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Hi! So Coco is now 9 months and has already started lifting his legs when he goes potty. This is a huge relief because I was getting so tired of him soiling his paws. However, tonight was the second time he lifted his leg in the house. This is the second time this has happened. Luckily, both times we caught him, told him he was wrong, and took him outside before he could do anything. I'd like to note he has not had an accident in the house in about five months now. A huge accomplishment. I fear if one day I'm occupied and not able to catch him in the act, it will erase all that we've accomplished. What is going on? Is he trying to mark territory? Is this a reflex? How do I stop it? Also, in the evenings he has gotten into the bad habit of humping one of his cushions. I've tried stopping in by redirecting him to a game of fetch. This will distract him for a few seconds. Is it time to get him neutered?
 

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He is probably marking his territory, as you suspect. Keep him near you. Don't let him near the places he has marked unless you are with him. The instant he lifts a leg, use your hand to lower the leg, give him a treat. Walk around the area and stop at the places he peed on. Have him sit, praise and treat. Take him outside. Praise and treat when he lifts his leg in an appropriate place.

Also, work him on whatever obedience he already knows. Sit at the door, sit before getting dinner, recall, etc. This is to remind him who the boss is.

Put the cushion out of reach. If he has this much energy, put him outside to run around.
 

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Don't worry, this is normal in adolescence. When young, peeing is simply about a bodily need. When they hit adolescence and learn about all the wonderful ways they can use pee, it changes their world. So it is natural for them to be confused about whether that new function extends to inside. Just keep a very close watch and correct. It will go away once they learn there are no new rules. My dog had 2-3 incidents of marking once he hit puberty. Then he stopped and hasn't since unless we are somewhere other dogs have marked. That is a hard distraction to overcome.
 
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