Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.
This problem always happened on my day off of work, usually when the kids were upstairs playing and my wife was out shopping. I would be watching a football game, and my Maltese would be sitting on the back of the couch, watching me as I watched the T.V. or doing the canine thing and taking a nap.
Someone would show up at the front door and ring the doorbell. My dog would wake up and bark a few times, dribbling a few drops of urine onto the fine leather as he alerted me to the “intruder."
My little friend's problem was caused by excitement urination, a form of submissive urination. When a dog urinates from excitement or submission, he is not doing it on purpose!
I would have to clean the mess off of the leather, of course, and apply a product to destroy the scent so he would not be attracted to the spot—not a major problem, but annoying nonetheless. I wanted to find a solution.
What Is Excitement Urination?
Excitement urination is related to submissive urination. Anyone that has been around puppies already knows what that is. The submissive puppy comes to you when called, his head down, his tail wagging, and dripping urine across the room. Excitement urination happens in young dogs, too, but most of them are just happy, and they do not have all the submissive behaviors seen in other pups.
Does your dog have the same problem? You are probably interested in treating the problem, not just learning about it, right?
Numerous products to treat indoor urination are for sale in pet stores and online, but this is not a problem that can be stopped with a simple purchase. The first step in eliminating this problem is to build up the submissive dog's confidence level. We had already started our Maltese in puppy obedience training, and the problem was diminished as he gained confidence; however, my dog's problem was not just submission, and he still dribbled at times. What else could be done?
How Can Excitement Urination Be Treated?
Many people will tell you that dogs are just going to grow out of this. That is not true in all cases, and the methods that people recommend (like not getting your dog excited when you get home) do not work in all cases. Certainly not in mine.
My dog was able to go from sleeping to dribbling in 0.001 seconds, and I did not want to banish him from the couch, our social area, I knew I had a problem on my hands.
How Could I Make Him Less Excited When He was Stimulated?
- Figure out what is making him excited. In my dog's case, it was the doorbell. Someone showing up at the door most likely led to lots of fussing and extra playtime.
- Condition him to get used to the excitement stimulus. I asked my daughter to go out and ring the doorbell and come in and walk around the house, ignoring the dog. He urinated at first, of course, but after doing this off and on for several hours, he found out that the doorbell did not signify anything exciting.
- Discover any means to condition him to the stimulus. When the doorbell rang, and one of the neighborhood kids came, I did not speak to him but picked him up and carried him to the laundry room. I asked the visitors to ignore my dog until I had put him away. This was not an easy thing to do since all of the visitors wanted to pet my friendly little white dust mop!
- Convince him to ignore the stimulus. After about five minutes he would calm down again, and I could open the laundry room and let him out to greet the visitor. After that, he would jump back on the back of the couch.
Following the four steps, I outlined above is definitely the best method to get excitement urination under control. If the dog does not get excited, he can handle new experiences quite well, and the extra work will pay off in a lot less time cleaning, and maybe keep you from having to buy a new couch!
Help With Training
- How to Keep Your Small Dog From Barking Too Much
Small dogs, without reason, tend to bark more. Find out why they are more vocal, and learn some effective methods to reduce this undesirable behavior.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2012 Dr Mark