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Preventing unwanted urination
Problems with inappropriate urination are some of the most commonly encountered by dog owners. As a matter of fact, inappropriate urination and defecation is the most frequently cited reason that owners surrender their animals to shelters.
Before you can address problems with inappropriate urination, it is important to understand the basis of the problem. There are several reasons why dogs lose control of their bladders, and it is important to know the root cause of the problem before it can be properly addressed.
Problem #1 - Excitement Urination
Dogs often urinate when they become overly excited, and dogs that are otherwise perfectly housebroken sometimes show their excitement by dribbling urine when greeting you excitedly. It is normal for some dogs to urinate when they get excited, and this can be a particular problem for many older dogs.
A lot of excitement induced urination occurs in young puppies, and it is caused by a lack of bladder control. The puppy may not even know he is urinating, and punishment will simply confuse him. Becoming angry with the puppy will quickly cause excitement urination to morph into submissive urination, thus compounding the problem. As the puppy gets older and develops better bladder control, this type of excitement urination should disappear.
The best cure for excitement urination is prevention. Preventing your dog from becoming over excited is the best way to control this problem behavior. If your dog is excited by a particular stimulus or situation, it is important to repeatedly expose him to that situation until it no longer causes excessive excitement.
Problem #2 - Submissive Urination
Submissive urination is a natural part of pack behavior among animals like dogs and wolves. The submissive member of the pack shows his or her submissiveness by lowering itself and urinating. Since dogs are pack animals, they may show their submissiveness to their owner, who they regard as the pack leader, by exhibiting this submissive urination.
Dogs who exhibit submissive urination are usually showing their insecurity. Unsocial zed and previously abused dogs often exhibit submissive urination. These dogs need to be shown that there are more appropriate ways to express their submissive status, such as shaking hands or licking the owner's hand.
The best way to deal with submissive urination problems is often to ignore the urination. Trying to reassure the dog can give the mistaken impression that you approve of the behavior, while scolding the dog can make the submissive urination worse.
Correcting problems with submissive urination should be directed at building the dog's confidence and teaching him other ways to show his respect. Teaching the dog to lift his paw, sit on command, or similar obedience commands, is a great way to direct the dog's respect in a more appropriate direction.
Problems with urination are not always easy to deal with, but it is important to be consistent, and to always reward acceptable behavior on the part of the dog. When urination problems do occur, it is always a good idea to first rule out any medical conditions that could be causing those problems. Medical issues like bladder infections can be the root cause of problems with unwanted urination.
After any medical problems have been ruled out, it is important to determine what is causing the problem, and treat it appropriately. While it can be tempting to punish the dog for inappropriate elimination, doing so will only confuse and further intimidate him.