How to Train Your Dog to Stop Urinating Submissively

Updated on April 16, 2023

When a dog is happy or aroused, it will usually wag its tail. A little pool of urine could be left behind as well. Submissive urination is a common and natural behaviour in puppies because it is a physical response that signals submission.

To show their submissiveness, dogs often urinate when they are feeling excited, shy, frightened, or scared. When a dog wishes to show submission to another, such as when you become their owner, they may lick their lips or lick their paws.

When they are young, both male and female dogs are just as likely to urinate submissively as their human owners. Usually, dogs will outgrow this phase. You may tell your dog is being submissive by the way he or she urinates if it happens when people come up to say hello, when they are being chastised, when they are squatting or revealing their belly, or when they hear loud noises. Learning to stop on command can significantly hasten the process.

Medical Causes of Inappropriate Urination

There may be other explanations of your dog’s urination besides submission, so it’s vital to rule those out before trying to rectify the behaviour.

What you might call a mishap could actually be your dog’s response to an underlying issue. Examples of possible causes are:

Dietary shift. Your dog’s elimination patterns will shift if he or she is consuming more or less water than usual.
Involuntary leakage of urine. Your dog might not be able to “hold it” when they absolutely have to urinate. Furthermore, they can have bladder issues.
Disease of the urinary tract (UTI). You may not notice that your dog is urinating because of a urinary tract infection (UTI).
To rule out any medical issues, it’s important to discuss your dog’s problem with inappropriate urine with a veterinarian.

Submissive Urination as a Behavioral Issue

Young dogs and puppies often urinate in inappropriate places since they haven’t yet learned to suppress the urge. Since the dogs’ actions are instinctual, we can rule out a medical cause and instead focus on the underlying behavioural problem. It’s possible that a few of the following are at blame:

Age. If your dog is less than 12 weeks old, it may urinate as a sign of submission and acknowledgement that it is not the pack leader. Puppies usually outgrow this phase as they mature. Puppies might also be unable to hold their bladders closed for other reasons. Housebreaking teaches them to recognise when they are getting thirsty and helps them develop better bladder control.
Lacking completion of the housetraining process. It’s possible that a dog older than 12 weeks won’t have been trained adequately before you adopt it. This includes being unaware of proper urination times and locations. As a sign of submission and fear, some adopted dogs may urinate outside the litter box until they learn the rules of their new home.
Terror brought on by recollections of terrible events. Some dogs have been mistreated in the past, and they may be trying to prove they follow your leadership so they won’t be punished.
A fear of being alone. When you’re not there, your dog will feel lonely. They may urinate on themselves out of fear of abandonment if they think you’re about to go. Unlike submissive urination, which is triggered by your dog’s uneasiness when you leave, peeing prompted by enthusiasm for your return is not a sign of dominance.
Urine marking is a concerning practise that shares some similarities with the previously mentioned issues but is yet distinct. Dominant urination is the reverse of submissive urination, and many dogs use pee to mark territory and try to show their superiority. To other dogs, this gesture means that the human or object in question “belongs” to that dog.

As a natural response, your dog’s natural instinct may prompt him to urinate on the floor.

Training Your Dog to Stop Submissive Urination

Submissive urination is a phase that your dog will eventually outgrow. Dogs benefit greatly from early and consistent training.

Dogs often stoop or crouch when they have the impulse to urinate submissively. Moreover, they might:

Put their paws up in the air
Bring their tails in tight
Return their ears to a flat profile.
Redirect your dog’s focus quickly if you see it behaving in this way. What you could do is this:

You may help your dog associate the outdoors with relieving themselves by taking it there on a regular basis.
Give your dog a reward when you get home to keep it from rushing about the house in its excitement over your return.
You don’t want your dog to misinterpret your polite, subdued greetings as signs of power, so keep them that way.
You can train your dog to sit or shake hands with visitors and then praise them for their good behaviour.

What Not to Do

If you want your dog to cease submissive urination, you need to be firm yet positive with its training.

Don’t look down on your dog with disapproval. Your dog may become even more anxious or confused if you react negatively to his actions.
Don’t express your frustration or anger. You could perhaps startle or confuse your dog, which could lead to further submitting urination on their part. Positive reinforcement has a significant impact on the behaviour of dogs.
The next time your dog has an episode of submissive urination, don’t shun him. Your dog won’t grasp what you mean if you just leave him there. Instead, you should attempt to divert their focus and boost their self-assurance by making use of orders they already know.
Contact a dog trainer for advice on how to teach your dog to quit submissive urination if you feel you need it.





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