Does your dog have a habit of piddling when excited or nervous?
Here are some tips to help you understand and correct the behavior.
Your dog is most likely exhibiting submissive or excitement urination. Dogs will display extreme submission by cowering, crawling, and peeing. These dogs are frequently quite shy by nature. We also see this behavior in young dogs that cannot control their excitement. They are so overwhelmingly happy to see you that they just pee their pants, so to speak!
What you will need to do is boost your dog’s confidence level a bit by increasing her independence. This works to treat both conditions since they either need confidence boosting because they are fearful or they need confidence boosting to ensure better sphincter control. First, be sure to not lean over your dog when you come home to greet her. Also don’t face her head on. Use your most neutral voice when greeting her – not too deep (angry) or high pitched (excited). Your best option is to actually be to ignore her for about 10 minutes when you first come home. Just walk in the house and go about your business without acknowledging her at all. She will begin to think a lot less of your coming and going and not get so worked up about it. If she is desperate to go outside, then you can take her out, but don’t make eye contact with her, talk to her, or pet her. I know this sounds a bit odd, but when you ignore the behavior it will eventually go away. She will get less excited about your arrival and this will help her control her urination better.
Remember not to scold her for accidentally peeing in the house. She cannot help it and it does nothing for her confidence level to punish her! You may find it best to just take her outside and leave her there while you clean up any mess that she made. Some dogs get upset just watching the clean-up process and this will perpetuate the problem. If you feel she’s absolutely bursting to urinate because you have been away a long time, then let her outside and do your greeting there. If she tinkles in the grass, it’s ok!
Dr. Amy Hellard
West Chester Veterinary Care