Marking and Urinating in Dogs

 

A dog does not urinate with the intention of relaying any information or signaling anything to another animal (i.e., marking their territory), they are just answering the call of nature!!!  A dog urinates because some external or internal stimulus causes them to pee - usually an increased testosterone level or because they smell another animal's pee!  This is caused by a bio-chemical response the scent has on their brain.  For example, bear scent is repulsive to coyote and causes that animal to become aroused/defensive and move away.  The scent of a female in heat causes a male of that same species to become sexually aroused and pursue the scent.

All mammals have some capacity to leave scent.  The mechanics of leaving scent serve a necessary purpose in the animal world.  Awareness of other animals in an area is important for survival as well as reproduction.  Leaving scents orchestrates this beautiful system.  However, no animal has a mental conversation with itself about the scent he or she smells. 

When researchers described these urinating phenomena as "marking a territory" they were talking about the results of their observational research, not the intent of the animal.  Lay people misinterpreted these explanations as the animal's intent.

Regarding dogs who pee on other dogs &/or humans:  The presence of one dog's urine stimulates the other dog to urinate.  Thus, the dog that pees on another dog does so because they have learned that the sight of another dog reliably predicts a dog will urinate.  By the process of backward predictability, the dog who pees on other dogs &/or humans now urinates at the sight of another dog rather than at the scent of urine (i.e., they are "jumping the gun").  Once a dog reaches this point, the best "cure" is to prevent them from rehearsing this behavior.  In other words, keep them away from other dogs!

Dogs do not understand the concepts of territory or of being sociable.  And, they do not think in terms of how their behavior affects the emotional well being of others, so I think it is impossible for dogs to have a purpose when they urinate.

 

A dog does not urinate with the intention of relaying any information or signaling anything to another animal (i.e., marking their territory), they are just answering the call of nature!!!  A dog urinates because some external or internal stimulus causes them to pee - usually an increased testosterone level or because they smell another animal's pee!  The scent stimulates a bio-chemical response in their brain.  For example, bear scent is repulsive to coyote, causing them to become aroused/defensive and move away.  The scent of a female in heat causes a male of the same species to become sexually aroused and pursue the scent.

All mammals have some capacity to leave scent.  The mechanics of leaving scent serve a necessary purpose in the animal world.  Awareness of other animals in an area is important for survival as well as reproduction.  Leaving scents orchestrates this beautiful system.  However, no animal has a mental conversation with itself about the scent he or she smells. 

When researchers described these urinating phenomena as "marking a territory" they were talking about the results of their observational research, not the intent of the animal.  Lay people misinterpreted these explanations as the animals’ intent.

Article Supplied by:

Gina Micciulla
Owner & Trainer
Educating Humans Teaching Dogs

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