Ally is the most handsome dog I have ever met. I say handsome, and I’m aware that’s personification, because he had these huge brown eyes complete with long curved eyebrows that looked like a pro makeup artist had worked hard to make them pop. Ally belonged to my friend who was going on vacation, so she decided to leave him our able hands.
But there was one problem; he was a Japanese spitz in a house full of large dogs. Although our dogs are friendly, Ally was still afraid of their sheer size, and thus my first encounter with submissive urination.
To help a dog stop the habit of submissive urination, there are a few things you can do. The first instinct is to punish him, either by yelling at him or other unfavorable body language. Remember submissive urination occurs due to fear, so if you punish the dog, you make the behavior even worse. Instead, ignore him and don’t clean up the mess in his presence. Wait until he is out of the room to clean his mess.
You can also minimize the problem by not letting his bladder get full. Take him out often and regularly to do his business. This way, even if he is scared, there won’t be any urine in his bladder and he will not mess up.
If the dog is exhibiting the behavior because he is not well socialized, you can help him by gradually socializing him. Take him for walks in the park where he can meet other dogs and get to know that they are not as intimidating as they look. In the case of Ally, we minimized the amount of interactions he had during the first days of his stay, and then gradually increased interactions as the dogs got to know each other. With time he was not as scared of the big dogs, and the habit finally died out.
Remember the main goal here is to build the dog’s confidence, because for as long as he is scared of the people or dogs that bring about his submissive urination he cannot stop. Do everything you can to make him confident so that instead of submissive urination, he can meet with strangers cautiously but without fear.
How to Stop Submissive Urination in Dogs