Submissive peeing

It sucks, yep! I'm with you on that, if you have a dog that pees everytime you come home, you look at her or raise your voice. I've talked to many people who are just fed up, they are sick of cleaning up the pee. Not only are they fed up but they are embarrassed to have anyone come over or heaven forbid someone should say "hi" to her. They'll be in for a sprinkling. I've often gone into a new clients home and had my shoes tinkled on, I don't care but the owners are mortified. So what can you do to stop submissive peeing?

The first and most important fact to deal with is when, when is this happening? Is it everytime you talk to your dog? Only when you come home after a really long absense? When anyone strange talks or touches your pooch? That is important because usually submissive peeing has very clear weaknesses. Weaknesses in tolerance. This means that your dog may be fine with people coming in your home, as long as they don't talk to her. Or she is fine with talking just don't touch. So every dog with a submissive peeing problem has their limit so to speak with regards to tolerance.

My very first dog had a problem with excited peeing, not quite the same issue but the same result. She was fine as long as we weren't gone too long. So when we were gone for several hours, we would walk in the front door, passed the dog and outside. She'd have her pee and if she got a bit excited before hand we were outside so it was okay. She quickly grew out of this as many dogs do.

Ignoring is a huge factor in assisting with the submissive pee as well. Many dogs are really happy that someone new is at your house, but it can take just one glance to push them over the edge. So your dog is dealing nicely with a new person, wagging low to the ground, dancing around super happy and then the push. "Oh no, that person is looking at me," and then the inevitable squat. As with most problem behaviors this one needs baby steps to succeed. So when someone walks into your front door, you immediately say "PLEASE, pretend I do not have a dog." All of a sudden people coming to the door is not quite as intimidating, they aren't even interested in meeting your little squirter.

Your pup gets use to the people coming and going with no problem. The next step is the hand drop, a hand dropped down to sniffing level of your dog. As she sniffs your guest, you praise calmly. The next step would be a touch, the person actually touches the dog once she has approached the hand. But still no eye contact, eye contact can be very powerful. Then give your friends a treat, have them come in, sit down and offer treats.

Now, all this is fine but you must also be practicing confidence building exercises. Sometimes nervous or overly submissive dogs thrive with structure. So we teach sit, down, stay, come and place. Place can be an amazing tool for a submissive dog. Let's say someone comes to your dog, you know what is going to happen so you tell your dog to go to her place. She runs enthusiastically over to her designated spot and waits for her treat. Beaming with pride the both of you are working through this.

You can also use a simple sit, this gives the dog a very specific activity. It builds confidence as they suceed and helps with the initial greeting process. Once people are in your home things are usually much easier for a submissive dog. That is unless you have someone over who just doesn't listen, they know dogs, all dogs love them. You know the type. I've heard so many stories of "my Brother, my Uncle, my neighbor." Some people will never listen, you can talk until your blue in the face and it will make no difference. So for these people you must take actions into your own hands.

Often a submissive dog will only pee when someone looms over them. This is a very dominant gesture from a human and if you offering it to a dog that is timid, it might just be what pushes them over the edge. People also tend to pat dogs on the head, DON'T. This too is a dominant gesture. My automatic default behavior when I meet a new dog is to bend down and turn sideways. If I am going into someone's home I often completely ignore the dog; of course I'm reading the behavior the entire time, I'm not really ignoring the dog. Many people just think that every dog wants to be pet, rubbed, hugged or have their ear scratched. They don't.

Submissive peeing can be cured. But patience is required and confidence building for the best success.  So if you have a little squirter, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you are not alone.  It is a very common issue.


  1. My dog runs upstairs and gets on the kids beds. when we try to get him off and downstairs he pees on their beds..we have tried many methods to get him off without peeing and nothing works...running out of patience now! Please help

  2. Have you tried just keeping the door shut so that he cannot go on the bed? What about treats if he has gotten up on the bed? If you lure him off the bed without looking at him, and saying off in a nice tone with something delicious you can teach him that getting off is a good thing.

