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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16526
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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my 5yearold jackrussel is starting to wet when he comes home

Customer Question

my 5yearold jackrussel is starting to wet when he comes home from working away she is
normaly very clean she only does it on him
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about Bonnie's urination.

She may be displaying what is called submissive urination.
In the canine world this is done to show other dogs that she is submissive, they are in charge and is a great way not to get beat up if there's any doubt on the other dog's part. Many puppies display this behavior but it tends to lessen significantly when they grow up. In anxious dogs it may never fully go away and it seems to happen around particular people that they see as particularly dominant.
Please don't discipline her for this behavior as it only makes it worse. She is already fearful and trying to show you that she knows he is in charge, by yelling and getting upset you will increase her fear and confusion and decrease her self esteem further.

I recommend starting by ignoring the behavior and her when he first comes in. Try and greet her outdoors. Don't talk or look at her until she's been out to empty her bladder.

We also need to work on increasing her self confidence around him. Obedience class is a wonderful thing. She learns what pleases him, gets rewarded for it and learns to trust him and that if she does what you'd like she is safe and won't get into trouble. She also learns to do this in front of other dogs and people and may make some new friends which will also increase her confidence.

It helps for her to learn "sit" and "lie down" commands with a long stay as those positions make it more difficult for her to urinate. They also give her something else to think about (following the commands, looking to him to see what is next).

It may help to have her outside or in another room he comes home from work. Once the excitement is passed and everyone is relaxed and seated then have her greet him outside. This pup is one that needs positive reinforcement, reshaping behaviors by rewarding positive behaviors, ignoring of bad behaviors and never corporal (physical) punishment.

Best of luck with your little girl. She sounds very sweet, she just needs some self confidence.