Excitement Urination

Excitement Urination, also called Submissive or Submission Urination, is when a dog gets so stimulated from positive or negative stress that they pee. Often it is only a small amount of urine, but that is influenced more by what is in their bladders than anything else. It is usually more common in small dogs and young dogs, but it is not exclusive to them. Sometimes you will see a dog cower and pee, but I have also seen dogs jump up and down with excitement and pee at the same time.

Excitement urination, like so many stress signals, can be a sign of a medical problem, so it is a good idea to check with a vet - particularly if it is a new behaviour. Punishment never helps with excitement urination, because it just ups the stress level and makes it worse. Decreasing the stress level can help a lot. For dogs who get over excited, this means controlling the excitement. Max used to excitement pee when I came home sometimes. We have reduced the excitement by creating a protocol where he doesn't get any attention when I come home until he sits. He's still allowed to run into the back yard and run in circles (this works well for me as then he pees while outside), but he has to sit to be acknowledged. He doesn't always automatically sit and he's way to excited to do it right away, but after less than a minute of excitement on his behalf, a simple "sit" from me almost always works. If not, I ignore him for a while and repeat until he does sit. After he sits, we can both be excited to see each other.

For dogs who exhibit excitement urination from fear or other negative stress, you need to not only not punish them, but ideally hide your stress and negative feelings about having to clean up. For me, that means trying to figure out where they are likely to be when that happens and making that spot as easy to clean up as possible - an easy to clean surface like potty pads or flooring scraps and a handy clean up kit.

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