Why Does my Puppy Urinate When she Greets People?

 |  Sep 28th 2008  |   1 Contribution

I have a seven-month-old Golden Retriever, Amber.
Every time someone tries to pet her when they
first see her Amber pees from excitement.
We are trying to socialize her and are frustrated
at her peeing for everyone. I guess it is from

Is there anything we can do to train her not to
pee? Will she grow out of this? Is this normal?
Thank you for you advice,

Blanco, Texas

I will answer your last question first. Amber's behavior is not exactly normal, but it definitely isn't abnormal. It is very common, especially in puppies.

I suspect that Amber is engaging in a behavior called submissive urination.

When two dogs meet, they size each other up to determine each other's status and level of dominance (this behavior is common in people as well). Dogs that are submissive sometimes release a small amount of urine during such encounters. This is a way of signaling that they aren't a threat to a more dominant individual. It is especially common in puppies.

In other words, a submissive dog may urinate as a sign of respect. It is a dog's way of saying that she doesn't want any trouble.

Nonetheless, problems occur when dogs use this method of communication with humans. The dog is trying to show respect. The human usually is not impressed.

The problem usually can be addressed by asking guests and unfamiliar people to ignore the dog for the first few minutes after meeting. Once she has calmed down, the dog can be greeted in a calm manner.

Most dogs eventually outgrow submissive urination. If you are patient and persistent, the situation probably will resolve.

Please be aware that in rare instances bladder infections, urine chemical imbalances, hormonally-mediated incontinence and anatomical irregularities can lead to symptoms similar to those you describe. It might be a good idea to have Amber checked by a vet to rule out these conditions.


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