Why Do Dogs Pee on Tires? (+How to Stop Them!)

“Why do dogs pee on tires?” If you’ve found yourself asking this question, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll unpack why dogs are attracted to tires and how you can stop them from marking these rubber targets.

We’ll delve into why dogs insist on peeing on tires, including those of your own car or others they encounter during walks. Once we understand the ‘why’, we can work on the ‘how’ – how to stop this behavior.

We’ll also share some dog repellents you can use on tires to deter your dog from turning them into a bathroom. Keep reading below!

How to Stop Dogs From Peeing on Tires

How to Stop Dogs From Peeing on Tires

To stop dogs from peeing on tires, you need to manage the environment, train your dog to pee in appropriate places, and deter them from marking the tires. Ensuring your dog is properly exercised and mentally stimulated can also help alleviate this behavior.

  1. Environmental Management: Make sure the tires are inaccessible to the dog whenever possible. For example, park your car in a garage or behind a gate. If the dog cannot access the tires, they cannot pee on them.
  2. Training and Marking: Train your dog to pee in appropriate places using positive reinforcement. Use a leash to guide them towards the preferred peeing spots during walks. Additionally, clean the tires thoroughly to remove any pre-existing urine scent that could be attracting the dog to mark the spot again.
  3. Deterrents: Use safe, pet-friendly deterrents on the tires. Certain smells, like citrus or vinegar, tend to discourage dogs from approaching. You can spray these on and around the tires. Always ensure that any substance used is safe for your dog.
  4. Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Ensure your dog is getting enough physical exercise and mental stimulation. Sometimes, dogs may mark out of boredom or excess energy. Providing sufficient outlets for these can reduce the desire to mark.

Consistency and patience are key in changing a dog’s behavior. It is also important to never punish the dog for marking. This can increase anxiety and potentially make the problem worse. With time and proper training, these steps will get your dog to stop peeing on tires.

But it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (marking territory, anxiety, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog pees on tires and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog peeing on tires ever again!

Why Do Dogs Pee on Tires?

Why Do Dogs Pee on Tires?

Dogs pee on tires primarily as a form of scent marking, a way of communicating with other dogs. The tires are at a convenient height, absorb the scent well, and come into contact with different locations and dogs, making them an ideal target for this canine communication.

The Significance of Scent Marking

One of the main reasons why dogs choose to pee on tires is to leave their personal scent behind. Scent marking is an instinctive behavior in dogs, used as a form of communication with other dogs in the area.

This is their way of leaving a message about their presence to any other dogs that may come across the same spot. This action, to a dog, is somewhat like leaving a personal calling card – it’s their method of saying, “I was here.”

Height and Absorption: The Perfect Combination

Another reason dogs opt to pee on tires revolves around the practicality of the act. Tires are typically at a convenient height for most dogs to lift their leg and urinate on, which makes them an easily accessible target.

Moreover, tires are composed of materials that are especially adept at absorbing and retaining scents. This retention ability allows the dog’s scent to remain present for a more extended period, increasing the chances that their message will be noticed by other dogs in due course.

Traveling Scents: Broadening Their Reach

Tires, by their very nature, are mobile. They come into contact with a wide array of environments, people, and other animals. This diversity makes them a sort of “information hub” for dogs. By marking a tire, a dog can leave its scent on an object that carries traces from many different places and animals. In doing so, it’s a way for the dog to spread their scent more widely, expanding their territorial influence.

Urine as a Communication Tool: More Than a Bathroom Break

To dogs, urine is more than a waste product – it’s a powerful communication tool. Dog urine contains pheromones and other chemical signals that convey a myriad of information to other dogs. It can relay facts about the dog’s sex, reproductive status, and even details about its diet or health status. So, when a dog chooses to pee on a tire, it’s more than just a simple bathroom break—it’s a form of “talking” to other dogs in their unique, scent-driven language.


In conclusion, dogs pee on tires as a form of scent marking to communicate with other dogs. The tire’s location, its absorption capabilities, and its inherent mobility make it an ideal target for this purpose or related behaviors like biting tires. By understanding these things, we then know what we need to do to stop them. Learn how in the first section of this article.

