Bruno the goldendoodle puppy has been in our home for less than 72 hrs and, as his owners explained, he is an excited and/or submissive urinator. This means that when he is over excited or feels anxious he pees. This is a problem than many puppy and dog owners alike experience. I wanted to offer some quick insight about excited/submissive urination in dogs:

1. This behavior is normal. Although we humans don’t appreciate it very much our dog is actually communicating to us ” I am not a threat to you!” It is a display of submission and respect. Because this is a normal and socially appropriate canine behavior, excited and/or submissive urination should NEVER be punished.

2. Punishing submissive urination will likely cause your dog to pee MORE! “I peed a little to show you I totally respect and bow down to you…but now you’re yelling at me? Let me pee some more because obviously you missed my signal the first time I did it for you.”

3. Submissive urination will not just “go away” as a puppies enters adulthood. Therefor, in order to properly modify your dogs behavior you MUST modify YOUR behavior. With enough consistent modification of human behavior you can then go back and begin to slowly desensitize your dog to all the things that used to make him pee a little.

4. Remember that submissive urination and house-training are separate issues. Even dogs that have a strong substrate preference for outdoors as a toilet can display submissive urination.

So, here’s my ritual (for the time being) with puppy bruno who totally loses it whenever you are putting a leash on him, greet him for the first time in the morning, greet him for the first time in a long time, touch his collar to move him somewhere.

1. Wake up and come downstairs quietly. Ignore the puppy who is barking and hopping around in his kennel

2. Unlock the back patio door where I will be letting bruno out

2. Get a long slip leash (no clip, takes too long…) so that when I open the kennel for bruno I can slip it over his head without touching him or making contact with him

3.  Interacting with him as little as possible, lead bruno QUICKLY out to the back door for his morning potty

4. Despite his incredible efforts to jump on me and interact with me (because he’s so happy to see me after the long night) I ignore him until he finally decides to do a potty

5. immediately after he pees I praise him and get down on the ground to let him lick me and I pet him and praise him for being a good boy. Yet, I do this all fairly calmly because at some point, I want to be able to share this type of affection with him even if he has a full bladder


….. it’s CRITICAL that the human doesn’t make mistakes when training a dog not to pee out of excitement. And as for the submissive urination that Bruno also displays, I have to do my best to be very hands on with him. The slip  leash is my BEST FRIEND, for a few weeks so that I can move bruno around and coach him towards good behavior without grabbing at him or touching him in a way that may make him submissively pee.

This is the doggie deeva, professional dog trainer in miami florida giving you her thoughts on excited and/or submissive urination in dogs and puppies. Have a great morning!



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