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Why Do Dogs Pee on Trees?

dog peeing against tree blog

Every dog owner has seen their dog pee on something. From fire hydrants to other dogs, whenever your canine companion is given the chance he seems to "let it fly". While this is obviously a normal and natural component of any animal, it can be challenging and sometimes frustrating to try and understand or control where your dog tends to pee. No dog owner wants their possessions ruined by an out of control pee machine.

Dogs have an evolutionary urge to mark things in their territory. In the modern world, dogs don’t exactly have a set territory, though. They spend much of their time in our yard and homes. However, when you go on a walk, it still isn’t uncommon to see them peeing on trees.

It’s their way of telling other dogs that they were there – and that they want that tree.

Some dogs are more prone to peeing on trees than others. Males are particularly likely to mark on a tree if they smell a female in heat. The two dogs don’t need to be near each other in the least. If the male smells that the female walked by at some point, he will likely feel the need to mark.

Both males and females that have not been neutered or spayed are pretty likely to mark, which usually involves peeing on a tree or two.

Age is also an essential factor. Puppies usually don’t mark trees. This behavior often doesn’t come to fruition until the animal hits adulthood. It’s the hormones around puberty that give them the urge to mark and claim their space.

How to Stop Your Dog from Peeing on Trees

In the Park

Stopping your dog from peeing on trees in the park can be a tall task, especially when there are trees all around. But, the best way to prevent your dog from peeing on trees in the park or other outdoor spaces is to take him to an area away from trees to urinate.

There were fewer negative impacts to the environment in areas with fewer trees, in which dogs urinated on grass instead. Although dog urine can cause some damage to grass as well, it’s also important to remember that you’re not responsible for the landscaping in the park so it’s okay for your dog to pee on the grass or even on a tree if it can’t be prevented.

In Your Backyard

Preventing dogs from peeing on trees in your backyard is a little bit easier. One of the best things you can do is to train your dog from an early age as to where to use the bathroom. Training your dog to pee in a certain area and giving him treats when he goes in that area can help prevent him from peeing on trees or on your other plants.

or install a Pee Guard

Nope, we don’t mean you should hire someone to act as a bodyguard for your tree just to protect it from your dog’s urine! A pee guard is actually a useful tool that can be used to keep your dog from getting close enough to the tree that their urine arc doesn’t hit its target.

They’re similar to Christmas tree skirts in terms of their concept, which is that they wrap around the base of the tree’s bark to act as a fence that enforces the dog’s distance.

Final Thoughts

Peeing on trees is a normal part of dog behavior, as it allows dogs to mark their territory or let other dogs know that they’ve been there.

Dogs pee on trees as part of a complicated series of social interactions. This likely came from their past as territorial animals, when they would use trees as marking posts to show what was their territory and what wasn’t.

However, it has evolved past that today and is mostly just a social interaction amongst dogs. They use it to communicate that they were there, as well as other parts of their identity. For instance, in-heat females will communicate their breeding status through urinating on trees.

Dogs often use trees as “community bulletin boards.”

However, the urine can hurt the tree if it is constantly used as a marking post. The ammonia can burn the tree, while the nitrogen in the urine can harm the soil. Smaller and younger trees are often more susceptible to this kind of damage, so it’s up to you whether you want to allow that behavior to continue. If you do choose to try to prevent it, we hope that you’ve found some of our suggestions helpful.


a dogmom of a dog (not naming names.. Grigri) who loves to spray his pee away...

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