My Puppy Pees When Excited…How Can I Stop It?

Furry friends are full of surprises…but not always the kinds we want! While you might have been taken aback the first time your dog greeted you with a little too much enthusiasm, it’s not uncommon for puppies to have potty accidents when they are highly stimulated.

First, here’s the good news: Puppies who pee when excited usually grow out of this behavior when they get older. If you recently adopted a puppy, there’s a good chance their inappropriate urination will stop by the time they’re about one year old. You can even end the behavior earlier with some good ol’ fashioned training. Learn why dogs have excitement-related potty accidents and how to stop them!


Understanding Submissive Urination in Dogs

 French bulldog

Don’t feel discouraged if your puppy pees when they appear excited, anxious, or otherwise stimulated. They are probably engaging in submissive urination, an instinctive behavior pups use to communicate that you are in charge. In the wild, dogs sometimes urinate in the presence of their pack leader as a way to recognize their authority. It might sound like an odd way to show their appreciation for you, but submissive urination is a natural, important part of our fur pals’ social structure.

Submissive urination in dogs can also occur in situations where you appear dominant, such as when you stand over your furry friend or make direct eye contact with them. While dogs often grow out of this habit toward the end of puppyhood, that doesn’t mean your pup will stop seeing you as the leader; they’re just growing up!


How to Train Away Submissive Urination

woman training dog 

A little training can help deter your puppy from peeing when excited. Follow these tips to discourage inappropriate behavior and teach your furry friend to manage their bladder.


Take Your Dog Outside When They Get Excited

If your dog’s regular “go” spot is outdoors, taking them to it when they’re excited will further associate this place with potty time. Even if you’re training your dog to use Wee-Wee® Pads, escorting your pup outside is still a good idea. This will prevent your exuberant dog from missing the pad and remind them it’s not appropriate to pee on the floor. Take your pup for a quick trip outside when you come home, when company visits, and any other times they may be especially excited. If you’re headed to the pet store or another public place where your dog may get antsy, let them go potty beforehand.


Tone Down the Excitement

It may be tempting to echo your puppy’s energy when their tail starts wagging vivaciously, but this can rile them up even more. Instead, remain calm to set a positive example. Don’t run up to your dog when you arrive home; let them come to you and reward them with a dog chew toy or long-lasting chew treat to redirect their pent-up energy.


Work on Essential Commands

The better trained your furry friend is, the more likely they are to obey you and refrain from inappropriate behavior. Teach basic dog commands like “sit,” “lay down,” and “stay” to promote obedience and keep your dog under control when their blood starts pumping with excitement. Even the most eager-to-please dogs likely won’t master these tricks overnight, so practice patience during training sessions.


Avoid Appearing Dominant

Although you might not realize it, certain gestures you make can cause your dog to feel submissive and urinate inappropriately. Don’t tower over your dog when interacting with them; instead, get down to their level to let them know you are not trying to assert dominance. You should also avoid confronting your dog head-on when greeting them, as this can make them feel they’re at a social disadvantage. Dogs can draw meaning from even the subtlest expressions, so it’s always important to be mindful of your body language when interacting with your furry friend.


Clean Up Potty Accidents Quickly

Dog urine contains a strong-smelling enzyme, which furry friends sniff out to know where they should go potty. When your pup pees in an inappropriate place, use an odor-eliminating cleaning solution to remove this smell as quickly as possible and prevent them from urinating in the same place again. You should also refrain from scolding your dog when they pee due to excitement. They will not necessarily connect your frustration with their behavior, so it’s best to take your pooch to the appropriate potty spot and encourage them to relieve themselves there.


Consider Hiring a Professional Trainer

Some dogs can be harder to train than others. If your puppy pees when excited no matter what you do, you may need to onboard a trainer who can help teach those essential commands and stop submissive urination. Plus, having an expert trainer can be invaluable as your furry friend matures and learns how to obey you.


Medical Reasons for Excessive Urination

Not all inappropriate urination is submissive, especially if your dog has potty accidents on random occasions. They may be suffering from one of the following medical conditions instead. If you suspect your dog may have one of these issues, consult your veterinarian for advice.

Bladder stones: These minerals can form when excess crystalline compounds in a dog’s urine cause it to become saturated, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Because the stones disrupt typical urine flow, they can lead to potty accidents or bloody urine.

Diabetes: Dogs with diabetes may experience blood glucose overflow into their urine, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. This makes dogs thirstier and can lead them to urinate more frequently than normal.

Incontinence: Incontinence occurs when a dog loses control over their bladder. You may need to stock up on dog diapers or wraps to help keep your pet and home clean.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): This infection can make urinating uncomfortable and more frequent. If your housetrained dog whimpers when they go potty or produces especially foul-smelling urine, they may have a UTI.


RELATED: Incontinence in Dogs


Is Your Puppy Ready to Chill?

happy labrador retriever

Solving submissive urination in dogs takes time, but the payoff of a calmer and more collected furry friend is well worth the effort. Be patient when training your pup and be forgiving when they make mistakes; nobody is perfect! Once your dog grows out of this habit, you’ll be on your way to an even healthier and happier relationship.