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Fixing Submissive/Excitement Urination in Dogs


While dog might be man’s best friend, that puddle on the floor sure isn’t. If your new housebroken puppy or rescued dog occasionally pees on the floor for no fathomable reason, then you might have a dog with submissive/excitement urination issues.


So what should you do if you think you have a dog with an excitement or submissive peeing problem? First off, take your dog to the vet to rule out other reasons for the inappropriate peeing. If you receive the all clear from your vet, how do you know which problem your dog has?


If your pooch doesn’t pee when you’re in a dominant position (i.e., looking your dog directly in the eye, bending from the waist, greeting your dog face on), then chances are your dog is suffering from an excitement issue. If the dog does pee when you arrive home, when you’re in a dominant position, or when it is in trouble, then it’s probably a submissive issue. Either way, the situation can be remedied.


Submissive Peeing


Submissive dogs pee when they are greeted, when someone approaches, when they are punished, and when there is a history of rough treatment or punishment after peeing; this is common in rescued dogs. This is also a common reaction with shy, anxious, and timid dogs. To fix this problem, avoid scolding or yelling at your dog after it has peed. Instead, try building its confidence by teaching it simple commands (sit, stay, come), and reward your dog after each success. The same applies with teaching simple tricks (roll over, fetch); go with the reward and praise route.


You will also want to approach your dog in non-dominant postures. Avoid direct eye contact, approach from the side, and crouch down to your dog's level. When patting your pooch, go for under the chin rather than the top of the head. Keep all greetings low key, and when the dog does pee, simply clean it up without fuss and go away. Do not forget to reward and praise your pup when it pees in the appropriate place.


Excitement Peeing


The good news for you is this usually happens to puppies under one year of age, and they will usually grow out of it. The bad news is it’s not going to happen overnight. These are the dogs that pee while playing, when you come home, or when people visit.


To help your puppy with this issue (and save that very expensive rug you just bought), try keeping all playtime outside, or on a specially prepared area of newspaper and puppy pads. This way, if there is a little accident due to over-excitement, it doesn't have to be a big deal.


When there is an accident, just as with submissive peeing, do not reprimand or punish your pup. Simply clean it up quietly and leave the puppy (or dog, if this is happening with an older dog) alone. Give your puppy treats when it pees in the correct place, and keep all greetings to a minimum. You may even want to ignore the dog when you arrive home. Does this seem cruel? It's not really, as it gives your pooch a chance to calm down on its own. Ask guests to do the same.


When the dog pees while out on walks, give it praise and treats. The same goes for when the dog pees in designated areas (which is not the rug or the designer bedspread). All these things should not only help your pooch break its habit of peeing when excited, but will also help you to cultivate a calmer, more confident dog.


So good luck with your dog. And remember, patience and perseverance will always pay off.


Comments  18

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  • Excitement Peeing
    04/03/2013 09:15am

    Good post! Thank you! I will try that with my puppy rescued dog with 9 months, which in a few times when he got excited due to me arriving home or after playing, he peed in places that were not indoor pee pads. htt://petdynamics.wordpress.com

  • Doesn't work...
    06/04/2013 05:45am

    I raised my god since it was only a month old. I STARTED with the love and praise route and tried to keep him on a potty schedule... and out of nowhere this starts.

    So, I refer to sites like this for help and the suggestion is... just let it happen. Well, I'm sorry to say, but I don't have it in me to get pissed on every time I walk into the house, or call the dog, or try to play with him. I don't own a single thing that hasn't been pissed on, and I lost count of how many times I'VE been pissed on.

    I've tried nice, I've tried treats, I've tried punishment, I've tried everything... it just doesn't work.

  • 10/31/2013 07:00pm

    Hi. This is a tricky behaviour to correct because you want your dog to be confident, but you also want him/her to be calm and submissive towards you. Punishing the dog for peeing it is having trouble controlling won't work. The dog we just rescued does the same thing. He pees when he gets excited upon meeting a new person or when greeting us when we come home. And he pees when my boyfriend disciplines him verbally. We never hit him, other than the occasional smack on the rump, which isn't punishment, just a pat on the rump.

