So what is this problem? Submissive peeing!
It's what happens when you come home. The dog runs to greet you, rolls over, and pees on the floor. In itself, it's not a major problem but it's the implication that your dog is submitting to you in such a way. Plus there's the hygiene aspect, which is less than ideal. And then there's what happens when she meets strangers and lets go a veritable fire-hydrant of pee.
It doesn't have to be like this. By understanding the psychology of what makes the dog pee, you can tackle the issue at its root cause, so that both you and the dog are happy.
This is done by using a combination of tactics, such as using reward-based training to bolster confidence, avoiding confrontational circumstances, and by keeping things low key.
Dogs of all ages can show submissive urination, especially puppies. However, many pups do grow out of the problem by the time they are a year old and their bladder control improves. If at any stage you suspect the dog is incontinent, rather than showing submissive urination, then check in with a vet.
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Lillie only submissively urinates when my husband tries to put her back in her kennel at the end of his lunch break. He has no problems other times of the day. I never have any problem with her. We do have to coax her in with a treat and she cries for a little bit then she stops. She knows when his lunch break is over and she’ll hunker down and pee, even with the treat! My husband has made it a point to make the kennel experience pleasant and talks sweet to her, he gets down on her level. She is a rescue lab pit mix so we don’t know her whole background either. We’ve had her for 2 months.
Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Hello Jessica, It sounds like Lillian is anxious either about having to go into her kennel or about your husband leaving. It might be the last one since she is fine at other times. Possibly the reason that she is OK at other times but not at this time, is because she is getting anxious leading up to him leaving, since his routine is so consistent. She might be working herself up to a higher state of anxiety than the crate alone would cause. It's a bit like the building stress of waiting for a roller coaster to make it's first big drop at the beginning of the ride, opposed to already being on the roller coaster and experiencing multiple drops throughout the ride that cause less stress. Look for creative ways that your husband can change his lunch routine, such as putting her into the crate and then taking her back out, leaving the house and then coming back, gathering his things and then putting them back. You want to keep her guessing until she becomes bored with the experience of his departure. Also make sure that she is being given an opportunity to eliminate during the lunch break, even if it has not been that long since she went last, and give her something really fantastic to do in the crate after you are gone, in addition to the treat that you are already doing. For that, I recommend stuffing a Kong with mushy kibble and peanut butter. Put your dog's food into a bowl and cover it with water, let it sit out until the water makes the kibble mushy, then add peanut butter to it, and loosely stuff the Kong with it. For an extra challenge, freeze the Kong overnight, so that it is a time released treat that will keep her busy for longer. If you freeze the Kong, then you can purchase multiple Kongs and stuff them all at once, then simply pull them out of the freezer when you need one. When you use Peanut Butter check the ingredients and make sure that it does NOT contain Xylitol. Xylitol is a substitute sweetener than is extremely toxic to dogs. If you cannot use Peanut Butter squeeze cheese also works. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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She pees a little when we have visitors not all visitors just some what can I do
Hello Sharon, She is probably excited peeing. Instruct your visitors to ignore her for at least ten minutes when they come in. Once he has calmed down and has been taken outside to pee, which will decrease but not stop the peeing incidents by itself, then they can say hello to her calmly. You want her to expect all visitors to ignore her when they come to your home. This should not only prevent excited and submissive peeing during that visit but also decrease her overall excitement and possible anxiety about visitors in general. If she begins to expect visitors to be pleasant but not overly-exciting, then she should be less prone to peeing around visitors in general. Do this will all visitors while you are training her. Not just the ones she pees for. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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When I take him out of his kennel in the morning he has a couple squirts of pee almost every morning. How can I make him stop or at least cut back
Hello James, The peeing is probably excited peeing combined with a full bladder. First of all, try to make your interaction with Bond as calm and boring as possible in the morning before he has peed. When you walk into the room where his crate is, ignore him for five minutes to help him calm down before letting him out of the crate. When he is a bit calmer try three different methods I will outline below and do whichever one works best for Bond. First, ignore Bond for five minutes, then reach into Bond's crate very calmly without saying anything and without touching him any more than absolutely necessary to clip on his leash. Next, tell him "Okay" very softly and calmly, and stand up and start walking toward the door without interacting with Bond other than simply holding his leash to lead him outside. The goal is to make his entire morning routine boring. Second, if the first method causes him to pee despite letting him calm down first and not talking to him, then after five minutes, start to open the door, and if he tries to rush out, close it again. Repeat this until you can open the door all the way and Bond will wait inside. Once he is waiting patiently with the door open, then calmly tell him "Okay" and let him come out. You want him to come out calmly and you want to keep all of your commands very calm and monotone. Once he is out, walk toward the door to take him outside and let him outside if your yard is fenced. If you need to put a leash on him, then attach it in the crate after doing the door opening and closing. Third, try ignoring him for five minutes, going over to the crate, calmly opening the door without speaking to him, and then immediately turning your back to him and walking away toward the door to go outside. You can then let him outside into your fenced in yard. If he needs a leash, then follow one of the other options to attach a leash in the crate first. Try each of these for three days in a row and see which one keeps him from peeing. The key is to decrease his excitement and change his attitude to being calm to make it easier for him to hold his bladder. Once he pees outside, then you can interact with him like normal again. You may also need to practice always letting him out of the crate calmly, so that he will not expect crate exits to be so exciting. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Leia usually does this with my husband. He will come home from work and she will pee on the floor. We have tried everything. All of the recommendations...nothing is working. How can we break her of this? It's tiring cleaning up pee every single day. We've tried the low key method. He has never given her reason to be afraid or fear him. At our wits end!!!!
