View Full Version : Fearful/Excited Urinating

08-01-2011, 02:38 PM
My pit bull has a tendency of urinating when he gets overly excited or scared. If you raise your voice at him... he pees. If you come home and pet him... he pees. If you start to put on his leash... he pees.




How do I make it stop!??????!!!

08-01-2011, 03:27 PM
I believe this is called "submissive wetting." As the name suggests, it's a sign of submission towards you. Which is a good thing, and if you were out in the wild it wouldn't be a problem. But since it's happening on your carpet, you need to work towards letting him know that you're not a threat to him.

I would start by avoiding eye contact and not using your voice at all during any of the times when this usually happens. For example, when you get home, don't look at him, don't reach out to pet him, completely ignore him for the first few minutes you're home. Speak softly, get down on his level, and try not to display any of the characteristics that distinguish you as the dominant member of the household. Remember that it may take a long time, and even if you're doing everything right, he could still be doing this for months.

There's also a really fine line that you have to walk. You SHOULD be the dominant member of the household. He SHOULD be submissive towards you. But this behavior is more out of fear than dominance, so you need to work to remove the fear, without losing your dominance.

If in doubt, consult a professional dog trainer. That's what they're there for.

08-01-2011, 04:37 PM
Many dogs eventually outgrow it, but you can reduce it by building the dog's confidence up. Start with obedience training. The key to most behavior problems is approaching things using the dog's natural instincts. Dogs see all the people and dogs in the household as a pack with each having their own rank in the pack and a top dog. Life is much easier if the 2 legged pack members outrank the 4 legged ones. You can learn to play the role of top dog by reading some books or going to a good obedience class. A good obedience class or book is about you being top dog, not about rewarding standard commands with a treat. As you praise the dog for following your commands, it will build its confidence.

Play tug of war with the dog and lose. However at the end of the game, take the rope or toy and put it up, less the dog becomes confused about who is top dog. Ropes from the pets' store quickly turn to hazardous shreds. Ones I made lasted much better. Go to a hardware or home center that sells rope by the foot. Buy 2' of 3/4" poly rope. Melt the ends, and tie knots in it. Get them as tight as possible, put it in a vise and pound it with a hammer. Watch carefully, and be ready to discard when it comes apart.

Finally, make sure it has a den to live in. If you are not using a crate, buy one. The dog may be happier in its den than loose in the house. It relaxes, it feels safe in its den. It rests, the body slows down reducing the need for water and relieving its self. Dogs that have been crated all along do very well. Many of them will rest in their crates even when the door is open. I think the plastic ones give the dog more of a safe, enclosed den feeling. Metal ones can be put in a corner or covered with something the dog can't pull in and chew. Select a crate just big enough for the full grown dog to stretch out in.

A dog that has not been crated since it was little, may take some work. Start out just putting its toys and treats in the crate. Praise it for going in. Feed it in the crate. This is also an easy way to maintain order at feeding time for more than one dog.

08-01-2011, 07:00 PM
Yeah, the above post is solid advice. I'd like to stress that it's simple to be "dominant" in an entirely positive way, simply by showing the dog what you want and having consistent expectations.

The approach we use is "Nothing in Life is Free" (NILIF is you care to Google it.) Simply put, the dog does a behavior in order to "earn" every reward. Come here and sit before I put the food down. Come here and hold still while the leash goes on. Sit or down-stay for a treat. You can come up into my lap when *I* invite you, not whenever you feel the urge. And so on.

Contrary to what you might expect, dogs seem to like this. Clear, consistent rules they can understand makes their world intelligible, and following those rules and earning the pack's approval gives them confidence they have a secure place in a well-run pack.

You don't have to practice NILIF to fix this problem, but finding some way to show your expectations and interact consistently with your dog in a way that he can understand and earn your approval will help build his confidence and turn him into a teammate (pack member) and not a super-submissive urinator.

08-01-2011, 07:04 PM
Oh, and pit bulls do get revved up when they get excited, don't they? :) We love ours. The advice to remain calm when you get home may help; ours have learned to be pretty even-tempered when I get home, possibly because I don't make a fuss over them until I've settled in.

08-01-2011, 07:43 PM
What labdude and Sailboat and gallan said.

If he's young, he'll most likely grow out of it....that's been my experience as well. How old is he?

I also ditto the suggestion to basically ignore him when you come home, and tell guests to do the same. Walk in the house and pretend there's no dog there for the first several minutes. Not even eye contact. It takes a lot of the drama out of the OMG THEY'RE HOME OMG event, which will trigger his peeing.

So...don't raise your voice at him. (There's no need to anyhow, dogs have very good hearing.)
Don't pet him when you come home.
Give him a job to do at putting-leash-on time - sit or down, spin and sit, sit and offer a paw - in other words, training and structure. Dogs love this. Dogs love jobs. :)

More training and confidence, yah. My little JRT x cattle dog was a terrible submissive/excitement pee-er for the first, oh, 18 months or so of her life. But she's not a particularly submissive dog generally....though she is high strung she is a bossy and cranky little bitch. She was going to as many as three agility or obedience classes a week, and daily walks/exercises/off-leash runs, just to burn off energy. Plus playing with my other dogs. How much exercise does your dog get?

08-01-2011, 07:46 PM
Very good advice here; I'm impressed!

08-01-2011, 08:49 PM
Yeah, this dominance thing and leadership. Dogs do like a top dog. But top dogs are more like strict, but loving parents, not drill sergeants. Eye contact is important, but not to be over done.

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