This is not a potty training issue. It’s an issue related to excitement, nervousness or submission.
This can happen with male or female dogs and in adult dogs or puppies. Some puppies grow out of it as they gain confidence or become calmer.
This post will cover some ideas you can use to manage or even prevent your dog from peeing due to nervousness or excitement.
How to tell the difference between submissive peeing vs. excited peeing
There is a difference between peeing due to nervousness/submission and peeing from excitement, but it’s not always easy to tell. And some dogs pee when they’re nervous AND when they’re excited!
When a dog is peeing due to submission, nervousness or fear, it is more of an appeasing behavior – “I respect you” or “I mean no harm” but excitement can also trigger the peeing.
Submissive urination is more likely to happen when you crouch down or try to touch your dog or make direct eye contact. For example, he might squat and pee as you try to pick him up or try to put on his leash or even as you try to let him out of his crate.
Submissive urination can happen with male or female dogs of all ages (puppies and adults). You may notice it when your pup greets other dogs on walks or when visitors come to your door and greet your dog.
Some puppies grow out of it. Some don’t. I had a golden that did this all her life.
Peeing due to excitement!
When a dog is peeing due to excitement, it is just that – excitement and losing control. This seems to be much more common in puppies and young dogs than in adult dogs but it can happen with adults too.
The best way to help your dog through this problem is to remain CALM during greetings.
How to stop submissive urination or excited urination in dogs
Well, you can’t necessarily stop it but you can manage it. Here are some ideas to try:
In general …
1. Take her outside more often for walks and potty breaks.
That way her bladder will be empty more often and she’ll be less likely to pee in the house when someone walks through the door.
2. Limit excitement when you come home.
Don’t acknowledge your pup when you first come home, and ask other family members to do the same. Give her 20 minutes to calm down. Don’t look at her, touch her or even acknowledge her in any way. Wait until she is calm before you give her any attention. Or, if you have a fenced yard, go directly outside to greet her there.
3. Use a crate.
A crate or baby gate can be helpful for keeping your dog confined to a certain area. That way, when you return home she won’t be able to run up and greet you and start peeing. You can give her 10 or 20 minutes to calm down before you go to her.
4. Don’t react to the behavior.
As frustrating as it is, it’s best not to punish or scold your dog for submissive or excited peeing. She can’t help it. Scolding her will just make her even more nervous. Coddling or reassuring her just adds unneeded attention and excitement.
It’s best not to react at all. Just calmly clean up the mess.
5. Build your dog’s confidence.
The easiest way to build up a dog’s confidence is to work on some solid obedience skills at home and then slowly work on those skills in more challenging areas. Things like sit, stay, down, come, heel, watch me, leave it.
Agility or obedience classes can really help build a dog’s confidence. Slowly taking your dog out and about to more places can also help.
6. Increase her physical exercise.
This will help decrease excess energy – the calmer the better!
7. Don’t pet his head or back.
Pet him under his chin so you’re not reaching over him. If you crouch down, do so from the side vs. head on.
8. If she pees when you put the leash or collar on …
Try using a slip lead you can quickly toss around her neck with minimal contact or possibly a harness with a top hook you can quickly clip. Keep her collar or harness on all the time during the day so you can get the leash on faster and with minimal contact.
9. If she pees as you approach her kennel/crate …
Try approaching from the side vs. head on. And try not to crouch down at her level. Avoid direct eye contact. Just quickly open the crate’s door and then turn away from your dog and head outside or ignore her for a few minutes.
Tips for when your dog greets visitors:
Train your dog to stay on her bed or in her crate when visitors arrive at your door. She’ll generally be calmer and more secure there.
Train visitors to ignore your puppy when they arrive. Ask them not to touch her, look at her or acknowledge her until she is calm, maybe 45 minutes after they arrive. If needed, it’s probably easier to keep your pup in her crate when they first arrive and have her greet the guests outside once she’s calmed down.
Have visitors greet your dog in a room with hard floors (easier cleanup) or outside.
