Dog Pees When Scared: What’s Happening + What to Do!

If your dog pees when scared, it’s concerning and leaves you wondering how to best support and comfort them. This behavior, known as submissive urination, is a common way dogs express anxiety, fear, or submission. Recognizing the signs and understanding the root cause is the first step to helping your dog feel more secure.

In this article, we’ll explain why dogs pee when scared and the concept of submissive peeing in both dogs and puppies. Once you understand what’s going on, we’ll then teach you how to manage the behavior through training, environmental changes around the home, and even music. Let’s get started!

Dog Pees When Scared

Dog Pees When Scared

Your dog pees when scared as a natural, instinctive response to fear. This behavior, known as submissive or fear-based urination, occurs in many dogs and is more common in puppies and younger dogs. It’s a sign that your dog feels threatened and is trying to avoid conflict by displaying submission.

Why Does My Dog Pee When Scared?

Your dog pees when scared because it’s a submissive gesture intended to pacify whatever they perceive as a threat. This behavior can be triggered by loud noises, unfamiliar environments, sudden movements, or intimidating interactions with humans or other animals. It’s important to recognize these triggers and manage your dog’s environment to minimize their fear.

Submissive Peeing in Dogs

Submissive peeing is a dog’s way of showing respect or deference to someone they perceive as more dominant. Signs of submissive urination include peeing during greetings, when being scolded, or when someone approaches them. To reduce this behavior, encourage confidence in your dog through positive reinforcement and avoid punishment, which can increase anxiety and fear.

Dog Peeing When Scared, What Do I Do?

If your dog pees when scared, take the following steps to help them cope:

  1. Identify and remove fear triggers: Pay attention to what scares your dog and try to eliminate these stressors from their environment.
  2. Provide a safe space: Ensure your dog has a comfortable, secure area where they can retreat when they feel overwhelmed. A crate with a blanket over the top works great for many dogs.
  3. Use positive reinforcement: Reward your dog for calm behavior and use treats or toys to create positive associations with previously scary situations.
  4. Teach “sit” command: Having this ready to go can be a big help in stopping your dog from peeing when scared, as it refocuses their attention and helps instill confidence in themselves and you. To train a dog to “sit,” hold a treat close to your dog’s nose, then slowly move your hand up, causing the dog’s head to follow and bottom to lower. Once in the sitting position, say “sit,” give the treat, and offer praise. Repeat regularly, adding the command before the movement as your dog begins to understand.

Your dog peeing when scared is a sign of anxiety and submission. By understanding and addressing the underlying causes of your dog’s fear, providing a safe environment, and using positive reinforcement techniques, you can help your dog build confidence and reduce the occurrence of fear-based urination.

It’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (anxiety, fear, lack of confidence, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog peeing when scared and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog peeing when afraid ever again!

Do Dogs Pee When Scared?

Do Dogs Pee When Scared?

Yes, dogs may pee when scared as a natural response to fear or anxiety. This behavior is rooted in a dog’s instinctual reactions and can be observed across all ages, though it’s more common in puppies due to their developing emotional and physical control.

Puppy Peeing When Scared

Puppies might pee when scared due to their less developed control over their bladder and their lack of experience in coping with stressful situations. This response can be triggered by loud noises like thunderstorms, new environments, or intimidating encounters with other dogs or people.

Consistent, gentle reassurance and positive experiences can help reduce the frequency of these accidents as your puppy grows and gains confidence. Learn a command that will also help by going back to the first section now.

Submissive Urination in Puppy

Submissive urination is a common behavior in puppies, which occurs when they feel threatened or overwhelmed, often during interactions with humans or other dogs. This act is a sign of respect and submission, signaling that they do not pose a threat.

To address submissive urination, it’s important to approach your puppy in a non-threatening manner, avoid direct eye contact during times they’re prone to peeing, and encourage calm and positive interactions. Help them learn confidence in the first section.

Using Music to Calm Frightened Dogs

Music can be a great tool to help calm and relax your frightened dog while also reducing their anxiety, especially if they’re having separation issues and peeing when you leave. Try these steps to incorporate music into your dog’s calming routine:

  1. Select calming music: Soft, classical music, or specially composed dog relaxation music like in the video below can have a soothing effect on dogs.
  2. Play music before stressful events: If you anticipate a situation that may scare your dog, begin playing music beforehand to help ease their anxiety.
  3. Create a peaceful environment: Combine music with a comfortable resting area away from loud noises or stressors.
  4. Observe your dog’s response: Pay attention to how your dog reacts to different types of music and adjust your choices based on what seems to have the most calming effect.

Here’s a video you can try:

In summary, both puppies and dogs pee when scared as a reflexive response to fear or submission. Through understanding, patience, and the use of calming techniques such as music, you can help your dog feel safer and more secure, reducing the likelihood of fear-induced accidents.

You’re probably ready to get going now that you have all of your questions about what to do when your dog pees when scared answered, so I’ll let you begin. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “Dog Pees When Scared: What’s Happening + What to Do!”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.