Help for Submissive Urination In Dogs!
When you come home does your dog flip belly up and urinate? Submissive urination can be frustrating! We all want to come home and be greeted by our excited dogs, but the last thing we want is to be peed on after a long hard day! Some dogs even urinate excitedly when company comes over to visit!
Why does your dog show this behavior? When he shows his belly to you and urinates your dog is signaling to you that he is extremely submissive. He wants you to know without a shadow of a doubt that you are the pack leader.
Some dogs simply just get so excited, it’s that feeling of being so excited or so nervous you want to pee your pants (every had that feeling?), except your dog is doing just that to the floor and sometimes even on you.
The natural reaction is to get angry and lose your temper or shout. However, yelling, shouting, or even just assuming that stiff angry body posture can make this problem significantly worse, especially for the next time you return home or have company over! The more you punish him, the more angry you are the worse the problem will be!
What Can You Do?
The most important thing to remember is that one of the reasons your dog does this is lack of confidence, and so you must build his confidence within the pack. Build his confidence and treat him gently throughout the day. If you lose your temper at other times during the day, this only reinforces his fear and need to be submissive for you. If you feel yourself losing your temper, step out of the room and reevaluate the situation, focus on your breathing and give him something to do that he can be easily successful.
Also when you come home speak gently and do not get over excited. Ignore him if you have to at first to give him a moment to adjust. Do not encourage or engage in a loud excitable greeting ritual, or your dog is likely to relapse and urinate. Be calm and quiet, move slowly and do not reach toward him.
Next get him outside to potty where it is appropriate. If you can get him outside fast enough, he can relieve himself there first and therefore it sets him up for greater success when he comes inside! If he does this when you have company, simply have them alert you before a visit so you can get him outside first.
Let your company know this is a training problem and not to get over excited or over exuberant with your dog. If you have a super boisterous friend coming over, you may allow your dog and your friend a few minutes to settle in before they greet each other. Dogs often mirror the behavior they are shown, so if you and your company are quiet and calm and ignore the dog, it will help your dog learn to acclimate without becoming overly excited!
Do not reach over the top of his head to pet him. Dogs can view your hand going over and above their head as scary and dominant behavior, some dogs might be rescued or have been previously abused by someone else. Pet your dog under his chin and on his chest while you are working on submissive urination. Don’t bend over the top of the dog, get down on his level and slowly, calmly pet him while quietly speaking to him and avoiding eye contact.
Expect slip ups and plan for them! This is a difficult behavior to break and it is going to take time. Your dog is going to make mistakes and slip up. When he does urinate just ignore the behavior, do not yell do not get upset or frustrated simply exit and clean up the puddle.
Submissive urination can be a common behavior problem, but if it is addressed with calm, quiet, kindness it should disappear within a few weeks!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.