Dog Pee - Submissive Urination? | Pet Sitting | Don't Fret Pet

Does Your Dog Pee Too Much – Could It Be Submissive Urination?

Submissing dog pee

Does Your Dog Pee At Inappropriate Times?

Most pup parents would have had to deal with house training and accidents of some form for a period of time in the early stages.  We’ve all had to mop up a puddle of dog pee after our fur baby has a wee accident.

However, what if this is a continuing, regular occurrence of dog pee “accidents” and you just don’t know why?  As with any concerns, you should get a vet check to be sure there are no underlying medical issues.

A problem with inappropriate dog pee occurrences is that it is sometimes seen as disobedience when, in fact, it is ‘submissive urination’. This can be common in puppies and rescue dogs.  When a dog urinates submissively, he’s just wants to tell you that he’s not a threat.

What are the signs of submissive urination?

The following ‘signs and symptoms’ are suggestive of submissive urination.  If your dog pee occurrences occur:

  • when being reprimanded
  • when there’s a sudden loud noise or the sound of an alarm or a siren
  • while making submissive postures such as cowering, tail tucking or licking their lips and then urinating when a person approaches her

These are quite specific signs but are commonly confused with excitement urination (which is totally normal in puppies).  If your dog pees when he is playing or being greeted but does not display any of the above submissive postures, he is more likely to be exhibiting excitement urination than submissive urination.

Why does my dog pee in submission?

Submissive dog pee can mean that your dog lacks confidence.  They are usually anxious or timid.  This is sometimes a result if they are a rescue dog and have a past where they experienced brutality and/or inappropriate punishment.  They can exhibit submissive postures such as cowering, tail tucking or rolling over and exposing their belly to please a person.

How do I stop submissive urination?

The key is to build confidence so that accidental dog pee becomes history!

  • Throw a few little treats or her favourite toy towards your pooch when she runs to greet you or to greet any new arrival.  Alternatively, ignore your pooch (and get new arrivals to do the same) when you arrive home.  When she has calmed down then greet her calmly.
  • Use positive reinforcement training methods.
  • Be sure to keep her routine as consistent as possible.
  • Exposure to new people, situations and environments should be gradual and positive. Try to control it as much as possible – like organised one on one puppy play dates, rather than a puppy school.
  • Inform those who meet your pooch that greetings are to be calm.  Be sure no dominant body language is displayed (bear hugs, patting on the head, bending over etc.).  In fact, it’s best if they ignore your pooch at first until he is relaxed.
  • When approaching your pooch, give her a simple command such as “sit” to get her to focus on something else.
  • Be sure to mop up properly after any accidents – use a pet spray (or white vinegar or peppermint oil for a natural alternative) to be sure your pooch doesn’t return to urinate at that same spot.
  • Definitely don’t reprimand him for submissive urination as this will only make the problem worse.  Ignore the behaviour and simply mop up and continue as normal.

Lab being reprimanded for dog pee

Ways to clean dog pee from your carpet

Cleaning dog pee from your carpet can be tedious if accidents are happening regularly.  It’s a good idea to be prepared and have a bucket of supplies on hand.  It’s important to deal with dog pee on your carpet promptly to avoid stains and odour.  Here is a good article on natural cleaning solutions that you can have ready.


The most important part of retraining a dog suffering with submissive urination is to be consistent and patient.  As with humans, it will take time and encouragement for your dog to gain confidence.  Sticking to the above confidence-building techniques should see your four-legged friend on the road to recovery and becoming a happy, confident and secure pooch.

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  1. Love them all, We love looking after all-size dogs with lots of love, while when the doggy family away. We have taken-in many fur babies when the family has other special times.

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