When Submissive Urination is Most Likely to Occur
When you return home from work and your pet wants to signal that you are the boss, he or she rolls onto his or her back and urinates. When friends come to your home, your dog also wants to acknowledge their dominance, so he or she urinates. When you're walking your dog and a human bends over your dog to pet him or her, your dog wants to acknowledge the person's dominance, and urinates.
Difference Between Excitement Urination and Submissive Urination
Subtle distinctions differentiate excitement urination and submissive urination. With excitement urination, activities, such as greeting, picking up the ball to play, gathering the harness and poop bags for a leash walk, can excite a pet and induce dribbling. Excitement urination doesn't involve dominance, so it occurs when we are not leaning over or physically dominating the pet; however, pets that urinate with excitement may also be experiencing anxiety.
Both excitement and submissive urination can occur in the same pet.
Urine marking is a dominance behavior: your dog urinates on a vertical surface, as high as possible. The assumption dogs make smelling a urine-marked area is that the higher the urine, the taller the dog, and the taller the dog, the more dominant. Marking behaviors define territory and signal, "This is mine!" to other dogs. Urine marking is done on walls, trees, and hydrants with small amounts of urine as frequently as your dog can physically manage. Submissive urination is done on a horizontal surface, when a dog is anxious, especially when approached by humans who are taller, or more dominant.
Pets Most at Risk for Submissive Urination
Anxious dogs who do not feel in control have problems with submissive urination and incontinence. Pets with owners who fuss over them when leaving or returning also have problems with submissive urination. Cats rarely, if ever, demonstrate submissive urination.