I have a lot of clients with puppies that pee when they get excited. This is a huge issue with some new puppy owners, and in this episode I will provide some tips to help you deal with excited or submissive urination in puppies.
In this episode I discuss:
Reference article https://www.thesprucepets.com/fixing-submissive-excitement-urination-1118271
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Welcome to Puppy Talk, episode number 53. I'm your host, Dale Buchanan, and today we're gonna be talking about how to stop excited or submissive urination in puppies. This is a big problem and this is a common problem with a lot of young puppies, especially females. I'm currently working with several puppies right now who have either submissive or excited urination or both, and it's a big problem for the owners. During this episode, I will reference an article that I found online written by Jenna str Kowski on 11 9 21 on the website, the spruce pets.com. I'll put the link of this article in the show notes. Let's get started. I will begin by discussing the difference between submissive and excited urination. Submissive urination is when your dog meets somebody, it lays down, rolls over on its side, usually on its back and starts peeing. And this is really bad because the puppy gets soaked with pee and so does the floor of your house.
If the puppy's greeting somebody in your house, this is an appeasement gesture because the puppy is trying to calm down the situation and let the person know that there are no threat to them whatsoever, that they're just a cute little puppy and I'm not gonna harm you in any way. They lay down, they roll over, and they start peeing. That's submissive urination. Excited urination is when your puppy gets very excited, they can even start jumping, and they're moving a lot and they can't control their bladder and pee goes everywhere in the house on the carpet. He can even happen outside. Dixie had excited urination until she was one year old, and it does take puppies a long time to outgrow this. I'll talk about this later on in the episode. When Dixie would meet somebody on the street, she would start getting excited or little tail would shake, her body would shake, and she would pee all over the street while the person's petting her even sometimes before they were petting her.
I've got a puppy right now that I work with and it's six months old and it has submissive and excited urination, and it happens in the house in a specific area of the house when the puppy is greeted by somebody after they enter, and I'm working with the owners as their dog trainer to help this situation and obedience training for the puppy as well. We're doing a whole full blown obedience program, but we're having challenges overcoming this one issue. I'll explain what the challenges are throughout this episode and how we are working to overcome this. So you can use the same techniques that I use with this puppy. Here are some steps you can take to minimize submissive urination. As we discussed earlier, the puppy will roll over on its back or on its side and start peeing. So the key to this, and this is what I'm working with my client on, and it has almost completely gone away for submissive urination, is we eliminate the puppy from rolling over when it's greeted or when it's working with the owners for obedience training or anytime even when they're going outside and going potty. We eliminate them rolling over by not rewarding that behavior anymore. Two weeks ago, I was working with the owner and this puppy, and I noticed that we sat down, it would lay down, but it would roll on its side and on its back. Then I said to the owner, Stop rewarding that behavior. Only reward with a treat or praise, or even looking or talking to the dog when they're on their belly. All four paws are on the ground and they're upright, and he said, Yes, I'm gonna start doing that. Two weeks later, that's almost completely gone.
His wife said that when she took the puppy for a walk and took it outside to go potty on the leash, it would roll over on its side and start peeing when it got excited, when she was praising it too much. So she stopped doing that. She turned her back to the puppy, let the puppy go potty, and it stopped completely of the submissive urination. So that's almost completely eliminated in review. What you need to do for a submissive urination is stop rewarding your puppy when they lay down and roll on their back. There's no need for it. If you want to give your puppy a belly rub, bring them up on your lap in the evening when you're having family time on the couch or you're watching tv, and give them a little belly rub as a life reward, not as a reward for doing one command or something like that.
You don't need to be rubbing the puppy's belly all the time that's gonna overstimulate and over excite them. Do it when the puppy's calm, not when they're going potty or in training or greeting somebody. Only do the belly rough at certain time. You don't need to give that much affection to your puppy all the time. This is not helping the situation at all. Now let's talk about some steps you can take to minimize excited urination. This one's a little harder. I know a lot of puppies that I've worked with recently who have excited urination and it's pretty bad. What happens is when they greet somebody, they pee everywhere. They just too excited. They just can't control their bladder, and that's why it happens. So we reverse engineer this. What do we do? We stop the puppy from getting so excited. Easier said than done. We teach it to go to the bed, lay down and stay the bed's off in the corner far away from their front door. And we're also working on triggers so that when the doorbell rings and the sound of the doorbell would trigger the puppy to get excited and start running around looking for the person coming into the house, the dog is being trained, that when she hears that sound of the doorbell to go to her bed and lay down and wait for a treat. And this is the opposite of getting excited.
