Our Dogs World 101

Why Submissive Urination In Dogs is a Challenge

Dog owners who are not familiar with spotting and treating timid dogs with submissive urination can have serious problems. They mistakenly believe their mans-best friend is responsible for accidents. A submissive dog can cause anxiety and fear, which can lead to unwanted urine.

It is important that you address both urination problems as soon as possible with young puppies. However, older pets can get the training they need.

This behavior problem can be caused by your dog not being able to cope with unfamiliar situations. You need to teach your dog how to trust the environment and become less fearful. You can link submissiveness to excitement urination.

Warnings regarding Puppy Postures, and Dog Body Language

We all know that when dogs move their tails quickly back and forth it is usually a sign that they are happy and satisfied with their situations. Submissive dogs could quickly change from being happy to becoming fearful. Understanding the subtle changes in posture can help to prevent submissive urine habits.

These body language signs may indicate that your dog is submissive and has had an accident.

When a dog exposes his belly to the world, he’s stating that he isn’t a threat.

Two dogs laying on their backIf your dog is submissive, keep an eye on him and make eye contact only when approaching. When dogs are afraid, they will either look sideways or lower than usual. They may also adopt a submissive pose.

Ears against the head: confident and happy dogs will keep their ears raised to hear all around them. Submissive dogs will rub their ears against the head to indicate that they aren’t looking for environmental advantages.

Grinning (Not Snarling): Dog smiles and facial expressions can be cute, but they do not indicate happiness. There are two types of snarl: grin and snarl. A snarl shows that the lips are raised with teeth showing and a more aggressive posture. A submissive grin shows teeth but does not lift the lips or wrinkle them.

Tucked Tail with Unsure Wagging: A timid puppy protects his most delicate parts by lowering and tucking the tail between his legs. Dogs might occasionally wail intermittently to reassure themselves that they are safe.

Loving a dominant dog’s muzzle: How dogs greet each other tells a lot about their confidence levels! Dogs that greet another canine by lowering their heads, licking the muzzle, and greeting them with affection are submissive.

Peeing When Greeted: A little dribble with other postures indicates that a dog is fearful or submissive.

You shouldn’t take submissive urination lightly. You can make your dog more submissive, which may lead to less control over the behavior. Dogs will respond to their owner’s commands. Your body language, tone of voice, and body language will influence how calm or anxious your puppy feels. It is crucial to create a quiet environment that encourages your dog to urinate.

Punishment can increase submissive urine production. It is important that you be firm in your discipline and not react to your dog peeing on a floor with anger. Instead, you can teach your dog positive reinforcement techniques so that he knows what appropriate behavior to follow.

However, it is possible to help him with his urine marking issues without eliminating the submissive urination problem.

Understanding Dog Submissive Urination

Your dog may urinate when people or animals approach him. That means the dog is communicating that he doesn’t want you to be a threat. While you should expect this behavior in the wild, it can be an issue in the home.

It is essential first to identify the behavior problem and rule out medical reasons. Next, teach your dog how to be assertive in everyday situations.

Puppy peeingAs a puppy grows, he may not be able or willing to roll over but will instead cower under the urine, dribbling onto the floor. Remember that dogs have a pack mentality. They recognize the order of power within a family.

Fearful or anxious dogs can cause submissive urination. Your dog may take a submissive stance and urinate out of fear. The behavior is very similar to the one young puppies take when approached by their moms.

Submissive Urination, Other Dogs

Think about this scenario: You bring home your dog, and he greets you with a very excited dog. Both dogs are competing for your affection. Because your dominant dog expects to be the first, he will bite at your timid dog.

The accident happens to your timid dog. You can’t treat this as a timid-dog problem. To train your dominant dogs to be more inclusive, you must have a system in place.

If other dogs are living in your house, you’ll notice a natural order of pecking. That is what dogs do. While some dogs are naturally more submissive, puppies can be more aggressive. If you have two types of dogs or your timid dog struggling with submissive urination, you should keep this in mind.

The Dominant Dog

Reward your dominant dog by praising him and showing affection when he obeys your rules. He doesn’t want to give up his place in the pack hierarchy. But he acknowledges that you are the pack leader.

Brown Labrador with cute little dog.Not about trying to control the dominant dog, but all about showing the dog that humans have rules and there are rewards. It is vital to make it clear that your dog’s feeding time is equal.

Other Submissive Urination Problems

Other reasons can cause submissive behavior in dogs. It is important that you address this before addressing the submissive problem. Dog owners who deal with submissive urination should tell if the behavior results from their dog being timid and submissive.

Medical Reasons – Urinary Tract Infection

Ensure to call your veterinarian if you notice that your dog has a sudden tendency to urinate and dribble. Antibiotics can quickly treat urinary tract infections.

These UTI symptoms are essential to look out for if you have not ruled out any medical reasons.

Cloudy or bloody urine: This is something you need to look for unless you have an apparent accident. But if you do see any blood or darkening in your urine, it should be sent to the vet.

Frequent Urinary Need: It is the desire to urinate more often due to discomfort and inflammation.

Constant Genital Lopping: Dogs with a UTI experience more discomfort than usual.

Pain or discomfort during urination: A UTI in dogs is when the dog cries, yelps, seems to strain or seems to be having difficulty urinating.

Sudden Incidents: A dog with a history free from urination accidents could have a urinary system Extreme Thirst Dogs with UTIs will drink more water than usual and seek to urinate more often. However, they may have less urine than anticipated.

Infection. These often leave a puddle and are more than a mere dribble.

