Canine Incontinence - Behavorial

by Ellen
(Tampa, FL )

I have a male Lhasa apso/Papillon puppy that is 1 year and 3 months old. He is in good health but recently he has developed an issue with urinating "on accident". We may be quietly sitting or actively playing when all of a sudden he just starts to urinate and will continue will he walks throughout the house, across furniture, my husband, myself.

We figured out this began after my daughter came over one day and brushed him. She did not hurt him, but I know he does not like to be brushed and told her so. Since then when she comes over he will squat and urinate as soon as she acts like she is coming toward him. But he will also do this for no apparent reason at all.

It is becoming a BIG issue for us. Do you have any suggestions? Please help us!

Veterinarian Suggestion For A Dog That Urinates In The House

Hello Ellen,

The first step whenever a dog has begun to urinate in the house must be to rule out medical causes for the problem so you will need to make an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she will want to perform a physical exam and a urinalysis at the very least. Sometimes blood work or other tests are also necessary to diagnose urinary disorders. It is only after a veterinarian has given your dog a clean bill of health that you can address your dog’s inappropriate urination as a behavioral issue.

Appropriate treatment for urinary accidents that have a behavioral cause depends on the reason why the dog is acting in such a way. Behavior like you describe can develop as a form of submission, fear, a loss of house training, or for other reasons. A veterinarian with expertise in behavioral medicine can help you determine the underlying cause and what sorts of behavioral modification techniques are most likely to be successful. In the meantime, do not punish (e.g., yell or hit) your dog when he urinates. If fear and/or submission are playing a role, you’ll make the problem worse rather than better.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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