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Proven Training Method to Stop an Excited Dog From Peeing on the Couch

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

You can train an excited dog and stop them from peeing on the couch.

You can train an excited dog and stop them from peeing on the couch.

Why Does My Dog Pee a Little When He Gets Excited?

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 TV or doing the "canine thing" and taking a nap.

Someone would show up at the front door and ring the doorbell. My puppy would wake up and bark a few times, dribbling a few drops of urine onto the 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, they are 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. Over time this would eventually destroy the couch.
I wanted to find a solution.

Sleeping dogs will not urinate but it does not take much to wake them up.

Sleeping dogs will not urinate but it does not take much to wake them up.

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 and 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?

Throwing a cover over the couch will help while excitement urination is being treated correctly.

Throwing a cover over the couch will help while excitement urination is being treated correctly.

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How Can I Get My Dog to Stop Peeing When He Gets Excited?

Many trainers and other veterinarians will tell you that dogs are going to grow out of this. This is sometimes the case in submissive urination but not at all when the dog is just excited. Training methods recommended for submissive urination are great for that problem but do not work for a dog that is dribbling on your couch.

I knew I had a special problem on my hands.

How Can I Make Him Less Excited When He Is 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 dribbled 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 a means to condition him to the stimulus. When the doorbell rang, and one of the neighborhood kids came, I did not speak to my dog 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 that 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!

So if your dog has excitement urination, follow these four simple steps to get rid of the problem:

  1. Figure out the stimulus, or what is making them so excited.
  2. Condition them to get used to the stimulus.
  3. Use alternative methods to condition.
  4. Convince them to ignore the stimulus.

If the training tip I have recommended above is not effective some articles suggest the use of "doggie diapers". I certainly would not want to subject my Maltese to this indignity, but I don´t think my couch would mind.

Except for the excitement urination issue, my dog did not cause problems on the couch. If your dog is also aggressive about the couch, you might need to train them to keep off of the furniture.

Sources

Urinary Incontenence in Dogs, Washington State Unversity, https://hospital.vetmed.wsu.edu/2021/10/26/urinary-incontinence-in-dogs/

Keller, Megan, Why Dogs Pee When Excited or Scared, PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/why-dogs-pee-when-excited-or-scared

Stellato, A., Jajou, S., Dewey, C. E., Widowski, T. M., & Niel, L. (2019). Effect of a Standardized Four-Week Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning Training Program on Pre-Existing Veterinary Fear in Companion Dogs. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 9(10), 767. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826973/

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.

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