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Submissive Urination in Dogs

Submissive Dog Urination Position

 

 
 
 
What is Submissive Urination? 
 
Submissive urination in dogs is part of the language between dogs which dictates which dog is dominant and which dog is submissive. It can affect both male and females of any age. It is an important part of socialization amongst dogs. However, dogs also see us humans as a part of their pack and may display submissive behavior towards us. Anything the dog perceives as a threat can cause submissive peeing. A perceived threat could be something as simple as a human towering over them and stretching out their hand to pat them on the head or a sudden loud voice.
 
Visitors may also be deemed as dominant and your dog may display submissive behavior and will urinate if they attempt to pat him or acknowledge him.
 
Typically, submissive urination occurs either when you greet your puppy or dog or when it experiences verbal or physical punishment. The dog may roll on his back or side exposing his belly or he may cower down. Other submissive signs are laying the ears back, tucking the tail between the legs and avoidance of eye contact. This behavior is more commonly seen in puppies and small breed dogs although all breeds can experience it. Most puppies will grow out of it.
 
 
 
 
How to Prevent Submissive Urination
 
Greeting your dog:
When you come home don't touch or pat your dog. Calmly say hello verbally and then carry on with other business. After about 5 minutes (after the excitement of your returning home has lessened) approach your dog or puppy and bend, kneel or sit down on the floor so you are more at his eye level rather than towering above him. This is a less dominant position. Try not to make eye contact.
 
Keep things low key and try not to cause too much excitement.
 
Don't pick him up or pat him on the head or approach him anyway from above. Wait for him to approach you then try scratching him under the chin. Don't make any sudden moves and always speak in a quiet calm voice.
 
If he can obey a few commands try telling him to sit or shake, then reward him for obeying a command with an encouraging voice. "Good boy, well done." This will encourage positive behavior while taking his mind off being submissive.
 
Food or toy rewards are useful. Reward him with a treat during the greeting when he is not displaying any submissive signs.

 

 
If he begins to pee adopt a happy voice and try to change the subject. Suggest something he enjoys. For example, you could say 'Where's your ball? Let's play ball' or 'Come on, let's go outside to play'.
 
Try to avoid shouting at your dog and definitely do not use any physical punishment. This will only make matters worse.
 
Build the Dog's Confidence
 
A good confidence building exercise is a game of tug of war. Play with an old towel, an old sock or a soft toy. Allowing the dog to win the game will boost his confidence.
 
A word of warning: Be aware that too rough a game of tug of war can damage your dog's teeth. Try not to get too rough. Puppies especially, can lose teeth during a tug of war game.

 

 
 

Grooming builds confidence. Groom your dog daily. Brush him and handle him for a few minutes every day. He will soon learn to enjoy it and will realize that you mean him no harm.

Slowly and gradually introduce him to as many new things as you can. Socialize him to get used to kids, cats, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, other people and any other new sounds and experiences you can think of. Aim for a least one new experience a day.

Exercise is a proven confidence booster. Take him for lots of walks and praise him along the way. Let him get used to the sights and sounds of the world.

Gradually your dog will gain confidence and the submissive urination will stop.
 

 

 

 

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