    We are still working out the best way to fix this behaviour. My first solution is to get him on a leash with zero fuss and get him out the door. That usually takes care of getting over-stimulation and peeing.

    You may want to consult a professional trainer and ask whether they can evaluate your interaction. But the more you can build your dog's confidence while still keeping him calm, the better off you'll both be.


  • 02/16/2014 10:57am

    I hear you Pocket Drummer! I picked my pup because of her quiet, cuddly nature. As it turns out she pisses on me, my husband, my carpets and anywhere else she may be when she is excited or nervous including pissing on me after I have picked her up. She pisses when she is excited when we come home and also she will squat and pee if she feels threatened. She is over a year old so she isn't growing out of it. I am pulling my hair out!!

  • 04/28/2014 01:07am

    Maybe you shouldn't own a dog. SORRY TO SEEM HARSH BUT THIS DOG is not working out for you and seems to me you are only getting angrier. Do you your pooch a favor, find somebody to take hmm. Please be honest with them he has a problem so they can approach it differently. Contact me for other suggestions. A dog is like a child, only as good as the parents parent

  • 07/07/2014 03:49am

    Fergus2011 please if you have not had a dog who has had a problem with submissive peeing please do not tell someone they do not need a dog. I am a volunteer at a shelter and I right now have a submissive dog who urinates non-stop for no reason. I have no temper with this dog I do not raise my voice to him and he pees submissively all the time. It is not an easy thing and yes it is very irritating, So please do not judge someone on this

  • 12/23/2015 10:46pm

    I agree Fuergus2011, with me being a pet parent of a rescue dog who is an excited and submissive urinator and I have had him for 3.5 years, he is now 4. You can't lose your temper or patience with them over time it will become less and less with only an occasional accident when they revert back to old ways. My Abbott still pees occasionally but not very often. If you can't handle it find a home for it and move on... sometimes they sense our frustration and That can cause them to pee. And sometimes it's just out right the human causing the issues. My assumption is the two people who state their dogs are PISSING every where, just don't have the right dog in their lives. I have 5 children... 3 are boston terriers and 2 are yellow labs. I also do rescue work and have dealt with food aggressions, potty issues, biting, pups that vomit 5 times a day all day anywhere they are at which includes on me in the middle of the night. You hopefully don't treat infants like some of you treat your dogs... your dog is an infant and until we can fully communicate with animals they should be infants/toddlers in your mind until the day they are old and die. And maybe you should have a pet if you can't deal with the complications that come with them.

  • 07/02/2016 05:36pm

    You're judging a person for using the word "pissing"? The poster put effort and love into the dog and despite the PISSING (it's just a word) the owner has resolved to live with it.

    You people are advocating he/she abandon the pet (as you would call "family members") and move on with life.

    I know who'd I'd rather have my back when the chips are down and it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel... and it's Pocket Drummer, full "piss" vocabulary and all.

  • 04/16/2016 02:36am

    Or maybe you should put it down for personal responsibility. Dogs only exist thru the confines of what "we" believe makes them happy. But the truth is, these animals have survived without mankind for over a thousand years. The fact of the matter is just like unwanted pregnancies, everybody is for it, but they don't won't to give the money or the responsibility in raising them.You can make an omelette without cracking some eggs.

  • 07/02/2016 05:32pm

    "Angrier"? I saw no anger in Pocket Drummer's post, but only learning to live with the issue after positive attempts to rectify it. Sometimes it just will continue to happen as in my case (she was a submissive/excitement pee'er when I got her as an infant and she continues to be at 3 yrs old--and she is playful, fun, happy, but easily rattled).

    It's good to know that sometimes there are exceptions and it's nothing to be upset or "get rid of the pet!" frustrated about.

