View Full Version : Submission Urination - suggestions?

28th May 2009, 06:12 PM
I have a 3 year old, rescued male cavalier in a foster home that is prone to spontanious urination when corrected, startled, etc. The pup was rescued from a shelter so we know nothing of his background. He is living in a wonderful foster home with three other cavaliers so this is not a response to a harsh current environment. This dog is not submissive normally, but he squats and pees when he feels he's been corrected by his foster mom. Anyone experience this with another dog? Any ideas on how to deal effectively with this condition?

28th May 2009, 06:23 PM
Well, I'd say the issue is the training approach for this already shy dog, given that scolding is the trigger. A lot of trainers do not ever advocate using 'corrections' and especially never with a scared and submissive dog of this type. I'd strictly state no corrections, no scolding, no negative training approaches. Instead, carry treats, allow the dog to be rewarded for desired behaviour and for other times when s/he doesn't submissive urinate but normally would. Don't feed the dog at all; instead give the daily ration as rewards. Also positive-training approach obedience work will help build the dog's confidence which should make a big difference overall. Working to build overall confidence is what really helps with this type of problem in the long term.

To be honest I'd consider moving this dog to a different foster placement. People who use corrections as a general approach are unlikely to change the way they think they should manage a dog -- but continuing to do this is definitely going to make the problem worse and worse, making the dog harder and harder to rehome.

I'd suggest the foster read the approach to training on www.dogstardaily.com as that's a much better training philosophy with cavaliers generally! :)

28th May 2009, 06:43 PM
Some guidance from trainers :) Note that this type of behaviour is triggered by feeling under threat. Corrections and scolding just reinforce that the dog is under threat and hence reinforces the problem of urination (as the foster is seeing!).




Hope those might help! It is a frustrating problem and takes a lot of kindness and patience to resolve.

29th May 2009, 02:38 PM

Thanks for your thoughts - there are some good suggestions here though I misled you in using the term "corrections". The foster is exceedingly kind and patient, especially under the circumstances, but it's clear the pup has had something in his background to cause such sensitivity. I think you are right that the best approach is to rebuild his confidence.