Warn guests of your dog’s issue and ask them not to respond if she does pee. Most people tend to make a big show of it “Oh my gosh!” or “Oh poor baby!” Not reacting at all is best.
– Just because a dog shows nervousness/fear or submission doesn’t mean she was abused. It’s more likely related to her personality, a lack of socialization or a lack of confidence.
– You can use a dog diaper if needed. A belly band also works for male dogs. This is basically a male diaper that fits around the belly.
Other possibilities to consider:
Bladder infection or urinary tract infection
Dogs with bladder infections tend to urinate in small amounts here and there because I imagine they feel like they have to pee all the time (if you’ve ever experienced a UTI you know what I mean!). Always good to rule this out with your pup’s vet if you’re not sure.
Marking is very different from excited peeing or submissive peeing, but some dog owners can’t tell the difference.
With marking, there is usually leg lifting (males and females) and sniffing beforehand. It’s usually to pee over or mark a certain smell or to claim territory. Your dog may be marking if you’ve had lots of other dogs or cats in your home.
Dog shelters and rescue groups put too much emphasis on finding “forever homes.”
A “forever home” means the dog will live with that same family for the rest of her life.
The dog will never be surrendered to a shelter, re-homed or abandoned.
Yes, this sounds great. Ideally, every dog would be loved by the same family all her life in a “forever home.”
But this is not reality.
Circumstances change; sometimes finding a new family is best for the dog.
Three reasons why I don’t use the phrase ‘forever home’:
1.Circumstances change. Re-homing a pet is sometimes the best choice, even if you love your dog very much. Re-homing a dog does not make someone a bad dog owner.
2.The phrase can be hurtful. Sometimes people love their dogs very much but can’t keep them for whatever reason.
3.Dogs don’t truly NEED forever homes. Most dogs actually adapt quite easily to new families. In that sense, “forever home” is designed around people – to make us feel good about ourselves. It’s not necessarily in the best interest of the dogs.
I am forever grateful for my dog Ace’s previous owner in Ada, Minn.
She did not provide “Junior” with a forever home. Instead, she gave him a solid start in life and then helped him find a different one with me.
My dog has known nothing but love, consistency and safety throughout his 10 years, in part because of his previous owner.
I hope she has gone out and gotten a new dog since then, if her circumstances are right for it now.
I am lucky to have a stable life with a support system – my husband, parents, siblings and good friends. I have steady employment and good health. I can afford the things I need, and I live in a nice community.
I’m lucky I have never once had to consider re-homing any of my animals, but this could change someday.
It’s OK if you don’t provide a ‘forever home’
I would love for every dog and cat to have a “forever home.”
However, if every dog or cat is loved and given the care she needs, then that works too. Sometimes that means staying in the same home forever. Sometimes that means living in two or three different homes; that’s OK too.
There’s a stigma that if you don’t keep your pet “forever” and you “dump” him at a shelter you are a bad person – unworthy of loving a dog, even.
[quote_right]Let’s offer support when needed to keep pets and families together longer and to find new homes when appropriate.[/quote_right]It’s common practice for rescue groups to reject people from adopting if they admit to re-homing an animal in the past, regardless of circumstances. This is not helpful for the dogs in need of homes today. It’s not helpful for the people can provide a good home today.
Yes, sometimes people truly do abandon their pets for unfair or selfish reasons. A small percentage of people do bad things. We will never be able to change that.
But it’s far more common for people to re-home their pets responsibly by finding them new homes themselves or by working with the right shelter or rescue group when needed.
We can’t criticize people for doing the right thing.
Rather than finding a dog a forever home, let’s find her a TODAY home.
Let’s offer support when needed to keep pets and families together longer and to find new homes when appropriate. This could be as simple as donating a bag of dog food to a pet food bank or volunteering at a low-cost vaccination event. It could mean supporting affordable dog training classes or donating to a low-cost spay/neuter clinic.
Yes, I agree. Forever homes are great.
But loving our animals, doing the best we can and adapting to current circumstances – that is reality.
