Submissive Urination In Chihuahuas 2


When you come home, does your dog greet you happily but with a hint of shyness, while squatting and dribbling several drops of urine? That’s called submissive urination. Though often mistaken for a house training problem, this is really an anxiety problem and has nothing to do with house training at all.

The tendency may be inherited, may be caused by harsh or too-frequent corrections, or even by abuse  your Chihuahua suffered before you got him.

Between wolves in the wild, submissive urination in dogs means: “Hi boss. Sure hope I didn’t do anything to upset you, but if I did, I’m sorry”. Though it happens most often during a greeting, a dribble may also occur when you bend over him to pick him up or when you chastise him. The urination is a conditioned reflex to dominant treatment, and your Chihuahua isn’t doing it on purpose. In fact, he doesn’t know he’s doing it at all.

Never chastise your Chi for submissive urination, because that only makes it worse.

The easiest way to prevent this problem, is to come and go without making a fuss. Long apologies before leaving and boisterous homecomings overstimulate many dogs, and excited dogs behave erratically.

Toss a treat for your puppy the minute you arrive home instead of bending over to pick him up. After he eats the treat, ignore him until he comes to you for attention. When he does, tickle under his chin or rub his chest (with your palm up) instead of reaching over his head or bending over him.

You also can teach him a few easy commands so he knows how to please you and earn praise. Then use a simple command, such as “Sit”, when you greet each other. Now you’ve given him a positive way to express his devotion and earn your praise.

Compliments from you are what eventually break the submissive urination cycle in your puppy. Being praised for a correct response builds confidence, and confidence is the main factor to conquer submissive urination in dogs.

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2 thoughts on “Submissive Urination In Chihuahuas

  • Lysa

    I adopted an eighteen month old chihuahua who just can’t seem to be housebroken. When I agreed to take him, I thought I was taking a dog that was already well trained and generally obedient as far as dogs go as he was given to me by a friend whom I’ve observed to love and care for her dogs. I learned the truth the moment I took possession of him… By the way, he’s not housebroken, and he won’t eat, good luck. He’s incredibly stubborn about being housebroken. After going three weeks with no accidents and consistently going potty on command, he started peeing right inside the door just before I could open it to let him out. He’d make it down three flights of stairs and through the hallway to the main entrance just to wet in the foyer. And he does it so quickly and slyly that even though I pay close attention as we go downstairs and out the front door, I only know he did it when we get to his spot and he doesn’t have to go although it’s been four hours since his last potty break. I cleaned up the mess and scolded him that he must “potty outside”. So he pissed on the floor in the foyer twice and on the stairs once the next day. I scolded him. I also noticed large paw prints on his usual spot. And he’s shaking when we go downstairs. So when he did it again the following day I started carrying him outside while speaking to him in a soothing voice and setting him down in his new spot and telling him to “go potty”. He goes. I praise him mightily, give him his cuddles and feed him as per our normal routine. He went a whole day with no accidents, but did not make it overnight. He just peed in my bed for the second time since I got him three months ago. In the early morning hours my friend who’s visiting overnight woke up to him peeing. So I picked him up, scolded him to “potty outside”, and took him out. He didn’t have to go any more of course since he’d just emptied his bladder on my bed. Fortunately, I keep the mattress covered with layers of quilts and an expensive allergen/bed bug cover that I can wipe down with nature’s miracle, because I seem to be allergic or sensitive to the memory foam, thus the mattress has no stain or odor. He’s just ruining my expensive down quilts and other bedding–and our friendship. Housebreaking is a deal breaker for me. I cannot and will not keep a dog that goes potty in the house (I’ve tried puppy pads and a litter box, and that just confused him and made the problem worse). I am actually starting to hate this little chihuahua because of this behavior. He is also an anorexic dog who will not eat anything. He was very underweight when I got him as there was a vicious food aggressive dog in the home. So I also have to cook for this dog and cannot really treat train him because he doesn’t like treats. It’s been a lot of work to fatten him up. He’s just very high maintenance, and although I hate to do it I am this close to throwing in the towel and returning him to his previous owner despite what a lovely dog he is otherwise. Maybe he needs an owner who will praise him for pissing and shitting everywhere in the house because the little Dear is just too emotionally fragile and his fragile emotions must rule the household. Or maybe he needs a vet for a urinary tract infection and castration. I am just at my wit’s end. I cannot even be patient with his accidents anymore as I’ve had him for three months and have him potty trained to where i can set him down in his spot (last week he would walk there on his own) and tell him to go potty, and he will go on command if he has to go–but now he’s back to going indoors when clearly he knows better. So why?! WTH does he want or need now? I’m just starting to lose it. Peeing on my bed is the final straw. He may be submission peeing at this point. Despite my picking him up and carrying him to his own potty place, setting him down, praising him, and generally making it easy and safe to go outside, now he pees in my bed. I’ve put so much work into this little dog in three months I’m just tired of not getting anywhere and the constant supervision I must provide as well as the expenses involved in meeting his needs that I no longer have much of a life of my own. How does one housebreak a chihuahua? Is it just not possible and so he has to go back to where he came from?

    • Mary

      It’s been a little over a month, how did things end up for you and your chi?
      I’ve had two and both have been pretty good with the potty, although there are accidents and the submissive peeing.
      I had a westie once with that problem plus…. and like you, I started to resent the dog. I’m not one to give up and love dogs, but that time I did and I gave him away.
      I hope if you still have him things have gotten better.