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Why Does My Dog Pee On Other Dogs? Dog Behavior Explained

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog peeing on concrete

Why Does My Dog Pee On Other Dogs? Dog Behavior Explained

Peeing on other dogs is a common behavior. Even though it sounds rather disgusting, there are several reasons why your dog might be doing this. First, your dog could be attempting to establish social dominance over the other animal. Second, your dog may attempt to mark the other animal with its scent in order to claim it as their territory. Finally, they may pee on an object or animal out of fear or anxiety and need reassurance from you.divider-dog

How Do I Stop My Dog from Peeing on Other Dogs?

If your dog is urine-marking on other animals, take them to the veterinarian to rule out any medical causes. Determining the root cause of why your dog is urinating on other dogs is essential in order to find a solution. A dog with behavioral problems will require professional assistance in order to stop the unwanted behavior, whereas a puppy that wants to play will just need an appropriate outlet for its energy. Identifying when this occurs can provide insight into what might have triggered this behavior in the first place.

If your dog begins urinating on another dog, make a loud noise to interrupt them, whereas if they urinate in a good spot, praise them and offer a treat.

labradoodle dog and woman owner at the park
Image By: Lopolo, Shutterstock

Should I Take My Dog to an Animal Behaviorist?

The national standards of behavior analysis define four categories of problems that may exist in dogs: fears, phobias, aggression, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Taking your dog to an animal behaviorist may be a good idea if the peeing behavior is becoming a continual problem. Animal behaviorists are veterinarians who have completed additional training in animal behavior, neurology, and psychology.

A visit to an animal behaviorist may help you understand some of the emotional or behavioral issues your dog may be having which are driving them to pee on other dogs. The goal of the behaviorist is to identify the issue and try to devise an appropriate treatment plan for your dog.

What Is Scent Marking?

Scent marking is a behavior in which an animal urinates on objects (or the ground) to leave their scent. This behavior is often displayed by mammals such as dogs and cats but can also be exhibited by other animals and even insects like cockroaches or termites.

Scent marking is a way for dogs to communicate with one another. Dogs may use scent marking to express much of what they cannot do through body language or vocalizations including their sexual readiness, rank within the pack, and territory. As such, larger dogs will often be more likely to engage in urine marking than smaller breeds who are unlikely to leave their territories.

Dog Pee on Grass
Image By: Ching Louis Liu, Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Peeing Relate to Territory?

​​Dogs can become territorial and mark their territory with pee when they feel threatened or stressed by other dogs. This is most common in unneutered males and can happen even when a dog is not in heat. Once neutered, most dogs stop this behavior naturally. When a dog pees on another dog, they are often doing it out of anger or jealousy, but sometimes it is simply because they want to mark their territory.


Why Do Dogs Mark Their Territory?

Territorial marking is an instinctive response to an invasion of your dog’s personal space. Dogs need to mark their territory to make sure other dogs stay away and let them know that they’re the alpha leader in that area. Dogs will usually urinate or defecate on trees, posts, or other objects in order to get the message across.


How Do Dogs Show Dominance?

One of the most well-known ways that dogs show dominance over one another is by holding their tails high, heads held high, and ears forward. This position makes the dog seem larger than they really are, and it is often accompanied by their teeth being barred in what’s known as a “fear grin.”

There are many other ways in which dogs show dominance, too. Postures, eye contact, and growling are all examples of dominant behavior that are used by dogs to establish dominance hierarchies within their group. Dogs will show dominance by using non-verbal communication to assert their higher rank over another animal. When dogs are in close proximity, both parties will sniff each other and readjust their position to get a better stance and take up more space. One dog might stand tall and the other dog may roll on its back or curl into a ball to show submission. Often seen when competing for food or other resources, aggression is also a way in which dominant dogs assert their mastery over other dogs.

Dog Pee on the tree
Image Credit: pcdazero, Pixabay

How Does Pee Mark a Dog’s Territory?

​​When a dog pees on things (such as plants or other animals), it marks its territory, making it clear that this is its space. Urine contains pheromones, which are chemicals produced by animals that can signal aggression or sexual readiness to other members of the same species. The pee also tells any other dogs who enter the area that they are not welcome.


Does Spaying or Neutering a Dog Help With Territorial Marking?

For the most part, yes. Research shows that neutering male dogs decreases the likelihood of marking territory. Furthermore, spaying female dogs can actually prevent them from exhibiting territorial marking behaviors altogether.


Why Does a Dog Pee in Fear?

Fear is a response to a perceived threat and most often manifests as a feeling of worry, nervousness, agitation, dread, or terror. In mammals such as humans and dogs, it also causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. When a dog experiences fear it may urinate due to the effects that the increased adrenaline has on its bladder. A dog may pee in fear as a way to show that it is not a threat.

Dog Spaying
Image Credit: Kyla Metzker, Shutterstock

Why Is My Male Dog Peeing on My Girl Dog?

Many dog owners are surprised when their male dog begins to pee on their female dog, but this behavior is not uncommon. Dogs will often urinate on other animals in order to claim territory, and in the case of males, it’s usually in order to mark their female companion. It can also be a sign that your male dog is feeling insecure or jealous.


What Scents Deter Dogs From Peeing?

When a dog urinates, they produce pheromones as well as an acidic substance that smells unpleasant. There are several aromatics that have been shown to deter dogs from urinating. These include citrus peel and white sage, which is a herbaceous plant from southern Europe and Asia Minor.


Should I Punish My Dog if It Pees on Other Dogs?

Punishment can exacerbate the problem of dog-on-dog aggression as it may serve to increase the fear and arousal levels in both dogs. This is especially true if the punishment provokes a fight-or-flight response in the canine. It’s best to let a professional guide you in eliminating the problem.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, there is no easy answer for why dogs pee on other dogs. Some believe it is a dominance issue, while others think that the dog could be showing signs of aggression or it could be to mark their territory. The best thing to do is determine what went wrong and how to solve it as quickly as possible. Whatever the cause may be, one thing is for sure: it’s important to take your dog to the vet if this behavior persists.


Featured Image Credit: Kwan Kajornsiri, Shutterstock

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