Most actions in life have pretty straightforward meanings.
A kiss is one of the easiest ways to say I love you, while a slap is a blatant show of aggression.
So, when your dog lifts up his leg to pee on you, your mind jumps to the obvious: “Gross, buddy! Why so rude?!”
Why would your sweet little pup do something so seemingly disrespectful to you?
Dogs pee on their owners and other people for various benign reasons; they are not intentionally trying to be rude. They are likely fearful, anxious, trying to mark their territory, or just want some attention. Sometimes they simply cannot control themselves due to incontinence.
In this article, I will explain what it means when your dog pees on you. I will also tell you ways to prevent your dog from peeing on you or others.
It’s hard to imagine that peeing on someone could mean anything other than: “you mean nothing to me…now take this!” But I promise your pup isn’t thinking that way!
Ready to learn why your pup may be lifting his leg up on you?
If your pup has been peeing on you lately, you probably don’t feel very good about it.
And why should you?!
Pee is a nasty and very personal thing. Someone peeing on you may conjure up mental images of a smelly bum who decides to relieve himself in a drunken stupor. The whole idea just makes you cringe.
Thinking of your innocent, furry best friend doing anything remotely similar just feels off!
To help you understand things from their perspective, here are some reasons why your dog may pee on you:
While this is more common in puppies, your adult dog could be peeing on you for this reason too. Submission urination is when your pup pees out of fear, anxiety, or confusion. Dogs who do this may generally have a shier disposition.
They may also have experienced harsh training in their past. In this case, dogs struggling with accidents may have been punished in cruel or inconsistent ways, and now they don’t know how to act. As a result, they may just pee when they feel stressed.
Your dog may be peeing due to submission urination if their peeing is triggered by loud or startling noises or when someone new and unfamiliar greets them. Their body may also take on a more submissive posture like tucking their tail, exposing their belly, or crouching down.
Dogs are super territorial, so your pup could be peeing on you because they see you as their territory!
This may stir up mixed feelings:
If your pup is marking you, it could be their way of establishing dominance. For some reason, your pup may not see you as the alpha but as their property.
But on the other hand, your pup could be marking you because they value you deeply and see you as an important resource for them. And this is their way of guarding you against potential threats, i.e., other dogs.
This could be your pup’s way of saying: “This is my human…back off!”
Your pup’s peeing could be seen as a cry for attention. This could be the case, especially if you’ve been spending less time with your dog than usual.
If you’ve been spending extra hours at work, have been dating someone new, or even added a baby to the household, your pup could be peeing on you to gain your precious attention back.
Your poor dog may be peeing on you because they can’t help it! Just like humans, dogs can suffer from incontinence. In this case, your pup literally cannot hold his bladder.
This is a diagnosable medical condition and can be caused by:
If you think your dog could be peeing on you due to incontinence, a trip to the vet is recommended. Your vet will be able to investigate the situation and get your pup proper treatment if needed.
No matter why your dog is peeing on you, you’d probably prefer they didn’t!
Let’s look at some ways to prevent your pup from peeing on you or others:
Spaying or neutering your pup is one of the most surefire ways to prevent them from peeing on you. And the sooner you do it, the better!
This way, you can nip the problem early on and save yourself from having to train your pup out of his inappropriate potty habits.
Everything inside of you may want to explode the moment you feel your leg getting wet.
But try to hold back!
Freaking out or scolding your pup won’t help anything and could make them feel worse. Or it could encourage the behavior by giving them attention.
Try your best to allow the moment to pass. Then proceed by dealing with your pup in a balanced and level-headed way right after they’ve peed on you.
Monitor your pup and when it seems like they may be about to pee on you or someone else, take them outside. This cuts the problem at the root. Over time, the pattern of interruption and redirection can reinforce to your pup that the appropriate place to pee is outdoors.
When they have successfully peed outside, feel free to reward them with treats and praise.
If there is a certain outfit you were wearing when your pup peed on you, make sure to clean it thoroughly. This way, your dog won’t be attracted to the scent of their own urine and be tempted to pee in the same place again.
There may be a genuine and legitimate physical reason that your dog is peeing on you. As I mentioned before, your pup may be doing this because they are incontinent. Your vet will be able to confirm this and also get your pup the help they need.
If your dog is peeing on you due to submission urination, it may help to be gentle with them. If you’ve noticed your pup does this when new people come into your home, ensure that your visitors speak softly and approach your pup slowly.
Keeping your home environment calm, loving, and consistent may go a long way in helping a more anxious-leaning dog to stop peeing on you.
If you suspect your pup is peeing on you as a bid for attention, try giving them some extra lovin’!
It may feel like this is rewarding bad behavior, and if you do it wrong, you may be. However, I don’t recommend rewarding them with a ton of extra attention right after they’ve peed. Instead, try integrating more playtime into your everyday lives.
Maybe an extended walk or adding more cuddle time will put a stop to their peeing tendencies!
Don’t get me wrong, if your pup is peeing on you, you’ve got reason to be annoyed!
But they’re not doing it to be malicious. They’re likely scared, anxious, or just want some attention. In some cases, they have an underlying medical condition, and they can’t help it.
Even after you’ve done your best to help them stop peeing on you, they may still slip up from time to time. In these moments, take a deep breath and count all of the wonderful things your pup brings into your life.
In the grand scheme of things…what’s a little pee?