solve the problem, so you can stop the scent marking problems.
Identify The Problem
If your Pug has NEVER marked and all of a sudden they picked up this behavior. There’s likely a reason that has caused him/her to pick up this behavior.
It’s up to you to find out what has triggered this behavior before you can avoid the triggers that started the marking problems.
Spay or Neuter Your Pug
Spay or neuter your dog as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to train them not to mark in the house. Neutering and spaying should help reduce or even eliminate the marking behaviors.
If they have been marking before being spayed or neutered, they have most likely developed a pattern that won’t be solved with spaying or neutering. You’ll have to revert back to housetraining your pooch to eliminate the issue.
Watch for Cues
Pugs are going to give you some cues before they mark. They don’t simply rush up to a spot and pee. They’ll usually sniff around, walk in tight little circles, start scratching, and other odd cues. If you catch them before they go, you can stop it.
Of course, this requires you to be very attentive and to keep an eye on your pug while you’re both inside the house. So when your little guy or girl sneaks off down the hall, tail them and catch them before the act. It’s a great way to break the behavior.
Never yell at your dog if you catch them in the act, otherwise, they will just start hiding the behavior. This will make it much more difficult to stop them.
Create A Routine
Canines are domesticated and are able to work on a schedule pretty easily. Just ask any dog owner who lives in a busy city, who must take their dogs out on a routine to use the bathroom in a designated spot.
Train your Pug where they are allowed to mark outside the house or on your walking route. Whenever your Pug marks on a designated spot, reward them with a treat. You may also have to use a shorter leash to prevent them from marking on every tree or pole they encounter.
Clean Up Any Smells
If your Pug or any other pet urine marks inside, make sure you clean up the area immediately. Use a stain and odor remover to remove pet stains and odors.
Dogs are more likely to mark the same spot if they can smell urine. Some commercial carpet cleaners or home cleaning agents can contain perfumes that can cause allergies or contain perfumes that cause more marking.
Move Objects That Trigger Behavior
Maybe he has started lifting his leg and marking your favorite potted plant? If so, then you’ll want to remove that plant and put it in an area that your dog does not have access to. If you have overnight guests, make sure you put their belonging (suitcases) in a closet.
Use Belly Bands
Belly bands wrap around a male Pug, covering his boy parts, taking away his ability to mark in the house. When a dog tries marking while wearing a wrap, he wets himself, which will most likely stop this behavior.
Confine Them To An Area In The Home
Whenever you’re not home and can’t keep a watchful eye on your pooch, there’s nothing cruel about confining them to a small area by shutting the doors, using baby gates or a crate.
You’ll want to be sure to confine them to a room that they have never marked.
Interrupt And Redirect Sniffing Behavior
Whenever you see a dog sniffing, it usually means they are getting ready to lift their leg and mark. Unless your dog is visiting a new place, it’s NOT necessary for your dog to sniff in your home. (sniffing can also be a sign of stress in your pooch)
Unless you have dropped a chip, cookie, or crumbs on the ground, your dog shouldn’t be sniffing around you. If you catch them in the act of sniffing, call them to you and give them some attention.
This will divert their attention and get their brain thinking about something else.
Limit Their View To The Outside World
This means keep them off of furniture that allows them to see outside. If your windows hang low, try to keep your shutters closed to where your Pug can not see other animals when looking outside. There are plants and sprays to help you control stray animals from roaming in your yard.
Final Word On Pug Marking Behavior
Unfortunately, some Pugs will decide to mark their territory. You NEVER want to punish them by rubbing their nose in it. Instead, use the tips above to help you stop this unwanted behavior.
Pugs are easy to train, with consistent training. This breed wants to make their owner happy, so make sure you let them know that you’re the alpha dog and you don’t approve of this behavior.
References and Further Reading
Hills Pet – Why Do Dogs Need To Pee On Everything?
AKC – Gary Kane – Why Does My Female Dog Mark?
Merk Veterinary Manual – Behavioral Problems Of Dogs