Tip – 14 – Submissive urination in dogs – Submissive urination is not a house training problem
Dogs are genetically programmed, to live in a hierarchical group. Some dogs are more dominant, and other dogs are less dominant or more submissive. Normally dogs will accept their owners as the leaders of the pack. They are in essence, accepting them as the top dogs in the house. Extremely submissive dogs, dogs with self esteem issues or puppies, will often urinate when they get excited. This often happens when their owners return home after having gone out, when they are told it is time for a walk, when guests or people they know show up at the house, and even sometimes when they are petted. What they are doing in essence, is sending out the message “You are my superior, I am not a threat”. They do this through urination, because a dog’s urine contains information about its status in the group.
It is extremely important not to yell at a dog, punish, or discipline a dog for submissive urination. By yelling at the dog , all you are doing is reinforcing the dogs feeling of submissiveness. This may cause the dog to urinate even more.
The key to curing a dog’s submissive urination problem is to remove the excitement that causes it, and by building up a dog’s confidence, since confident dogs don’t urinate when they get excited. When you come home, do not greet your dog with excitement. In fact, it’s better if you ignore your dog completely for the first few minutes. Nonchalantly, let your dog out to urinate or have another family member take the dog out. It is very important not to get your dog excited. Don’t make direct eye contact with him since direct eye contact is a sign of dominance, and don’t talk to him, or talk to him in a low monotone voice. When the dog urinates, lavish excessive amounts of praise upon him. The goal here, is for the dog to get excited about urination outdoors.
Obedience training is a GREAT way to build up a dog’s confidence and it also provides socialization with other dogs which is good for confidence building. Playing fetch or having the dog do something constructive for which it receives praise is another way.