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Tuesday Training Byte: Dealing with a peeing dog

As with some other behaviors, it is important for a veterinarian to rule out a physical/medical cause for the problem. If your dog is completely housebroken but still urinates when excited or when being petted yelling or disciplining the dog may make matters worse. There are usually two types of involuntary peeing: over excitement, and anxiety/fear. The second is sometimes referred to submissive urination. A young pup will usually outgrow the first type. But a great way to help in the meantime is to remove the pup to a quiet area behind a gate when visitors come. Once visitors have settled into the living room, you might bring the pup out calmly for a meet and greet, then back away with a nice chew bone to occupy them. Let visitors know to ignore the dog or just interact in a quiet calm manner. Dogs tend to feed off of human emotion. For the second type, be sure to not tower over and reach down to pet the pup on the head. This can be very intimidating. Better yet, kneel down for a smaller dog and calmly scratch them on the chest or behind the ear along the neck, while speaking in a soft, reassuring voice. If your pup seems to cower or pee with visitors, it can be calming for them to be put in a separate area for a bit. In either case when a pup pees, they are not consciously doing it out of spite. In fact it happens involuntarily as a response to the situation. It is up to you to be an advocate for your dog in challenging environments. Remain calm and avoid punishment.

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