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    Proposed Efficacy Test for Dog Repellents Designed to Reduce Urination on Established Scent Posts


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    This test provides efficacy data on dog repellents designed to reduce urination on objects, such as tree trunks, bushes, trash cans, furniture, and fire hydrants. Pesticide companies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can use this test to establish or to monitor product efficacy.

    At least eight male dogs are exposed in pairs in rectangular enclosed areas until they have urinated at least 300 times (during the reference and repellent test periods together) on any or all of eight artificial scent posts in the enclosed area. The 150 strikes during the reference period establish the urination pattern of the dogs. The 150 strikes during the repellent test period, when four of the scent posts have been treated with a repellent, establish any change in the urination pattern caused by the repellent.

    The eight scent posts in the areas are divided into two squares of four. The location of one treated post in each square is determined randomly. The location of the other treated post in the square of four is then automatically determined, as there should be no more than one treated post on any one side of the square.

    For comparison purposes, the use of a standard scent post, consisting of two cylinders (a simulated fire hydrant) is recommended. A pipe attached to the outside of the outer cylinder and forced into the ground keeps both cylinders upright. The outer cylinder supports and protects the inner cylinder.

    The inner cylinder is made from a lighter weight hardware cloth. This cylinder is covered with filter paper and placed inside the outer cylinder. A dog urinating on the post leaves a stain on the filter that can be easily seen and counted by using an ultraviolet (“black”) light. A repellency value is calculated using the formula: repellency = (1.00 - 2 × St/T) (100), where St equals the observed number of strikes on treated posts, and T equals the total number of strikes observed or expected in the repellent test.

    For a dog repellent to be considered effective, it should reduce urination on treated posts by at least 60 percent.


    vertebrate pest control, dog repellent, test method, urination

    Author Information:

    McCann, JA
    Supervisory biologist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Beltsville, Md

    Snider, CC
    Technical director, Research Products Company, Salina, Kans

    Committee/Subcommittee: E35.17

    DOI: 10.1520/STP34984S