Saturday, December 5, 2009

Submissive Elimination

Submissive peeing is something that often occurs in fearful or anxious dogs, and is usually found in younger dogs.  It is often found in dogs with some history of abuse, and usually occurs when a dog feels threatened.  It is important in a dog with submissive peeing issues that you try to build the dog’s confidence and keep all experiences positive and happy.
  • Check for Medical Issues
    • Sometimes inappropriate elimination is actually a sign of other problems.  Be sure to test to make sure everything is ok with your dog’s kidneys and urinary tract.  Some common tests are a biochemical analysis, a bacterial culture, and antibiotic sensitivity.

  • Build Your Dog’s Confidence
    • Dogs who eliminate inappropriately have low-confidence levels.  Because of this, it is important to raise the dog’s confidence. 
    • Reward confident postures and behaviors
    • Avoid direct eye contact.  Look at his back or tail instead.
    • Never pet the top of his head.  Approach from underneath and pet under his chin.
    • Approach your dog from the side, and never present your full front.
    • Go to your dog’s level. 
      • When doing this, remember to bend at the knee rather than at the waist.  You want to avoid standing over your dog.
    • Whatever you do, do NOT scold your dog for inappropriate elimination.  You will only make the problem worse!

  • Play Games
    • Tug of War- Let your dog win!

  • Using Obedience
    • There are a few different views on obedience and submissive urination.  It is my suggestion, however, that obedience be lessened or put on hold until the problem has lessened.


  1. this was pretty helpful. My dad has an English Mastiff that he rescued from a pretty threatening home. My dad is a great dog owner, loves his dogs unconditionally. Gus (dog) is very obedient. His downfall is that he pees at the end of my dad's bed. Someone my dad talked to about this problem mentioned that the dog is very co dependent. I will share this post with him, and hopefully the peeing will stop. Thank you

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  2. My 3 year old border Collie pees on my bed and couch. He only does it every 2 months or so. I cannot figure out why. He is confident, never abused.I have a great relationship with him. Please help!

    1. It's the same thing with my dog. He's only peed on my bed 3 times his entire life (he's five), and every time it's been while I was away. The longest I'm gone from my house at any given period is about six hours, most often less. I make sure he uses the bathroom before I leave--it's become a natural routine. I've had him since he was born, never been abused, and aside from sneaking off to the neighbor's yard or getting on the couch, he's a pretty well behaved dog. I take him for walks once or twice a week, and my cousin takes him out random times during the week too. I take time out of the day to play with him, or simply sit and spend time with him. There's obviously something I'm missing.

  3. My miniature greyhound urinates a lot in the house. I'll try not scoulding him for it and see if he stops. Seems very unlikely but I'll try anything. I know scoulding doesn't work.

  4. Hi, my 18 month old cavalier has been doing this alot lately. She has pee'd on my bed, my daughters bed, the lounge floor daily. She does it even with us there in the room and sometimes without us there.
    She is very dependant and excitable when she sees us (usually does a little pee when we come home) but its only been the last couple of months that she has been urinating properly all over the house.
    She is house trained and uses a dog flap to go out and do her business but recently we put a gate stopping her having access to the grass part of the garden (so my children dont step in poop by accident). She still poops outside and the occasional wee.
    Could this be the reason? In the morning she always urinates in the house but so early its before we are even awake so we couldnt even start taking her on the grass as we are still asleep.
    Please help!! What do you suggest??

  5. We recently adopted a border collie mix. We don't know much about her, but the rescue we got her from says she most likely came from some sort of abuse situation. When they rescued her, she was wearing a man's belt around her neck as a collar/leash. She is now around 9 months old and we've had her for approx. 2 months. She used to be afraid of everything, and still growls a bit at my husband or other men occasionally (he is a big guy, but has never hurt or scolded her). She has recently started peeing in our bed, even while we are in it. Last night she peed right in the middle of us while we were sleeping, my husband woke up with wet legs and was quite upset. He knows she is fearful though, so he just pulled her off the bed and we did our best to clean it up. We are at our wits end, we don't know what to do. It has happened on our bed before bed a couple of time (right in front of us), and on our couches, but never while we were actually sitting or sleeping in them. We don't know what to do. She is the sweetest dog, great with my son, and listens pretty well most of the time. We love her and have decided to now keep her out of our bedroom completely, but we feel terrible about it as she has grown quite used to sleeping in bed with us at night. What should we do? (THANK YOU in advance for any advice you could give!).

    1. I see your post is from 2013, I just recently rescued a 6 month old shepherd husky mix. I have had her two months now so she is 8 months and has started peeing on my bed and my parents bed. She is a very sweet dog and is potty trained except for her accidents on the bed. Did your dog grow out of it? is there any advice you can give me ?

  6. My 2 year old border collie peed on my bed just last week. She sleeps in the bed with me. I'm airing it out and sleeping in the guest bed. Well, she peed on that one tonight!

    She goes to daycare every day that I am at work and sometimes boards overnight if I can't pick her up in time. I have a suspicion that she has learned to eliminate in her kennel (i.e. where she sleeps) because she has no other choice there. So that behavior has followed her home. Smart puppy... too smart! Now she can't stay there overnight and I close the bedrooms when not in use. Will I have to do this forever?

    Now I must figure out how to clean the mattress. How does one sleep on a urine soaked mattress? I am tempted to throw the thing away due to pure disgust. Any suggestions?

    1. I have a multitude of cats and dogs (Great Dane ). I have found a mixture of 3% peroxide and vinegar will eliminate the smell if you let it soak in and keep moist for a few hours.The best way to keep it moist is with a garbage bag laid on top to slow down evaporation. The mixture used to rid a dog of skunk spray, is great as well. Just do not use peroxide on anything that will discolor.

