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Why Do Dogs Pee When Frightened?

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Dog peeing when nervous Dogs that leak urine or pee when they are frightened, stressed or even happy to see their owners are generally quite submissive dogs.

Submissive urination is the dog’s way of showing that it is a very low ranking individual. Such dogs can also be nervous and lack confidence.

Young puppies urinate in response to loud noises, visitors, strange sights, and many other everyday situations. This is a self-defence or safety mechanism by instantly and instinctively displaying their total subservience and therefore their lack of threat to anything and anyone, as a way of preventing any harm coming their way from the foreign object, noise etcetera. Puppies haven’t learned social skills or how to interact with the world around them. Most puppies outgrow submissive urination by the time they are 8 months to a year old.

Submissive urination is also common in dogs that have been ill-treated or abused. Even rough handling, harsh training methods and poor communication can result in a fearful and apprehensive animal. The dog will urinate to shows its fear and its low ranking status to protect itself from further confrontation.

In a group of mature adult dogs submissive urination is a natural behaviour designed to reduce violence amongst the group. If a lower ranking dog is challenged by a more confident one it urinates to display its position and prevent an attack. Such signals are subtle when dogs meet in the park and often go unnoticed by the owners.

Submissive urination will also be accompanied by submissive postures. The dog will crouch down low to the ground or roll over and expose its underside, again a sign of submission and non-threatening behaviour.

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