While your dog might be your best friend, that puddle on the floor sure isn’t. If your potty-trained, new puppy or rescue dog occasionally pees on the floor for no fathomable reason, then you might have a dog with submissive or excitement urination issues.
So what should you do if you have a dog that pees when excited or a dog that has submissive peeing issues? First, take your dog to the vet to rule out health issues that could lead to inappropriate elimination. If you receive the all-clear from your vet, how do you know which problem your dog has?
What Is Submissive Dog Urination?
In the dog world, submissive urination is a way to avoid confrontation. A dog that urinates when dealing with someone who approaches them directly, speaks loudly near them, leans over them or reaches towards them is likely exhibiting submissive urination.
Submissive dogs pee when they are greeted or when someone approaches. They will also pee if they are reprimanded or hear raised voices, or when there is a history of rough treatment or punishment after urination.
This is a common reaction with shy, anxious and timid dogs. Telltale body language of submissive dogs includes hunching over, keeping the tail tucked or flipping over to expose the stomach.
What Can You Do to Help Submissive Dogs That Pee Out of Fear?
Scolding your dog for submissive urination will make the problem worse, so avoid reacting when your dog pees. To help your dog get over his submissive urination, always approach him with a relaxed posture.
Avoid direct eye contact, approach from the side, and crouch down to your dog's level without staring directly at him. When patting your submissive dog, go for under the chin rather than the top of the head.
Instead of greeting your dog immediately when you arrive home, try delaying your greeting and allow your dog to come to you when he’s ready for interaction. You can also try scattering a few dog treats on the ground when you arrive, which will get your dog to focus on finding the goodies instead of focusing on you.
Do not forget to reward and praise your pup when he urinates in the appropriate place.
Excitement Urination in Dogs
Accidents that occur during play or greetings without the attendant fearful body language are usually due to excitement urination.
Dogs that pee when they are excited usually do so when playing or when greeting family and guests. The good news for you is this usually happens to puppies under one year of age, and most dogs grow out of it. The bad news is that it’s not going to happen overnight.
To help your puppy with this issue, always take your dog outside for a potty trip before starting play sessions and keep your body language and tone of voice calm as you interact.
If touch during play is a trigger, try to use dog toys as a barrier between you and your dog. Much like when dealing with a submissive dog, keep greetings low-key. Don’t reach out to your dog when saying hello, and ask guests to do the same.
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 for the time being. When your dog pees while out on walks, give him lots of praise and treats.
No matter what, always remember to be patient with your dog as he matures and learns to be a more confident companion.
Featured Image: iStock.com/Lunja