Walking your dog daily has many benefits for you and your dog. It helps your dog get enough exercise and mental stimulation, and he gets to explore the world. You also get a chance to walk daily. But it’s not always fun. Your dog peeing on the sidewalks and other places might be a problem.
In this article, I will share some information on why a dog pees on the sidewalks, what to do when he does this and how to stop him.
Is it illegal for a dog to pee on the sidewalk?
It is not illegal for a dog to pee on the sidewalks. No state rules mention that your dog can’t pee there.
=], it is illegal not to pick up dog poop from public areas. As per NYC.go, “Each person who owns or controls a dog must remove any feces left by that dog on any sidewalk, gutter, street, or other public area and dispose of it legally.”
But there is no mention of peeing. So, no one can arrest you or your dog for this reason.
Still, you should not let your dog pee on the sidewalk? Why? Two reasons:
1- It is not good ethically. How would you feel going anywhere and stepping on a urine puddle? Very bad? So being a good citizen, you should not let your dog on someone’s way.
2- Dog urine or feces are health hazards for humans. They may cause infections or other severe diseases.
So it is best to let your dog pee where he should.
Why does my dog pees on the sidewalks, and how to stop him?
There is no “one specific reason” for your dog peeing on the sidewalks.
The very first thing is finding out the reason, of course. It’s so obvious then why I’m mentioning this.
I get so many questions like this. But unfortunately, people often jump to finding the solution instead of observing the reason first and face failure.
Why might your dog be peeing on his walks? There are plenty of reasons. Your dog might be trying to mark his territory; he might be trying to mark someone else’s scents. It can be a timing issue or any illness.
I will list down the most common (possible) reasons here:
1- Its urine marking:
It’s the first, most common, and most obvious reason for your dog peeing on the sidewalks. Dogs function differently; they use scents to explore and communicate with the world.
Walks are so important for dogs as they get a chance to sniff more scents around and mark their spots with their scent.
Your dog is likely marking his territory with the urine. Or, If he smells pee there, he might be trying to mark it to tell the other dog that this area is “his.”
When dogs get sexual arousal, they mark the area with a scent to invite a partner. If your dog sees an opposite-gender dog, he may mark.
How do you know that your dog is urine marking on walks? Here are some signs
- Does your dog lift one leg while peeing?
- The amount of urine is so small.
Solution – Neuter him:
Neutering or spaying doesn’t completely eliminate scent marking but drastically reduces it.
It reduces the sexual arousals and dominant behavior of dogs.
2- Improper training:
Usually, it’s improper potty training that causes your dog to pee in the places where you don’t want him to pee.
Your dog must have a specific pee spot, pee command, and a schedule.
If your dog is peeing whenever and wherever he wants, it is because he lacks proper training.
Solution – Get trained to train:
From where did you learn to potty train your puppy? From a friend? Tried on your own, asked on a forum?
Random advice may not work correctly.
You must learn to train your dog. Learn here the complete step-by-step process of how to potty train your puppy.
3- Lack of understanding of dog owner:
The dog owner might not understand his pet’s schedule or cues.
Dogs have a very predictable peeing and pooping schedule. You will be amazed if you will start to notice.
Note down the time when your dog pees on the sidewalk. See, after how much time of starting a walk, he pees? After how much time of drinking water or eating food does he pee?
Do this, and you will be able to predict when he is going to do the deed. At that time, you can take him to a side to pee.
Moreover, every puppy or dog has some definite cues he will show before peeing or pooping. Most common are sniffing, circling, squatting, barking, or scratching. You must notice what cues your dog shows before peeing. That can also help you stop your dog from peeing on the sidewalks.
Solution – Understand your pet:
Note your dog’s schedule and cues and follow them to lead it to the proper potty spot.
4- You let your dog pee on concrete in your house:
What is the potty spot for your dog in your home? Is it concrete? If yes, this can be a reason because sidewalks are mostly concrete.
Dogs develop a surface preference when it comes to relieving themselves.
Solution – Provide him with a specific pee spot:
Choose your dog’s pee spot wisely. Unfortunately, no one can give you a definite answer to this question of what surface your dog should pee on.
Choose according to your circumstances. For example, if you want your dog to pee on the grass, train him to use the grass as the spot.