Hello Patricia, First, try tweaking the low-key method. When your husband comes home, have him stand by the front door very calmly, while completely ignoring her through the window, for five minutes. After five minutes, he should come in, continue to completely ignore her, without looking at her or speaking at first. After ten minutes, if she is completely calm, then he can take her outside and say hi there. You need to break the cycle of her getting excited, then peeing, to change what is now a habit and hard for her to stop. That first method will be a bit simpler then what I am about to suggest so it might be worth trying that for week first. If that does not work, then teach Leia to go to a crate when she hears him coming and to stay in there for thirty-minutes, until you tell her "Okay". To teach this you will need two people (it does not have to be your husband at first but it can be). Set up the crate somewhere easy for her to get to but not in the entrance way. Put a leash on her, lead her over to the crate with the leash, tell her, "(Husband's name) is home", lead her into the crate with the leash, and as soon as she gets inside, toss lots of treats inside. Stand by the crate door without saying anything, and if she tried to leave the crate (which she probably will at first), close the door to block her from getting out. After a second, open the door again without saying anything, and if she tries to leave again, close the door again. Repeat this until you can open the door and she will stay inside. Toss more treats into the crate when she will stay inside. Practice having her stay in the crate while the door is open for five-minutes at first. When she can go into the crate when you say "(Husband's name) is home" and will stay in there for five-minutes with the door open with you standing there, then work up to ten minutes staying in the crate, and practice having her stay in the crate while you are a bit further away. Overtime you are going to work on practicing her staying in the crate for longer and longer and practicing it with you standing further and further away. Practice this until she can stay in the crate for thirty-minutes while you are out of the room. Occasionally return to her when and drop more treats into the crate to reward her for doing well. Do not let her out of the crate or say anything to her when you drop the treats though. You want things to be calm. When you are ready for her to come out, tell her "Okay" and lead her out of the crate by the leash at first - to show her that "Okay" means come out. When she can stay in the crate without anyone present, then go back to standing next to the crate. Have your assistant knock, walk into the house, or unlock the door and then walk in (whatever is more similar to the noise your husband makes when he enters). As soon as she hears the noise, tell her "(Husband's name) is home." If she goes into the crate on her own, then reward her. If she tries to leave the crate before being told "Okay", then be ready to close the door to remind her not to leave yet. If she stays in the crate, then occasionally reward her again. If she does not go into the crate on her own, then be ready to lead her into it with the leash. Expect her to disobey what she has learned the first few times with the distraction of a person - that's why you are practicing it around a person. Be ready to show her again what to do with the new distraction of a person. Finally, put the entire scenario together and practice it with your husband. Work up to her being able to go to the crate on her own when she hears the door, and stay there without you present- like you did when not one else was there and it was just you and her practicing it at the beginning. For on this until she can go to the crate on her own when she hears your husband entering, and will stay in the crate on her own for thirty-minutes after she goes there while he is home. The goal of that training is for her to learn to go somewhere calm and calm down before being around him. She is likely excited peeing - which is similar to submissive peeing but is more related to your dog's excitement rather than submissiveness - the excited dog needs to learn how to calm herself down. I suggest having her stay in the crate for thirty-minutes because she needs to be in there long enough to get bored and have her stress hormones decrease again - to let her be able to contain herself when she does get around him later. When he does greet her finally, it should almost be like he does not care about her - that unexcited and unenthusiastic at first. You can leave a food-stuffed chew toy or favorite chew toy in the crate. You may need to tie it to the back of the crate with something that she cannot chew through to keep her from removing it from the crate though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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