There’s nothing like the excitement of a puppy greeting. You get a wriggling body, a wagging tail, and licks on the face. Talk about feeling loved. But do you get a puddle of pee on the floor as well? That doesn’t feel quite as loving. Why would your puppy pee right in front of you like that? Is it a punishment for leaving them alone? Are they trying to upset you?
In truth, it’s quite common for puppies to pee during greetings. Even some adult dogs do it, and it has nothing to do with teaching you a lesson. It’s actually something your puppy can’t control. Either your puppy is peeing from excitement and needs to mature and learn emotional restraint or they are exhibiting submissive urination and need confidence-boosting. Once you recognize which type of pee problem your puppy is displaying, you can start to deal with the underlying issue.
Some puppies pee whenever they get excited. That might be when greeting beloved people, during playtime, or while getting pats and cuddles. If your puppy thinks it’s emotionally wonderful, their bladder empties. For these puppies, the peeing is involuntary as the muscles that control emptying the bladder are not yet fully developed. Control will come with time and physical maturity.
This may seem like a housetraining issue, but if your puppy is only having accidents when they’re full of enthusiasm, you know this is excitement urination. It’s common in exuberant puppies who can’t seem to control their emotions. However, many health issues like urinary tract infections or bladder stones can affect a puppy’s urination too. So, if your puppy is peeing at inappropriate times, it’s essential to get a clean bill of health from the vet before moving forward.
Excitement Urination Needs a Calm Approach
Although your puppy should grow out of excitement urination, you can still treat the situation. First, take note of your puppy’s triggers. Is it playing with a favorite toy or greeting people? Whatever activities are too much for your puppy, those are the activities you need to work on.
First, if you can, take those activities outside. That will reduce your clean-up when your puppy piddles. Second, make these activities low key. Rather than riling up your puppy and prompting an accident, stay calm in order to keep your puppy calm. For example, if your puppy pees during greetings, keep your body language relaxed and your voice quiet and low. You may even have to ignore your puppy for the first few minutes until they have unwound enough to handle your attention.
You can also teach your puppy to manage their emotions. Exercises that teach impulse control, like waiting for a treat or toy or not rushing out of the crate, will help. So will exercises specifically about relaxing like lie down or go to your mat. Rewarding your puppy for calm during training will encourage a more laid-back attitude overall. For greetings specifically, you can teach your puppy to sit or lie down rather than run around with excitement.
But not all puppies are excitement pee-ers. For some it’s all about communication. It’s important to remember that pee has a different meaning for dogs than it does for people. Just think about fire hydrants and how fascinated dogs are with sniffing the deposits of urine coating their surfaces. Dogs use pee to communicate and not just by smell. Dogs will also engage in a behavior known as submissive urination where they use submissive body language along with peeing to tell other dogs they come in peace.
Where an aggressive dog might bare their teeth and raise their hackles, the submissive dog will hunch down, tuck their tail, and sometimes even roll over and expose their belly. Then let the urine flow. The other dog knows this is an appeasement gesture, but humans often don’t see it that way. What you might interpret as defiant or naughty is really your puppy telling you that you’re in charge.
Just as with excitement urination, your puppy isn’t doing this on purpose. It’s an involuntary reaction to the situation and an attempt to keep the peace. This is more likely in nervous or shy dogs when they feel emotionally overwhelmed. It can carry into adulthood if you don’t get to the root of the problem while your puppy is young. Once again, it’s a good idea to get your vet to rule out physical issues before moving forward with treatment.
How to Stop Submissive Urination
To fix submissive peeing, do not hit, scold, or yell at your dog after it has peed. Instead, attempt to build its confidence by teaching it simple commands (sit, stay, come), and reward it after each success. This is the same reward-and-praise process you use to teach simple tricks (roll over, fetch). Youll also want to interact with your dog using the following non-dominant postures:
Puppy Pees When Excited – How To Stop It
When your dog gets excited, he most likely wags his tail and jumps around. You might also notice that your dog pees when he’s excited. This is often the result of a physical response called submissive urination. It’s completely normal in young dogs.
You have to remember that your dog feels that both you and he are part of a pack. He recognizes that you’re the dominant figure in the pack. It’s typical for submissive urination to occur as a way of acknowledging that dominance.
You’ll often see submissive postures along with urination if the behavior is dominance-related. These are postures where your dog’s tail is down, he may roll over on this stomach. and he will likely avoid direct eye contact. This is all dog body language that translates into, “I know you’re the boss.”
Submissive urination also happens when your dog feels frightened or anxious as well as simply excited. It’s equally common in both male dogs and female dogs. Usually, puppies will outgrow this behavior, but it’s not uncommon for inappropriate urination to occur in older dogs if you scold them or if they are startled by something like a loud noise.
The question is when you should worry about submissive urination? Let’s look at a few situations where it may indicate a problem you should be concerned about.
If you think that it’s possible your dog’s urination may not be related to simple submissive behavior, there are some medical causes for frequent urination. You’ll likely see that your dog’s urination is not done on purpose, but you want to think about whether or not he can control it.
If you think your dog can’t control his urination, that’s a condition called incontinence, and it may be a symptom of a health problem. If your dog seems to have lost bladder control, it could mean he has a weak bladder, but it could also mean he has a urinary tract infection (UTI).
UTIs are not an uncommon problem, and therefore, if you see your dog urinating frequently and notice he lacks bladder control, you probably want to take him to the vet to make sure there isn’t a medical cause behind his behavior. UTIs can be treated fairly easily with antibiotics.
It’s also possible that if you’ve changed your dog’s diet recently, his behavior might simply reflect a change in bathroom habits as a result. Still, it’s a good idea to be safe rather than sorry. After all, you two are best friends, and you don’t want anything happening to him.