Submissive peeing

Hard as it is, never reprimand your dog if they’re peeing out of either fear or excitement. It’s called submissive peeing, and they can’t control it any more than we can control our blood pressure rising when we have to clean it up — again! If your dog pees when she’s excited, take some basic steps:

1. When you come home, don’t look at her. Walk right outside without making eye contact or saying anything. Once you’re outside where she can pee, then greet her.
2. If you don’t have an “outside” (and for some reason can’t leash her and take her out), continue not to acknowledge her until she’s calmed down. Once that happens, acknowledge her — calmly. If she starts to sit, stop instantly. When she’s calm, ask her to lay down, come, etc — get her mind off her excitement, and then greet her.

Once in a while someone will say that their dog pees or poops when it gets frightened. Typically, what they’re really telling me is, “I’ve given up correcting my dog because it makes things worse!”

This can happen, and most often happens to dogs that haven’t been abused. There’s a few rules when you see this happening.
Dogs poop or pee when scared if
1. The consequences come with extreme emotion. Dogs don’t get really angry at each other unless they’re going to severely hurt each other. They read our anger, then, as life-threatening.
2. The consequences are unpredictable — also known as inconsistent.
To solve this, start enforcing consequences in a matter-of-fact way. Don’t stare, don’t glower, don’t even make eye contact. Definitely don’t yell. Put her in time out, squirt her with a squirt bottle, slap a newspaper against the wall to make a scary noise — but don’t get mad. Second, make sure you’re enforcing the same rules all the time. If you have  a dog that requires a lot of supervision, and you’re exhausted and don’t want to enforce the rules, then let them have a rest in their crate while you have a rest, too!
Submissive peeing is hard because we can’t re-train it; we can just work around it until it goes away. Hang in there!

Jenna

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