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Dear Daisy Dog

Wilson, our 3-year-old unneutered Sheltie, regularly urinates at one spot inside our house. It’s only a tiny amount, but it’s smelly.

He was easily housetrained as a puppy, and the veterinarian says he is healthy. What can we do?

Daisy Responds

First, take a sample of his urine to your veterinarian for testing. If the urinalysis rules out a urinary tract infection or other medical problem, Wilson probably is marking his territory.

In dogs that aren’t neutered, indoor urine marking is common — rude, but common.

My brothers were neutered at six months of age to prevent a number of problems, including indoor urinary marking, and they are gentlemen in the house.

To transform Wilson into a gentleman, have him neutered.

If neutering doesn’t completely eliminate his indoor urinary marking, he will need behavior modification.

Begin by supervising him while he is in the room where he marks. When he nears the location, distract him and give him something else to do.

For instance, ask him to sit and stay, and give him a treat. Or encourage him to play with a toy, so the room becomes a place to play, not mark.

Some dogs mark when they’re anxious. If that’s the case, create predictable feeding and play routines, and teach Wilson to relax. Place a dog bed over the spot where he marks, and have him lie quietly on the bed for a treat.

Finally, clean the urine spot with an enzymatic cleaner, such as Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution. Soon your home will smell fresh again.

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