Should I Pee on my Dog to Show Dominance? 

By Britt Kascjak

If you’re looking for a way to show dominance over your new dog, peeing on your dog isn’t an effective option. This is an outdated approach based on the idea that dogs adhere to a strict dominance hierarchy. But, this dog behavior myth has since been debunked. All that peeing on your dog will do is make a mess.

Are you searching for a way to put a stop to your dog’s submissive urination? Did you hear that peeing on your dog is a good way to take the role of pack leader?

Training your dog involves establishing both trust and communication. But, it’s also much like working with a toddler.

While the whole situation can be frustrating, there is a solution. It starts with understanding the reason for your dog’s behavior.

How Do I Show Dominance Over My Dog?

To establish yourself as in charge, you must first earn the trust of your dog. This involves building a strong bond with one another.

You can build this bond in many ways, including quality time like playing together.

Set rules instead

Set clear rules, boundaries, and limitations in your home. Make sure that everyone in the home is on board with these rules.

This will set a clear expectation for your dog.

When enforcing these rules, be calm and assertive. Use a strong, authoritative voice when giving commands.

Meal times are a great time to put this into practice. Have your dog sit or shake, earning his meal.

The truth is that your dog wants you to take the lead. They thrive on structure, offering you loyalty and respect in return.

What is Submissive Urination?

Submissive urination is a response to feelings of fear or anxiety. It is commonly seen in shy or timid dogs.

When faced with someone that they see as dominant, timid dogs pee to show that they aren’t a threat.

Dogs that fear whether they are safe in their surroundings may also do it to mark their territory.

In other cases, other dogs pee out of excitement. You may see this when you get home from work or offer a favorite toy.

This is more common in puppies when they are still working through potty training.

How to Stop Submissive urination

Stay calm

When you see your dog peeing, don’t try to stop him. All this will do is create panic in the moment.

Instead, stay calm. Clean up the dog pee and move on without reacting to it.

Focus on housebreaking

Most puppies will grow out of this behavior in time. But, you can speed up the process by focusing on housebreaking.

Bring your dog to the location where you would like him to do his business. If he does pee outside, praise him or try giving dog treats.

Build confidence

For older shy or timid dogs, overcoming submission urination will involve building confidence.

You can do this through basic training. Focus on simple commands like sit, down, shake, or come. Reward your dog each time he follows the command correctly.

Make your dog feel safe and secure in his home. Focus on building a trusting relationship and bond.

What to when dogs pee out of excitement

If you have a dog that pees out of excitement, try bringing the energy level down.

When you first get home, ignore your dog completely. Give him time to calm down and relax before giving him attention.

Does Rubbing a Dog’s Face in Pee Work?

Contrary to popular belief, rubbing your dog’s nose in his dog pee will not stop him in the future. All it will do is create fear and stress.

Why rubbing a pup’s face in dog pee doesn’t work

Your dog will not connect the two and learn from this response.

He doesn’t understand what you are saying or why you are upset with him. This won’t work, even with aggressive dogs.

Rather than reacting to the accident, focus on training your dog to go the bathroom in the right spot.

Do Dogs Understand When Humans Pee?

If your dog smells or detects your pee, he will recognize that it is urine.

In fact, one approach that some dog owners use to potty train is urine marking. They pee in the yard where they want their dog to.

Urine marking indicates the proper space to do their business. After all, you did it there!

But, your dog will not associate your pee with being a statement of dominance. This is why peeing on your dog won’t communicate the message that you may have been hoping to convey.

How Do You Punish a Dog for Peeing in the House?

Not only will punishing your dog for peeing in the house not work, but it may also set back your training.

Dogs learn how to navigate their world through positive and negative associations.

When your dog pees in the house and you punish him for it you create a negative association. Unfortunately, that association is with the need to go to the bathroom.

Dogs that have been punished for peeing in the house may hide that they need to go to the bathroom.

They may stop asking to go outside to pee. Instead, choosing to hide that they need to go.

Over time, this can lead to your dog relieving himself in a hidden place. Some common hot spots include under the bed and behind the couch.

Instead, make an effort not to react to accidents in the house.

Take that energy and focus it on creating a positive association with peeing outside.

How Do You Discipline a Puppy?

Be gentle (and patient)

Rather than focusing on discipline, the more effective method is a gentle correction.

Try to keep in mind that your puppy is still learning!

In the beginning, keep the space that your puppy has access to limited. Crate training is a great way to approach this.

Discipline firmly

If a puppy does something undesirable, like chewing your shoes, you may need to discipline it.

Do this with a firm but calm “No” and remove your puppy from the situation.

Use the crate

This could mean bringing your puppy to another room or putting him in his crate. If he has something that he shouldn’t, take it away.

Teach him yes and no

To help him learn, always follow up a “No” with a “Yes”. This means that if you take something away, give him something he can chew.

Remove the shoe that he’s chewing on and hand him a dog chew toy. Praise when he chews on the toy like he is supposed to.

Over time, he will start to learn what he is permitted to chew on and what is off-limits.

This can also be applied to other training efforts too!

If your puppy is stealing socks, show him where to find his toys and praise him for taking them.

If your puppy is getting onto the couch and you don’t want him to, give a firm “No”. Then, redirect him to his dog bed or blanket.

Never forget that it is a process, your puppy likely won’t learn on the first correction. But, repetition will help to enforce your expectations.

How Do I Tell My Puppy No?

When telling your puppy “No”, the best approach is to keep it simple and consistent.

Take note right when you see the puppy engaging in the undesirable activity and give a firm but calm “No”.

Don’t use any physical punishment or try to overpower your dog somehow by staring or holding him down. This will only create fear.

Use a stern but friendly voice and follow it up by redirecting to a positive alternative.

If your puppy is worked up or appears to be getting overwhelmed in a situation, move him to a quiet space to calm down. Using time-outs can be effective.

How Do You Punish a Puppy for Biting?

Puppies start to learn that biting is inappropriate and how hard they can play-bite during play.

The reactions of their littermates help them to understand healthy limits. You can take that same concept and use it to teach your puppy.

If you are playing and your puppy bites too hard, give a high-pitched “ouch” or yelp. Allow your hand to go limp and then take your attention away.

Be consistent with this response every time he bites.

Your puppy will eventually learn that nipping or biting too hard causes you pain. Also, that pain means you stop playing.

It won’t be long until your dog realizes that playing too rough means that playtime ends and starts to hold back.

How Can I Correct Behavioral Problems in My Dog?

The best way to address unwanted dog behaviors is to prevent them from being learned to begin with.

Start positive, reward-based training with your dog early. This will strengthen your bond and help to teach and reinforce your expectations.

Keep in mind that training should continue throughout his life.

Praise and reward positive behavior consistently. This will encourage them to continue with these choices.

If you do notice a bad habit developing, address it head-on.

Firmly but gently correct your dog with a “Not”. Then, refocus his attention on a positive alternative.

Be consistent with your rules and boundaries, with no exceptions. Otherwise,  you will create confusion which can lead to behavioral problems.

Most importantly, be patient. Dog training is not something that is accomplished overnight.

Conclusion: Should I Pee On My Dog to Show Dominance?

Establishing trust and loyalty with your new dog isn’t easy. It’s going to take hard work and dedication on your part.

Myths like peeing on your dog to establish dominance can further complicate things. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about male dogs or female dogs.

Instead, focus your attention on positive and reward-based training for the long-term solution.

This approach will build a closer bond and relationship with your dog. Plus, it will set you both up for success long-term. A happy dog means a happy dog owner!

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.