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Nothing puts a smile on your face more than seeing your canine friend after a long day at work, but nothing deflates that moment more than when he can’t help but pee himself. It’s the same when you have guests over and even when he realizes it’s time for a walk. You’re glad he is so happy and excited, but for the sake of your floors, he needs to find a way to control himself.
His peeing out of excitement habit also strikes at the most embarrassing times, like when you’re at a friends house or in a shopping center. Having urine on your floors also poses a health risk to your dog, other pets in the house, and any young children. Urine is packed full of bacteria that could increase the chances of someone living under your roof getting ill.
Getting a handle on his excitable habit will involve a number of relatively straightforward steps. As an owner, you will have to adjust your behavior around him so he doesn’t get quite so uncontrollably excited around you. You will also need to adjust his routine and utilize obedience commands to show him where it is appropriate to go to the toilet.
If he is a young puppy he may respond to the training in just a week or two, if he is older and had the habit for many years, it may take a little while longer to change his ways. While the challenge ahead may seem large, it is important you get this training right to protect your floors and to keep your house a relatively bacteria-free zone. It will also ensure you can relax when you take him to friends' and public places.
Before you wage your war on excitement peeing, you will need to get together a few bits. Treats or tour dog's favorite food are essential as you will use them to incentivize and reward him. You will also need a quiet space, free from the distractions of a noisy house, to practice your obedience training.
You also need 15 minutes a day to dedicate to training over the next few weeks. Once you have all of those things, just bring a little patience and a lot of optimism and you’re ready to begin!
The Staying Calm Method
Don’t shower him with praise as soon as you get in the house. Many dogs urinate simply because the time when you enter the house is so stimulating and exciting that they simply can’t control themselves. So remain relatively calm when you come home and soon enough he will start to mirror your calmer behavior.
After several minutes of returning home, take him out to go to the toilet. Once he has settled after you have entered the home, calmly put him on a leash and take him out to go for a pee. It is important you remain relatively calm throughout toilet time so he doesn’t associate going to the toilet with heightened excitement.
Reward calm behavior with treats and verbal praise. It is important you reinforce that being calm is the behavior you want to see. So frequent treats and attention when he is relaxed will quickly get the message across. Once he pees from excitement less and less, slowly reduce the frequency that you give him treats.
When he is overly excited, ignore him. Simply turn your back on him or walk out of the room until he has calmed down. Once he has, you can gently play with him. By doing this you are reducing those stimulating and exciting moments.
Don't punish him
Don’t shout or punish him when he does pee from excitement. By punishing your dog you may terrify him and before you know it, instead of peeing from excitement, he will regularly pee himself out of fear.
The Routine Change Method
Take him out regularly
Take him out several times a day to go to the toilet. This is especially important if he is a puppy. By taking him outside you are encouraging him to pee there instead and if his bladder is already empty, there'’ll be less chance of urination from excitement.
Increase the amount of exercise you give him. Over-excitement is often caused by a lack of activity. By taking him on an extra walk or throwing things for him to fetch while on your normal walk you will quickly tire him out. If he is knackered from the days activities, he won’t have enough energy to work himself into a state where he pees.
Use training commands to calm him down. If he gets overly excited when he sees you, have him sit, lie down or, roll over to focus his energy constructively. Using treats during this training will also ensure he will want to work for you when he sees you to earn his treats, instead of leaping up and down uncontrollably.
Redirect his energy
Use food puzzles and toys to redirect his attention. Many dogs get overly excited because they have nothing better to do, so seeing new people and places tips them over the edge. If you give him food puzzles when he goes to new stimulating places then his energy will be focused elsewhere and the chances of him urinating from excitement will be far less.
Ask friends to stay calm
Ask friends and new people not to be overly playful when they first meet him. Meeting new people will be highly stimulating and may tip his bladder over the edge, so ask people to try and remain calm when they first say hello.
The On Your Terms Method
Take treats with you whenever you take him outside. Then when he does pee outside, be sure to reward him with a treat and praise him. You need to reinforce to him that outside is the only place to pee.
Set up a consistent schedule
Feed him at the same times each day and take him outside at the same times too. His body will quickly adjust to a schedule you set him if it’s consistent. Ensure that in your schedule you always take him out early in the morning and at night. If you have recently taken him out for a pee then his bladder will be empty when he does get excited.
Calmly clean up
When he does pee from excitement, remain calm and quietly clear up the mess. It is important you don’t stimulate the experience by adding to his excitement. So clean up his urine with antibacterial spray and then wait for him to calm down before you talk to and pet him.
When together, don’t always talk and play with him, it’s important your dog can feel comfortable enough around you not doing anything. When he is being calm and subdued, give him the odd treat to reinforce the positive behavior.
When you take him to a new place where you think he may get excited, find somewhere quiet outside for him to go to the toilet first. If you take him for a quick walk first, you will not only empty his bladder, reducing the chances of an accident, but the quick stretch of the legs will also give him the opportunity to dispel some energy and excitement.
By James Barra
Published: 11/06/2017, edited: 01/08/2021