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My Dog Pees When I Get Home! Is It Excitement or Submissive Urination?

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You get home after a long day at work, looking forward to the best greeting from your beloved canine companion. 

Fluffy’s obviously ecstatic to see you and she’s jumping around, tail furiously wagging.

But then you see it: the yellow puddle she just left you.

Not again!? Why does my dog pee when I get home?

dog standing on tile floor looking up at camera with pee at his feet.

Why would your sweet dog urinate when you return home? There are likely explanation regarding why she’d do this as described below.

Also consider that the dog may just need to pee if she hasn’t had a needed potty break. Then, just make sure that someone takes him out to potty at appropriate intervals throughout the day.

Why Does My Dog Pee When I Get Home?

Your Dog May Have Submissive Urination

In order to determine whether it’s submissive urination when your dog pees when you get home, there are some factors to consider.

Submissive urination is normal in some young dogs. Also look at your dog’s temperament and body language to help determine whether that’s the issue.

It occurs when a dog is excited, shy, anxious, or scared. It can also occur to acknowledge your or another’s dominance.

  1. Both male and female dogs may have submissive urination. Either sex can submissive urinate, depending on the factors below, but it occurs more often in female dogs.
  1. Look at your dog’s body language. A submissive dog shows submissive body language.

He may tuck his tail under his body, crouch, have ears pulled back, look away, and drool. He may even roll on his back, exposing his belly.

  1. Submissive dogs may be shy, anxious, stressed, timid dogs. Generally, outgoing, in-your-face-type dogs like goldens or labs aren’t submissive dogs.

But, depending on their genetics and life experiences, any dog can be a submissive dog.

  1. A dog’s experiences may cause him to be submissive. If a dog’s been exposed to harsh or loud corrections or rough treatment, he may become submissive to people–especially to those who subjected him to that treatment.

Your Dog May Have Excitement Urination

If your dog has excitement urination, he’ll pee when he greets you just as a dog would who submissively urinates. But his body language and demeanor will greatly differ.

  1. Both male and female dogs may have submissive urination. Either sex can submissive urinate, depending on the factors below.
  1. Look at your dog’s body language. A dog with excitement urination will generally appear playful. 

He may jump, spin, play bow, happily wag his tail, and have loose–not tense–body language.

He may happily yip or bark. You get the picture.

  1. Look at your dog’s reactions in other contexts. Does your dog get happily excited when other people greet him and pee then? Does he pee when playing? If so, he may have excitement urination.
  1. It occurs more often in puppies under a year old. Although adult dogs may have excitement urination, it usually occurs in puppies. And they usually outgrow it.

Your Dog May Have A Medical Condition Causing Inappropriate Urination

We often look for behavioral reasons for a dog’s conduct. But sometimes there’s a medical reason why a dog performs certain actions.

If you’ve already eliminated (pun intended) behavioral reasons for the urination, then a vet visit is in order. Some of the possible problems are listed below.

  1. There may be a urinary tract infection (UTI). Some of the possible signs are straining when urinating, blood in the urine, and discomfort when peeing.

I was training a lab mix puppy and the dog peed too often. When greeting people or even playing, he urinated. He was a bold, happy pup.

His owner was constantly cleaning up accidents and was understandably distressed. I suggested to the owner that he be checked for a UTI.

His vet found that it was a UTI and meds cured it. Now the owner can greet her pup without having a pond also greet her.

  1. Your dog may have urinary incontinence. For a medical reason, your pup may not be able to hold his urine. For example, he may have a “weak bladder.”
  1. He may have a gastrointestinal upset. He may have an irritable bowel or even have eaten something that he shouldn’t have.
  1. He may have kidney disease. This can also cause excessive or inappropriate urination.
  1. He may have diabetes. This can cause excessive thirst and urination.
  1. .He may be on medications that make him urinate more often. Steroids, for example, make dogs thirsty and they pee more often.

What Should I Do If My Dog Pees When I Get Home?

There are things you can do to help correct the problem. But, like most behaviors that need to be modified, it takes time and patience to obtain the desired results.

  1. Don’t reach out to greet the dog. If you reach out to a dog with submissive urination, it’s likely to make him behave in an even more submissive fashion. 

In addition to peeing, he may even roll onto his back. This will exacerbate the problem, not improve it.

If you reach out to a dog with excitement urination, he probably will get even more stimulated. So doing so will make the problem worse.

  1. Keep greetings low-key and ignore your dog upon greeting. For both submissive or excitement urination, it’s usually best to just greet the dog calmly without an excited voice or a physical greeting like petting. 

