It is not uncommon for a puppy to urinate at awkward times; after all, he is probably not yet housebroken. But as the puppy grows older, uncontrollable urination can become a problem. If your dog often urinates when you approach him or when you come home from work, then he may be experiencing submissive or excitement urination. There are steps you can take to overcome both problems.
Realize the circumstances. Before you can identify what is causing your pooch’s uncontainable urination, you need to figure out when the problem occurs.
- Pay close attention to your dog.
- Make a list and try to keep up with where and when the dog urinates. When tracking the “when,” don’t think time of day; instead think what was going on when it happened. It may take a few days to make a list, because some dogs experience the problem sporadically.
- Write down your dog’s attitude when the problem occurred. Did he seem scared or happy?
Identify the type. Once you have a list of where and when the urination occurred, you can take your dog’s behavior into account and figure out if your dog is submissive or excited.
- If your dog urinated when you approached him and seemed fearful of your approach, then submission is likely the cause. The same is true if he urinated while being scolded for an unwanted behavior.
- If you were playing with your pooch and he urinated or he urinated when you got home from work, then excitement is likely the cause.
- Before you start any behavioral program, you should plan a visit to your veterinarian. Your vet can make sure that the urination is not linked to a medical problem.
Understanding and overcoming submissive urination. It can be difficult to treat a problem without first understanding why the problem occurs. Dogs are natural pack animals and look to their leader. A submissive dog will view you as his leader, which is necessary for training. The problem occurs when your dog is fearful.
- Shy or timid dogs are often prone to submissive urination. They may see you as a threat (not necessarily your fault, but because of past circumstances) or may be fearful of strangers.
- Never scold a dog for submissive urination. Scolding will only add to the problem.
- Submissive dogs often lack confidence. Obedience training is a great way to build your dog’s confidence and create a stronger bond.
- If your dog submits when you approach, then try working on other training techniques as you approach. For instance, command him to sit while walking toward him, and reward him for completing the behavior.
- Your dominating posture can be frightening for an already timid dog. Instead of approaching your dog in an upright position, squat to his level. Try to avoid prolonged eye contact, because this is also a sign of dominance.
Understanding and overcoming excitement urination. Excitement urination is just as it sounds: your dog accidentally urinates when he gets too excited.
- This type of urination is not uncommon in puppies and may correct itself with age.
- If your dog urinates when you enter your home, then there are a couple of things you can do.
Try entering through a door where your dog has access to a yard. That way, you can open your door and let your dog urinate outside. This is not a permanent solution and should only be used until your dog gets over his problem.
Do not make a fuss about entering your home. Your entire family and guests should be instructed to follow this rule. As your dog jumps up and down, simply pat him on the head and move on. After you have been home for at least ten minutes, you can pay more attention to your dog. The key is keeping the initial fuss to a minimum.
What you should and should not do.
- Always reward your dog for his good behavior. If he sits calmly and confidently when you approach him, then give him a treat or take him out for playtime.
- Never punish or scold your dog for urination. Even with excitement urination (and especially with submissive urination), getting angry with your pooch will only worsen the behavior.
Collin Walker writes for Pet Super Store, a site featuring: dog tracking collars, dog beeper collars and electric dog fences.