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Help! My Dog is Peeing on a Person

Jack Russell Terrier sitting next to mop bucket and mop in front of window

Dogs, like any other animal, have to relieve themselves at some point in the day. Usually, domestic dogs are litter trained, and no real problems arise out of their routine. However, trouble brews if your dog is peeing on a person (owner, stranger, or a guest).

This is frustrating as well as embarrassing for the owner, and this issue must be solved as soon as possible. Keep reading to know about the common causes and possible solutions to this behavioral problem.

Why is My Dog Peeing on a Person?

Marking and submissive urination are surely the biggest reasons for this inappropriate conduct. If your dog pees on a person, it doesn’t always mean that your dog has a negative feeling about that individual. Instead, your pooch could be excited to meet the person and is actually marking on him/her.


German Shepherd peeing on tree

According to Sequoia Humane Society, urine marking is assertive conduct. Dogs do that when they need to mark their territory and want other beings to know about it. Some canines also indulge in marking (due to anxiety) to reassure themselves in their territory. Some common reasons for urine marking are as follows.

  • A new person comes to the house
  • A new pet is brought into the house
  • New objects (furniture, etc.) are introduced around the dog
  • Your dog sees another animal around the house
  • Your dog is not neutered (unneutered dogs usually mark more)

Submissive Urination

This kind of urination usually occurs in packs of dogs or when your dog is timid by nature. Typically, a dog would roll over his/her back and urinate on himself/herself. The Humane Society explains that this behavior is extremely common among puppies. However, most of them outgrow this habit as they grow older.

If your dog keeps urinating inappropriately even after reaching his/her adulthood, submissive urination could be the reason. The following are some situations in which a dog can urinate submissively.

  • Your dog is timid and is being submissive to avoid punishment
  • Meeting someone new
  • Out of anxiety due to loud noises, sirens, arguments, etc.
  • Your dog is being disciplined
  • Your dog pees when a person is coming towards him/her

What Can I Do if My Dog is Peeing on a Person?

Chihuahua peeing on post outdoors

When your dog pees on a person, it is obviously an embarrassing situation for you as the owner. The embarrassment will quickly be complemented by frustration if this bad habit becomes a routine. The following are some solutions that can help you minimize marking as well as submissive urination. And guess what? Most of them are easily applicable and very practical.

How to Stop Inappropriate Urine Marking in Dogs?

Watching your dog’s behavior is the most important step to counteract urine marking. Once you are doing that, you can use the given strategies to stop your dog from marking.

Use Treats

Close up of  yellow labrador taking a treat from a hand

Treats are an excellent alternative to counter the dog’s marking behavior. Ask a friend (guest) to give treats to your dog. This would make the pooch look for treats and not urinate on guests. If your guests are giving treats, the chances of your pup urinating on them are almost zero. This is because eating treats and urinating are two completely opposite acts.

If you are unsure as to how your dog will react to guests, put him on a leash. This will allow you to cue him/her away if he/she intends to urinate.

Interrupt Inappropriate Elimination

If your dog starts to urinate inside the house, interrupt him/her by making a loud noise. After that, take him/her out to pee and give a treat once he/she has finished the business. This would condition your dog to pee outside the house in return for a treat.

Talk to a Professional

Vet squatted talking to dog in waiting room of vet office

If you are unable to get the desired results, consult an animal behaviorist to help resolve marking issues. These experienced professionals have the knowledge (theoretical as well as practical) to get the job done.

Hide the Belongings of the Guests

Although this is a temporary and indirect solution, it works well while you are training your pooch. Make this a habit to keep the items of your guest (coats, purses, etc.) in closets to avoid embarrassing mishaps.

Avoid Scolding

It’s never a good idea to scold your dog for marking because it does more harm than good.

How to Control Submissive Urination in Dogs?

Jack Russell Terrier laying on its back on carpet

This behavior is trickier to correct than marking. This is because the dog is timid and docile and reprimands do not help with the situation. If you feel that your pup is indulging in submissive urination, it’s highly recommended to visit your vet to eliminate the possibility of medical problems. Once you have done that, you can try the solutions mentioned below.

Comfortable Environment

Try to keep the dog’s routine and surroundings as consistent as possible. Don’t introduce your dog to a new situation or people rapidly. Instead, always use a gradual and slow approach while making your dogs meet new people and interact with new places. This will boost their confidence that is vital for stopping submissive urination.

A big ‘NO’ to Aggressive Reactions

Never punish, reprimand, or scold your dog if he/she urinates inappropriately. This will only make the problem worse than it is at the moment. Instead, try to encourage your dog to adopt confident postures, such as ‘sit’ and ‘stand’, whenever you approach them. Reward him/her with a treat whenever he/she obliges.

Eliminate Odors

Person on their knees scrubbing carpet with a sponge and spray bottle

It is important to clean the area of the accident as soon as possible. Dogs can smell their urine and will eliminate again in that area if it’s not cleaned properly. Eliminate the odor of your dog’s pee to reduce the chances of submissive urination.

Use Anti-Stress Medications

If the dog is fearful or anxious, ask your vet to prescribe a medication that could relax your pup. These negative emotions are like poison for your dog’s confidence and you must eliminate them to assist him/her. Once your pooch is happy and satisfied, he/she will gain enough confidence to learn (and exhibit) proper manners.

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