On Monday, we talked about the Siberian Husky Puppy who urinates when meeting new people. Many puppies will outgrow submissive urination, but here is a behavioral approach to handling the problem that will help you socialize your puppy.
What you do: Get a helper to work with you. To begin, this can be a friend or family member.
1. Helper slowly approaches up to about 10 feet away from puppy and stops. If the puppy did not urinate, go to the next step. At any point the puppy urinates, you need to back up to the previous step. For example, if the puppy urinated when the person was 10 feet away, try this step with the helper 15-feet away.
2. Helper approaches and gets 5 ft. away from puppy and stops. Did the puppy urinate? If not, repeat this with 3 ft., then 1 ft. away.
3. The helper is now 1 ft. away. Have the helper hold out her hand and offer the puppy a treat. While the puppy is eating the treat, the helper touches the puppy on the side, then removes hand. If the puppy is not willing to take food from a stranger, try a toy.
You can also do this behavior plan without the treat or toy, but treats are good distractors and often result in faster progress.
- Helper approaches, offers treat, places hand on puppy, and pets.
- When the puppy can do this with a familiar person, bring in a new helper. Someone from your AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class would probably be delighted to help you.
- Vary the places where you do this—at class, in the park, as you take your puppy for a walk in your neighborhood. You can also vary the position of the helper. In the beginning, the person may squat down when close to the puppy and over time remain standing.