One of my friends has the sweetest little Siberian Husky puppy. He’s 5 months old now. “What do I do?” she said. “When I take him for walks and we meet someone, he gets so excited he tinkles.” Yes, that’s my friend, and she said, ‘tinkles.’
We’ve given advice on how to handle this problem from the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy book before. It’s time to do it again to help this darling, blue-eyed pup.
From AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy: A Positive Behavioral Approach to Training:
Submissive and Excitement Urination: Whoops!
Submissive urination. With puppies, submissive urination usually happens when someone reaches out to pet the puppy, someone leans over the puppy to pet it or greet it, or when an owner returns home and the puppy is excited. While this behavior mainly occurs in puppies, submissive urination is also a problem for some adult dogs.
Submissive urination happens with dogs or puppies who are submissive. These are puppies who often squat to urinate or roll over on their sides or show their bellies when greeting an unfamiliar person.
Punishing submissive urination, even if only with a loud verbal reprimand, will make the problem worse. Some puppies will grow out of submissive urination and others will need a behavioral intervention.
Excitement urination. Excitement urination is different than submissive urination. This occurs when highly excitable dogs lose control of their bladders during activities that involve social stimulation or put them in a state of arousal (i.e., heightened reactions). Excitement urination can occur during very active play.
If your puppy urinates when excited, someone new approaches for petting, or you enter a room, here are some tips:
- Never punish this behavior by hitting the puppy or yelling—this will make the problem worse.
- Make sure you give your puppy plenty of socialization and ongoing exposure to new people, places and things. An AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class is a great idea.
- Identify the stimuli that cause the submissive or excitement urination. Observe very carefully to determine the conditions under which this happens:
- Is it when a stranger approaches for petting?
- When you come home after being gone?
- When you enter a room where the puppy is after she has not seen you for a while
- When someone stands over the puppy to pet it?
- When you are playing very active games?
- When the puppy gets ‘wound up’ during active play?
- Once you’ve identified a situation that is clearly a problem, set up training sessions to work on this.In the next blog on Wednesday, we’ll show you what to do in training sessions.