If your German Shepherd pees when you pet it this post will help you figure out why and show you what you can do about it.

So, why does my German Shepherd pee when I pet it? Possible reasons are that it is still a puppy and it is not yet able to control when it pees, it has an illness, it hasn’t learned when it is ok to pee or that it is frightened.

There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why it might be happening. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.

Why your German Shepherd pees when you pet it

Each of the different reasons why it does it will likely come with a number of clues.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might pee when you pet it and what would make them more likely.

It’s still young

The cause could be that your German Shepherd is still young and it has not yet learned to control itself when it gets excited. If your German Shepherd is still a puppy then it is likely that it will stop doing it as it gets older. However, it would help to train it to pee outside while it is young and to take it outside whenever it wants to pee so that it learns to pee outside.

It has an illness

If your German Shepherd doesn’t normally pee when you pet it but it has started doing it suddenly then it could be due to a disease. This would be more likely if it has also been behaving differently and it has been showing other signs of having a disease.

If it does seem to be the case that it might have a disease then the best option would be to take it to a vet.

It hasn’t learned not to

If you haven’t trained your GSD to pee outside yet then it might be the case that it thinks that it is ok to pee inside. In this case, it would help to start training it to pee outside now and to avoid rewarding it when it does pee inside.

Fear

The reason why it pees when you pet it could be that it is intimidated. This is known as submissive urination (source). In this case, it would help to avoid punishing it when it does pee inside, reward it when it pees in the right place, to pat it under the chin instead of on the head and to let it come to you instead.

Related post: Why is my German Shepherd afraid?

You have inadvertently rewarded the behavior

It might be the case that you have inadvertently trained your GSD to pee when you pet it. This would be more likely if you tend to give it things that it wants when it does it such as more attention, treats or toys.

Instead, it would help to take it outside when it does it, to reward it when it does pee outside and to avoid rewarding it with more attention when it pees when you pet it.

It isn’t allowed out to pee often enough

It might be the case that your GSD is not allowed outside to pee often enough and that it can’t hold it in when you pet it. This would be more likely if it only does it when it hasn’t be let out in a while.

It is important to make sure that your GSD is able to go outside to pee whenever it needs to. If yours has to go long hours without being able to pee outside then it would help to give it more opportunities to go outside.

Things to consider

There are many things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd has been peeing when you pet it. Below, I’ll show you some particularly important things to consider.

Consider when it does it

The timing of when it pees while being petted would be one thing to consider. If it doesn’t always pee when you pet it then it could be the case that there is something triggering it to do it and it would consider what is different when it does pee.

Somethings that might be different could include:

  • A certain person being nearby
  • Someone shouted at it
  • You become more excited
  • You approach it quickly

Consider how old it is

It would also help to consider its age.

If it is below the age of one years old then it would be more likely that is it not yet able to control itself and that will reduce as it gets older.

Whereas, if it is older then it would be more likely to be due to things such as disease, being inadvertently trained to pee when you pet it, not being trained to pee outside or being submissive.

Consider when it started doing it

It would also help to consider the timing of when it first started doing it.

If it did not always do it but it started doing it suddenly then it would help to consider what happened at around that time. If it did start doing it suddenly then it would make it a lot more likely that it is due to a disease and it would help to take it to a vet. However, it could be due to other things such as being intimidated.

If it has always done it then it would be more likely that it has not learned not to. However, it could also be that it is intimidated or that it is still young.

How to get your German Shepherd to stop peeing when you pet it

The best way for you to get your German Shepherd to stop doing it will depend on the cause. However, I will show you some options that you have below.

Take it to a vet

If you can’t figure out why it is doing it, your GSD has started doing it suddenly or it has been acting unusually then the best option for you would be to get it looked at by a vet.

Let it out to pee often

If your GSD is not let out to pee very often then it would be important to make sure that it is. 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 reinforcing the behavior

As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have inadvertently trained your GSD to pee inside.

Instead of giving it more attention when it pees when you pet it, try taking it outside when it starts doing it and rewarding it when it does pee outside.

With that being said, it is also important to avoid punishing it when it does do it. Otherwise, it will be more likely to pee submissively and it could cause other behavioral issues.

Train it to learn that it is meant to go 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.

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