Updated: May 26
Submissive Urination is a natural social cue and a type of “canine communication” that puppies and even older dogs display as a sign of appeasement. It usually occurs when your dog is in an environment that makes them fearful or anxious. When a dog urinates upon meeting another dog, new people, or in other stressful situations he is communicating that he is not a threat. Timid, shy, insecure, anxious, or dogs with a history of harsh treatment are usually more susceptible to submissive urination. Although it is usually nothing to worry about, your first step still should be to see a vet to assure there are no underlying health issues that are leading to inappropriate elimination. Once you know all is ok, its now time to learn more about the issue and how to cope with the situation.
Signs of Submissive Urination:
If your dog has accidents during situations similar to below, then it is likely you are dealing with submissive urination
When they are scared
When they are being greeted
During a stressful situation
While making submissive postures, like tail tucking, rolling over, exposing their belly, or lowering their head
If your dog is having accidents when not clearly stressed or anxious, but when happy and even playing this is a separate issue called excitable urination.
Training & Solutions:
The key to preventing submissive urination is to build your pups confidence
Do not scold your dog for submissive urination, only use positive reinforcement training
Avoid direct eye-contact with your dog
Maintain a stable environment and routine
Always approach your dog with a gentle, non-dominant posture
When you come home from work, do not immediately rush in to greet your dog. Keep greetings low-key and avoid loud voices.
During greetings, reward confident postures such as sitting and standing
When approaching your dog crouch down to their level
Always remember to reward and praise your pups when he urinates in the appropriate place
It takes time to build up your pups confidence. It is important you do not rush the training to avoid extra anxiety that can make matters worse. In the meantime, prepare some useful products that can help during this time of training and positive reinforcement.
Submissive Urination Products on Amazon.com:
Sources & Further Reading: