My Dog Pees on People!

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Last Updated: August 7th, 2023

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Find the reasons why your dog pees on people. Gain insights into dominance assertion and effective strategies to address this behavior.

Dog pees on people
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As someone who owns a dog you may find yourself embarrassed, looking for an answer to the question of why your dog pees on people at the dog park or even more surprisingly on you while in bed. This behavior can be unsettling and embarrassing as it goes against their demeanor. It has the potential to disrupt the bond of love and understanding that forms the foundation of your relationship with your pet. The act of a dog urinating on people is not unheard of. This behavior stems from causes such as asserting dominance, feelings of anxiety or fear and occasionally certain medical conditions. Gaining an understanding of these causes is essential for training and effective intervention. It’s a response. Some dogs exhibit this behavior as a way to show submission or defuse perceived threats.

Your Dog Pees on People?- Possible Reasons

Submissive Peeing

One of the most common reasons behind your dog peeing on people is submissive peeing. Submissive urination is often seen in puppies, timid dogs, or those who have suffered from trauma. It’s an instinctive response and some dogs use this behavior as a way to communicate submission or to appease a perceived threat. Submissive urination is deeply rooted in dog psychology and canine social structures. In the wild, a less dominant dog may urinate in front of a more dominant one as a sign of peace, acceptance of the hierarchy, and a way to prevent conflict.

Although it may seem problematic, especially considering the mess it can create, it’s essential to understand that this behavior is not a housetraining issue. It’s also not a deliberate act of disobedience, so punishment or scolding isn’t the solution and may, in fact, exacerbate the problem.

Instead, positive reinforcement and confidence-building activities can often help reduce the frequency of submissive peeing. Strategies to prevent this behavior include avoiding direct eye contact, approaching your dog from the side instead of head-on, and speaking in a calm and soothing voice. This also goes to any strangers that may have contact with your dog.

“Will my dog grow out of submissive peeing?”

The answer is, in most cases, yes. Given proper training and a supportive environment, you will be able to tackle this issue. However, in some cases, dogs may continue to exhibit this behavior into adulthood, especially if they are in a stressful or intimidating situation.

Dog being punished for peeing on a carpet
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Dominance Peeing

Dominance peeing, also known as “urine marking” or “scent marking,” is a common behavior in many dogs. It’s a way for a dog to establish territory and communicate their social status to other animals.

Dominance peeing can occur in any breed or gender, but it is more common in male dogs, especially those that are not neutered. Intact males are particularly prone to this behavior since it’s primarily driven by hormones. They may mark in response to a perceived threat, such as the arrival of a new person or pet in the home, or changes in their environment.

This behavior can be problematic in a domestic setting, especially when it involves indoor marking. If your dog is displaying this behavior, there are several things you can do to discourage it. Neutering can reduce urine marking in many male dogs. Training can also be effective, especially when combined with positive reinforcement. For example, rewarding your dog for urinating in an appropriate place can encourage better behavior.

The Role of Medical Problems

While many assume this behavior is primarily psychological, it’s important to rule out any possible medical condition that may be the cause. Urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and certain neurological disorders can lead to inappropriate urination. If your dog’s behavior changes suddenly or if the peeing is accompanied by other symptoms like increased thirst, changes in appetite, or lethargy, it’s essential to consult a vet immediately.

Veterinary surgeon and corgi dog at vet clinic.
Pic credit: Adobe Stock

The Dog Breeds Most Likely to Pee on People

Certain dog breeds are known to display more of these behaviors than others. For instance, smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are often associated with submissive peeing due to their anxious nature. These tiny pets, despite their small stature, have big personalities, but can sometimes be easily overwhelmed.

On the other end of the spectrum, more assertive and bold breeds like Siberian Huskies or Boxers may engage in such behaviors as a way of asserting their dominance. These breeds are known for their confidence and natural leadership, but without the right training and socialization, these traits can sometimes translate into challenging behaviors like peeing on people.

It’s important to remember that while certain breeds might have a predisposition, not every dog within these breeds will exhibit such behaviors. Individual temperament, socialization, and training can greatly influence a dog’s reactons.

Pic credit: Adobe Stock

Dealing with the Problem – How Do You Stop a Dog from Peeing on You?

To answer the pressing question, “How do you stop a dog from peeing on you?” it’s important to first understand the root cause of the behavior. Is it submission, fear, dominance, or a medical issue? Identifying this is the first step towards the solution.

If it’s related to submission or fear, ensuring your pet feels safe, secure, and loved can significantly help. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in building your dog’s confidence.

According to a study by Applied Animal Behaviour Science, proper training, coupled with behavior modification, can successfully manage and even eliminate such behaviors.

Another common question pet owners often ask is “Does submissive peeing go away?” With time, patience, consistent training, and positive reinforcement, most dogs do grow out of it.


Remember, the key to handling these behavioral issues lies in understanding your pet and addressing the behaviors with compassion and knowledge. By doing so, you can ensure a happier, healthier relationship with your furry friend.



Maja Sebenik is a proud owner of a Dachshund named Bimba. With three years of experience working as a researcher for a pet magazine, Maja's love for animals runs deep. Through her heartfelt writing, Maja shares practical tips, advice, and heartwarming anecdotes to inspire fellow pet lovers. Join her on a journey to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom, one paw at a time.

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