How To Deal With Submissive Urination In Dogs

Posted: June 2, 2014 in Dog Behavior, Puppy Training
Tags: , , , , , , ,

submissive dog





Has this ever happened to you? You come home and your puppy wiggles towards you leaving a trail of urine in his wake, lays down and shows his belly and pees some more, maybe even pees on your shoes. Your first instinct would be to question if your house training efforts had been for not, but rest assured it has nothing to do with being house broken. Your puppy is doing what a lot of puppies and dogs do, it is called submissive urination.

Why He’s Sprinkling

In the world of dogs this behavior tells other dogs that hey I am not a threat and I surrender to your authority, he may not even know he’s doing it because it’s an involuntary act, and that’s why most owners fail in their attempts to correct this behavior. Although you would rather he find some other way of telling you he thinks you’re the boss, other dogs find this pleasing, so he implements it when excited or intimidated.

Any attempts to correct this behavior is likely to end in frustration and failure, you cannot sweet talk to him, or sooth him with petting, this will be viewed as praise and elevate his already heightened state of excitement, yelling or hitting will only intimidate him and make him even more submissive, and cause him to pee more.

Get Him a Medical Check

Take him to the vet to rule out some physical reason for the urination. Urinary tract infections and other diseases can cause a puppy or dog to tinkle a little, and can be mistaken for submissive urination. Be sure that it is a behavioral issue before you try to fix the problem.

Turning Off The Tap

One thing you can do to make him less likely to piddle is to help build his confidence. This will require you to make some changes that will remove the triggers that cause your dog or puppy to lose control. First understanding that this is a involuntary behavior so it’s your dogs state of mind,(excited/intimidated) or mood that you will need to control, and be sure to keep that bladder empty. In a few months you should see a marked improvement and then you can pay a little less attention to the triggers, but you may have to work on this for the life of your dog. Regardless, knowing how to prevent submissive urination will go a long way to making life more pleasurable for you and your dog.

Keep Track

Make a chart so you can record every time your dog pee-pees and what was going on that caused it to happened. Planning and management will be easier once you determine his patterns and discover what you need to be mindful of in order to prevent him from squirting all over.

A chart will help you keep track of your puppy’s progress because during this time of change there will be mistakes, so in order not to get too focused on the times he pees, you will be able to see that this week he only sprinkled 6 times as compared to last week when he piddled 10 times. Set up a reward system for everyone including the dog, and celebrate every success. Remember this is not going to happen over night, but with commitment and patience things can only get better.

Be Mindful of Your “Body Talk”

It has been my experience that two of the most powerful triggers that cause submissive urination in dogs comes from you, the dog owner.

1-The tone of your voice, ie, Happy, Loud, Squeaky, or Angry.

2-Your Body Posture, imposing, or excited movements.

You will want to move slowly and maintain a state of calmness, especially if he is already in a heightened state of excitement or intimidation. Avoid towering over your dog and definitely don’t grab him for any reason. Most people stand over a dog and bend down to pet the top of their head, and for most dogs this is fine, but for a dog who is more sensitive this will force them to look up, and all they see is this intimidating creature that is 4 times bigger and he will feel vulnerable and small, Imagine if someone 9 feet tall and 600 lbs came up to shake your hand, you might pee a little yourself.

If someone wants to pet him tell them to crouch down, do not face him and let him come to them. This way your pup don’t get over loaded by the greeting and will be less likely to make a mistake. When they get up to move, tell them to move slowly and don’t look at the dog. Move to his side and never walk straight at him. You will be amazed at how these subtle but powerful changes will make a HUGE difference in how often your dog squirts.

Kids Will Be Kids

I can remember being ten and learning how to train my puppy, I could not wait to get off the bus and run to greet my enthusiastic doggie, so if you have kids you can bet it’s gonna be hard for them to not greet their dog with squeals of joy and laughter. I suggest making a game out of it. See who can go 4 minutes without touching, talking to, or looking at the puppy, the winner gets a popsicle, or apple.

Give them a job to do before they can greet the puppy, ie, go get a snack, take out the garbage, I’m sure you can find many things to help you slow your kids down for just a few minutes before they play with the puppy.

Keep The Tank Empty

If you know someone is coming over with their kids, now is the time to take him outside and let him drain his bladder. Being prepared for events that are known to trigger the behavior, like playtime, will help a lot in preventing accidents. Check your chart and plan accordingly.

Keep Greetings Very Low Key

If you want a sure-fire way to make your dog pee when in your presence then all you need to do is make a big deal out of greeting him. I know it’s hard not to be dramatic and fuss over him, but you have to remember you are his everything and he is depending on you to help him keep the waterworks relegated to the back yard.

I recommend that you just ignore the dog completely, like he wasn’t even there. Don’t look at him, don’t touch him, and don’t talk to him. This may sound harsh but I assure you it don’t hurt your dog at all, in fact it reinforces to him that you are the leader and there is nothing for him to get excited or intimidated about.

Regardless of if your dog is loose in the house or in a crate the process is the same.

Give it a few minutes for him to settle down, and then still following the no look, no talk, no touch rule, leash him up and take him out to relieve himself. Take him by the collar and be careful not to touch him, even the touch of your hand can cause him to react. Be sure to give him time to drain his bladder. Once you know he is empty and calm, you can kneel down beside him and say in a quiet voice “Hey boy”, and give him a scratch under the chin. If he sprinkles you will know you didn’t give him enough time to get himself under control and you will need to chart this for future reference.

Train Him For Obedience and Trick Performing

Training your dog is one of the best ways to keep his mind focused. Teaching him plenty of tricks will help build his confidence and strengthen the bond between you and your puppy or dog.

If you are not sure how to properly train him get a professional to help you. It is important to not use harsh or intimidating corrections when training. If he pees when you discipline him during training then your being to hard on him and you need to lighten up. However fair corrections balanced with trust and kindness are helpful in building a submissive dogs confidence. I find gentle leash corrections work very well. Just be sure you’re doing it right.

Use plenty of treats when training your puppy or dog, they will be more attentive to the food, and less attentive to the owner. One command that will be beneficial to the prevention of submissive urination is to teach your dog to “go to his place.”

This could be a mat on the floor or a crate. Once you teach your dog this command it will give him a safe and comfortable place to go when people come over. Time to settle down before coming out to meet every one.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember your puppy or dog is not aware of what he’s doing. Any correction or scolding at the moment of his submissive urination will only make matters worse, so never do it. Gentle and easy will win the day, build your dogs confidence and manage his environment and you will be happy with the results.

That’s all for now,..if you liked this post, leave me a comment, and tell a friend about what you just read.

I would love to hear from you.

Good luck, and keep on training.



Tell me what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s