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Puppy Excitement and Submissive Urinating Handout

Puppy Excitement and Submissive Urinating Handout

Puppy Excitement and Submissive Urinating Overview

This handout is intended to educate owners about why and what they can do if their puppy can't seem to control their bladder.


Download our Puppy Excitement and Submissive Urinating Handout for an in-depth look at this pet health condition and how you can partner with your veterinarian to prevent against it.


Puppy Excitement and Submissive Urination Handout Summary

Why is my puppy urinating everywhere?

Excessive urination could be a sign of certain medical conditions. You should take your puppy into see your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical causes. If there is no underlying medical then there are two common types of behavioral pee problems for puppies, in particular.


Excitement Urination

During times of high excitement, such as when you return home or company arrives at your door, your puppy may dribble or squirt small amounts of urine. This behavior is more likely to occur in younger dogs, many of which outgrow the behavior.


 What can I do to stop my dog from peeing when excited? 

  • Reduce the excitement level upon entering the home
  • Take your pet outside immediately after you get home with little or no fanfare
  • All humans should stay calm. In some cases the best strategy is to ignore your pet until she or he is calm.
  • Teach alternative, calm behaviors for your pet to do when they start becoming excited: Sit, Stay, Down.
  • Reward calm and relaxed behavior. Examples can include only feeding your pet when they are calm. Only approach or pet them when they are calm. If they start to get over excited, ignore them until they calm down.

What should I avoid to prevent excitement urination?

  • Emotional or excited greetings
  • Physically or verbally reprimanding your pet for excitement urination

Submissive Urinating

In an attempt to communicate a submissive status to a person or animal, your puppy may squat and urinate during specific interactions. Submissive urinating often occurs when people reach toward the puppy, as occurs during greetings, or when someone is reprimanding the puppy. Submissive urinating is most common in young, dogs and many will outgrow the behavior.

What can I do to stop submissive urinating?
  • Appear less threatening when approaching your puppy
    • Kneel down
    • Turn your body away from your puppy
    • Let your puppy approach you
    • Stroke your puppy under the chin
    • Avert your gaze
  • Engage your pet in another activity, such as chasing a ball, when submissive urinating is likely to occur

What should I avoid to prevent submissive urinating?

  • Punishment
  • Yelling or using a stern voice
  • Petting on top of the head
  • Leaning or reaching over your pet
  • Direct eye contact

I’ve tried everything. What should I do if this behavior continues?

In very severe or persistent cases, behavior modification therapy may be considered to prevent this kind of undesired behavior. However, the best approach to behavioral issues like these starts with a visit to your local veterinarian and staying informed on the topic by reading puppy articles and downloadable handouts like the ones listed below:

Training Further Reading