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How to Stop Dogs From Urinating When Excited

Updated on July 25, 2010
a. farricelli
a. farricelli

Upon hearing your keys working their way through the keyhole, your puppy's ears prick up as she immediately hurries to greet you licking and wagging her tail as if you went missing for days. Only seconds later, you notice a little yellow puddle right in front of the door.  It looks like your puppy was not able to contain her excitement upon seeing you and left a lake of pee for you to clean up. But why does your dog that and what can you do to stop this behavior once and for all?

Why Dogs Pee When They are Excited

It helps to take a close look to how wolves greet each other in the wild. Dogs and wolves share the same amount of chromosomes and therefore, it makes sense to compare their behaviors with one another. Even though dogs were domesticated for many years, some ancestral behaviors have still remained vivid in the puppy's genetic core. 

In wolves, active  or passive submission is commonly displayed upon meeting a member of higher rank.                                                    In active submission, the puppy or dog greets the higher ranking member with its ears flat against the head, head carried low, tail between the legs and lowered body. The dog may also whine and lick the mouth of the higher ranking member. At times, the greeting display is accompanied by a trickle of urine. This is a a friendly display also demonstrating respect for the leader. 

In passive submission, the dog or puppy is actually displaying fear, inferiority or helplessness. Upon interacting with the higher ranking member, the dog or puppy will lay down belly up, ears flat back and may urinate. 

In a domestic setting, puppies therefore may urinate because of active or passive submission. Active submission is mostly seen upon greeting the owner or other people. This is what is mostly seen when the puppy is excited.  Passive submission, on the other hand, is more likely to appear when the puppy feels intimidated such as after being scolded or being pet from the above.

How to Stop a Dog from Urinating When Excited

When dealing with a puppy that urinates upon being excited the good news is that this behavior generally extinguishes itself once the puppy develops better  urethral sphincter control. However, some sensitive and excitable specimen may bring this behavior into adulthood.

Scolding a dog for urinating out of excitement may make things worse. The dog, now intimidated may feel the need to even urinate more to demonstrate submissive behaviors. This is the last thing you may want to do.

What helps is to try to ignore your dog or puppy as much as you can upon arriving home. Tell your guests to do the same. After a while, the dog will eventually calm down and this is a good time for petting. Try not to excite the dog too much though by talking to him or moving in such a way that increases her level of excitement.

Bending down at the dog's or pup's level may appear less threatening. Avoiding eye contact may also help puppies or dogs on the timid side. Giving a command such as ''sit'' may help keep your dog'/s mind away from acting too submissively. 

As the puppy grows its level of confidence should grow and submissive urination may be a memory of the past. Older dogs that still pee when excited may be helped by being confident, calm leaders and continued efforts in ignoring the dog upon arriving home and giving attention to the dog only when in a calm state of mind.


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    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Good hub, and I agree.Ignoring the dog when you get home sounds harsh, but I finally had to do it,too.Had this problem with a three pound poodle I once had. She was always estatic to greet and pee to us...right at the door. I decided to be ultra casual when I came in.Since she was crate trained, I would walk right past her, and then after 3 or 4 minutes, return and say," Hi there,Musette. Want out?" and let her out AND WALK AWAY. It worked.

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