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Submissive Urination

Submissive Urination

Puppies and dogs will often urinate submissively when they are younger and grow out of it when they are around a year or so old. Submissive urination can happen with both male and female dogs. It is very different from toilet training as it is not a case of your dog needs to toilet and often happens when people arrive or make a sudden noise or approach the dog. It is also very different from male dogs that mark their own territory.

Whilst is it not pleasant for you or the dog the best thing to remember is to make nothing of it. If you make a drama of it, draw attention to it, become stressed or give your dog affection, attention or praise you simply make it worse. The reason that it is called submissive urination is that it is generally recognized as a signal to convey her submissive nature. It is important to understand that your dog is not being “bad” and should most certainly not be told off.

How you could be creating the problem:

Let me describe a scenario…

  1. Your dog tries to act submissively when you walk in the door, and so does a submissive urination,
  2. – you get stressed and shout “no”,
  3. – she thinks that you are not happy with her and she wasn’t submissive enough,
  4. – so to show how submissive she is she decides next time she’ll do it more.
  5. Remember to help a dog you must think like a dog.

It is natural to feel stressed when a puppy or dog goes to the toilet in the wrong place but stay calm and count to 10.

What to do to stop the problem:

The best thing to focus on is reducing the opportunities for your dog to have an accident.

First you must make a note of when these situations occur.

Is it when a person becomes too loud, too excited or approaches them in a particular manner and tries to pat them, ask them not to. Whatever it is, first establish the cause and then look to prevent it from happening again – until your dog is calmer and more relaxed. Obviously, if your dog is doing it when you only walk in the room, then there is not a lot you can change. However, even in this situation, you should practice the most important thing when it comes to submissive urination…

Everybody ignore the dog when you meet.

One of the best ways to keep the pressure of a nervous or submissive dog is to make sure everyone ignores the dog with no eye contact, no speaking and no touching. Again this is Golden Rule No.3 , make sure that everyone puts it into practice.

Practical steps:

Make sure that you don’t get your dog excited on the best carpet but play with her in an area that is far easier to clean up if she does have an accident.

Avoid big dominant postures or moves such as suddenly running towards her, staring at her, and patting her head whilst speaking in a loud voice. Instead, call her to you using a gentle voice and with a side on approach tickle her under the chin!

If you put the overhead into practice and ignore any mistakes then over time your dog will make a few more errors and then stop altogether.

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