9 month intact male marking indoors
After a couple of traumatic days for me (not the dog) I turn to my trusted fellow members for help!
Luka has just gone 9 months old - given his age progressing well in obedience and generally very responsive on walks. In case of any relevance he has been peeing with his leg up almost all of the time since about 6 or 7 months old. Sounds from the other posts that he was quite an early developer?!
He is fully house trained from around 4.5 or maybe 5 months old since which point he has never had an accident in our home or any other indoor place we have taken him to including people's houses, airports, department stores, hotels, etc etc. (except for one other incident mentioned below)
In the last two days however, he's marked three times indoors and worried his hormones are raging and taking over. The first two times were on the same trip to a pet store where we regularly go to pick up food. He had done it once before but I put it down to smelling another dog's pee and just instinctively tried to mark over it (that incident was maybe about a month ago). But yesterday, he cocked his leg as soon as we got into the store, on the corner of some dog food when I corrected him and said "No" which he understands - but then he did it again at the back of the store over another bag of dog food!!!! I had to tell the check out lady and she looked really unimpressed. I put this down to a lot of other dogs having pee'd all over the store and him just instinctively marking over it.
However today we were invited to a friend's house with whom we regularly walk our dogs together on a neutral territory. We went for a long walk and when we came into her house he was fine sniffing around when he first got in, then they started playing indoors. I don't know if the excitement added to this, but he then started sniffing a basket on the ground with some wool for knitting in it and cocked his leg to pee over it! Thankfully I jumped on him as soon as he did so he didn't make much of a mess but this totally shocked me because I know that he knows when he is inside a home. My friend's dog is a neutered male, but the dominant one of the two of them - in fact at the moment this happened, the friend's dog Skoby was running around with his toy in his mouth and Luka knows he can't get too close when Skoby has something in his mouth because he'd already been told off when he tried to get a stick from Skoby during our walk.
Now I'm nervous about any eventuality of him trying to mark when we go to unknown territories.
From what I have read of other similar posts it seems like I need to firm up on his general marking behaviour outside, in that when he's walking with me to heel (or I'm trying to get him to, but that's a whole different story!) I shouldn't indulge him by stopping when he wants to mark. Is this right?
I can definitely try to enforce when he does pee where/when I want him because being in an apartment we always take him downstairs across the road to a small grass patch where we ask him to do his business and he knows the commands for that. Should I go back to praising when he does do it where we do want him?
My husband is enraged by his antics over the last couple of days and saying we need to castrate asap…I'm less keen to do this if this is a passing phase and/or easily corrected through reinforcement.
Thanks in advance!