Why Does My Puppy Pee While Playing?

Puppies are excitable little creatures. Whether you are playing with them, just getting home from work, or making their (or your) dinner, they have a tendency to get overstimulated. This can cause them to pee when you least expect it. It’s called excitement urination and it is completely normal in young dogs. Dogs under a year old, no matter how well they are potty trained, can sometimes get so worked up that they can’t hold their pee. Of course, if they are peeing excessively you should take them to the vet to make sure it is not a medical problem, but if they check out healthy, you can be confident that they will grow out of it.

What Is Excitement Urination?

Have you or a friend ever laughed so hard you say, “I’m gonna pee myself!” Well, it’s quite a similar situation with young dogs. A puppy might be bouncing around having so much fun they just can’t hold it anymore. During the early stages of their development, puppies might not have full control or understanding of their bodies yet and in these situations they might not even be aware that they have peed.

My Puppy Pees Even When He or She Is Not Excited

This could be something known as submissive urinating. It can also happens with young dogs similar to excitement urination. Sometimes when puppies are scared or confused they may squat down and pee. It could happen if you reach towards them quickly, if a stranger greets them, or if you reprimand them. As long as you are calm and caring with your puppy they will most likely grow out of this behavior as they get older as they become more confident.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Stop My Puppy From Peeing?

There are many techniques you can try to stop your puppy from peeing, but most importantly, don’t reprimand them! They are just having fun and probably don’t even know they are peeing. All reprimanding will do is confuse them as they have no idea they have done anything wrong. Stay calm and positive! Positive reinforcement is a more successful training tool, especially for a puppy who submissively urinates, than punishment. Try to only give affection when they are calm and not overly excited. If you can stay calm and don’t get riled up yourself, your dog may follow suit. For example, when you get home and they are at their most bouncy, take them out immediately without reacting to their excitement. You can also reward them for being calm. Don’t give them treats or too much affection until they sit still until or they come to you calmly. And as always, when house training any dog, reward them for peeing when and where you want them to pee.

By Adam D.


Banfield Pet Hospital: Puppy Excitement and Submissive Urinating Handout
Cuteness.com: Why Does My Puppy Pee While Playing?

About the Author
Adam is a writer, director, and cartoonist who specializes in animal centric and children’s programming. He lives in Los Angeles with two goofy and loving dogs that really don’t like squirrels.