You walk towards your car, ready to leave for work. Your dog rushes towards you, nuzzling his head on your legs. You smile and pet him for a while. Time ticks by and you don’t want to be late, so with a final pat on your dog’s head you turn towards your car.
An exasperated sigh leaves your mouth because like almost every day, you see your dog’s pee staining the tires.
Bet it’s getting strange how your dog pees on a similar object every time, given the chance.
Curiosity is in human nature, hence the question must be lingering in the back of your mind, why they do it?
As peculiar as it may sound, dogs have a habit of marking their territory. With their strong sense of smell, they can figure out the conditions and places the tires have been through and let other dogs know about their presence.
Let’s take a deeper dive to see what causes your dog to leave with a smug look on their faces after they’ve peed on these particular objects.
Why do dogs pee on various objects including tires?
Dogs are extremely territorial animals and feel pride and satisfaction after marking their territory, often through peeing on that spot. They let other dogs know that ‘hey, I was here!’ Hunger of status and ownership is not just human nature, by peeing on objects, a dog lets other dogs know that he has marked this object emitting delicious scents as his own. It gives them a sense of satisfaction and pride. After peeing, they probably think ‘mission accomplished!’
Since dogs have an extremely strong sense of smell, they often communicate through scents. A dog’s urine can reveal a lot of information about a particular dog. It can help determine the gender of the canine animal, whether they are spayed or neutered. It can tell whether the female was in heat or not.
It also helps to notify about the health status of a dog and whether it is happy or depressed? Age can also be determined through this method.
To get hands-on all this info, what better place than a tire? For humans it may be another stained tire but for dogs, it’s simply for the sake of socializing with their folks.
What kind of objects do dogs like to pee on?
According to a study by Bonnie V. Beaver, vertical surfaces are approached by up to 97.6% of the male dogs, hence making tires a preferable choice.
You must be wondering, why vertical surfaces? What causes the dogs to opt for them? Guess you underestimated the intelligence of these creatures more than you’d care to admit.
Let’s see it this way, you wouldn’t want your advertisement flyer to be placed on top of a notice board, so it’s easily in everyone’s line of sight, right? Peeing on vertical objects like tires, fire hydrant, the lamppost, garbage cans, electric poles, fences, and bushes that are placed on a convenient level allow dogs to leave their scent on a spot accessible to other dogs at nose height. Better take notes from dogs on how to socialize; make it easier for others to notice you!
Reasons for peeing on vertical objects
When the vast area of ground is more accessible and easy to pee on why do dogs go out of the way and look for vertical objects to do the deed. The purpose is not just peeing and getting rid of the waste, as peeing on objects is considered as ‘marking’ in dog terminology, they tend to find objects that will increase the durability of their social status.
According to a study by Bruce Fogle, fire hydrant, the lamppost, garbage cans, electric poles, fences, and bushes scents linger on a vertical surface for a longer time than horizontal surfaces.
The posture dog’s pee in effects the time their smell lasts for. When peeing on a horizontal surface, dogs pee in a squat position and the scent tends to disappear quicker as compared to when they pee of vertical objects. Ground restricts diffusion of scents thus elevated objects are a better preference. Whether dogs are aware of these factual logics or not, their God-given instincts guide them cleverly. The longer their scents last, the farther they’ll travel and the more dogs will be able to join the social system.
Tires as the perfect vertical object
Are you tired of cleaning your tires again and again? Does your nose scrunch in distaste when you begin to admire a beautiful and glamorous car only to notice the wetness on its tires? You can already tell it was the unapologetic work of a dog who is now walking away at a distance, head up high. Oh Lord, these animal love to pee on tires, don’t they?
Being a vertical object, tires have already made their way on the list of dog’s favorite objects to pee on, but what other reasons cause tires to be above everything else?
Cars are an enticing blend of scents. They travel to various places, hence the tires carry countless amount of traces of urine from other canines, feces, unwanted dirt, garbage, food, and whatnot. All these foreign elements near the vehicle captivate a dog’s attention by perking up its senses and it’s readily rushes to sniff it all. For you it must be a pizza, but for dogs, tires carry the accumulation of scents that make their mouth water.
