UrinationSubmissive urination occurs when a dog feels threatened. It may occur when they are being punished or verbally scolded, or when they are approached by someone they perceive to be threatening. It’s important to remember that this response is based on the dog’s perception of a threat, not the person’s actual intention. Submissive urination may resolve as your dog gains confidence. You can help to build confidence by teaching them commands and rewarding them for responding. You should also gradually expose them to new people and new situations and try to make sure their new experiences are positive and happy.
Submissive UrinationYour Dog May Be Submissively Urinating If:
- Urination occurs when they are being scolded.
- Urination occurs when someone approaches them.
- They have a history of rough treatment or punishment after the fact.
- Urination occurs when they are being greeted.
- They are a somewhat shy, anxious, or timid dog.
- The urination is accompanied by submissive postures, such as crouching or rolling over and exposing their belly.
- Take your dog to the vet to rule out medical reasons for the behavior.
- Keep greetings low-key. Come in, ignore the dog, take the dog outside with you and greet them there.
- Give them an alternative to behaving submissively. For example, if they know a few commands, have them “sit” or “shake” as you approach, and reward them for obeying.
- Avoid approaching them with postures that they read as threatening, for example:
- Avoid direct eye contact – look at their front feet or tail instead.
- Get down on their level by bending at the knees rather than leaning over from the waist and asking others to approach in the same way.
- Pet them under the chin rather than on top of the head.
- Approach them from the side, rather than from the front, and/or present the side of your body to them, rather than your full front.
- Stop approaching if you notice they are afraid, let them “escape” the space you are in, or change your approach.
- Teach them to jump up on a chair or a table to be picked up, or to get leashed.
- Punishing or scolding will only make the problem worse.
Excitement UrinationExcitement urination occurs most often during greetings and playtime and is not accompanied by submissive posturing. Excitement urination usually resolves on its own as a dog matures, if it’s not made worse by punishment or inadvertent reinforcement.
Your Dog May Have An Excitement Urination Problem If:
- Urination occurs when your dog is excited, for example during greetings or during playtime.
- Urination occurs when your dog is less than one year old.
- Keep greetings low-key.
- To avoid accidents, play outdoors until the problem is resolved.
- Don’t punish or scold them.
- Take your dog to the veterinarian to rule out medical reasons for the behavior.
- Ignore them until they are calm.