Does your puppy ever get so excited that they pee on your shoes or all over the floor? Isn’t that so cute? Not really!
Peeing while excited is fairly common among puppies and even some adult dogs. If you do not curb excited peeing with your puppy, the behavior will only continue and likely worsen! Luckily, this is something that can be managed with training, consistency and just a little bit of work on the part of the human. And as your pup’s bladder grows stronger, this will also get better. These things get better with time… and training!
Take a second to think about the last time your puppy got overly excited and piddled on the floor, likely without any knowledge that he did it. I'm almost sure that a few key factors played a role in creating this situation.
Why Does My Puppy Pee When Excited?
Let’s break down a scenario that would likely tip a puppy over the edge.
You come home from a day at work and your dog has been in the crate, anticipating your arrival. When they hear you come through the door they start stretching and maybe even talking to you. “Hi there, I’m so excited to see you! Can I come out now? Oh boy! Oh boy! This is the best time of the day!”
As you set your things down, maybe you start talking back to your pup. “Hiiiii babyyy, how was your day?! Are you so excited to see me?! Do you want to go outside?! Let’s go outside!”
You begin walking over to the crate, continuing to talk in an excited voice, and your pup is now doing spin outs in anticipation. You open the door and, after giving your puppy the release word, your puppy flies out to greet you like the Tasmanian devil!
Your puppy jumps into your open arms as you start showering him with love and affection after missing him all day long. Your puppy is jumping and wiggling all over the place, all while peeing on the floor or even on you.
So what went wrong here?
From the moment you walked in the door and started talking, you were building your puppy up to have an accident.
Here’s what you should do instead.
1) Enter your house calmly and avoid talking to your puppy at all.
This will be very hard for humans who like to communicate with words!
But it’s important to understand that talking, especially in a high pitched voice, increases your puppy’s stimulation and makes a peeing problem worse. In a puppy that’s already so excited, that’s often enough to tip his excitement level over the edge.
2) Make sure to only approach the crate if and when your puppy is calm.
You want your puppy to exit the crate without going into that over-excited behavior, and you can help that by avoiding bending over, touching in any way, or making eye contact with your puppy until he or she is calm.
3) As calmly and efficiently as possible, attach a leash and immediately take your puppy outside to potty.
Once she has done her business, you can then greet your dog. This is a great thing to do in that moment because it also reinforces the behavior you want: going potty outside!
This is going to take some practice. Remember, kickers on a football team do not practice a field goal for the first time on Superbowl Sunday.
If the process of getting out of the crate and getting the collar and leash on proves to be very exciting for your puppy, work that into your training sessions and make that sequence of actions to be normal and no big deal.
We call this “pre-training” – practice the behavior before you need the pup to use it. It is much easier to learn in a calm and controlled environment. It works the same way for you and your puppy!
Another common scenario when we see excited pee is when guests arrive. New humans entering the house are very exciting for young puppies. New smells, new faces and the humans seem pretty excited too!
A cute puppy is as hard for your guests to resist as it is for you! But when guests arrive excited and immediately start talking, bending over, and petting your overstimulated pup, they actually reinforce the very behavior you are trying to change!
How to prepare for guests:
1) Let guests know ahead of time that you’re training your dog and what they can do to help!
Ask your guests to help you AND your new puppy by avoiding talking to, touching, or making eye contact with your puppy until your pup is calm.
2) It’s also helpful to teach your pup what you DO want him to do when guests arrive.
Teaching your dog to sit, go to their bed or crate, or stand by your leg is a great way to help him and you!
3) Always take your puppy out to potty before anyone comes in the door.
This will help the meet and greet go much smoother, and there will be fewer accidents too.
By consistently following these three tips, guest arrivals will get much better, much more quickly.
What are some ways you’ve learned to help your puppy through an exciting situation?