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Dog Urination Behaviors: Why Your Dog May Do This

Who would have thought we would be talking about the bathroom habits of our furry family members? But, here we are. There are a lot of issues to understand regarding dog urination behaviors. However, once you get inside the mind of your dog you will find your dog’s urination habits much easier to control.

Dogs urinate for a variety of reasons, including marking their territory, expressing dominance, and excitement.

It’s important to understand the underlying motivations behind your dog’s urination behavior in order to effectively address it.

Dog Urination Behaviors: Why Your Dog May Do This

Dogs may also be exhibiting signs of anxiety or insecurity when they urinate inappropriately.

From excitement urination to marking territory to medical issues, understanding the why behind your dog’s behavior is the key to stopping it.

Let’s take a look at a few dog urination behaviors.

Dogs & Separation Anxiety

A dog’s separation anxiety is often very misunderstood by owners.

Dogs are often scolded, punished, or even abused because their owners came home to find soiled carpeting, defecation on the couch, or perhaps a huge hole in the carpeting where the dog tried to dig their way out of confinement.

This type of dog urination behavior is often directly tied to the dog’s separation anxiety.

They are not capable of complex thinking to the point of “getting even” with their owner for leaving them alone.

They can, however, experience extreme anxiety over being left alone.

Dogs will often urinate because they are anxious and worried about being alone.

Many do not even realize they are urinating until it is too late.

Scolding or disciplining a dog’s separation anxiety will not fix the problem.

In fact, it could lead to other dog urination problems like submissive urination or excitement urination.

If your dog cannot be left alone even for short periods of time without extreme agitation and signs of anxiety it is best to start crate training.

The dog’s separation anxiety will not be fixed by crate training. However, it can keep the dog’s urination problems in a confined area that is easier to clean up.

Just make sure the space for crate training is very safe if your dog is one to dig, chew, or throw themselves around in anxiety.

Cute brown dog laying in the middle of a bed with white sheets

My Dog Peed on my Bed!

It is not uncommon for owners of really good and completely house trained dogs to come home and find that their dog peed on a bed.

This can be related to a dog’s separation anxiety (especially if locked in a bedroom).

It is easy to control this type of dog urination problem by closing the bedroom door to forbid the dog’s entrance while the owner is absent.

In other cases, a dog may pee on its owner’s bed because they are trying to pee over the owner’s scent.

There are different theories among experts on this dog urination behavior, but the two leading theories are:

1. Your dog peed on your bed to cover your scent with theirs as a sign of dominance.

2. Your dog peed on your bed because they don’t want to attract the attention of other dogs. Dogs pick up on one another through dog urination. A dominant dog may mark their territory with urination, but a submissive or unconfident dog may try to hide its urine smells with other scents.

Once your dog peed on a bed in your home you may never know why it did it.

If you catch them in the act you can make it clear immediately that the behavior is unacceptable.

If you find the mess after the fact, it is too late to show your displeasure.

Crate-training puppies that pee on furniture or beds will help them learn to potty only in appropriate locations.

Older dogs that suddenly start peeing on the bed should be restricted from going into the bedrooms.

Crate training may need to be started with them as well.

Excitement Urination

One common dog urination behavior is excitement urination.

Whenever the dog gets excited (for good or bad reasons) they urinate. This may be a trickle of urine or it could be a full flow of urine.

This is a very common dog urination problem with puppies, but unfortunately, crate training puppies won’t fix it.

Disciplining won’t work either, since the dogs usually don’t realize they are urinating.

The best course of action is to try to eliminate a lot of the excitement. For example, if the dog’s urination problem seems connected to loud noises or yelling, create a quiet environment for them.

Does your dog pee when a guest comes over?

Try to keep them in another room until the excitement of the guests subsides.

If going for a walk or car ride is the excitement trigger, try to take them on a calm walk first.

Dogs that urinate from excitement will often improve as they age and mature. However, some dogs never outgrow this dog urination problem.

If excitement peeing is a big problem, you may want to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. There might possibly be a medical reason behind it.

Submissive Urination

Submissive urination is similar to excitement urination in that it is one of the dog urination problems that aren’t intentional.

A very submissive, timid dog may urinate when they are trying to show submissiveness to other dogs or their owners.

They may also have incidences of submissive peeing when they get anxious.

Submissive urination is often seen in puppies as they roll over on their backs to please an older or larger dog.

Older dogs that have been mistreated will often become overly sensitive to punishment or may be so nervous around people and other dogs that they have issues with submissive urination.

Small white dog peeing on a lamp post

Territorial Marking

A lot of dog urination problems can be caused by territorial marking.

Dogs will often mark their territory with urine, and this is especially true for male dogs.

If a female dog feels threatened or dominant in her environment, she may also mark her territory with urine.

This type of dog urination problem is not related to excitement or submissiveness. It is a way for the dog to claim its space.

The best way to handle territorial marking is to make sure the dog has an adequate amount of space and exercise.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to talk to a veterinarian or animal behaviorist about ways to address it.

Pee Domination

Anyone who has multiple dogs will know a little something about pee domination.

This is a dog urination game where a dog sniffs out the urination spot of another dog and pees on top of it.

Dominant dog urination behavior is to wait for the submissive dog to urinate and then go pee on top of that same spot.

The goal of pee domination is to keep their scent on top so they mark their territory.

Pee domination is typically not a dog urination problem, but it can be entertaining to watch.

Two dominant dogs may run in circles sniffing and waiting for one another to go first.

They may also take turns peeing on the same spot over and over until one gives up.

Medical Condition

Sometimes, medical problems or health conditions can cause dogs to urinate inappropriately have frequent urination.

These include urinary tract infections, bladder infections, diabetes, and kidney disease or kidney failure.

If your dog is having frequent accidents in the house or showing signs of discomfort, or pain when trying to urinate, it is important to take them to the vet for a checkup.

In addition to checking for any underlying medical issues, the vet may be able to prescribe medication or dietary changes that can help with the problem.

Small black and white dog peeing on a brick wall

To Sum it Up

Dog urination behaviors and/or problems can be difficult to handle. However, once you know that they are not doing it on purpose or to punish you, it is easier to find solutions that actually work.

Dog urination problems can range from excitable peeing to pee domination and submissive behavior.

Understanding why your dog is having an issue with urinating is the first step to resolving it.

Medical issues should always be ruled out first. Then different strategies can be used depending on the type of dog urination problem.

With patience and understanding, the issue can usually be resolved.


Sunday 10th of September 2023

Knowing what causes this behavior is important!

Michael Law

Monday 27th of February 2023

This is some good info. Thanks for sharing l.

Debbie P

Sunday 26th of February 2023

This was really interesting and informative!


Saturday 25th of February 2023

Thanks for sharing this article. My boyfriend's girl dog pees on handstands (outside) to show dominance.

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