You’re making your way in the front door and your dog excitedly runs up to greet you… but then they squat and pee with excitement. Peeing while excited is a behavior that your dog may do to show submission or other feelings they are trying to convey.
This behavior is more common in puppies, and luckily most dogs will outgrow this phase of submissive peeing on their own. But some dogs still urinate inappropriately in their adult years.
You can train your dog to stop this inconvenient behavior with lots of patience, practice, love and understanding. The team at Town & Country Animal Hospital has put together some tips on how to stop an excited pet from peeing on the floor:
Tail-Wag and Tinkle: What Does It Mean?
To understand how to stop the behavior, we must first understand where it is originating. Submissive, or excited, urination happens when a dog is feeling anxious, shy, excited, or scared. Or, they are trying to show you that they recognize you as the owner or the alpha.
If a dog urinates when someone comes over to greet them, when they are being scolded, or when they hear a loud or startling sound, they are displaying signs of submissive behavior. Other times, a dog will pee out of sheer excitement when they are overstimulated during playtime or a social activity.
Better With Age—Most of the Time
Peeing on the floor when excited or nervous is more common in puppies and young dogs. If your young puppy is peeing on the floor, chances are they haven’t learned they need to control the urge to urinate and are acting on instinct. Consistent, patient training can help correct your pet’s behavior.
If your pet is older, it may be from something else. Submission urination can also happen when you’ve adopted a pet who has had incomplete house training, or has been punished inappropriately in the past and is trying to show you they recognize you as the owner.
How to Stop the Piddle: What now?
If you catch your dog about to squat to pee, the best thing to do is to avert their attention immediately. Here are some tips on what to do next:
- Take your dog outside right away, so there is a connection to the behavior and the correct place.
- Give your pup treats and praise when it urinates in the correct place outside or on a puppy pad.
- Keep your reactions and greetings calm when you come home, so your pet doesn’t think you are displaying signs of dominance.
- Teach your dog to sit or act calmly when new people are approaching, or when your dog is meeting them for the first time.
- When an accident happens indoors, look for an enzymatic cleaner to clean up the urine messes. This will help break down the smell of urine, so your dog won’t pick up the scent and assume it’s okay to urinate in that spot again.
Here are the things you should not do when training your pet, so the behavior does not become even worse:
- Do not yell, shout, or scold. Your pet may become scared or confused.
- Do not make angry or aggressive comments. Your pet can become agitated, and may interpret this as dominance. Only positive reinforcement will help.
- Don’t walk away or avoid your dog while they are peeing submissively. They will become confused and misunderstand your response.
When It Becomes a Medical Issue
If your dog has been previously well-behaved and house trained, and then starts to pee on the floor in the house, this could be an indication of a health problem. You’ll want to contact your Town and Country Animal Hospital veterinarians to rule out any medical issues, such as a urinary tract infection or bladder stones. Many of these medical issues can be treated with antibiotics, although kidney stones may require surgery.
Training your dog to stop peeing on the floor when they are excited or nervous may seem like a daunting task, but it can be done with lots of love, patience and understanding. The staff at Town and Country Animal Hospital is here to help you and your pet, when it comes to behavior training, medical care, and more! Contact us today at (256) 232-0698 to make sure your puppy or dog is in great shape for a long and healthy life.