My dog wets when he gets excited

Our question this week was:

My dog wets when he gets excited. He will drip urine when he plays or when someone comes to the door. The vet checked him out and said there is no reason for this, as he is a healthy dog. What do you think?

Emily Tannenbaum

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Some dogs will urinate when excited. It is actually considered a form of submissive urination. Dr. Ilana Reisner wrote an excellent article on this topic on PetPlace.com

Essentially, Dr. Reisner says: Although submissive urination is certainly undesirable, it is a normal canine behavior. Dogs and wolves are group-living animals whose social systems are based on a dominance hierarchy. They use an elaborate system of body language to communicate with each other and facilitate harmonious co-existence within the group. When your dog squats and urinates, he is unambiguously stating that you're his leader (at the time, anyway) and he's deferring to you.

It is important not to appear more dominant than need be to your dog. Submissive urination is most often seen in puppies and young adults and most dogs eventually outgrow the behavior.

To read the full article by Dr. Reisner, go to "Submissive Urination"

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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