Submissive Urination?

Posted by paniollo
Dec 11, 2008
:confused: Our Red-Tri Australian Sheppard (male, 7 months) is submissively urinating. We have been told to ignore it or we will make it worse. My wife and son can play with him but I have to open the door and go outside before I can give him any attention or he will urinate like Niagara Falls. I have read that it is a confidence issue with him but I am unsure how to build his confidence and stop this submissive behavior. It's really tough when someone comes to the house and I have to put him out in the yard before letting company in or he will urinate on their shoes. Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Posted by Maggiesmom1
Dec 13, 2008
Luckily, there's time on your side. Many puppies will do this submissive urination but they out grow it. You are doing the right thing to try and figure it out now because its important to learn how to make him feel more confident. Its kind of the opposite problem of a dog who is alpha.

Is he neutered? That may help at this age also.

I would try to make your initial greeting to him nonchalant, don't make a big deal....just pat his head and walk away until he calms down. If he rolls on his back, ignore him. Don't scratch his tummy at that time. Wait until he is upright and give him a pat and just turn and walk away. Don't speak to him at that time either. Later, when he is calm, you can pat him again and speak.

Be sure to walk him yourself on a leash. Try to talk to him while you walk. The more training you do with him (commands such as sit, down, stay) and play activities (such as retrieving a ball) will help him to build confidence in himself and your leadership style.

Remember he is showing you that he is super sensitive and he respects you when he does the submissive peeing. Try to limit any harshness with him when you are training. Things need to be upbeat and positive.

Good luck, and hopefully in a few months, he'll grow out of this.
Posted by asongbird6
Jan 15, 2009
I have a 3 yr old Aussie who I adopted from an abused home who submissively urinates without any rhyme or reason with my husband! I am at my wits end and my husband and I argue all the time because he wants me to get rid of the dog its becoming such a bad issue.

I have tried EVERYTHING and can't figure it out. I hope your dog stops as he grows into an adult. I don't mean to take any hope away but I've tried all the things and more that the previous post says and NOTHING WORKS. My husband could be giving my dog a treat and playing with him laughing and everything and all the sudden my dog will drop the treat, cower, and pee all over the place. I cannot figure it out for my life.

If you find ANYTHING that works...please share it with me!!
Posted by LetsPlay
Feb 10, 2009
Hi there,
it sounds as though something very specific must be triggering it if it happens very suddendly in the middle of a game?
Perhaps you should watch your dog very carefully when he is playing with your husband to try and find out when exaclty it happens.
Is it a certain tone of voice from your husband?
Could it be a noise outside?
Could it be a certain movement or facial expression?

Some dogs are very sensitive and he might have had a traumatic experience.
He might have heard a weird noise that frightened him when your husband was doing a particular move and your dog connects the two.
Therefore he urinates submissivly to get out of trouble (which in fact gets him into more trouble)
It might have something to do that happened to him before you rescued him.
Please let us know how you get on.