What Does It Mean When a Dog Pees on You? (4 Reasons)

The last thing you want to do when you come home at the end of a long day is to deal with a potty training accident—especially if that potty training accident happens on you! If your dog has ever peed on you, read on to find out why.

There are several reasons that your dog might pee on you. Your dog could be scent marking you, or your dog might be overly excited to see you. Your dog could be nervous or submissive. Finally, if your dog is old or very young, it might have trouble controlling its bladder.

Nobody wants to get peed on by their dog, no matter how cute they are! Read on to find out what it means when a dog pees on you and how to prevent it from happening again.

What it means when a dog pees on you: 4 Reasons

1.) Scent Marking

Scent marking is the process of claiming territory or an item. When your dog marks, they expel only a small amount of urine and will probably sniff the item or area they marked before and after marking. Both male and female dogs mark, but the behavior is more common in male dogs.

Scent marking is what most people assume a dog is doing when they pee on something. However, it is not common for dogs to mark their humans. It is more common for dogs to mark their territory, and they are more likely to do it in response to a perceived threat.

So, unless you are standing in your dog’s territory when another dog comes around, it is unlikely that your dog is peeing on you to mark you.

What To Do

If you don’t want your dog to mark around the home, there are ways you can prevent it. First, thoroughly clean all previously marked areas with a cleaner specifically designed to eliminate pet urine odors. Dogs will continue to mark anywhere they smell urine.

Second, spay or neuter your dog. Spaying and neutering drastically cut down on territorial behaviors like marking and aggression.

Finally, put any items likely to cause marking out of sight and out of reach. These could include items brought in by guests, the dog’s favorite toys, or unfamiliar items. Keep an eye on your dog when they are loose in the home and redirect them when they look like they are about to mark.

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2.) Excitement

The most common cause of dogs peeing on people is excitement—especially true for young puppies or dogs that have not been properly housebroken. Sometimes your dog is so excited to see you after a long day that they can’t contain themselves!

What To Do

Establish a calm routine with your dog when you leave and enter the home. Avoid over-stimulating your dog by getting overly excited when you greet them, talking in a high-pitched voice, or encouraging them to jump up on you.

When you arrive home, do not engage with your dog right away. Ignore your dog if they are whining, jumping, or getting worked up. Put your things away and only engage with your dog after they have calmed down and can sit.

3.) Submission

Some dogs exhibit submissive behavior when they feel anxious or threatened. If your dog is anxious or fearful, it might urinate when you approach or reach for them, indicating it feels threatened and is trying to show you they are not a threat.

This behavior is most common in puppies and dogs that are not properly socialized. Puppies often approach new dogs and people submissively to show they are not a threat. They usually grow out of this behavior.

What To Do

It’s never fun to hear that your dog is scared of you! The best way to prevent submissive urination in your dog is to strengthen your bond and prove to them that you are safe. Use a calm, friendly voice, do not stand over your dog or reach for them, and wait for them to approach you.

You can also use treats to encourage your dog to come to you and do training together to teach your dog confidence and establish a sense of trust.

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Never admonish your dog for submissive urination—it will only worsen the behavior. Likewise, do not ignore the behavior because that will only confuse your dog. Though it may be difficult and frustrating, you must respond positively. Your main goal is to show your dog it is safe with you.

How to stop puppies submissive peeing.

4.) Incontinence

Dogs that are very old or young or those not properly housebroken might have trouble holding their bladders. If your puppy or senior dog has been left home all day without a walk, it will need to pee as soon as you get home.

What To Do

Take your puppy out frequently to prevent accidents. In general, a puppy can hold their bladder for one hour per month of age. So a two-month-old puppy can hold their pee for two hours.

As soon as you walk in the door, prepare to take your pup outside! It’ll save you frustration and allow you to reward your puppy for good behavior.

Old dogs might become incontinent due to disease or simply old age. Be gentle to your senior dog—they deserve respect and love! You might need to take your old dog out as often as you would take a puppy out or give them an indoor toilet in the house or yard where they can go on their own.

Final Word

Your dog doesn’t want to pee on you any more than you want them to! Remember: dogs never act out of spite and don’t understand the concept of revenge. Never admonish or punish your dog for peeing on you or in the house. Doing so will cause fear, and it is likely to make the behavior worse.

If you help your dog learn when and where it’s appropriate to pee with gentle training and positive reinforcement, you’ll eliminate the problem in no time.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!