Submissive urination is an involuntary reaction to the presence of another dog or human who the dog feels is either superior or intimidating. This is a reaction to indicate their submissiveness. Sometimes submissive urination occurs as a result of overexcitement, for example, when greeting someone. Submissive urination may also happen as a result of scolding or petting.
Submissive urination is a normal canine reaction, and most often occurs in puppies, which is eventually outgrown; however, if the behavior persists, then it must be overcome through training.
The most important thing to remember is that submissive urination should never be dealt with through punishment or scolding, and it may actually compound the problem. The main goal, when trying to curb this behavior, is to build the dog’s confidence so that she does not feel threatened or submissive.
Before deciding that your dog needs mitigation through training, do rule out medical issues by getting an opinion from your veterinarian. If all medical issues are ruled out, then you can use some or all of the below techniques to address the submissive urination.
- When introducing her to new people, make it a gradual process so that the level of excitement can be controlled.
- Encourage, and reward, confident postures, such as sitting or standing.
- When approaching her, try to not assume an aggressive posture, and avoid looking at her straight in the eyes.
- When petting her, doing it under the chin may help alleviate submissive feelings as opposed to the traditional petting on the head.
- Maintain a consistent routine and environment so there is little chance of anxiety or excitement due to unfamiliarity.
- Spend quiet-time with him, while she sits next to you on a leash.
- Gradually expose her to situations which are known to trigger the submissive urination.
- When letting her out of the crate, don’t make a big fuss, do so quietly, and don’t talk to her.
- Provide enough outings for urination so that her bladder isn’t taxed and more likely to have accidents.
- Work on basic obedience training, and make sure that it is a fun process and she is entertained.
- Even though scolding should be avoided at all costs, you should also avoid reassuring or comforting her when submissive urination occurs, as this might reinforce the problem.
As with every problem correction, this will require a lot of patience, consistency, and perseverance, but the problem can be corrected over time.