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How do you help a small dog get over being excessively submissive (peeing when he greets my husband)?

I have a 6mo 6lb puppy. We got him when he was 6w old. Generally speaking he's a phenominal dog. I've worked very hard with him to get him reliably housebroken and well trained (knows all his basic commands, and we're working on tricks- we just mastered "dead dog" on the command "bang" this week). Hes tons of fun, lots of personality, and great with my kids. The issue is that, with my husband and other men, he submissively pees when they greet him. We handle it with my husband by letting him out to greet him on the poarch, but with the colder weather approaching, he doesn't like the outside as much (and is using his puppy pad more, especially in the rain). I generally like the submission- because I am in charge and do not want a yappy little dog who is trying to be "alpha" and it makes him safer when dealing with other dogs, but if anyone has any tips to help get over this particular behavior I'd appreciate it.


Asked by IrishMommaC at 3:21 PM on Oct. 17, 2009 in Pets

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Answers (7)
  • Most dogs with out grow this, but things you can do to help stop this is when you or your husband comes home do not greet him. Don't even acknowledge him in the beginning. Same goes for guests.  When he is calm is when you can say hello.  It is a little trickier with small dogs because when you lean over to pet them that is a domanant posture so you may want to go down to the floor to great him so that you are not over him.  


    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 3:34 PM on Oct. 17, 2009

  • Oh, and just in case it's important, we don't know exactly what type of dog he is. Our best guess is that he is Jack Russell Terrier and Yorkie (similiar color and size to a tea cup yorkie, and a build/bone structure like a Jack Russell).

    Answer by IrishMommaC at 3:23 PM on Oct. 17, 2009

  • Most dogs out grow this around 1- 1.5 years. Have you husband ignore her when he gets home so she won't be over stimulated.

    LOL... I guess pretty much what Kyliesmom says!

    Answer by Blueliner at 4:05 PM on Oct. 17, 2009

  • Kylies gave some great advice. Another suggestion is have your husband work with the training as well to build your pups confidence. And make sure he is not overly loud. Shouting or raising his voice can make dogs nervous. Only reward the dog when she is calm and sitting. (Not rolling over on back). When the dog rolls onto his back and urinates simply walk away. No scolding or anything. If you acknowledge what the dog is doing you'll just reinforce the behavior.


    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 4:23 PM on Oct. 17, 2009

  • We have a similar problem with an abandoned weenie dog, she has been the worst dog i have ever had to train, but finally we used some reverse psychology on her, and approached her with lots of love and a soft soft voice and the submissive peeing has pretty much stopped. Good luck

    Answer by SuperMomof3kids at 4:25 PM on Oct. 17, 2009

  • My yorkie was afraid of my husband. Does your husband have a deep voice? Have your husband talk to him in a higher pitch. Higher pitched voices (females) are not as threatening to low tones.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 6:12 PM on Oct. 17, 2009

  • What we did with ours was I had DH do what they show on it's me or the dog. Dogs respond best with treats, so the best way is to let the dog gain confidence/trust with him by spending some alone time and rewarding his good behavior with treats, and then the dog will not be as afraid. He will associate your husband with something good, instead of being intimidated.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:42 PM on Oct. 18, 2009