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Submissive Urination —

Entries Tagged 'Submissive Urination' ↓

Submissive Urination


My dog Sasha is a 2-year-old Basenji mix. She has a problem with urinating everywhere when she is excited (usually when people come in the house). Other than this she is extremely well house trained. Any person who comes in the house and even looks at her will cause her to urinate. Two days ago she was so excited when she saw me outside the window, she urinated on our new couch. Is there something that we can do to stop this?

Julie’s Answer: For detailed information on how to prevent submissive urination, check out my new book, Imagine Life With a Well-Behaved Dog that has just been released and is in stores now. Click on the Book tab above to learn more.

Here’s my answer to the above question: To understand why your dog is doing this, it helps to understand dominance and submissiveness in the dog world. In a situation where overly sensitive dogs may feel intimidated and excited their response is to urinate to show that they recognize the other person or dogs dominance. It’s very common for this to happen during greetings. It’s VERY important to understand that punishment will only make the situation worse and they are not doing it on purpose or out of spite. In their dog world this is proper behavior. But, because they are living in our world we understandably want to change the behavior.

First and foremost you should always make sure that your Vet rules out all physical problems. After that, you can move onto learning how to control the behavior. For submissive dogs, positive reinforcement for good behavior is very important to build their confidence. I would suggest an obedience plan that uses treats, favorite toys and other positive motivators for this type of dog.

Since greetings are the main culprit, there are things you can do to solve the problem as well. Upon arrival, both you and guests should actually ignore her for the first few minutes to minimize the excitement, which leads to the urination. Walk in calmly, with no eye contact and no petting for the first five to 10 minutes. Just walk past her and act as though she is not even there. After the excitement of the arrival has ended you can acknowledge her in a calm way. When you do pet her, don’t stand over her, as this is a sign of dominance, just sit calmly and let her come next to you. Ask all guests to do the same. Over time, your dog will not get so overwhelmed with the greetings and the behavior should be controlled. Make sure you are exercising your dog regularly and having her relieve herself often, especially before you are expecting guests.

It will take a few changes but I am confident you’ll be happy with the results and a clean house again! You and your dog will be happier!


Subject: Submissive Urination.



All the best! Julie