Submissive Urination in Dogs: Medical or Behavioral?

Submissive urination in dogs is not uncommon as this is another form of communication to them. When a dog urinates in submission, he is portraying to you that he is not a threat to you. Most commonly, submissive urination in dogs occurs when they’re greeting unfamiliar people or animals or when they are being petted. This could range anywhere from a huge puddle to a few drips of urine.

Submissive Urination in Dogs

Posture

Submissive urination in dogs is also often accompanied by body language. Dogs who are urinating in submission to you often cower. They lower their body, tuck their tail and may have their ears back. This is to also inform the person or animal they are not a threat to them in any way.

Age and Breed

Puppies are more likely to show submissive behavior than adult dogs; although, it not uncommon for an adult dog to urinate in submission in various situations as discussed previously. Submissive urination is also more common in some breeds than others. For example, the English springer spaniel and Retriever breeds exhibit this behavior more often than other breeds.

Medical and Behavior

If your dog is urinating, it is crucial to first visit the veterinarian to rule out medical causes. There are many medical causes for urination such as urinary incontinence, change in diet, and urinary tract infections.

If the problem is not medical, behavioral causes may include improper house training, territorial marking or separation anxiety. Dogs who have not been house trained properly, especially if it is a new dog being introduced to your home, may have to re-learn or completely learn house training procedures. Dogs also may be marking their scent for territorial purposes to show other animals or people this is their territory and theirs alone. Separation anxiety is also a common cause of urination; your dog may be upset or nervous and urinate as a result.

If you have any questions regarding submissive urination in dogs, our in-house pet behaviorist is available to assist you.

Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist

Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.

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