Could it be submissive peeing and why

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ddoneganllm's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-28

My puppy/dog Bella is now 6 months old.  She probably is 75% housetrained.  The problem that is driving my husband and myself nuts is that whenever we put her leash on to take her outside to go out and pee, she squats and pees on the floor as we are putting her leash on.  She doesn't do that when she does not have a lease and runs outside, but I need to put the leash on her since she was just spayed and since she not takes it upon herself to run in the front yard and do what she pleases.  We are baffled by this.  I think it might be some type of submissive behavior, but how do I correct this one..... ???

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Correction is not the solutions to this. I think it is probably submissive urination. Does putting the leash on ever mean she's being bad?

With the stress from the spay, the body changes, and the excitement of going on a walk, she is probably becoming overly motivated to be an extra good subordinate dog. I would try making her sit before I attach the leash. The sit position looks like it's similar to the peeing position, but it's very different. From the sit her inclination would be to come out of the sit, then take the submissive posture, and then the peeing posture. Don't try to correct her for it - that will just make her more likely to do it.

Once she's in the sit you can crouch down and attach the leash from there. A lower position will be less intimidating.

ddoneganllm's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-28

I have done that, but the problem is she still lets loose and pees.  She has even been in the down position and you think whew, she didn't pee, but when she gets up to go outside, there is a puddle.  I tried to get her to be in the sit position with a treat in my hand so she can focus on the treat and not the leash and to make it a positive experience for her, but that only worked two times before she started leaving a puddle.  The only thing that works is when I let her out without putting a leash on, but then she runs everywhere and it is difficult to get her to come back.  I have had a few dogs in my time, but I have never had one do this. 

Soleil's picture
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Is it the act of putting on leash that makes her pee or is it the leash itself.  Have you tried desensitizing her to the leash.  Just taking it out and putting in on the ground and allow her to investigate it.  Once she is used to that you could try to drape it over her lightly until she is used to that.  Then move to putting the leash on.  I have only encountered one other dog that had an issue with submissive urinating.  One of the big things that help with her was avoiding eye contact and ignoring her.  It was strange but the only way she would not pee was if you ignored her and did not make a big deal out of anything. 
Is putting on the leash the only time that she does this or does she do it when you come home, or have visitors? 

ddoneganllm's picture
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It is mostly when I put the leash on her.  She still is not 100 % house trained either.  It seems like we take her out quite often for a 7 month old dog, usually every hour and a half.  If we wait longer than we are asking for trouble.  If I take her out and she pees and I take her out a half an hour later for the heck of it, I'm able to put the leash on her without her peeing.  This has really been the only issue with her, otherwise she is such a sweet dog.  Lots of energy!  I had her urine tested again and everything seems fine the vet said.  I'm just wondering if she still needs more time to mature in that area.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Just remember that puppies are like children, they all mature at a different rate. Princess is 16 weeks old now, and a very good puppy, but I won't trust her loose in the house much over an hour at a time. On the other hand, she many times will go overnight without wetting in her crate. Last night for example, she went almost 8 hours and this morning her towels and pad were dry.

This is one reason I really like the crate. It strengthens the muscles and gives them the will power to hold it when they are not distracted. The problem with puppies is that anything can distract them, and then suddenly, "Oh yea, I gotta pea", and they do. Part of the problem with the lead is that they get excited, and then their muscles relax because they have been distracted.

The use of the lead tells me you do not have a fenced enclosure, so must walk the dog. Try leaving the leash on her when you come back in and let her just drag it around the house for a while. Then pick up the leash and walk her around the house. Then leave her on her own for a while and then pick up the leash and go out for a walk.

Another option is to hold her rear up why you clip on the leash. If she is not squatting, she will not pea.

Let us know how it progresses.

ddoneganllm's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-28

That sounds like a good idea rgreen4!  I will try that let you know how it goes.  And no, I don't have a fenced in yard, but I take her to a certain spot in the yard where my dogs go.  I do have an electric fence, but I don't want to put the collar on her.  She is too young for that.  Thanks again and I'll let you know how it goes....

roxi's picture
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I just got my girl yesterday and we've come to notice the exact same thing!  Every time I went to go put the lead on her, she'd squat; she even does it when I say "outside!" (in a positive way) and then show her the door.  We've been working on it all day today and she's just about got it down.  What helped was when I noticed her squatting to pee, I turned away and placed my focus on the door while saying "outside!".  The next time I did it, she didn't pee; and instead sat down to get the lead put on her.  I praised her for doing such a good job and as soon as she hit the grass she peed!  I was so excited for her!  We're working on it all right now.  I still haven't been able to get my crate set up for her yet :[

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Great start. congratulations.. First step in the right direction....Roxi Rocks!