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Submissive Urination: Questions And Answers

by Dale Johnson, DVM

Submissive Urinating

Dave ......wrote:

Just a quick question.... I have a 13 week old Beagle and she has a problem controlling her bladder when she gets excited. When friends come over or if she sees someone she knows she just lets go right there. For now people think it's cute...the "excitement pee"...but if it continues it could be a problem. She also has problems controlling herself in other places... she knows not to pee at home but in others homes she just lets it go. Are these "puppy problems" that will go away...or should I be working on a solution? Thanks for your help.

Dave, Yes this is very normal for a puppy to "submissively urinate".

In order to allow this problem to go away naturally and this could take a little time .. a few weeks to a few months keep the following tactics in your mind.

Never punish the puppy for submissively urinating. This could actually make the problem worst as then the puppy becomes aware of the problem to a greater extent and begins to check himself to see if he urinated every time he is happy to see someone or is being scolded. The pups awareness of the problem helps keep the problem alive.

Of course use scolding tactics to remind your dog that you don't relieve yourself in your home or other homes and immediately bring the dog outside with quick movements, as you are scolding. This is for the normal relieving situations not for submissive urinating which are two different things. Above all never slap your dog. And never put her nose in the pee but it is ok to bring her over to the pee spot and show it to her by bringing his nose an inch or so from it and saying "bad dog": then "no" in a low pitched growling sounding voice. Repeat the words while the verbal punishment is taking place. Again, this is not for submissive urinating, this is for deliberate urinating to relieve herself. With submissive urinating you do not want your puppy to be aware that it even happened so don't draw attention to the problem. Once the dog is outside in it's normal peeing area, repeat the words "hurry up in a normal voice. As soon as the pup (hopefully) pees, raise the pitch of your voice and say good boy/girl. Repeat this praise all the way back into the house. By the way I hope it's summer or your training patience will be challenged.

If she urinates when you come into the house because she is happy to see you do not make eye contact until the bulk of the excitement of meeting you has calmed down. As well if this happens with guests at your home ask them to not look into your dog's eyes. While petting look away from the dog. Your puppy will come to the visitor and when she does, no eye contact until the excitement of the new visitor calms down.

Dr. Dale Johnson


Urinating in House

Penny ......wrote:

Can you answer a quick question for me? I have a 3 year old Beagle who lived inside until he was 6 months old. He was completely housebroken. My father was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and had to have chemotherpathy. His doctor told us that a person having chemotherapy shouldn't have an animal in the house. Since we were going to see my fold so often, Shane became an outside dog. Now, I'd like to bring him back in. Do you foresee and problems with housebreaking?


Penny ....You should have everything going for you. First of all the dog was housebroken once before. No reason to think that it will change. Second, the dog has established that outdoors is it's bathroom for the last 3 years. The chances of your dog making a mess in the house is practically nil "unless" you yourself force him to go into the house because he can't hold his bowels or bladder any longer.

I notice he is a male. If he is neutered that is even better as a male dog that is not neutered sometimes will mark territory if another dog comes into it's territory especially if it's another mature male or a female in heat.

Dr. Dale Johnson

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).