Wet welcome … or how to eliminate submissive urination

I was recently hired to walk an eight-pound Yorkie.  She’s sweet and affectionate as they come.  But every day I’d come in the door, she’d wet the floor.  Dogs use their body language to communicate their intentions and many display submissive behavior to prevent aggression.  Remember when your dog was playing in the park and suddenly rolled over on its back.  What that posture is really signaling to other dogs is, “I’m a puppy, I’m a puppy … please don’t hurt me.”

So, when Tammy tinkled on the floor, I knew enough not to scold her.  That would have only exacerbated the situation. And the second time it happened, I turned to my good friend Ms. Google.  The advice seemed sound so I tried it out.

Next day when I came in, I ignored Tammy.  Yes, it was tempting to pet her but I resisted the urge. Instead, I stood in an upright position, looked down and blinked (signaling that I’m submissive), and avoided petting her head.  In canine lingo, reaching over a dog can be very threatening and be perceived as a challenge.

Once we got outdoors, I gave her my unlimited affection.  “Good job,” I said.

About Cambridge Canines Pet Sitting Service

I'm a Cambridge resident who has written about feline behavior and body language for WebMD and Catnip, the Tufts Veterinary School newsletter. In a parallel universe, I also write about healthcare and have won awards for news reporting. A passion for animals led me to start my own pet sitting business in 2004. While the information in my posts has been researched, it is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary-related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly.
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