Submissive and Excitement Urination

    Dogs sometimes resort to submissive urination
    when they don’t want to challenge someone
    that they perceive as dominant. Other dogs are
    prone to urinating when they become excited.
    The submissive urinators are often timid or
    young dogs who lack confidence in themselves.
    Submissive urination can be their response to
    intimidating encounters with either people or
    with other dogs.
    Submissive urination is fairly standard puppy
    behavior in relation to a dominant adult dog, so
    it’s not anything abnormal. If you have an adult
    dog, however, who suddenly starts having submissive or excitement urination, you should first
    see your veterinarian because there could be a
    medical cause.
    To minimize the possibility of submissive
    urination, you should avoid using postures or
    gestures that the dog might view as threatening,
    such as:
    • Making direct eye contact with the dog
    • Bending over the dog
    • Reaching toward the dog with both hands,
    especially over the dog’s head
    • Hugging the dog
    • Approaching the dog head-on
    Punishment of any kind, even harsh tones, may
    cause submissive urination.
    A less-threatening greeting for a submissive dog
    would be as follows:
    • When approaching the dog, look off to the side
    rather than directly at her
    • Bend down on your haunches or sit, so that
    you appear smaller to the dog
    • Wait quietly, without moving, for the dog to
    approach you and smell you
    • After the dog approaches, reach slowly with
    one hand to pet her under the chin
    If the dog doesn’t approach, offer a small treat.
    Much of the advice above also applies to dogs
    who urinate out of excitement. Keep greetings
    low-key and tell visitors to ignore the dog. Try
    to encourage quiet, non-threatening forms of
    play, and reward the dog when playtime doesn’t
    end in urination.
    If an accident does happen, clean it up with an
    enzymatic cleaner (such as Nature’s Miracle or
    Simple Solution), which neutralizes the odor. To
    encourage the dog to urinate in a more appropriate place, take the urine-soaked paper towels
    to the desired spot outside. Don’t ever punish a
    dog for urinating in the house.
    Management of submissive or excitement urination requires patience and time. If the inappropriate urination continues, seek help from a trainer
    or behaviorist. Inappropriate urination can also
    be a result of fear, separation anxiety, incomplete
    house-training, or an unneutered male dog’s natural tendency to mark his territory.


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