Submissive Urination

Submissive urination should not be handled in the same way as normal puppy potty accidents.  Submissive urination is fairly common starting in puppies around 4-6 months of age.  The puppy is peeing in submission and the worst thing you can do is to scold or punish the puppy or even to raise your voice.  This type reaction will only make it worse.  Submissive urination seems to happen more when a puppy is around certain men, but it can happen when a puppy is excited to see anyone that they love or respect or are intimidated by.  Sometimes it is because someone has over-corrected a puppy, but sometimes it’s just because they are intimidated by a deep or strong voice or a big person.

Almost all puppies will outgrow this by the time they are a year old, but in the meantime, how it is handled can prolong it or help them to outgrow it sooner.   When the inside peeing happens, just ignore it and clean it up the same way we recommend cleaning up after any other accident.  To minimize the number of incidences, I would suggest always taking your dog out to pee before they greet the person who seems to cause the peeing.  I’ve had a couple of dogs in the past who would submissively urinate when they were about 6-8 months old whenever my teenage son would come downstairs in the mornings and sometimes when he’d have friends over and they would give attention to the puppy.  I could keep it from happening by taking the puppy out right before I knew my son would be coming downstairs or coming home or right before he had company.  Both of these dogs outgrew it within two or three months.  A 6 month old puppy can normally hold it for quite a number of hours, but cannot hold it for so long if he/she gets excited.  Don’t encourage a puppy who has a problem with submissive urination to hold it for as long  during times when you know that submissive urination could happen. When it does happen, show gentleness and patience and know that your puppy will outgrow it soon.