Submissive wetting or urination is unfortunately a normal way for pups to demonstrate submissive behavior. Even a puppy that is for the most part housetrained may leave dribbles and puddles of urine on the floor by your feet when they greet you.
When it comes to puppies, submissive urination is the ultimate way of showing their respect for you and the desire for a higher rank in the pack. It occurs frequently with young pups that have not yet learned and perfected very important social skills. Submissive urination in adult puppies is more than likely a sign of insecurity. Often pups that are not socialized or unfortunately in some cases abused pups will submissively urinate. Other puppies that engage in submissive urination may simply have not been shown or demonstrated that there are more acceptable ways to show respect. Such as raising a paw for a hand shake or giving a kiss with a simple lick.
Submissive urination may be present in overly sensitive or mistreated puppies because they feel the need to constantly apologize. The root cause of this state of mind is often caused by excessive or delayed punishment. This of course will frighten and confuse the puppy without having taught him how to make amends in a proper manner. The puppy resorts to the only way he knows how to show respect and fear, by submissive urination. When your puppy submissively urinates, it is best to just ignore him. If you try to reassure him, he will think you are praising him for urinating and will in turn urinate more frequently. If you raise your voice and yell at him, he will feel an even greater need to apologize by urinating. Both reassurance and scolding will only make submissive urination a much bigger issue.
Treatment of submissive urination must be directed towards building your puppy’s confidence and showing him better ways of demonstrating and showing respect. The quickest way to accomplish this is by teaching your puppy a few basic obedience exercises. A puppy that can earn praise by obeying a simple routine of “Come here, sit, shake hands,” will soon develop a crucial level of self esteem and confidence. Therefore a more confident puppy with high self esteem who can say, “Hello” by simply sitting and shaking hands does not feel the need or urge to urinate at his owner’s feet.