Dog Peeing When Excited

Many puppies pee when meeting new people or becoming overexcited. Our expert trainer explains how to help your dog overcome this messy habit.

By By September Morn | Posted: May 9, 2012, 3 p.m. EDT

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black Labrador Retriever puppy

Some dogs will pee a small puddle (sometimes more) when they greet people, particularly if the person moves to pet them. Some dogs do this whenever anyone greets them, but often the leakage problem only occurs with certain individuals or with people who have a certain appearance or voice tone.

It is fairly common in young puppies who have less control over their bladder and are easily excited, though it usually goes away as the dog matures. Some dogs, however, continue this habit into adulthood. This behavior tends to be more common in female pups, but it can happen with males, too.

Why dogs pee when excited

When a puppy becomes overexcited, or when something frightens her, it’s normal for the pup to release a few drops of urine. Not all puppies do this, but many do. It happens because overexcitement or fear may cause the pup to momentarily lose control of the muscles that close the urinary bladder, which allows a small amount of urine to escape.

This is a physiological response to excitement and is not under the pup’s control. She might not even realize it’s happening until she feels a sensation of wetness.

Why this dog behavior is a problem

Cleaning up puddles every time you greet your dog can be frustrating and distressing to owners. The first reaction is often to scold a dog for the behavior, but it is not the dog’s fault. Punishing a dog for this behavior is useless and cruel, because the dog cannot control the leakage.

Scolding or showing disapproval can make the dog more anxious and cause the problem to get worse – sometimes turning a temporary age or health-related behavior into a long-term nervous habit.

How to keep your dog from peeing when excited

Reduce the initial excitement. The most common trigger for urination while greeting is loved ones arriving home after being gone for several hours. To reduce the dog’s excitement, walk into your house without greeting her. Put down your purse or other items you’re carrying and put your coat away. Delay greeting her until about five minutes after you’ve arrived home.

Keep greetings low key. Speak quietly and calmly when you greet your dog. Don’t immediately bend down to pet her, as “looming over” a dog in that way can trigger them to urinate. Instead of reaching for her, just put your hand where she can come to it for petting. Pet her under the chin, not on top of the head. Teach your visitors to do the same.

Greet outdoors. If your dog tends to pee when you first say hello to her, say hello outdoors. This way the dog will be urinating where there’s no need to mop it up. That will reduce your own anxiety about the possibility of a wet greeting and you’ll relax a bit – which can help reduce any anxiety your dog might have learned to feel about greeting time.

Health check. Though usually outgrown by six or seven months of age, this behavior can linger into adulthood. Sometimes health issues, such as urinary tract infections, can cause delayed bladder control, so if your dog is over five months old and still piddling when petted, let your veterinarian know. If it’s a health problem, it needs to be treated medically. Most often, though, there are no health issues causing the problem – it’s just a case of too much excitement.

 

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Bonnie   Ottsville, Pennsylvania

7/9/2014 3:28:01 AM

We have a Austrian Cattle Dog age 1 year , female ! She is a very active dog and very loving , but when company comes she cries and jumps all over them ! Mostly crying very loudly like she is being beat up ! I worry because PPL PROB think I am abusing her bc of her loud crying . Normally she is so good until someone visits us what can I do ? I have asked the company to walk outside and ignore her hoping this helps but it does not help . Any suggestions would be appreciated ! Thank you in advance

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Ravi   Chennai, International

7/27/2013 6:40:15 AM

My pup also does this very often when she look at ppl. veterinarian donno how to treat.. is there any other medications available for the same?

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

7/1/2013 4:07:15 AM

My dog does this only when our daughter comes home from being away at school or work and only sometimes. When our daughter comes into the house and does not talk to the dog right way this does not happen. Our dog just gets so excited to see out daughter.

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Bec&Maya   Edmonton, AB

10/15/2012 8:07:34 PM

my puppy girl does it after she's been playing energetically indoors, i think she just forgets she can ask to go out when she's distracted by play

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