A goldendoodle is a one-of-a-kind designer dog. They have grown in popularity for their teddy bear looks and pleasant happy go lucky temperaments. They desire to please and work hard at being man’s best friend. Most goldendoodles would rather hug you than hurt you. They seek the company of their human companions and thrive with attention. In general, a well-bred goldendoodle will have a submissive docile personality. This personality develops as a goldendoodle ages. Today I want to visit one of the most common complaints that I have had regarding a goldendoodle and that is submissive peeing. Yes, these fine family members will rollover and release a small amount of pee whenever they are approached by a known and unknown human. It is their sweet, I will NEVER hurt you, temperament shining or should I say wetting through.
Let’s talk about when you will first see the submissive peeing and the duration (because there is a time when they will develop more confidence and stop). As I mentioned before submissiveness is a trait belonging to the goldendoodle and if you don’t see it as a young puppy, you will see it between 8 months and two years old. I am not sure if this has anything to do with their hormones developing, but it is quite ironic that it begins to show up during that time and in conjunction with their fear period. It disappears just as suddenly as it appears. So IGNORE all the articles that say that submissive peeing is a trait of a shy, anxious, timid, or historically abused dog. For a goldendoodle is instinctual. Also, with my families and my own experience, I have found that submissive peeing is normally attached to the female gender. I’m not saying that a male won’t do it, but I have not seen it in my male goldendoodles. However, all my female goldendoodles have done it…oh those hormones.
What can you do when you precious goldendoodle decides that they need to be submissive to you?
1. Don’t look at her (NO EYE CONTACT).
2. Ignore her. (NO TALK) Don’t greet her when you come in from being away for a while.
3. Don’t go straight to her crate when entering a room. Allow her to calm down first, before letting her out. When you do let her out, don’t touch her. (NO TOUCH)
4. Entice her. (If you are trying to get her to get into her bed, or get her off the couch (tricky one), or go outside to potty, or you are coming in from being away for a while, get the thing that motivates her (food/toy) and switch her mind off of being submissive, to being enticed.
5. Let her come to you (NO EYE CONTACT)
6. NEVER punish her for it if she does urinate. It will just solidify it in her mind that she is correct in submissive peeing to her “leader”.
7. NEVER reassure her. That only reinforces the behavior.
So even though all these tips will work, change up how you interact with her, so she never knows when to display this behavior inside. I also STRONGLY suggest that you allow her to display it outside. She may still need to be display this behavior towards humans during this time, don’t get upset. Remain calm and carry on as nothing has happened. Remember that it is instinctual to show the alpha dog (that’s you and all your guests) that she is submissive and means no harm. If you entice her to the great outdoors before you greet her or pick her up, you won’t stress over the submissive peeing as much. Just make sure that you can do this safely. Good for you, good for her.
If you see that she is submissive peeing more often and even if you have done all the above, it could be you. You need to evaluate how you are approaching her and how you are feeling when she does it. If you are tense or frustrated or anxious that she will pee (you are expecting her to do it) then she will pick up on that and do it. They READ us better than we read each other. We read body language, facial expressions, tones, and feel the vibe we give off. Dogs do all that PLUS use their nose, they can smell emotions. We joke about smelling trouble, but they actually can! You may also find that she does it more often when you are under stress or frustration. These little goldendoodles are sensitive to us (their humans). So, take a breath and re-evaluate your emotional smell.
Lastly, they grow out of it as sudden as they began to display it. So just keep on keeping on and one day you will be able to pick up your goldendoodle without her rolling over on her back and peeing.