  7. Hi this has been very helpful as we moved house 4mths ago and ever since then he started peeing on the bed. This has since stopped but now he pees in the house. Thank you for this information.

  8. Hope this works. My 2year old dog has been peeing on my bed 4 awhile now. More so since my 2nd daughter being born. Hope this works

  9. I acquired a 2 year old mini-Doxie a few years ago. I noticed that he would pee on my tile floors every now and then. It finally got to be a daily occurrence, and now he is peeing on my bed. I am totally frustrated with him. I hate to give him to the shelter as he is very attached to me. He is somewhat needy at times.

  10. My 14 year old beagle urinated a lot. Typically it's on the floor in our bathroom (we keep our dogs dishes in there as we have a 2 year old daughter). She's never left in the bathroom long and seems to think her bladder is the size of a pea and needs to go out the moment she's finished drinking. She has been peeing on my husband's clothes at night he leaves them at the foot of the bed and our dogs sleep in our room. She tends to Pee on his socks and pants and not his shirts or goodies in fact she'll urinate on his pants and drag his shirts over to the other side of the room and make a bed out of them. I have caught him smacking both our dogs (3 year old pit bull and 14 year old beagle) on the head quite hard I've yelled at him and told him enough I wasn't raised to physically discipline any animal and I dont believe in it. Our pitty hasn't had any problems of urinating in the house. Unfortunately our beagle does, my husband found her when shewas around 5, stranded in the woods severely emaciated. Anyway I'd really like to know what to do as I don't want to continue to clean up urine on a near daily basis

  11. Thanks, I will try this. I cannot take the dog peeing in the bed and was considering taking him back to the rescue even though I have had him for a year. He was a puppy when I got him and has not been abused at all in fact he has been very spoiled. I thought we were well past the peeing inside stuff but this is beyond. The carpet is one thing but my bed is a whole different scenario. I can't even look at him right now I am so mad. He will definitely not be allowed in the bedroom anymore. He was in his kennel last night and pretty "screamed" from about 4:30am to 7:30am when I woke up. I have earplugs but he still woke me up a couple of times. Any thoughts on how to get him to calm down now that he has chosen the kennel as his bed from now on?

    1. there are over the counter meds for doggie anxiety- I'd get some and give it to the dog before bedtime.

  12. Please help... I live on a tractor trailer with my 6 month old mutt puppy and my co-driver... she is truck trained... not so much house trained... she knows to let us know she had to go when we're in the truck no issues anymore... And we never let her up on the bed... But during my lady week she jumps up there and urinates when I get up... I don't understand why she's doing this... or how to stop it... she waits for us to leave the truck before doing it... it's a small space so strong scents are outta the question... And we can only carry so much extra bedding... she has her own cabinet that's a little bigger than a kennel with her bed and toys that she sleeps in... so I'm not seeing what else I can do... any ideas??

  13. Hi i have a 2 year old chihuahua, that has a issue on peeing on my roomates bed and pillow and on his little girls bed, he dont do it on mine at all, i have no issue with him, it's my room mate that has the problem, this didnt start tell after he brought home another dog which was his girlsfriends dog and she had puppies with her, he gets along great with the other two dogs just fine, its just him peeing on their beds, and he really dont like my room mate cause he has a little attitude and he sinces that,, he will let him pet him here an there but once he gets up he will run off and bark at him, i dont know what to do it has been going on for a while now and my room mate is fet up with him, he is cage kept but he not in his cage when im home or when they are home, they let him out but he still goes in their rooms and pees,. he goes outside an all , but it still happens im almost to the point on giving him away to someone, but i think that would be hard cause he is hard to get along with, with new people, he is glued to me when i am home but if im doing something then he goes off an plays with the other dogs, i dont if its the other dogs thats making him do that or if its my room mate attitude he sinces an he takes out on their beds, i dont know what to do... any ideas, i needs to do something cause i might have a feeling that my room mate might hurt him, cause he gets so mad at him.. i just dont want to come home one day an he got hurt or gone with out me knowing that it happened,, my room mate we are like brothers, been friends for like a long time... please give me a ant ideas that might help the issue..... thank you...

  14. I have 2, 2 month old husky and pit mix puppies and they pee and poop anywhere they want.. I got a crate and I was told by a friend to leave them in there and just take them out every 2-3 hours so they can go outside and relieve themselves, but I feel so bad locking them up in there 24/7 so what I'm trying now is putting them in there when they have an accident.. Idk if that's correct..

  15. Hi. We have a french bulldog since he was a pup. He is now 5 years old and fully house trained. About a week ago, at a petrol station we found what we thought to be an abandoned dog, not older than a year and a half, a mix of pequenise and ratonera (spanish breed name). We decided to adopt her when a guy shows up and says she was his and she was tied up in the fields and didn't want her so to take her and simply drove off! Shocked at this, we took the trembling starved and clearly mistreated dog home with us. She has adapted quite well, and even though she's not house trained.. She never pees anywhere. The bulldog won't stop bothering her for the last two days as she's on heat.
    Today she was happy wagging her tail stealing toys my socks my shoe and all she could find to hide...i turned around for a second and she had climbed onto our bed and peed on it.
    Both dogs sleep in the room in their own beds on opposite sides of us and never bother each other or climb up..
    Was this her frustration of our bulldog or is she loosening up and testing boundaries?? Shes very quiet and submissive.. A sweet little thief..and we love her to bits..but i don't know what she's trying to tell us..

  16. I have a 1 year old weiner dog that pees on my pillow every week and a part weiner dog that pees in my kids beds.

  17. my 13 yr old dog peed on my bed last week and last night never before waht do i do