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Help For Submissive Dog Urination Behavior

by Dennis
(Glendale, WI)

Reader Question: How to Help a Dog with Submissive Urination Behavior


My 3 year old spayed Golden Retriever pees, on the floor or on herself, when she is excited. For example, my 3 year old grandson, who lives next door, enters the house, Mandee (the dog) runs over to him and assumes a submissive position, squeak and whine, rolls onto her back or side and in the process urinates on the floor or herself.

Our prior Golden had some similar problems but grew out of it. What might her problem and the remedy be?

Veterinarian Suggestion for Submission Dog Urination Behavior

Hi Dennis,

Your dog is displaying classic symptoms of submissive urination. This is a perfectly normal canine behavior; it just isn’t all that desirable when dogs live in houses with people. A few “rules of thumb” help most dogs stop their submissive urination:

1. Never punish your dog when she does urinates. Punishment includes yelling, hitting, etc. and will make your dog fearful and increase her submissive behavior. Ignore the urination when it occurs and clean up afterwards.

2. Avoid the situations that make your dog submissively urinate. For instance, if you know your grandson is coming over, put Mandee in her crate or outside so she can’t meet him at the door.

3. Do everything in your power to make the times when your dog submissively urinates as boring as possible. Mandee should only get attention when she is calm and not overly excited.

If none of these recommendations do the trick, talk to your veterinarian. In some cases, a medical problem may be present that makes it harder than normal for a dog to control her urination.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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