Submissive Urination in Dogs


Many puppies display "Submissive Urination" when going to their new homes. First their little lives just got all confusing. Gone is their Mom. Gone is their first people they are used to. Gone is the home they knew so well by both sight and scent. Everything is new and strange. A new, big, scary world no matter how much we love and cuddle them.

This also pertains to adult dogs going to live in a new home with new people. Mostly we will be talking here about puppies of all ages. Of course, it can be understood then by people dealing with fully mature dogs too.

You walk into the room, and the puppy gets all excited. They may do one of several things, make short dashes towards you or away from you. As you approach closer, they suddenly lower their rear end and release urine, often while still moving. You get closer or touch them and they may roll over, releasing more urine. You pick them up and they sprinkle all over your shirt. Yet they seem happy to see you??? This is Submissive Urination. The dog is showing you that you are the BOSS and he accepts that totally. It is a natural response for the more timid/shy personality type dogs, especially in a new home with new people.

They may appear afraid of you (and probably are, your a stranger, Remember). They really want to come to you and they try too but they can't built up the courage to allow actual hands on contact without urinating. They happily follow people around in a desperate need for affection but seem to avoid actual contact with you. This is quite normal in puppies in most stages of development with or without submissive urination.

You do not have to beat a puppy to create this fear in them. All you have to do is hollar at them once or twice or allow them to become scared in some other way. ONE OF THE MAIN CAUSES OF SUBMISSIVE URINATION IS: Rushing at them to try and grab them when they are MOVING AWAY from the person (in hopes of avoiding the person) creates this problem a lot of times. Yes, the person manages to grab the poor thing but doesn't realize they just scared the heck out of the puppy because of the way they chased after it and grabbed it. IN FACT, THE PUPPY THINKS IT HAS BEEN ATTACKED. It is peeing submissively, saying, "I give up, your the Boss, don't hurt me". And maybe wagging it's tail like crazy to show it just wants to be friends with you, it's attacker. A couple of times of this can create a great fear in some dogs that can last a life time.

Many people without giving the poor puppy a day or two to settle into it's new home start right away with the house training, brushing it, bathing it, forcing it to accept a collar and leash, PICKING IT UP so much it gets tired of it, getting after it for house training accidents, forcing it to meet and accept other dogs or animals, many things that when combined are to much for the puppy to take. To much, to soon. This also leads to Submissive Urination, which again, can last a life time unless steps are taken to relax the tension in the dog.

TRUST. If you have a puppy or adult dog, who urinates submissively, there is help. It is called earning the dogs trust. NEVER punish them for something they cannot help. In fact, back off and leave them alone if acting submissive in anyway. Instead, let them come to you. Don't chase them, don't grab them, just back off and leave them alone. They will come to you eventually and each time they do, they become stronger in their belief that you are a safe person. They may quit urinating as they mature and/or become more bonded with you and their new territory. Yet still crawl on their bellies, or approach with heads down, or rear end down, or roll over when you go near them. Lots of gentle, quiet praise with slow, non aggressive movement on your part. Teach them that they can trust you. Teach them that yes, you are the boss, but a nice boss who would never hurt them. Then make sure you don't.

Posted ON Wed, February 1, 2023 at 11:06:59 am MST
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