Dear Tango,

Ever get so excited or nervous, you just pee?  Happens to me all the time.. Like ALL the time.  Sometimes little dribbles, sometimes big lakes but it never fails, if nerves happen, pee happens.  Greet someone, pee.  Get scolded, pee.  Get scolded for peeing, pee more.  I can’t help it.  I don’t want to do it and sometimes I don’t even know I’ve done it.  Don’t know what to do about it.  Please help!

Signed, Leaky Me


Dear Leaky,
Lots of puppies could use some some Doggie “depends” and lots of doggie owners could use some advice on the subject.
Weak or leaky bladders are as common for dogs as they are for people.   I watch tv with my Mama and every other ad is for kids, adults, men and women, seniors.. everyone, springing leaks all over the place.
It’s the same for us dogs.  There can be many reasons, for instance: It takes some puppies longer than others to develop bladder control.  Some spayed female dogs have chronic leaking issues, which can usually be easily controlled with meds (Don’t tell anyone, but I have that!  Thank goodness for the meds or I would be horrified!).  Senior dogs can also suffer weakening bladders.  At any age, there could be a bladder or urinary tract infection at play.  Once medical reasons have been ruled out, we look to the most common source of the problem, which is nervous peeing.  This one can be significantly decreased with some human behavior modification! 
People don’t like cleaning up pee, fair enough, but their reactions to nervous peeing often make the problem much worse.  The dog cannot help it, so getting angry is unfair and will only cause loss of trust and increased nerves, so increased nervous peeing.  Getting frustrated or exasperated, while understandable, will also add to your dog’s nerves and make the problem worse. 
What should people do?  Ignore it.  That’s right, clean it up, pretend it didn’t happen and, work towards prevention.  How?  Consider the circumstances that trigger the pee and change them.  If greetings cause excited peeing, then don’t greet the puppy until it is over the excitement of your arrival.  If you know someone is coming to the house or some other trigger is imminent, be sure the puppy’s bladder is empty and work to take the excitement/ nerves out of the trigger situations.
Whatever they do, people must not punish or correct nervous peeing!!
Most puppies will grow out of it if the people stop triggering it and show patience and understanding when it happens.
So, first stop when dogs have pee issues, veterinarian, to rule out a medical cause.  Second stop, human behavior modification and time.

People, if you need a little help understanding how you may be part of the problem, find a good dog trainer or behaviorist to come and help.  You and the leaky dog will be glad you did!

I hope this helps get you through your piddle problems!

Love,  Tango

Topic: Ask Tango

Posted 15 August 2013, 5:47PM

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