Why Does My Puppy Pee When She Sees Me?

22 12 2008

agility-springer-of-the-yearEarlier this month, a reader e-mailed me about a problem she was having with her Springer Spaniel puppy.  Basically, anytime her puppy saw her, she would get so excited that she could not contain herself, and she would pee wherever she stood, sat, etc.  This seems like a pretty cut and dry case of submissive urination, but there are some steps we need to take to rule out other potential issues.

Submissive urination is a problem common to a lot of puppies, especially the exceptionally energetic ones.  This problem occurs when your pup is just so happy to see you, she simply releases her urine.  My first suggestion in this situation is to rule out any physical problems.  Unfortunately, that means a trip to your vet, where you can explain your concerns, and he or she can give your dog a physical exam to rule out anything physical.  When everything checks out, then it is time to work on training.  First, I would suggest that you read my guide to potty training and begin following it immediately.  Next, I suggest that you get your pup a crate and keep her in it based on the following rule: If you cannot physically keep your eye on the puppy, then she must be in her crate.

While you are working to train her, make sure that you do not yell at her.  Most dogs are not deaf, and this may startle her, causing her to release her bladder.  While in training, when you approach her, do not add to her excitement by using that little high-pitched, baby-talk voice.  Speak to her in normal, even tones, just like your normal conversation.  When she is in her crate, do not take her out if she shows too much excitement.

It is better to clean up the crate than the whole house.  Remember, dogs do not like to have a dirty crate, but this is not a dog, it is a puppy.  Puppies do not care if the crate is dirty, but she will grow to dislike it as she ages.  That is when she will learn to control the urination because she does not want a nasty room.

As discussed in the guide to potty training, remember to take her outside to the designated potty spot and give her the command word to potty.  Also, she must be on a leash outside while you are training, because you cannot train what you cannot control.  Use positive reinforcement to praise her when she goes potty in the designated area.  Make sure you have lots of toys and play with her in the yard, but nowhere close to the potty spot!  Once she learns that the yard is a great place to be because you are playing there, you have solved part of the inside excitement problem.

As with  most Springer Spaniels, you probably have a high energy dog.  To keep her properly exercised, check out things like frisbee and agility.  Springers enjoy both.  Need some proof?  Check out Chris McLeod in the Purina Dog Challenge.  Her dog is a Springer.  When she and I first met, that dog growled at me a lot, but it was OK because we were just sitting around.  Sitting around is a sport I enjoy, but it is not a sport not enjoyed by these dogs.

This article is a part of our Potty Training Page.

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