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Submissive urination in dogs: how to deal with it
What should be done about it and how
Are you one of those canine owners that upon returning home from work is greeted lavishly by your puppy or dog? Are you also one of those owners that upon finishing petting the dog, ends up walking into a lake of pee?
Chances are very likely then that your dog suffers from submissive urination. No, no need to worry, the diagnosis sounds more threatening than it is. Basically, in your puppy's or dog's eyes you are their big boss and this is the way the dog manifests his respect for who is considered on top of the ladder. However, do not get too excited about being considered top rank as you may end up cleaning a lot of carpets if you do not try to start doing things a little differently from now on.
First of all, do not scold the puppy or dog for exhibiting submissive urination. If you do, the dog will be more likely to pee as you are basically confirming you are the boss and he will feel the urge to confirm to you he is submissive.
On the other hand, do not praise the submissive urination as this will cause the dog to believe it is a good thing and thus, will learn to urinate on command for you.
So what to do? Simply ignore the fact he is urinating. Do not scold, do not praise. Keep as neutral as possible. Try to ignore him the first minutes you come home. The excess excitement should dissipate as he gets used to you being back home. Then once he is calmer, command him to sit and praise him lavishly. The fact that you order him to sit will give him something more to think about and less time to think about creating lake Eerie in you living room.
You are one step closer now from stop stepping into a puddle of pee!
Puppies are the most likely submissive urinators and as they develop more confidence and yes, better bladder control, the submissive urination should remain only a puppy hood memory. Adult dogs that still exhibit submissive urination may have been abused, mistreated or simply are of an ultra sensitive disposition. They require confidence boosters and special training. Dog behaviorists may give great advice on how to help them overcome their insecurities.
Whether you own a puppy or a dog, try your best to encourage your dog to become more confident. Do not scold excessively for what he does wrong but rather praise for what he does right. When you pet him crouch down to his level rather than standing up. Let him win once in a while when you play tug of war. Tell him how proud you are when you notice he hasn't dribbled pee all over your shoes.
Simply step up for him and sooner than later you will not have to step into his pee puddle any more!