Why Do Female Dogs Mark Their Territory?

By Kyoko •  Updated: 10/03/22 •  3 min read
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Why Do Female Dogs Mark Their Territory?

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Some pet parents are confused when they notice their female dogs marking their territories! Isn’t that male canine behavior? Why would a female dog mark her territory?

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If you’ve noticed this behavior in your female dog, you’ve come to the right place. Seeing a female dog marking her area can be a little upsetting, especially if it’s your furniture she’s marking! Still, is this a worrisome behavior you need to be concerned about?

Dogs and Marking

Most dogs leave a scent mark with their urine. This is one method dogs use to communicate with one another. They also use scents to mark out their territories and warn other dogs to stay out! But what does it mean when a female dog marks her territory?

  1. Marking territory: female dogs, like males, occasionally mark their territories. For instance, a female dog may become nervous if she smells the urine of another female near her home. So, she may urinate over this other dog’s urine to say, “This is my space; stay out!” Urine marking is one way to ensure the dog’s space stays stable and familiar.
  2. It’s mine: another reason a female dog may mark her territory is to let other dogs know she’s the “top dog.” She may mark her bedding, toys, your furniture and carpet, and more. Your canine companion may choose to mark whatever she feels belongs to her. This is a warning to other dogs to leave these possessions and spaces alone.
  3. Medical issues: you may notice spots of urine in your home and believe your female dog is marking. However, she may be suffering from an underlying medical condition. Conditions that cause this behavior can include urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and more.

Female Dogs in Heat

It’s important to understand that the behavior of a female dog marking her territory is most common in dogs that have not been spayed. The female dog is not only marking her territory, but she’s also letting nearby male dogs know she’s in heat and ready to mate.

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Female dogs that are spayed rarely exhibit this behavior unless they have an underlying medical condition. However, some female dogs will continue to mark their territory after they’ve been spayed.

Summing It Up

If your dog seems to be marking everything in sight, it’s best to make an appointment with the vet. Your fur baby may have an underlying medical condition or may need to be spayed to end this behavior.

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Kyoko

Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!
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