If you are unsure if it is a UTI, your veterinarian may rule out other medical conditions. There may be bladder control issues in young puppies or older dogs. An older dog may experience bladder control problems due to a cyst, tumor, or obstruction.

Incontinence can also occur when you take certain medications. It is important that you consider all possible causes of incontinence to ensure you are following the correct course of action.

Fear of Punishment

Your dog might not be aware that his urination accident is often not discovered immediately. He only knows that his human might come home and hit him. That increases his fear. If the dog is already timid or submissive, this can increase the frequency of submissive urine.

Scolding and punishing dogs can have adverse consequences. One example of punishment training is to hit a dog with an old newspaper when he has a pee accident. Even loud voices can cause harm to a timid dog.

Timid dogs find many things frightening. Dogs can be afraid of new people and assertive animals. Professional dog trainers don’t widely accept a particular school of thought.

Timid dog behind a sofaYou must make a dog terrified to be dominant to establish that. You can get some compliance by punishment training, but it won’t help the dog owner long-term.

It is important that you honestly assess whether your training and even your initial reaction after a pee accident may be contributing to the problem you’re trying to solve.

Separation Anxiety

While separation anxiety is more common in non-socialized older dogs or trained well enough, it can also develop in younger dogs. Tragic events, like the death or surrender of a loved pet, can cause separation anxiety.

Loud Sounds and Chaotic Situations

If your dog is timid or sensitive to loud noises, you can help by training them, a Thunder Shirt, or a sedative if needed. Dogs rely on their human parents to keep them safe when they are exposed to thunder and fireworks.

Some dogs are more sensitive to loud noises than others. A thunderstorm can be stressful for dogs that are sensitive to changes in barometric tension. Dogs hear frequencies from fireworks that humans do not hear. Pets run for safety when there is chaos and sudden bangs. Some timid or skittish dogs aren’t affected by loud sounds.

Resolving Separation Anxiety Excitement Urination

It’s less likely that your dog will have problems with excitement or urination if he is calm and happy when you return.

Perhaps you can start with getting your things out without ever leaving the house. It shows that grabbing your keys isn’t something that should bother you. Drastically increase the amount of time spent outside your home.

An anxious dog could become excessively excited upon his owner returning, leading to exciting urine (this is not often related to submissive peeing). Use positive reinforcement training to calm your dog when you are not there.

Timid Dogs: Expose them to Many Things.

Exposure and socialization teach timid dogs that not all is bad. Let others who wish to approach your dog calmly know that they must do so over your dog’s nose and not under.

It’s a good idea to take your Timid Dog on walks so they can see and smell everything. Professional dog trainers agree that a dog should often go out and explore its surroundings. It will even allow submissive dogs to explore new places without feeling anxious.

Do not approach the dog while your entire body is hovering over it. You can help your dog learn confidence and safety by guiding others as they meet your dog. Ask people not to make eye contact with your dog until you feel at ease.

Preventing Marking Issues by Cleaning up Urine

Submissive urination can lead to your dog’s scent being released when he has an accident. He might later choose to mark other items. It’s also possible for another dog to take over dominant marking in your house.

Submissive urination can result, in one way or another, from more significant marking issues. Dogs will mark upright objects. For example, a dog might keep a lamp post or a fire hydrant with his leg during walks.

Submissive urination issues can quickly turn into another behavioral problem, marking. Some wild dingoes are known to stand on their front feet to mark the spot where another dingo has marked. You may not see your domestic dog go to such extremes; however, even timid or submissive dogs will mark territory.

Positive Reinforcement Training Solutions

If your dog has a challenge with submissive urination, you will need to keep your enthusiasm low so that he doesn’t get too excited. It’s not necessary to over-stimulate your dog. That could lead to an episode of excitement urination.

Dog sitting for a treat

Instead, you can use a food reward program to calmly train your dog in handling separation anxiety, submissive, and excitement urination. If your dog is being good, a treat can go a long way in letting him know.

These are positive training techniques that will not cause your dog to urinate in a submissive manner when dealing with anxious dogs. Sometimes, some of what you need to do are counter intuitive to positive reinforcement training. Most dogs will be rewarded with praise and affection when they do well.


You shouldn’t allow submissive urination to become a problem for your relationship. You must ensure that your dog is in good health condition. You can then help your timid pet to feel valued and to trust you.

Did you find this article useful? Feel free to share your thoughts. We would be happy to hear from you!

Stay tuned for more posts on dog care and much more!

“May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair”


Founder of Our Dogs World 101

6 thoughts on “Why Submissive Urination In Dogs is a Challenge”

  1. Wow thanks a lot for this information!

    Though I don’t own a dog yet, I would love to in the future hopefully, they’re just a wonderful joy especially when you know what you are doing. I’m reading posts like these so I could gain a bit of knowledge and make a great home for the fur ball. I’ve learnt quite a lot from going through this.

    I hadn’t a clue dogs urinate when they are unfamiliar with their surroundings more often!

  2. The Submissive urine habits among dogs are large in number these days and most of them are caused by an earlier accident. This behavior can be adopted automatically or maybe the dog has some previous accidents or physical issue which leads him or her to a state of dysfunctional urination. Fear of punishment, anxiety, chaotic situation, or sudden noise of crackers is some causes of this problem. You should treat your dog more politely and pay great attention to his daily activities and if you notice anything abnormal like peeing suddenly in front of you then quickly consult your veterinary doctor for the issue.

  3. Hey there! This has been a good read. I feel that my dog is not aware of his urination accidents. But your post has helped me on how to address this matter. He could still be considered a pup. But even though he’s small, it’s a good time to train him.


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