How to Train Your Dog to Not Pee When Excited

Easy
1-4 Weeks
General

Introduction

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.

Defining Tasks

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.

Getting Started

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

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Step
1
Enter calmly
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.
Step
2
Wait
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.
Step
3
Reward
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.
Step
4
Cold shoulder
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.
Step
5
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.
Recommend training method?

The Routine Change Method

Effective
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Step
1
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.
Step
2
Exercise
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.
Step
3
Obedience training
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.
Step
4
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.
Step
5
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.
Recommend training method?

The On Your Terms Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Preparation
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.
Step
2
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.
Step
3
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.
Step
4
Down time
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.
Step
5
Toilet first
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.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Lucy
Miniature Schnauzer
11 Weeks
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Question
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Lucy
Miniature Schnauzer
11 Weeks

My 11 almost 12 week puppy piddles inside her crate once I am about to take her out. I have tried ignoring her when she's excited when I come home, I don't give her eye contact when I'm about to open the crate door, I tried make her focus on an item that she likes while I'm opening the crate door, I try to open the door and turn sideways so she won't feel intimidated.. etc. This only happens inside the crate. When she's out, she doesn't do that nor when she plays and is petted. I even tried to take the crate outside and then let her out but she piddles as soon as I touch the crate. We have tried some obedience training but that only works while she's out of the crate. How else can I help her through this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
670 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tanya, I suggest practicing going in and out of the crate in a calm way, then also continuing to do some of the other things you mentioned you have tried, like ignoring her at first and keeping things calm. Check out the video linked below on teaching crate manners and practice those exercises multiple times a day for a couple of weeks until you see her being calmer in the crate...Keep your attitude very calm and patient while practicing all of this to help her have that same emotional response: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Blanco
Havanese/poodle
2 Years
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Question
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Blanco
Havanese/poodle
2 Years

Hi There!

My foster dog Blanco has an excitement peeing problem--the issue is that nothing gets him more excited than pulling out his harness and leash for a walk. I think this issue would be manageable if I had a backyard because it's the transition time from when he has realized that we are going out before we actually get outside that's a problem. It's the combination of high-excitement and a relatively full bladder that spells danger. I usually walk him 3-4 times a day. The only other peeing problems I've had with him were when I was out for 7 hours (fair enough), and one time after probably 4 hours my roommates got home and he started peeing on a blanket on the couch, lying down when they went to greet him (sounds submissive to me). Should I go ahead and get pee-pads to put by the front door? or is there another way?

Many thanks, Rachel

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
670 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachel, Check out VirChewLy leashes. I suggest keeping a chew proof leash attached to him in the house when you can supervise generally. When you have to take him potty, calmly step on the leash without looking directly at him or making eye contact, pick it up from under your foot and calmly walk him outside. The goal is to change his emotional response to going outside from one of being over aroused to calm. Your attitude should be boring and calm. Not looking directly at him, being calm yourself, not talking to him, and not touching him all help prevent the submissive/excited peeing while his emotions surrounding walks gradually change. Also, practice him not bolting through doors by opening the door and quickly closing it again if he tries to go through without being told "Let's Go". Practice opening and closing the door until he will step back and wait for permission even if the door is wide open. Expect the door to take a lot of repetition, simply stay calm and be more persistent practicing it than he is. You want to make the entire walk a calm and structured experience so that his energy going into it while inside is more focused and calm to begin with. Once he can handle being outside and going through the door, then practice putting his harness on and taking it off during times when he won't be going for a walk after you put it on (keep it on him with the drag leash or use a martingale collar during the day while working on this still). You want to make putting the harness on boring and calm also - it's just something he does, it's not a big type deal attitude. Along those same lines require him to walk in the heel position, instead of out front and overly excited . The walk should be structured and calm - him having to focus better during the walk with also help him become more tired from the walk because focusing takes mental energy in addition to physical energy. When you want him to go potty release him from heeling by telling him "Okay, Go Potty", then giving him slack in the leash to sniff around. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Kobi
german shepherd x staffordshire bull terrier
13 Weeks
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Question
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Kobi
german shepherd x staffordshire bull terrier
13 Weeks

my dog sees all the time, excited or not and our garden is being fixed at the moment so i cannot let him outside
any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
670 Dog owners recommended