What’s your take on this?
Have you ever re-homed a pet or known someone who has?
Let me know in the comments if you would consider dropping the phrase “forever home.”
This post will go over some reasons NOT to use an electric fence for dogs.
I’m actually a fan of electric fences for dogs, either the underground “invisible” fence variety or the newer, wireless versions. You can read one of my posts in support of electronic fences here.
(I know the correct term is electronic fence, but most people incorrectly say electric).
Electronic fences have worked well for my family’s dogs over the last 15 years, allowing our dogs years of off-leash freedom. This allowed them to be a much more central part of our lives because they got to be out with us.
You might wonder:
Why would you need an electric fence?
Why not just put up a physical fence?
For us, there are two reasons:
It would not be practical to put up a physical fence around the whole property. It’s too much space. This would be too expensive and would also look bad.
My parents live on lakefront property. It wouldn’t make sense to fence in the back yard with a physical fence because it’s right on the lake.
Still, there are some issues with electric fences, so I thought I’d address some of them here.
Using a shock/e-collar is NOT one of my reasons. There’s nothing wrong with e-collars when used properly. The “correction” is used to get the dog’s attention and is not meant to cause pain. It’s similar to a vibrating cellphone – a bit startling!
If you’re worried about the intensity of the correction, always test it on yourself first (I always do). If e-collars make you uncomfortable, don’t use them! No one said you have to use them! See my post: Using shock collars for dog training.
Some reasons not to use an electric fence for dogs
(Most of these can be avoided with proper, consistent training)
1. Dogs can get out of electronic fences.
There’s always that chance that your dog is going to run right through the boundary after something he can’t resist such as a prey animal or a family member or a cat or whatever it might be. Proper training can help decrease the chances, but in reality some dogs get out of electric fences.
How to prevent this:
Don’t leave your dog out in the fence when you’re not home so you can check in on your dog.
Test the e-collar’s battery every day.
Brush up on training every week.
*There’s always a chance dogs can get out of any physical fence as well. Dogs can climb over, dig under or break through a fence. Plus, a neighbor or contract worker or child could leave the gate unlocked or wide open by accident. In some ways, electronic fences are more reliable than physical fences. Every dog and every situation is different. No fence is 100 percent reliable.
**I hear a lot of arguments about the high numbers of lost/stray dogs that have gotten out of electronic fences. There are no statistics on this but I would argue there are far more dogs that get out of physical fences or slip their collars than there are dogs that get out of electric fences.
2. Dogs can get out and might be scared to re-enter the electric fence’s boundary.
If your dog does happen to cross the boundary, he might be afraid to re-enter because he would likely receive a second “correction” for re-crossing the boundary. This may not be the case with ALL systems (I’m not sure), but the dog might still be afraid to re-cross regardless.
3. Electronic fences can quit working as with any electronic device.
With anything electronic, there’s always that chance for malfunction. The battery could die, there could be a power outage (most have a battery backup but that can malfunction too) or the system could just break for whatever reason.
4. Electric fences don’t keep other pets/animals/people out.
Sometimes the point of a fence is to keep neighbor dogs or neighbor kids out of your yard for whatever reason. Without a barrier, obviously other animals and people have easy access to your yard and your dog. This could be a problem if your dog is aggressive to strangers or if neighbor dogs/stray dogs are aggressive to your dog.
How to avoid this:
Only have your dog in the yard when you’re able to supervise. Keep him inside when you’re not home.
5. Electric fences require dedicated, consistent training.
Some dogs need two weeks to a month to fully understand the electric fence system. The training process is actually very simple, but it does require time and consistency from the owner’s part like all training. You can’t just slap the collar on your dog and expect him to figure it out.
The training process involves setting up training flags to mark the boundaries and putting the collar on warning tone only. Using a leash, walk your dog to the boundary until you hear the warning tone. Use a command like “get back” and move back with your dog, rewarding him with food and praise. “Good boy!” See my full post on training a dog to use an electronic fence.
