Thursday, October 2, 2014

Submissive and Excitement Urination

Help your dog gain confidence and problems will be solved!

Submissive Urination
With one second left in the championship game, the basketball player has to make one free throw to send the game into overtime and keep the team's hopes for victory alive.  A hush comes over the arena while beads of sweat roll down the player’s face.  It's the first time being in this situation.   The player shoots the ball!  …and it clangs off the rim.

Just as an athlete may make a mistake when confidence wanes in a daunting situation, so too may a dog.  A dog who is threatened and lacks confidence may urinate out of submission.  He/she may also urinate when being punished or verbally scolded, or when being approached by someone perceived to be a threat.
And just as any athlete will gain confidence by playing in more high-pressure situations, so may your dog's submissive urination resolve itself as he/she gains confidence.  You can help to build his/her confidence by teaching simple commands and offering rewards for obeying.  You should also gradually expose your dog to new people and new situations and try to make sure that each new experience is positive and happy.
Your Dog May Have a Submissive Urination Problem If:

  • Your dog urinates when being scolded.
  • Your dog urinates when someone approaches.
  • Your dog urinates when being greeted.
  • Your dog has a history of being treated roughly or being punished long after having displayed unwanted behaviors.
  • Your dog is a somewhat shy, anxious, or timid dog.
  • Your dog urinates while making submissive postures, such as crouching, tail tucking, or rolling over and exposing the belly.
What to Do If Your Dog Has a Submissive Urination Problem:

  • Take your dog to the veterinarian to rule out medical reasons for the
  • Keep greetings low-key.
  • Encourage and reward confident postures (sitting, standing) from your dog.
  • Give your dog an alternative to behaving submissively.  For example, if your dog knows a few commands, ask for "sit" or "shake" as you approach, and then reward your dog for obeying.
  • Avoid approaching your dog with postures that he reads as dominant.
  • Avoid direct eye contact.  Look at your dog’s back or tail instead.
  • Get down on your dog’s level by bending at the knees rather than leaning over from the waist.  Ask others to approach your dog in the same way.
  • Pet your dog under the chin rather than on top of the head.
  • Approach your dog from the side, rather than from the front, and/or present the side of your body to your dog, rather than your full front.
  • Don't punish or scold your dog. This will only make the problem worse.
Excitement Urination

Excitement urination occurs most often during greetings and playtime and is not accompanied by submissive posturing.  Excitement urination usually resolves on its own as a dog matures.  In some cases, however, the problem can persist if the dog is frequently punished or if the dog's behavior is inadvertently reinforced by you, such as by petting or talking to your dog in a soothing or coddling tone of voice after he/she urinates when excited.
Your Dog May Have an Excitement Urination Problem If:

  • Your dog urinates when excited, such as during greetings or playtime.
  • Your dog urinates when excited and is less than one year old.
What to Do If Your Dog Has an Excitement Urination Problem:

  • Take your dog to the veterinarian to rule out medical reasons for the
  • To avoid accidents, play outdoors until the problem is resolved.
  • Don't punish or scold your dog.
  • Keep greetings low-key.
  • When your dog is excited, ignore him/her until he/she is calm.

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