This is where you need to work with the puppy. You need to stop the puppy from getting so excited. Like Dixie out on the street. When she got excited, imp peed on people. I would get her to lay down within 10 feet from the person. So she stopped her excitement when she saw somebody, not when she got up in front of the person. She would stop that excitement 10 feet away. And to this day, over two years later of me teaching her this, she sees somebody while I'm walking her, she lays down when they're very far away and she relaxes. So she has no chance of peeing when she greets somebody. That's how you work with that. If it's in the house like my client's dog, you have to get them to relax. The hard part is getting a puppy to relax at five, six months old.
This is where dog obedience training comes into play. Dog obedience training is not going to immediately fix the problem, but the techniques used in dog obedience training can help eliminate or minimize the problem to some extent. This brings me to my next point. When should you get help from a professional dog trainer? First of all, don't expect the dog training to fix the problem. As you know, I don't like to use the word fix. I like to use the word stop or eliminate or minimize. This is not a quick fix. Submissive and excited urination takes time when you're gonna hire a dog trainers, when you want to teach the puppy new behaviors and those new behaviors are gonna help minimize or eliminate or stop the excited or submissive urination. There's not one technique that I can say, Use this command and your dog will stop peeing when it greets somebody <laugh>.
It doesn't work that way. The final thing I want to discuss is when you should seek a vet or veterinary behaviorist, go to your vet. If you think there's a medical condition with your puppy such as a bladder infection or urinary tract infection, they can give an antibiotic and you can be on your way, and hopefully that will eliminate or minimize most of the submissive or excited urination if it's a medical condition. When you should seek a veterinary behaviorist, which essentially is a dog psychologist, is when you think that your puppy has so much anxiety or so much excitement that you might want to get some medicine to help calm your puppy down. So that would minimize or eliminate or stop the excited or submissive urination. Remember, the key is we have to calm that puppy down and get them to relax so they don't do these behaviors.
So a veterinary behaviorist might help by prescribing something that is an antianxiety medicine or something that can relax the puppy a little bit more. They have a lot of tools in their arsenal, a lot of medications that they can use. And I used Trazodone with Dixie when she had anxiety of riding in cars when she was very young. So it's completely acceptable to have puppies on medication if you need it to get through rough periods. And then you just remove the medication from their life when they've overcome these obstacles. So talk to your vet or veterinary behaviors about that. If your puppy has excited or submissive urination, it doesn't mean they're not house trained. It doesn't mean they're not potty trained. Potty trained means that when they need to go potty, they go outside in the grass, they get excited. That's an exception to the rule.
Also, don't expect a dog trainer to come over and fix this issue for you. You're gonna have to take extreme measures to reduce the freedom of your puppy in the house and the excitement when they greet somebody. Finally, and I can't stress this enough, don't expect this to be fixed or stopped or eliminated, or whatever word you want to use overnight. This is gonna take a long time, and your puppy, once they get to be about a year old, they're gonna really outgrow this. And that's what happened to Dixie Dixie's two and a half years old now, and I have not seen her do excited or submissive urination in probably over a year. They really will outgrow it. You just have to ride it out a little bit. I will end this episode with one more thought. It just came to me. Don't ever scold your puppy.
Don't ever get mad at your puppy for doing this. It's not their fault. It's nothing that came genetically. It's nothing that's serious behavior problem. It's just something that's annoying to you as the owner. Don't ever yell at your puppy or get mad. Just clean the urine up with a disinfectant and then move forward with ways to help eliminate or minimize this behavior with the tips that I gave in this episode and the article that I have linked in the show notes. If you have any more questions, you can contact me through my website, puppy talk podcast.com. Have a great day.