Simply allowing it to continue will just lead to your issue getting even worse. If they’re not already, you’ll soon see your dog marking in many other areas too. You’re going to find your dog peeing on the deck, peeing on the outdoor furniture, peeing on the curtains, and more. Obviously, no one wants that so I’m sure you can see now why it’s important to get started.

Dog Peeing on Car Tires During Walks

If your dog is peeing on car tires during walks, it’s typically a sign of marking behavior. This is driven by their instinct to claim territory or leave a scent for other dogs. With the right approach, consistent training, using a leash, redirecting their attention, and reinforcing good behavior can help resolve this issue.

  1. Understand the Behavior: Dogs peeing on car tires during walks is a common marking behavior. They use their urine to leave a “message” for other dogs about their presence. Car tires are a favored target because they collect and carry a variety of smells from different places, which makes them intriguing to dogs. This behavior is rooted in their natural instincts, harking back to their ancestors who used scent-marking extensively to communicate with each other in the wild.
  2. Consistent Training: Implementing consistent training can discourage this behavior. If your dog approaches a car tire, use a firm but gentle voice to guide them away and command them to continue walking. Be patient and persistent, as it may take some time for your dog to break this habit. Always reward good behavior with treats or praise to reinforce the positive action. The goal is to help them associate leaving tires alone with getting rewards.
  3. Use a Leash: It’s beneficial to keep your dog on a short leash during walks. This not only helps you control their movement but also directs them away from car tires. It’s your responsibility to guide their path and keep them moving. Avoid lingering too long in one place, especially near parked cars, as this gives your dog the opportunity to indulge in the behavior you’re trying to discourage.
  4. Redirection and Distraction: If you notice your dog showing interest in a car tire, quickly redirect their attention elsewhere. This could mean changing the direction of your walk, initiating play, or giving a command that your dog is likely to follow. Using their favorite toys or treats can also effectively distract your dog from the lure of the tire. Over time, this can help them learn that there are more interesting and rewarding things than marking tires.

To stop your dog from peeing on car tires during walks, it’s all about consistent training and patience. Remember, this behavior is instinctual, so try not to get frustrated if progress is slow. Every step towards your dog ignoring car tires rather than marking them is a victory. We explained more on stopping this behavior in the first section of this article.

Dog Repellent for Tires

Dog repellent for tires, which can deter dogs from marking or chewing on them, can be either commercial products with specific ingredients dogs find unpleasant, or homemade solutions using ingredients like vinegar or citrus. Importantly, it should be safe for the dogs, the tires, and the environment.

Commercial Dog Repellents

There are numerous commercial products available that are designed to discourage dogs from engaging with certain objects, such as tires. These products often come in the form of sprays and contain ingredients like capsaicin, a component of chili peppers, or methyl nonyl ketone, a synthetic compound with a strong odor. These substances are unappealing to dogs, so they tend to avoid the sprayed areas. It’s essential to ensure that the product you choose is safe for both the dogs and the tires.

Homemade Dog Repellents

If you prefer a more natural solution, consider homemade dog repellents. Many dogs dislike the smell of vinegar or citrus, and these can be used to create an effective deterrent. Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply this solution to the tires. Alternatively, you can use diluted lemon or orange juice. The scents will go away after about an hour but your dog will remain repelled.

Training and Behavior Modification

While repellents can be useful, addressing the underlying behavior through training and behavior modification can be more effective in the long run. Teach your dog the ‘leave it’ command and reward them for following this command when they show interest in tires. Be sure to also address the underlying issue, which we explained in the first section.

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Whatever method you choose, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s safe for the dog, the tires, and the environment. Never use substances that can harm the dog or damage the tires. Additionally, ensure that the chosen repellent does not negatively impact the environment, particularly if it gets washed off into the surrounding area.


In conclusion, whether you choose a commercial dog repellent for tires or opt for a homemade solution, the aim is to discourage dogs from marking or chewing on them without causing any harm. It’s also worth considering behavioral training to address the root cause of the behavior, which we explained how to do yourself in the first section of this article.

I’m sure you’re ready to get this frustrating problem behind you, so I’ll let you get started on things now. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “Why Do Dogs Pee on Tires? (+How to Stop Them!)”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.