By Euro Weekly News Media • 28 March 2013 • 11:11
PIDDLING, that is, squatting to urinate when it becomes excited or when it greets its owners or strangers, is a fairly common behaviour in young puppies.
The proper name for this behaviour is submissive urination. Understanding why your puppy does it is the key to solving this behaviour problem. Thousands of years ago there were no dogs on the earth, only wolves. Through centuries of selective breeding, man has slowly changed the wolf into dog.
But there is behaviour which we have not changed including submissive urination. In a wolf pack, the way a wolf cub keeps from getting beaten up by an older animal is to give a signal that says “I acknowledge that you are the big bad wolf.” That signal is to squat and urinate. It has the absolute power to halt aggression by the older animal. An adult wolf confronted by a submissively urinating cub is powerless to be aggressive. Unfortunately, we humans are not hard wired to be non-aggressive when confronted by submissive urination.
Our reaction, quite often, is just the opposite of what puppy “knows” will happen when it acknowledges our superiority.
Since it knows that squatting and urinating will stop aggression, it can only assume that the punishment we dish out means that we did not understand its signal.
The answer, it thinks, is to give a bigger signal. So, instead of a tiny puddle, we get a large one. Punishing submissive urination always makes the problem worse.
The only solution anyone has found to the problem is to react as though you are a wolf, to be non-aggressive.
As your puppy matures, submissive urination will slowly cease if you do not exacerbate it by punishment.
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