If your German Shepherd has been peeing when it gets excited, you are probably wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what you can do to stop it.
So, why does my German Shepherd pee when excited? Possible reasons are that it is still a puppy and it can’t control itself yet, it has a medical condition, it hasn’t been let out to pee regularly enough, it hasn’t been trained to pee outside or that it is being submissive.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd does it. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your German Shepherd pees when excited
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your GSD might be doing it and what would make each of them more likely.
It is still young
The reason that it does it could be that it is still a puppy. If it is below one year of age then it is likely that it has not yet learned to control itself and that it will learn to control itself as it gets older (source).
However, you can help speed up the process by training it to go outside to pee when it needs to by following the tips mentioned below.
It has a medical condition
It could be the case that it has a medical condition that has caused it to start doing it. This would be more likely if your GSD didn’t pee when excited in the past and if it started doing it suddenly. It would also be more likely if it has been showing other signs of having a medical issue such as peeing more frequently than usual.
If it does seem like it could be a medical issue or you have not taken your GSD for a checkup for a while then it would be the best option to take it to the vet.
It hasn’t been able to go outside to pee
The reason that it has been doing it could be that it has not been able to go outside to pee for a while. This would be more likely if it does not always pee when excited and it only does it in situations where it has not been able to go outside to pee.
For example, if it only pees when greeting you when you return home after been away for a few hours then it could be the case that it can’t hold it in any longer.
In this case, it would help to let it out to pee more regularly if possible. It would also be recommended to take it to a vet to make sure it is not a medical issue especially if it didn’t always do it.
It hasn’t learned that it is not ok to pee inside
If your German Shepherd has not been trained to pee outside then it could be the case that it does not know that it is meant to do it outside. In this case, it will naturally pee when it is excited thinking that it is ok for it to do it.
In order to prevent this, it will be important to train it to go outside when it needs to pee following the tips below.
You have inadvertently reinforced the behavior
It might be the case that you have inadvertently trained your GSD to pee when excited. If you give your German Shepherd things that it wants when it gets excited such as attention, toys or treats then it will have learned that peeing results in it getting what it wants.
Instead, it would help to give it neutral attention and to take it outside as soon as it starts to pee and to reward it when it pees outside.
It’s being submissive
It could be the case that it is actually doing what is known as submissive peeing. This is where it pees in order to show that it is not a threat (source).
When trying to figure out if it is submissive peeing it would help to consider the type of body language that it is showing. If it hunches over, hides its tail between its legs or flips over onto its back then it would be a sign that it is peeing submissively.
This would also be more likely if you tend to approach it in a more intimidating way such as directly or quickly. Instead, it would help to try to approach it from the side in a calmer way.
Things to consider
When trying to figure out why your GSD has been doing it, considering the timing of it would likely be very helpful. Below, I will mention a couple of ways to consider the timing of how it does it.
When it first started doing it
When trying to figure out why your GSD does it, considering when it first started doing it would likely be helpful.
If it always did it but it is still young then it would be more likely that it has not yet learned to control itself. If it is older and it has always done it then it could be due to a medical condition or not having learned not to and it would help to take it to a vet.
If it started doing it suddenly then it would be more likely to be due to a medical condition. However, it could also be that you have inadvertently trained it to do it or that it has been doing it submissively.
When it does it more
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it does it more.
If it seems to pee more in certain situations such as when greeting you when you return home then it could be the case that it isn’t able to hold it in any longer. Whereas, if it seems to do it more when you approach it quickly then it would be more likely that it does it submissively.
What to do about your German Shepherd peeing when excited
The best way for you to get your GSD to stop doing it will depend on the cause. However, below are a number of options that you have and you might find that a combination of methods will work well.
Take it to a vet
If you are unsure of why your GSD has been doing it, you haven’t taken it for a checkup in a while or it has been acting unusually in other ways then the best option would be to take it to the vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out the possibility of it being due to a medical cause.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to pee when excited. Instead of rewarding it when it does it, try to take it outside and to reward it when it does not pee when excited or when it pees outside.
Train it to pee outside
It would also help to train it to learn to go outside whenever it needs to pee. One way to do this would be to stay outside with it until it pees and then to reward it for doing so. You can look here to see more on how to train your GSD to pee outside.
Let it out to pee regularly
It would also help to let your GSD out to pee regularly so that it doesn’t have to wait for long periods before being able to go outside. If it is not let out to pee often then it will be much more likely to pee inside it will also be unpleasant for your GSD.
Avoid intimidating it
It would also help to try to avoid intimidating it especially if it seems like it might be doing it submissively. You can do this by trying to approach it from the side and by being calmer when interacting with it.
If you would like learn everything that you need to know about how to have a happy, healthy and well-behaved German Shepherd, take a look at the German Shepherd Handbook