My non corgi dog has started a bad habit. She is literally hiking her leg and doing a half squat to mark her territory like a male dog. I have noticed her doing it a little outdoors when we were on a walk, or marks over Marlee's pee. But now she is doing it in the HOUSE!!! She usually does it when my boys leave clothes or towels on the floor. But it's not just limited to just clothes. She is about 11 years old and about that many pounds. She has been house trained all of her life until now. I'm wondering if she has a hormone problem. But, I'm also wondering if she learned it from a St. Bernard (who used to live next door). The SB was a female who marked her territory too. But I assumed that my dog wouldn't think any more of it than a male marking. I am going to have to leave her outdoors more if she can't control herself. Help, I need some ideas.
Both cats and dog mark more when they are stressed so I'd ask myself if anything has changed that is upsetting the dog. I think either way she needs a vet visit to rule out health issues, especially at 11 years old. I put in a dog door for my corgi who is clearly upset by my toddler. It definitely helps her regulate her stress. When he gets loud, she heads for the door!
Make sure you rule out a bladder problem. If she is OK be sure to clean with a cleaner specifically designed to remove urine smells and reduce her unsupervised time. It is not unusual at all for a female to lift her leg, my corgi, Izzy, does it.
Although it is normal for dominant females to mark territory like a male, it is not normal for a dog to start this behavior at age 11. As Amy suggests, something may be really stressing her out, if there have been recent changes in the household. If it's behavioral, something is causing her to feel insecure. It could also be a hormone imbalance, the Vet can be consulted on this possibility and some bloodwork may shed some light. If she is on medication ( steroids, for example) that could be part of the picture.
IMO, the behavior of the neighbor's Saint Bernard is not associated with the current problem. Try taking her out more frequently and confining her to a small gated area while you try to sort it out.
When she is in the house have you seen her actively marking or do you just find soiled spots? Two things that come to mind are incontinence which is common in older female dogs, or a bladder infection. It is pretty unlikely she would just begin marking behavior at 11 years old, and more likely there is a medical cause. I'd plan a visit to your vet. If there is no medical cause you may want to consider trying something like Rescue Remedy or a phermone diffuser to help reduce stress.
We did talk to the vet about UTI approx. 6 months ago. He didn't run any test, but gave her the once over. He did give us an antibiotic since it was easy. We haven't noticed any changes. I probably should get her checked out further. She has decidedly marked the sides of things at times, not just piddling. My husband caught her in the act this weekend. We do clean thoroughly...no doggie smells allowed. As for home life, nothing has changed. However the dogs have been bickering a little the last few weeks, but it seems to be settling.
Amy, not sure what else to say, but UTI would not cause marking behavior, just more urinating. Regardless of why she is doing this, I would definitely scold her if I caught her in the act of marking inside the house. With UTI they need to pii more often, with incontinence, they just loose urine, or dribble small amounts. Both these conditions can be helped with medication. Marking is a different creature, either behavioral or hormonal. Melissa's suggestion of Bach's Rescue Remedy, which you can get at any health food store, is definitely worth a try from the behavioral standpoint. If the dogs have been bickering, I would add a few drops to their water bowl and see if there are any general improvements over a week's time or so. Or put a few drops in your 11 yr old's mouth twice a day. If you notice improvement, keep it up for a month or so. The good part is it cannot hurt to try this.
Another thing that comes to mind is that, because of her age, the internal workings of your little "pack" may be changing and her dominance, or position within the pack, be challenged by another dog, in which case she may just be trying to retain her status.....
Hmmm, good ideas. You make a good point; there may be a behavioral aspect to this.
I just wanted to add too that since this dog is clearly stressed to ensure that she is getting all the walks she needs, play time and mental stimulation (continued training). If she is suddenly the "bad dog" who gets booted outside with less family time her quality of life could suffer over what could just be something that could be addressed by stepping up interaction with her. I'm a believer in daily dog-walking, grooming or petting, and training curing all that ails. Good luck. I know how upsetting house soiling is.
You know, we frequently leave her behind when we walk Marlee, as she has has surgery for avascular necosis of the hip bone many years ago. She doesn't want to walk very far, but tries to keep up. We sometimes have my son to go just a little way with us and turn back with her early. But this too seems cruel. When he turns back, she kind of lags behind, looking over her shoulder at the rest of us all the way home. We'll need to figure something out to include her more. Good ideas.