Last week my dog did a pee on me. I kind of blame myself as I had whipped him up into a bit of a frenzy with a tug of war game. But still, he’s four years old, which makes him a bit old for a dog to pee on you surely? I could understand it from a puppy.
Claude had never done this before, so I decided to research why dog pees on their owners for reasons such as them getting home, when they sleep, or a sudden behavior. Here’s what I discovered… with the short answer first.
Why does my dog pee on me? Dogs will pee on a person suddenly due to excitement, fear, illness, territorial marking, as an accident, or due to not being spayed or neutered. It can be stopped though, particularly if due to a behavioural issue.
If you want to know more details about why a dog would urinate on a person, read on. Each reason is given more detail, plus I also explain how I stopped my dog from peeing on me.
Why is my dog peeing on me all of a sudden?
So, what’s the story? Why is your dog suddenly peeing on you?
Well, the long and short of is there could be quite a few motives and underlying issues. Most assume that it is domination related or “scent marking”.
This isn’t unheard of or uncommon but depending on your dog’s age, excitement and/or nervousness may be more likely. The other two primary reasons could be illness or if your dog has not been spayed or neutered.
Those are the primary reasons, but we are going to go in-depth with each motive and how to solve them one by one.
1. Scent marking
Scent marking is usually the conclusion you can jump to when your dog pees on you all of a sudden. We consider it a territorial marking. If you’ve woken up in the night and your dog has peed on you as you sleep, then this could be what it is… or wanting your attention.
“This is my human” if you will. And whilst that isn’t a far fetch, it’s not typically the most common reason.
For sake of fairness, we will start with this one though. Territorial marking is quite distinctive. It is a small amount of urine and your dog will likely lift their leg if they are male to do this. Territorial marking is most common in male dogs, but females can do it too.
It just depends on your pup.
Dogs can territorially mark if they feel threatened. That’s why I heard from a lady whose boyfriend’s dog had peed on her – territory and jealousy possibly combined. It’s certainly never out of spite or revenge though, despite what you might think. Dogs can’t compute feelings like that.
How to stop your dog from scent marking you
If your dog is peeing on you to leave their scent you then you will need to course-correct through training. Training is essential to strengthening the bond between you and your pet, whilst instilling good habits and manners.
Peeing on you is certainly bad manners!
The next time your dog lifts their leg to pee on your feet, say a firm “no” and move away. Make sure that they have heard you loud and clear. They should also recognize that the action is associated with the verbal command. Stay strong and command authority in your voice.
It may take some repeated action and verbal commands to eventually get them out of this habit, but with persistence, it should subside.
If things get really bad and your dog begins to ignore your commands, consult a professional dog behaviorist or trainer to help you squash this bad habit.
Handy Hint: Dogs will often pee on their owner’s bed too for exactly the same reason.
Dogs will also pee on you when excited. A friend of mine had a dog who used to do this all the time.
Many dog owners have their dog pee on them when they get home from work. It’s not unusual.
My friend’s dog would pee on him when the postman arrived, guests turned up, or anything where he thought he would get fun, attention, or excitement… the most common was when he thought he was going for a walk – cue lots of pee on the floor.
It’s safe to say his household was a messy place when the doggy was young as she was very easily excitable.
You will notice if your dog is peeing on you when excited because it will only be a little bit of pee. It is unlikely they will fully empty their bladder. It will also accompany other signs of excitement like:
- Wagging tail
- Spinning in circles
How to stop your dog peeing on you from excitement
In this situation, scolding your dog for accidentally peeing on you is not going to be helpful. It’s a completely involuntary reaction. Don’t praise them for it either as that is equally confusing.
Simply do your best to keep your pup calm. If your puppy is quite young, then they will grow out of this habit of peeing when they are excited as they get older. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
There are two aspects of nervousness that can cause your dog to pee. In extreme distress, fear, and anxiety, most animals will pee. Humans included. Being scared so much you pee is completely natural.
The other aspect is somewhat less dramatic but trickier to tackle. If your dog is generally stressed, they can take to scent marking more often.
According to DogTime:
“Urine-marking is commonly linked with dominance behavior. Yet marking may also come from a feeling of apprehension or distress. A new boyfriend in your house also brings a new voice, new odors, and even an altered routine. Your dog may not get as much attention as he did before. All of this can upset him enough and drive him to urine-marking.”
As you can see, nervousness and anxiety can cause your dog to pee on you suddenly, being a little looser with their bladder control than normal.
Handy Hint: If the dog urine is getting onto wooden floors and furniture, you might want to read these tips on how to get the smell out.
You will notice if it is nervousness because nervous peeing tends to be lower volume than a full release of their bladder. It will also accompany other symptoms of anxiety such as:
- Tail between their legs
- Drawn back ears
- Hanging their head
- Panting excessively
How to stop your dog peeing on you out of anxiety
In terms of troubleshooting this, there isn’t much you can do. If your dog pees on you out of fear in a situation, don’t scold them for it. It is by no means intentional. It is just a bodily reaction to a stressful situation that they cannot control.
The best thing to do is to take them away from the stressful situation at hand or work on desensitization.
For example, if you have a new partner and your dog cowers and pees on you when they are around, your dog clearly has an aversion to your partner that needs to be worked on over time.
There will be accidents. Progress won’t be linear. But approaching with gentility and understanding is the best way to go.
4. Not being spayed or neutered
Spaying or neutering your dog has many benefits. Not only will they generally be more settled during their day to day lives, but they will also be less likely to pee around the house and on you.
Un-neutered pets are much more territorial in nature. They use urine to make themselves known in places and mark what is theirs.
That means you I’m afraid, dear reader. You are theirs.
Not spaying or neutering your dog increases the chances of scent marking.
The benefits of spaying or neutering your dog
Of course, the fix here is to spay or neuter your dog and see if the behavior changes. It may not stop the urge for your dog to scent mark you entirely. Please refer to point one for my recommendations on training them out of this habit.
If you are on the fence about spaying or neutering your dog, here is a list of potential benefits:
- Reduces wandering
- Lowers aggression (both males and females)
- Lowers clingy tendencies
- Removes the chance of unwanted pregnancies
- Reduces mounting and humping habits
Of course, this decision is up to you. I recommend consulting your professional veterinarian for their advice.
This is the most unfortunate of all and is typically where a dog starts peeing on you all of a sudden due to the onset of an illness. If your dog is sick, they may have less control of their bladder and they also may be clingier. These two coinciding means your dog is more likely to pee on you just by proximity.
This could be a case of old age, in which your dog is starting to lose their faculties. Or they may have reduced mobility and not be able to get up to go pee outside. Another possibility is that this is a new illness with rapid onset.
In all of these cases, you will likely be able to tell if your dog is peeing on you on purpose or not. If it was a genuine accident and it is a lot of urine, you should consult your vet for advice.
Potential illnesses that cause loss of bladder function
- Kidney disease
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
- Prostate disorders
- Hormone imbalance
- Spinal injuries
Most dogs can be trained with patience to stop them peeing on you. Illnesses are a different matter though, but no matter the situation, please do consult your vet about this problem.
You might also like…
Here are other behaviors dogs can exhibit which will need your attention.
Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/dog-pee-out-winter-snow-small-5029376/