“How do I stop my dog from peeing when he meets people?” That’s the million-dollar question Karen was asking herself every day her dog Bonkers submissively peed on them or any friend that visits.
Karen confided in me that Bonkers would “shake uncontrollably outside their home, and he would submissively pee for every person he met on the street.”
If you are tired of “dodging the stream,” apologizing, cleaning up after your dog and paying your friend’s dry cleaning bills, then stay as I explain why this happens in many dogs. . . . . and most importantly, how you can stop your dog from peeing and put an end to this embarrassing mess.
Not his fault so don’t shoot the dog
When your dog starts peeing for no reason except that he is approaching or being approached by a person or another dog, or even when entering a certain area, your dog is not peeing on purpose. That is, he is not consciously peeing but is responding on a purely emotional level. Something about the situation stimulates extreme feelings of submission in your dog.
One thing I know for certain: Your dog is not doing this on purpose, but is responding to excitement, apprehension, or fear. If you understand this, you can deal with the problem without getting angry or upset.
If you are going to stop your dog from peeing (submissive peeing problem), it means controlling your emotions.
Why is this happening?
To further help I believe that it would help if you do some “fact finding” on when your dog submissively pees. The submissive peeing often happens when your dog is faced by someone who approaches, takes a certain stance, looks or speaks threateningly, or elicits excitement, such as at homecomings.
Realizing this, think back on past occurrences and ask yourself the submissive peeing happened:
1. When you or someone else is facing your pup?
2. When you lean over your pup?
3. When you scold or raise your voice?
4. When you or others get excited?
5. At home comings?
If you can identify the things that cause your dog to pee and, more importantly, are prepared to change your behavior, the problem can be cleared up in about 6 weeks, depending on your skill and the severity of the problem.
Correcting submissive urination
1. Remove any signs of threat like:
Hand over head,
Direct eye contact,
Excitement at homecomings, etc.)
2. If your dog pees upon approach, do not approach. Instead crouch down, turn sideways.
3. Do not hold your hand out – especially palm down over his head. This could be considered a threat by some dogs.
4. Avoid direct eye contact – also considered a threat by some dogs.
5. Let your dog come to you. If he seems under control, pet him lightly under the chin briefly but no talking. If he wets, withhold petting for a few more days then try again. You’ll need to trust me on this one.
6. Avoid speaking to him for about 4 days. Try petting again and if it causes wetting, cease petting for 4 more days, then try again. Repeat as necessary.
7. As you see your dog improving, add obedience training to your program. Call your dog to you, ask for a sit then a down and praise quietly. Briefly pet and send away.
8. As this dog behavior problem improves with you around the house, begin to invite friends over. Make sure he is on a leash to give him a sense of you being in charge rather than him controlling the greeting. Keep him on leash while visiting. This will also be a reminder to your visitor that your dog is in training.
As your dog gains confidence, he may jump. Do not scold for jumping at this point. Throughout the program remain calm, patient and understanding. Your dog will sense your mood and things will progress more quickly.
Once you get this problem behind you, there is still work to do. Run down your check list to make sure you are maintaining structure for your dog with rules, boundaries and expectations. In essence my Ground Rules for Great Dogs.
This kind of structure – if provided and maintained consistently – will do one of two things for your dog:
1. If your dog has a bossy or controlling nature about him, setting ground rules in place will provide him with stress-free structure and put him at ease with your leadership.
2. If your dog is insecure, setting ground rules in place will provide him with confidence through training knowing what to do and when he’s expected to do it. Your newly structured relationship will have built a confident dog that was previously fraught with insecurities.
Either way, both you and your dog come out winners.
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“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog. His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is his easy, step by step system to help your dog understand not only how to live in your home but be a great dog!