[frame src=”http://www.thatmutt.com/web/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Weimaraner-puppies.jpg” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”348″ alt=”Weimaraner puppies” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”] Our future puppy was born this week, along with his 7 littermates.
We decided we’re taking two puppies.
There are only two boys and we can’t decide which one to take so we’ll just take them both.
Just kidding! One puppy is going to be hard enough for us!
We will bring the pup home in mid-April, just in time for my birthday.
My dog Ace turns 10 in two weeks, so our two dogs will be almost exactly a decade apart in age.
This will obviously bring all sorts of challenges but I’m so lucky I get to share my life with these two great dogs. One, brand new to the world. The other, such a good old dog.
Just wanted to share the news!
Our breeder has sent lots of pictures but I’m not sure how I want to go about sharing them on the blog yet. So that’s why you’re getting the cute stock photo. 🙂
[frame src=”http://www.thatmutt.com/web/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/My-dog-Ace-with-the-Assisi-Loop-2.jpg” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”348″ alt=”My dog Ace with the Assisi Loop” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”]
Note: Assisi Animal Health and I have partnered together to bring you this post and giveaway.
We’re giving away a FREE Assisi Loop valued at $289 (prescription required). Leave a comment to enter. Click here.
Ace is not feeling well.
The poor guy will need a second surgery to remove a foreign body or damaged tissue from his hip area.
This will be his second surgery in three months, and I feel so bad for him. Can any of you relate? It’s so hard when our pets are sick or hurting.
Ace is on pain medication, of course, but a device we’ve been using to help him feel better in addition to medication is the Assisi Loop, which we wrote about last week.
The Assisi Loop is a non-pharmaceutical, anti-inflammatory device (NPAID) for pets. It can be used in addition to or separately from pain medications.
Today I want to focus more on how the Loop works using tPEMF. I will also answer any of your questions about the Loop. Leave them in the comments or email Lindsay@ThatMutt.com.
So what the heck is tPEMF? What does it mean for a dog’s recovery?
I learned from Assisi Animal Health that tPEMF is:
The Loop’s targeted PEMF signal delivers health-enhancing electromagnetic fields to a pet’s challenged cells and tissues, according to Assisi.
In the past I used the Loop to help reduce pain and inflammation related to Ace’s arthritis, but more recently the Loop helped him heal and recover from surgery and manage the pain associated with his hip.
The Loop is non-invasive and able to treat over bandages, casts and fur. The Loop has ZERO side effects, something you can’t say about most drugs.
Here’s a video that clearly describes how the Loop works.
If you watch just the first 2 minutes or so, you’ll have a better understanding of what the Loop can do.
I’m aware it takes time to process and fully understand how the Loop works if you’re not familiar with the technology. I had to study it and ask a lot of questions myself when first introduced to the product.
Today, I believe it is beneficial for my dog and we continue to use the Loop as needed. My husband has even used it on his own sore knee!
Go ahead and leave your questions in the comments and I’ll get them answered.
Here are a few I’ve been asked so far:
How do I use the Loop? Is it easy to use?
It’s very simple to use. Simply place the Loop on or around the affected area (such as your dog’s hip or back) and keep it in place for 15 minutes. The Loop doesn’t make any noise, and your pet is unlikely to feel anything.
The Loop blinks a green light when it’s on so you know it’s doing its job. The Loop automatically shuts off after 15 minutes. You can put your dog’s limbs right through the Loop or place it around your pet’s neck or body.
How do I get a Loop?
One of the most common questions I received is where do I get one?
The Loop is available through some veterinary practices. If your vet doesn’t carry the Loop, you can get a prescription and order directly through Assisi.
Lindsay Stordahl Lindsay Stordahl (with her mutt Ace) is the blogger behind That Mutt.
Julia Thomson Julia Thomson (with her mutt Baxter) writes regularly for That Mutt.
Barbara Rivers Barbara Rivers writes for That Mutt about raw dog food.
Connect With Me
Lindsay Stordahl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.