Excitement Urination

Posted by wwest3898
Dec 22, 2008
My 12 week old male German Shepherd dog has begun urinating when he becomes excited by the arrival of guests, even when my wife makes her first appearance in the morning. I've heard this is fairly typical puppy behavior, but is there anything I can do to address the problem other than just wait for him to mature?
Posted by nikkiandasher
Dec 29, 2008
I had the same problem but sometimes it is because their bladders are not fully developed yet and they are unable to hold onto their urine for any length of time. My puppy is now 7months and he no longer does this and he hasn't done it for about a month now. I don't believe that there is much that you can do about it besides give warning to guest to watch their shoes.

Good Luck!
Posted by Maggiesmom1
Jan 4, 2009
Its called "submissive urination". It is very common with young dogs, but there are some things to try. I googled "submissive urination" and may web-pages came up with suggestions.

They mention trying to downplay greetings and limit excitement. You may want to limit water intake before guests arrive or have her outside.

You need to build up her confidence and realize she is very sensitive. As she grows more confident, the submissive urination should go away. From one of the web-sites: Owners should try to determine what actions or events cause the involuntary urination to occur. For some, this will be easy. Excitement or sudden movement toward the puppy may cause her to urinate. For others, it might be something as simple as direct eye contact. Many puppies urinate when you bend over them, so instead, kneel down to their level. Whatever the cause, do your best to eliminate these situations or actions.

Good Luck, I hope you can figure out her trigger.
Posted by STEVEPHS
Jan 12, 2009
Hi there, we had exactly the same problem with our Golden Retriever pup.

We kept him in a cage overnight and he would never mess in his cage, but when he got excited and was let out of his cage he would invariably do small widdles on the floor. As mentioned in the previous reply, this is typically something your dog will grow out of as his/her bladder develops. However, in the meantime, get your wife to ignore the dog when she comes down in the morning and try to limit the amount the dog gets excited in these circumstances, i.e avoid making a fuss of him. For a good few months in our pup's younger days, we would take him outside to relieve himself as soon as we let him out of his cage, whether in the morning or when we returned home. We warned all of our regular visitors of the problem too so when they came they would wait outside and greet the dog so that the widdle didn't happen inside!
Posted by junecpg
Jul 31, 2009
I have the same problem with my toy poodle too. She is now 6 months old and she stills urine when she is excited. Although I have learnt how to manage this, but I still can't manage it when my friends come over when she gets too excited to see new people in the house. This causes me having to clean up on her, which can get frustrating sometimes, not forgetting, embarassing.

I have sought advice from my Vet but he said that it will grow out in time, but I am a bit worried that it may not... She also has submissive urination, although it has reduced tremendously from the day I brought her home.

What I want to know is... other than having get used to the excitement urination which is hoped to go away as she matures, and getting used to her "pattern", is there anything else we can do to prevent this?

Posted by KOPsarah
Aug 3, 2009
Hi everyone and thanks for your posts.

Hopefully I can offer a few extra tips for you and your puppies.

Submissive urination is triggered by fear and is generally accompanied by cowering, laid back ears, and narrowed eyes. Excitement urination, however, happens during play and when greeting and involves no submissive posturing.

It sounds more like most of your puppies are displaying excitement urination

Dealing with Excitement Urination
Pups generally grow out of excitement urination but if they’re punished for it, or if coddled or soothed for it, the problem can persist.

There are several treatable problems behind “excitement urination”, so the first step is to take your dog to your local veterinarian for an examination to rule out any possible health-related causes. Once health-problems are ruled out the next step is to work on desensitizing. There are however a few important points to keep in mind before you start to tackle the problem:

-Do not reprimand your dog for urinating - it is always an accident.
-Do not to reward your dog’s over-excited reaction by offering attention, ignore your dog till it is calm
-Do not praise or reward your dog while he is urinating; only praise/reward when he has relaxed

Desensitizing your over-excited dog
Have the person the dog does not get over-excited with (person one) sit your dog next to them on a leash in a large open area that is free from distractions.

Person one should run through some basic commands with the dog that it knows well and treat it with some favorite treats when it responds correctly. After a minute or so have the person the dog becomes excited about (person two) approach slightly closer but continue to ignore the dog. If the dog becomes excited both people should ignore the dog completely. As soon as the dog is calm again person one should praise it warmly but calmly and run through a few commands again so the dog is focusing on them.

Once this is mastered person two should come a little closer and the procedure should be repeated. Again once this step is mastered person two can come closer.

The idea is to do several short sessions of this everyday until the dog can see the person it is usually over excited about without loosing control. Once the dog can do this reliably repeat the exercise but once person two gets all the way up to the dog and the dog is still concentrating, have person two take over running through the commands with the dog and treating calmly.

If at any stage your dog becomes unable to concentrate on running through commands, go back a stage by having person two move further back again.

The ‘mealtime scenario’
Try changing feeding time to the time when a person the dog gets over-excited about is due to return home or visit. When they get to the house have them ignore both the person handling the dog and the dog. Similarly the person handling the dog should ignore the person returning home. The person handling the dog should feed the dog as soon as it has just noticed the person coming home. This scenario allows your dog to choose between eating and the over excitement which is leading to the urination. Hopefully he will find eating more attractive. (If he ignores his food, gets excited and urinates then don't feed him until later in the day, then try again.)

Clean up well

Clean up the urine with a pet odor neutralizer. If your dog tends to urinate in the same place then you could try using the odor neutralizer, waiting for it to dry, and then feeding your dog a treat on the spot. That way he will hopefully get the association between food and the area rather than it being a place that he can relieve itself.

This particular problem definitely takes some time and training to overcome and you will not get instant results but you will get them eventually!

Other things you can do
-Consider protecting your carpet with a plastic drop cloth or an absorbent material where accidents are most likely to occur while the dog is still in training.
-Keep greetings low key, ignore the dog until he's calm.

Hope this helps and if anyone has any further questions please don't hesitate to ask.