    Your post was extremely angry and judgmental though. Calm down.

  • 07/02/2016 05:23pm

    Here, too. I have three: 2 boys and 1 girl. One boy has peed on me perhaps 6 times in the 4 years of his life. And in the 3 years I've had the girl (stray infant puppy) she pees in excitement and in submissiveness. Never have I scolded her for it. She is praised for peeing outside. She is sweet and timid, but she still does it like a little fountain when I put her leash on. Sometimes when we go places that I know I'll have to walk her, I leave her leash on and let her walk around with it because the alternative is the little geyser when she rolls over when I put her leash on.

  • Submissive peeing
    06/26/2013 01:52am

    This a totally brand new behavior from our dog we rescued in March. We have had zero problem but now if we tell him to lie down or sit, he pees. In fact, we can make him pee at will by either my wife OR myself giving him commands, in low even tones not upset or anything.It's a if someone has come I and beat him while we are gone, which is hardly ever.

  • 10/01/2013 05:57pm

    We have had Lexi since November 2012. She has always had accidents but in the last few months she has begun the submissive pee thing.....
    She has been to the vet and is healthy, I'm exhausted from the stress this is causing my life/marriage/job.
    Let me know if you came up with a solution.

  • 10/31/2013 07:03pm

    Did you ask your vet about the problem? They may suggest a medication that can help. Or they may have a recommendation for other forms of treatment. You can also consult a professional trainer. Strike up a conversation with Petco employees. You'd be surprised how knowledgeable some of them can be.

    Good luck!

  • Help
    03/27/2015 04:46am

    Hi my dog is 6 years of age, and he is still peeing whenever I get home or when friends come over.
    Should I still use the same method that was said in the post, or should I worry that it is something else.
    please help I'm not sure what I should do.

  • Excitement Peeing
    08/11/2015 05:40pm

    It may not be practical for everyone, but may be a solution for some...
    We had a Sheltie when I was growing up who peed from excitement whenever anyone entered the house. (She was a purebred my parents raised from a pup, who was bred twice-in the late '60s-before being spayed.) They couldn't change her peeing; it was a fact of life and part of who she was.
    My parents' eventual solution was to remove the section of carpet at the front door, creating the equivalent of a 3'x3' tiled "landing' area.
    Whenever someone came home, or a visitor arrived, Misty would greet whomever it was while she was on the small tiled area at the front door. The expected pee was easily cleaned up with some spray cleaner and paper towels. No real mess and no stress.
    Fortunately, someone coming into the house was the only time she peed from excitement, so this solution for us. An added bonus was that the tile was better than having the carpet when people came inside with wet or snowy shoes, too!
    My daughter's ABD (almost 3 yrs old now) sometimes pees a little when someone comes in, too, so the Swiffer Wet Jet is on hand nearby to clean up her dribbles. :-)

  • Submissive pee problem
    08/30/2015 07:39pm

    Max is a little over a year old and when he is greeted by just about every dog he meets, he pees. We live in Lake Tahoe so there are a ton of fun dog friendly places which we love to take Max to. Just about every time Max goes to the dog beach (no leash required) he gets really excited and runs over strangers beach blankets with or without other dogs (mostly because of other dogs) he pees on strangers stuff. If he is on his leash and we are walking him and another person with their dog wants to meet Max (Max is a good looking rescue, very friendly demeanor) Max pees. All the time. He still hasn't out grown this. He is a little over a year now and it is still a problem that is extremely hard to fix. What should we do?

  • Slightly different proble
    04/06/2016 08:55pm

    My puppy is 3 1/2 months old. She is fully housebroken and doesn't have accidents unless I leave her alone to long (which is understandable). That being said, for some reason she pees everytime she sees my male roommate, she pees in front of him or even on him once! I have no idea what to do or why she is doing this.. It's not like she always pees when she's excited.. Has anyone ever noticed something like this in their dog? What did you do to remedy the problem?

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