submissive urination Submissive urination occurs more commonly in young puppies, who have lower self-esteem or have been repeatedly corrected by other dogs or humans. The dog pees in submission, usually when somebody approaches or reaches toward the dog. The dog assumes a submissive posture, e.g., hanging or turning away the head, tucking the tail, rolling on the back or side, sitting and urinating.

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Why Do Dogs Do That?

Submissive urination is normal behavior when an older dog nudges a puppy in their groin area. However, we humans have preferred and selected for “submissive” behaviors in our pet dogs and chose to breed the mellower characteristics.

How to “Treat” It?

There is no treatment for it, but there is training that you can do with your dog. The submissive behavior in dogs is discouraged by ignoring it and the dog. You should only interact with the dog when they sit and look at you (not away or hand the head and tuck the tail), after performing a few obedience cues or tricks without urinating.

One way to help your dog overcome submissive urination is to build their confidence. You can do this by teaching them new skills and tricks, playing with them, and giving them lots of positive reinforcement. It is also important to create a calm and structured environment for your dog. When introducing your dog to new people or animals, make sure to do so slowly and in a non-threatening way. This can help ease your dog’s anxiety and prevent submissive urination.

Punishment or scolding on the dog has the opposite effect that worsens the problem. When greeting these dogs, try to be as little intimidating as you can, kneel, talk in a soft voice, move your hands in a slow manner.

It is important to approach submissive dogs carefully and slowly. Avoid making direct eye contact, as this can be perceived as threatening. Instead, allow the dog to approach you on their own terms. Offer them a treat or a toy to help build a positive association with you. Remember that patience and understanding are key when working with dogs who exhibit submissive urination. With time and consistency, your dog can overcome this behavior and become more confident and secure.

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