Submissive urination is a common problem for dog owners. It is actually a normal communication mode used to show social appeasement. If your dog pees when greeted, approached, scolded or disturbed, it means he has a submissive urination problem. Though submissive urination is quite normal in small pups and they tend to outgrow this behaviour as they grow, some dogs don’t get over it and it becomes a problem to the owner.
Treating and changing this behaviour in your dog is easy. There are many ways you can adopt to train the dog to stop this act. Some people prefer peeing on the dog to show them dominance. In this post, we discuss whether this approach is right, what submissive urination could mean and some of the best practices to treat it.
Submissive Urination – What Does It Mean?
A dog generally urinates on the floor or object for no reason. This is called excitement or a submissive urination issue. Dogs are likely to urinate submissively as a way to appease somebody they see socially dominant. He is trying to express that he is not a threat and should not be punished. Dogs also urinate submissively when greeted, while playing, walking or when petting.
Submissive urination can come from an underlying medical condition like incontinence or urinary tract infection and can be treated with the help of a vet. However, there are many other reasons for this behaviour in dogs. Small puppies or untrained dogs can exhibit such acts as they are not properly house trained.
Another common reason for submissive urination is scent marking. Male and female dogs scent mark for various reasons. They do this to mark their territory or express a response to stress or anxiety. A dog experiencing separation anxiety can also show this behaviour. Excitement urination is most common in anxious, timid, shy dogs.
Should I Pee On My Dog To Show Dominance?
There is a myth that peeing on the dog would show him who the boss is. The idea behind this technique is to elevate the status of the pet owner on the belief that dogs easily adhere to rigid dominance hierarchy. However, this action should be compared to reacting when your toddler misbehaves with you. Nobody would want to pee on the child’s head for any misbehaviour!
Sensible parents, and dog owners, know that parenting is all about a lot of patience and love and providing a good environment for growth. The idea of peeing on somebody to show dominance is flawy. This type of action would not change the dog’s behaviour. Rather than stopping the dog’s submissive urination problem, you would damage your relationship with your pooch.
How Do You Stop Submissive Urination In Dogs?
Most dogs stop submissive urination on their own by the time they are one year old even if you don’t do anything about it. However, some dogs don’t stop and owners might find it too messy. To stop submissive urination in dogs, you can attempt to change the behaviour through some training rather than scolding, hitting or yelling at him once he pees.
Build confidence in your pet by teaching him simple things like sitting, coming and staying. You can reward him once he follows. You can also interact with the dog in some non-dominant ways like approaching him from the side, avoiding eye contact and greeting outside. You can ignore the dog when you come home and interact only after he has calmed down.
When petting him, touch him under the chin rather than on the head. Keep all the play sessions low-key and choose games that focus on other stuff and not the bodily contact. When he pees inside the house, clean it up without fuss and leave. Praise the pooch and reward him when he pees at the right place.
Stop Urine Marking In Dogs
Some dogs urinate in the house to scent mark on surfaces. They do this for many reasons including a response to stress, anxiety or frustration, as an identity of them, to claim a territory and more. Here are some ways to stop urine markings in dogs if he does this as behaviour when experiencing anxiety or new things.
- Try blocking your dog’s visual access to other dogs and prevent them from entering your place. Also, limit the dog’s access to things he is likely to urine mark.
- If the dog marks certain objects or areas, consider placing treats on those places. This would make these places food sources for him rather than attractions for urine marking.
- Clean any previously marked spot with a cleaner to eliminate smell that can attract the dog to mark again.
- Avoid punishing or scolding the dog for urine marking as this will only motivate him to mark in your absence.
- If you have a new pet, resolve conflicts between them to get the dog rid of any stress. If you have a new family member, make him the source of treats and fun to avoid any conflicts with the dog.
Female Dog Urine Marking
Male as well as female dogs can scent mark to claim territory or for other reasons. Unspayed female dogs are more likely to urine mark. In these reproductively intact females, urine marking is frequent before and when they are in heat. This is an indication of their availability to male dogs. However, spayed females can also urine mark at times.
To stop urine marking in female dogs, the best solution is spaying in an intact female. If the dog is already spayed, anxiety could be the underlying cause of urine marking. You can try resolving her anxiety to cease this problem. You can identify the reason for her anxiety and behaviour and address it to discourage this act rather than scolding or punishing.