The dog pees on the tires to mark it as his own, hence joining the socializing party.
Sharing is caring, is it not?
Also, when dogs see humans use that car, they pee on it to claim it as their own. How very possessive of them. It’s all an exchange of social status.
This behavior is mostly seen in male dogs since they naturally tend to be more territorial and possessive. So if you have a male dog under your care, waking up to a pee-stained car tyre must be habitual. However, if it’s a female, the occurrence may not be that often.
Prevention: How to prevent dogs from peeing on tires?
What are the most efficient methods to deal with your dog peeing on car tyres without inflicting any harm to the animal itself?
It may seem like dog peeing on tires should not be a problem for the owners since they have to deal with a thousand more serious issues when a pet is under their care and for some it may not be.
Pee stains can discolor the tires and damage their quality so it’s a no-no for some people. If you are getting frustrated with this every day peeing ritual and the sight is too gross for you to handle, you must be looking for some clever methods to rectify the situation. Some tips to help you are mentioned below!
- Efficient Management
One of the ways from stopping your dog to pee on tires is preventing him from going near your car. No car, no tires. You can accomplish this by parking your car in the garage at your house and closing the entrance, so the dog is unable access the car.
What to do if your car is parked outside in the open? The only method to handle that situation is having a short leash on your dog when it’s outside, so you can control the movements. Make sure it’s short enough so the dog can’t reach the tires but not too short, you don’t want your dog to feel trapped out in the open.
Another method of blocking access is covering your tires with a solid surface so the dog doesn’t sniff the tires and pee on them. Things you can use are pieces of cardboards or plywood.
- Remove the odor
This may not be the most efficient method but removing the traces of scents from your car tires can help to prevent your dog from being attracted to the tires. If a dog has peed on your tires clean it quickly, using animal-friendly cleaners to remove the odor of pee from your tires can further prevent your dog from communicating with the other canine friends.
However what makes this method less effective is that the attraction dogs have for tires is not only because of the scents but because of their natural instinct to pee on vertical surfaces. Though giving this method a try wouldn’t cause any harm, maybe it works out for you!
Training your dogs to divert their attention from a treat you want them to stay away from is a difficult and jarring task. Redirecting your dog when you see it going towards your tyres by showing them another treat, and him obeying you, is very effective to prevent them peeing on tires. The ‘leave it’ command training needs a lot of patience so make sure to gather a bunch of that before you begin.
- Constantly supervise
Be diligent in supervising your dogs. Keep track of their movements and habits so you know how and when to stop them if they approach your car. Constant training will help create an effective mindset for them. Soon they’ll prefer the snacks you offer them when given the choice between a bunch of sweets and the tires.
- Punishing is not the best idea
Seeing your tires covered in pee every morning may annoy you. Coupled with your dog’s satisfied face while he struts away after staining your tyres must deepen your itch of punishing them. However, any rash decision may not be very promising for the future.
Scolding your dog, using a loud noise to terrify him, spraying him with water or any other abrupt action that may stun him for a while may backfire. Not only will it make your dog noise-sensitive and induce phobias like fear of water, it’ll damage the relationship between you and your dog. It will decrease the level of trust and will make your dog fear you, damaging his health.
Understanding the nature of your pet, and in this case, dogs is an essential part of having a pet. The nature of these canine animals is different from humans and so may require time and patience. However, these bad habits can be demolished through more tactful ways that don’t include upsetting these furballs.
The way you and your dog see the world is quite different. For you your car is a prized possession, an essential for you to move around but for your dogs, it serves a completely different purpose especially because of the tires attached to it.
If your only problem with your dog peeing on tyres is that it damages them, there are products used as wheel cleaners that clean the urine from tires without damaging them.
However if your problem lies in personal distaste for this habit of your dog, try to handle the situation with thoughtfulness and tact.
Find a good trainer, and try to handle your dog in a way he can adapt with. Hopefully, the situation will get better!