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My dog pees a little when I get home. What is it, and how do I stop it?

Updated: Apr 2

Typically, when a dog gets excited, they wag their tail, possibly let out little yelps and barks and some may jump up. However, some also pee a little.

This is an instinctual, physical response called ‘submissive urination’, and it is very normal in young dogs.

This response usually occurs whenever a dog feels excited, shy, anxious, or scared. Although your dog is a female, this is just as common in both male and female dogs, especially puppies.

Most dogs grow out of this behaviour.


However, certain behaviour from the owners side can actually increase the likelihood of submissive urination continuing beyond puppyhood.

  • Do not use harsh fear or pain driven training methods. This can cause and prolong not just submissive urination but also toilet training in general. It also has a high likelihood of reducing the bond with your dog.

  • Do not get over excited when you get home. Getting very excited to see your dog when you get home will increase their excitement levels and increase the chances of urination.

  • Do not scold, complain or frown at your dog during the incident. This negative association will only increase the dogs fear.

  • Don’t ignore your dog during submissive urination episodes. If you ignore in this situation, your dog won’t understand. Instead, try to redirect their attention and build their confidence using commands they do know.


Most dogs will outgrow submissive urination as they become older. However, training dogs young can help speed this process.

Be aware of what to look for before your dog urinates; dogs typically cower or lower their bodies when they feel the urge to urinate submissively. In the case of submissive urination they might also; raise their front paws, tuck in their tails, flatten their ears back, excessively lick.

If you catch your dog acting this way, redirect their attention immediately. Here’s what you can do:

  • Take your dog to the appropriate area to pee. (Outside, pad ect… This is to help them make a connection with this being the place to pee).

  • If you’re returning home, calmly greet your dog and give your dog a treat to redirect them and give them something productive to do with their excited energy.

  • Keep your greetings modest and calm so your dog doesn’t interpret them as over excitement.

  • Teach your dog to “sit” when they greet new people, and reward them for it.

If your dog is older and is continuing to urinate in this manner you may have to look at other root causes for the behaviour. The first thing you should do is visit your Medical Veterinarian, they should rule out potential causes such as; urinary incontinence or urinary tract infections. They may also refer you to an animal nutritionist if there is a potential dietary issue causing the problem.

There may be an underlying behavioural issue, if this is the case seek the help of a Canine Behavioural Specialist or Veterinary Behaviourist. At this stage there will be an evaluation to explore the potential of incomplete or ineffective toilet training, underlying anxieties within your dog, learned fear from a past experience, or separation anxiety. These are some of the more common behavioural causes. If you are concerned that these are the case, please reach out to a professional for the appropriate assistance.

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