Submissive Urination

Dear Adam:  I have a mixed-breed puppy (German shepherd/border collie mix) which is 4 months old. It’s very friendly with people but when it approaches people it urinates all-over. The same happens when I come home in the evening. It becomes very excited and urinates on the carpet.

Is that a submissive behavior? How can I solve this problem?


Dear Bhabani: For some peace of mind, have him checked by your vet to make sure the problem is strictly behavioral and isn’t medically related. Once you have the results from the tests, you can start from there. If the dog is otherwise house-trained, it is more likely a submissive behavior. You can help reduce it by increasing the dog’s confidence level.

Agility is a great start for that. Don’t create as much excitement around the dog when he’s known to exhibit the behavior. When you come home, ignore him until he’s calm enough to greet. Is he kept in a crate while you’re gone? This can help you by allowing you to come home and immediately take the dog outside to potty.

By staying in the crate, he will be more loathe to potty in it because dogs have an inhibition to using the same area as a toilet and a den. The same goes with guests. If a guest comes, they must ignore the dog and not fuss over it until it is calm. Do not correct him for urinating. Correcting submissive urination will only make the behavior worse.

2 thoughts on “Submissive Urination”

  1. My dog is house broke but will pee in the basement every now and then. there is no medical problems. Maybe once every week.

  2. Adam,
    We adopted a Pit/Lab/Dane mix when he was 4 months old from a local shelter. He is now 9 months old. Initially, he did well with urinating in his spot outside. However, recently he is having mistakes especially when my 14 year old daughter pets him. We are working on crate training and when not in the crate we are watching him. He does have access to the back yard via a doggie door. Do you have any suggestions to help us out? Thanks.

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