  3. We just got a 4 1/2 month old male Chihuahua. He does the tinkle squirm every time we walk towards him! He acts very excited but is squatted down, almost army crawling to us-tinkling the whole way. I will usually walk past his play pen and over to the side that has his puppy pads so he has to walk across to get to me. And then is when I bend down and put my hand down. I try not to look at him but he won't come unless I make slight eye contact and I say his name. And the weeble wabbling tinkle dance begins! I just pet him while he wiggles it all out on the pad.-But since I'm also trying to pad train him, I will give him a small treat for holding it until he gets to it....should I not be doing that, as it might confuse him? I know he's still a baby and I'm sure it will pass. But could it have anything to do with his previous owners?(not only is he very submissive, if I tell him "No" he would screech and cry the 1st few days.) And suggestions?

  4. Cierra, this is a common problem. The first thing I would change is to stop rewarding the peeing on the pad when he moves over to it. Only if he goes on it by choice or you take him there to pee. Otherwise you are rewarding the peeing when he doesn't know that he is standing on the pad and for peeing in excitement. I would not give him eye contact at all. If he's in a pen just grab him without any calling. He may just outgrow it but you can help by ignoring him at the times when he is most likely to do it. The reason that dogs pee like this is either submissive temperament, excitement or fear.

  5. I have a shih/pom who is a year and a half. She's a pretty well behaved dog, and is crated in a play pen with her kennel and such during the day. The problem is.. she pees when my room mate goes to let her out, or pet her, or says her name, or looks at her (he is a male). She also pees when my boyfriend tries to put her leash on her, and refuses to go outside with him. She pees when my friends come over, at the door.. on the couch, even if they ignore her. She'll pee on their laps if she jumps on them and tehy go to move her. It's becomming a problem. I'm running out of ideas. She never pees for me, or for my family members (grandparents, parents etc). I don't know what to do with her anymore!

  6. Michelle, the first thing you need to do is step back. Take a step back and have everyone else do everything. The peeing thing is a sign to you and whoever that she cannot handle it. Does she like treats? Really great treats like meat? Have them drop treats for her without looking at, talking or touching her. No "oh poor girl" stuff. Teach her sit, then have them work with her with very little eye contact. Once she can do that for them her confidence will go up. They must be very mindful of her inability to deal, it is real; as real as a human with anxiety issues.

  7. I have a blue pit puppy and he pees every single time ANYONE touches him or much less just says his name. I've done a bunch of reading up on it but I don't think any of what I read is gonna help stop it. He even has this problem where if he JUST comes inside from using the bathroom, he will poop and pee in certain parts of the house. Idk what to do. With fixing him stop it? Maybe calm him down some?

  8. As far as your pit puppy is concerned, this is so common. First he needs to have his confidence built up which can be done via positive obedience. Then he needs to be housetrained. Treating when he goes outside and using 100% supervision inside really helps. You might be interested in my email consultations as a step by step help process.

  9. My dog has always been skittish and always pees when she gets told no or she knows that we are mad at her for doing something wrong. When I come home or my boyfriend comes home during the day from school or work, there is no problem. But when we come home as night together, as soon as the door opens she squats and pees everywhere because she is running away. We are both running out of patience for cleaning up pee every time we come home at night. It has become a recent thing because when we came home one night she had gotten into the laundry and shredded clothes, we showed her clothes, told her no and put her outside, ever since then she pees when we come home at night. How can we fix this? She doesn't just stay in one place when she pees, she runs all over the living room peeing.

  10. I have a 1 year old golden his peeing is VERY random. He went 2 weeks without peeing in the house, then after my visitors left he was walking around the house he was alone by the window with my husband standing 10-15feet away not looking at him. He turned walked towards my husband and peed.

    awhile ago it was every time we tried to take him outside though the side door but only at night eventually it stopped but sometimes every now and again he will pee as i hook up his leash.

    Again random, the other day i was doing confidence exercises with him and i was holding cheese, he tapped my hand with his nose, and as i went to give him the cheese he just started peeing (often just little squirts) but sometimes he lets it all out! and on a side note we have done the nose to hand game a million times before!

  11. Chris, has he been to the vet to check to see if he has any medical issues?

    He is a very submissive guy?

    How much outside stimulus does he get in day?

  12. I have a 4 year old havanese/maltese rescue and she is a very good, sweet dog. we keep her gated at night and when at work. Whenever we go to let her out she jumps up and down in her area and pees bc she gets so excited. We praise her and give treats every time she goes outside. Sh only pees in the am when we let her out and when we come home to walk her. That's the only time and always when she sees me or my husband- besides that she is housebroken. We tried the ignoring approach when we first come home and do not scold her. Any ideas?


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