Other than the surface, you can train your dog to pee on command. For example, choose one word as a potty command like “go potty,” and repeat the command every time your dog needs to go.
Do not let your dog relieve himself without the command. If you catch him doing this, clap and say no. Stop him, take him to the spot you want, repeat the command, and then let him pee. In some time, he will be trained to relive on command.
5- The dog feels stressed:
Dogs pee when they feel stressed. If you see your dog not really enjoying the walk or any other dog nearby trying to be the alpha, it can be why your dog peed on the sidewalks.
If you see your dog growling, being frightened, tugging his tail, or trying to hide, he might be under stress.
Solution – Help your dog:
Find out the reason why your dog is stressed and solve it.
You can try using ADAPTIL Calming Collar for Dogs. It will keep your dog calm and reduce his stress.
Some Tips To Stop Your Dog From Peeing on the sidewalks:
Here are a few more tips that might be helpful to stop your dog from peeing in the places where you don’t want them to.
1- Give him a chance to urine mark:
Urine marking is an instinct of dogs. They use it to communicate with the world. Neutering or spaying will reduce this sense (mainly because of lesser sexual arousals and a reduced sense of dominance), but if your dog still wants to mark, you shouldn’t stop him altogether.
Give your dog a chance to mark once in a while to satisfy his natural desire (maybe in the dog park only). This marking should not happen in your house. Otherwise, it may lead to housetraining regression.
2- Take your dog to a dog park instead:
If you are concerned about your dog peeing on the sidewalks, you can take him to a dog park instead.
Avoid walking him on the sidewalks only. Give him a bathroom break before leaving. Discourage peeing on the way to the park.
Reach the dog park, and let your dog pee (or mark).
3- Be an alpha of your dog:
Dogs are pack animals. They will always look toward the alpha before doing anything. So be your dog’s alpha so he doesn’t pee or mark without permission.
How to become the alpha of your dog? Here are a few tips:
- Eat first and then let him eat
- Sleep in the best place, and your dog should not be allowed there
- Prevent dominant behavior
- Keep him down while training
- Lead the way when you are outside
- Maintain eye contact
Don’t worry; these things are not disrespectful to your dog. It is so typical in their pack.
4- See a doctor if nothing works
If nothing is working for your dog. He keeps peeing in the wrong places; you must visit the vet for a checkup to ensure everything is fine with him.
What to do when the dog does the deed on the sidewalk?
When your dog pees; what do you do immediately:
1- Don’t punish or yell:
First of all, punishing or yelling never works when you are parenting either a child or a dog. So, avoid doing this as much as possible.
2- Notice the timing of urinating during the walk:
When your dog pees, immediately note the time. After how much time of eating or drinking has this happened? After how much time of starting physical activity (walking) happen? What was the place? What were your dogs’ cues?
Noting these things will help you predict your dog’s behavior for the next walk.
3- Spill water on the urine (or maybe an enzyme cleaner)
If you are concerned about someone stepping on your dog’s urine (which you should be), you can spill some water over it to let it flow to one side.
If you are too concerned, you can spray an enzyme cleaner made for concrete. I recommend simple solution hard floor pet stain and odor remover.
4- Do better next time:
Remember that dogs always need training and then follow-ups. You can’t train your dog once and then enjoy your life. It’s an ongoing process and a part of dog parenting.
Here’s a bonus for you;
Dogs pee everywhere outside because they are not focused on their owner. Instead, they are constantly busy exploring the world around them.
One trick is to keep your dog focused on you instead of their environment.
By training him to understand your body language. This is called “body language training”.
Typically, service dog trainers use this strategy.
If you want to learn how to train your dog to understand your body language and follow it, watch this free workshop arranged by Dr. Alexa Diaz, who is Ph.D. in animal behavior and has over 20 years of experience in training service dogs.
She will show you how she trains her dogs to follow her body language and stay focused on the owner while walking.
It is very common for dogs to pee on the sidewalks, and it’s not illegal. However, a responsible citizen would never let his dog do this. Figure out why your dog might be peeing there. Is he stressed? Urine marking? Timing matter? Or illness?
Discourage marking by neutering your dog and getting your dog a calming collar to help him during the walks.