Just enter and ignore the dog until he settles.

  1. Greet with treats or dog toys. If your dog’s problem is submissive urination, you don’t want to reach over his head. 

But you can gently underhandedly toss a few treats away from him and tell him to “get it.” Or toss his favorite toy in the same manner.

Have those items ready as soon as you greet your pup.

Pro-Trainer Tip: Have pea-sized treats ready when working with your dog. You don’t want to be fishing for them or he may be performing unwanted behaviors by the time you find his edible reward. 

The purpose is to have him focus on something else that he sees as rewarding and positive. If you find that he still urinates while attempting these methods, then don’t use them. 

There’s no cookie-cutter answer for correcting behavior. Each dog’s an individual.

You can do the same thing for a dog with excitement urination to attempt to focus him on something else when you greet him.

  1. Clean up the accident. The ship has sailed after he urinates. It’s important to clean it up with an enzymatic cleaner made for that purpose. 

You don’t want him to be drawn back to that area to potty.

  1. Build your dog’s confidence. Obedience train your pup. Learning new behaviors not only builds a dog’s confidence it also communicates what you want and builds your bond.

Properly socialize him in new settings and environments to help his overall confidence level. Expose him to new friendly people and dogs, sounds, and experiences.

  1. Approach your dog in a non-threatening manner. This is especially important for dogs with submissive urination. So you should approach him while standing sideways without making eye contact.

When he eventually settles down, you can approach calmly, not making a fuss. If you pet him, pet him on the chest or under his chin, not over the head.

You won’t have to do this forever if you work with him and he makes progress.

Pro-Trainer Tip: If you find that you’ve worked with the many tried-and-true methods and aren’t making progress, it’s best to get professional help from an experienced positive-reinforcement dog trainer or behaviorist. Of course, also rule out medical reasons for the problem.

  1. Praise and reward when your dog urinates in the proper place. When you take your dog to the pad to potty, praise and reward with a small treat to emphasize that’s the behavior you want.
  1. Have your dog generalize greeting others without urinating. After you’ve worked with your dog and resolved the issue, have others do the same.

The people you choose must listen to your guidance. They must greet your dog essentially by at first ignoring him. Then, after he’s settled down, can greet him in a non-confrontational manner as described above.

Please note though that if your pup had the greeting urination only with you, it’s important that others appropriately greet him.. 

It never hurts for a dog to learn how to calmly greet others with confidence.

  1. Move at your dog’s pace. In order to be successful, have patience. If at any time your dog regresses, go back to the point where he’s been successful.
  1. Take your pup out often enough to potty. It’s important to rule out whether he just needs to go to the bathroom.
  1. Get medical help. If you’ve tried the other methods to help resolve your dog’s issue and it hasn’t improved or has gotten worse, a vet visit is in order to ensure that there isn’t something physically wrong with him.

Also if you see potential problems such as blood in the urine, straining to urinate, excessive urination, or weight gain or loss, make sure that there’s not a medical problem.

What Should I NOT Do If My Dog Pees When I Get Home?

There are certain methods that you shouldn’t try. They can not only not correct the problem, they can even make it worse.

  1. Don’t punish your dog for his urination. If you physically or verbally chastise a dog who has submissive urination, he’ll probably become more submissive.

If this is how the issue is handled, it may become a problem that’s very hard to resolve.

Even dogs with excitement urination will probably become over-stimulated and the problem will inevitably become worse.

  1. Don’t flood the dog with stimulation. In our quest to resolve our dog’s issues, we often want a quick resolution.

Especially with behavior modification, you must have a lot of patience. Depending on his genetics and past experiences, each dog will progress at his own pace.

  1. Don’t ignore the problem thinking that it will go away. Puppies may outgrow excitement urination. But, if you keep excessively stimulating them, it may take much longer to go away–or may not go away on its own.

If your dog has submissive urination, the problem must be correctly dealt with or it may become much more serious. Your dog’s overall submissive behavior may occur in more settings than just your greeting him.

Final Thoughts

There could be many reasons why your dog pees when you get home. He could just be very excited to greet you. Or he may be showing submissive behavior,

He may just have to go to the bathroom after you wake him from his nap. Or he may have a medical issue.

Try to discover why he’s urinating so that you’ll be able to change his behavior.

If you’ve ruled out submissive or excited behavior, or if you see any health-related issues, it’s time for a vet visit.

How about you?

Have you had issues with your dog peeing when you get home?

What did you do to remedy the situation?

Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

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Why Does My Dog Pee When I Get Home? - dog standing on the tile with pee in front of him.

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