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Submissive urination is often seen in puppies, and usually stops once they turn a year old or so. It may continue well into adulthood in some dogs that are timid. Breeds like retrievers show submissive urination more commonly than others. Some dogs show submissive urination only around household members, others around other dogs, and some other around guests. Let us look at what causes dogs to submissively urinate and how you can help your pet overcome it.Why does your dog submissively urinate?
Firstly, you want to check if your dog is urinating out of excitement or as a submissive gesture. Submissive urination is usually accompanied with other gestures such as rolling over to expose the belly, tucking the tail between the legs, crouching, flattering ears back, cowering, raising paws, showing a submissive grin or licking lips. Your pet may display these submissive gestures when he/she feels intimidated, is scolded, is greeted, approached by a person, or hears a loud noise.Dogs submissively urinate while in a pack to avoid confrontation and tell another dog that they take them as the leader of the pack. In a domestic situation, dogs may show the same behaviour to bow down to anyone who they think of as a leader figure
. They may also display this behaviour if they are timid, shy or anxious. Sometimes, dogs tend to show submissive urination simply because they are scared of humans, as they have been treated harshly or subjected to abusive acts by previous owners or others.Tips to help your dog overcome submissive urination
Do not frown or scold your dog when he/she submissively urinates, it will make the condition worse. If you tell off your dog or show your displeasure toward him when he submissively urinates, he will only do it more to appease you. You want to use positive-reinforcement behavioral training methods to correct the habit. If the training does not make any difference to your dog’s submissive condition, and he/she continues to be extremely scared, you can check with your vet to see if he/she may need medications to cope with the condition. Of course, before you start training your dog to overcome submissive urination you want to first check if it is due to any underlying medical condition.You also want to make a few changes when you greet and play with your pet. When you come home do not directly walk up to your dog; wait till he is calm, before you approach him. When you do go up to greet him, crouch, squat or sit, so you do not seem like a tall towering figure to him. Instead of looking him in the eye, look sideways; pet his chest or chin instead of the ears or head. Regular obedience training should help build more confidence in your pet. Gradually expose him to situations that cause him to submissively urinate. Take him for a walk before, so he/she can relieve himself and has a lesser chance of urinating. Have a handful of treats
ready to reward him when he does not submissively urinate.