Hello Melanie, Check out the crate training method from the article linked below and follow that method carefully, taking him outside to pee in another area on a leash. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you don't have access to another area for him to pee in outside, then set up an exercise pen in an area he isn't normally able to access - like the garage, place a real-grass pad in the exercise pen and follow the Crate Training method from this article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Jasper
American Cocker Spaniel
4 Months
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Question
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Jasper
American Cocker Spaniel
4 Months

Hello,
I’m looking for some advice or maybe even just some encouragement. My family and I have recently adopted a 4 month old Cocker Spaniel mix and we love him with all of our hearts. The only issue is that he excited pees, especially around me. Even after he’s just been outside. I feel like all I have to do is touch this dog and he turns into a fountain. I’ve tried mis-direction, I’ve tried giving him commands to distract him, I’ve tried approaching him from different levels/angles and I’ve tried only petting him when he’s calm, but as soon as I touch him or talk to him, the tail starts going and he starts peeing. It’s really starting to bum me out. I want to give this puppy all of the snuggles and attention, he really is such a sweetheart, but I feel myself holding back to avoid the mess. Will he grow out of this? I’ve been hearing mixed answers. Help please, any advice I could get would be really appreciated!
Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
670 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jacquelyn, First, know that this is common at this age, especially with Spaniels. Attach a light weight drag leash to pup while they are out of the crate and you are home to supervise. The leash will make it easier for you to calmly direct pup and take them outside without touching so much, especially during times of excitement or nervousness like when it's time to go out to pee or go into the crate. Also, while outside with pup, work on desensitizing puppy to touch and handling. Use puppies daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. When you first enter a room or get home, ignore pup for five minutes before greeting them. Work on commands that build confidence and calmness overall, such as Heel, Place, staying in a crate while the door is open - close it when you can't supervise though, Down-Stay, and navigating agility type obstacles you create in your home or yard. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjCcVXGFvTs Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Use commands like Out and Leave It to give pup verbal directions, which help pup think instead of react as much. Training regularly overall can help boost pup's confidence, calmness, self-control, and trust when done with the right methods. When calmness and confidence is built in pup, and you carefully manage the times when pup is most likely to pee - like right after you get home. The majority of puppies do outgrow this. The main goal here is for it not to become a long-term habit from constantly doing things to trigger it. Know that you probably didn't do anything to cause it - it's usually genetic and linked to individual personality. My own retriever struggled with this as a puppy and through commands like Out she learned to be self-aware and avoid touching us during times when she didn't have much control. She also learned to be calmer when touched in general through desensitization exercises, and have overall better self-control to manage herself when excited or nervous as we trained and she matured mentally. As the bladder capacity increases that makes it easier also. We did still play with her and snuggle her - it just needed to be outside and after she went potty if it was more exciting. Inside, focus on games that are a bit more structured like fetching toys. We also became more aware of how excited or nervous she was and knew when our play and excitement was working her up too much, so that we could give her cues to calm back down to avoid an accident. One game you can play outside that helps with that is the Jazz up - Settle down game. Begin playing with pup and get them slightly excited, then give a stop command like "Shhh", "Stop", or "Freeze" and become a statue. Wait until pup calms back down - ignoring their attempts to get your attention until then. When they are calm and under control, resume the game by saying "Let's Play" again. Practice this regularly over and over, until pup can calm back down instantly. This helps pup learn how to self regulate and respond to your calm down cues during other times of excitement. As pup improves, get pup a little more and more excited before giving the calm down cue and freezing. Start with small levels of excitement and wait until pup can handle that level and regain composure before increasing the difficulty of this in future training sessions. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Caspian
German Shepherd
7 Months
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Question
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Caspian
German Shepherd
7 Months

My dog excited pees all the time. From the minute I walk in the door to the time I go to bed. Sometimes he'll even just run around the house peeing even when hes just been out. Its uncontrollable, I have tried ignoring him. Never yelled and punished him, but non of it has worked. Plus it does help that he is a 7 month 60LB GSD. He'll jump and pee on me or he'll just pee to pee it seems. There seem to be no triggers, at least to me. He will do it right after I take him out or he will wait an hour an give no sign then run around the house peeing every where. Then he has become destructive eating shoes, beds, getting into everything I am at a loss.

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