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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done a search for this sort of thing, and it seems as if it may be fairly normal behavior for a puppy of her age, but I'm still worried and would love to hear suggestions/feedback.

A little background info on Echo: we chose her from a litter of 8 puppies, largely for her personality. She seemed the most friendly and sure-of-herself, she held her tail the highest, pranced around, etc. The name that was first given to her (by the couple that we got her from) was "Prissy" because of her diva personality. She was 7 weeks old then.

We began socializing Echo with people as soon as we could: i.e. take her up to the workplaces of my hubby and I, invite over friends, etc. She did BRILLIANTLY with everyone she came in contact with! She seemed sure of herself, and loved being around everyone.

Fast-forward to now: Echo is now thirteen weeks old. Little by little (over the past couple of weeks), I've noticed lately that she's been peeing more and more when introduced to someone new or when I've been away for a few hours and return home. It's more of "dribble" than pee, but it's troubled me.

Well today, I took Echo to the vet for her 3rd puppy shots/ first rabies shot. From the beginning, I noticed that she was acting a little more nervous/ agitated. She kept pacing and yawning. She dribbled in the floor a bit in the waiting room. When it was her turn to go back, she was not nearly as "friendly" and sure of herself as the last time. She was acting very scared. When the vet tech put her on the table to get checked by the vet, the floodgates opened. Echo peed a HUGE puddle. She was noticeably agitated. I understand that the vet is not a pleasant experience for most dogs, but she just acted so differently that she did for her last shot a month ago.

We left the vet, and I had to stop by my office to pick up something on my way home (I work at a university). She's been introduced several times to my colleagues before, and has always acted fine with them. When we went in the building, a few of them (and a few students) wanted to see Echo. She peed three times in the ten or so minutes we were in the building, all when greeting people. She jumped up on people and wagged her tail, but peed none-the-less. Even though she was her normal, friendly self, she seemed to act much more submissive to people than usual. I also noticed she held a much lower posture and tail position than usual.

It's just odd that this has started happening all of a sudden. Last weekend, a man from our church came over and she greeted him at the door with a sprinkle. Could she be doing this out of fear? Submission? She's just acting more submissive with strangers... her body language, the peeing... If this is submission, I feel like we're doing something wrong raising her. We've made a point to base the vast majority of her training on positive. She was such a confident puppy not too long ago. We certainly don't love her any less... we just hope we're not the cause of this. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
 

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How did the vet check go? Any physical issues such as a UTI? That's the first thing you want to rule out (or in).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thank you for the input. She (the vet) didn't test for a UTI. All she said when Echo peed is "seems we have a nervous peer here."

It's interesting- from reading the article you provided, it seemed like a cross between excited and submissive urination. It wasn't completely submissive (she still jumped around, wagged her tail, etc)... but she did generally have a lower posture than I'm used to seeing with her.

I just called the vet and explained the problem. The vet said to keep an eye on her, and if frequent urination continues to bring her in tomorrow. She said otherwise, she thinks I'm just describing the behavior of a "nervous peer."

Edited to add: She hasn't peed in the house since we got home. We've been here now for several hours. The only times she's gone potty, she rang her doorbell to be let out and peed outside. She seems fine now.
 

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Jumping around and tail wagging can be submissive too, if you look at overall posture.

If I've over taxed Strauss and he's super stressed, he'll leave me, and when I call him back, his head is down, he gets very "front heavy" as he returns, and his tail does this semi quick low sweeping wag.

She may be going through a fear period though
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm yes, that behavior sounds much like what I saw. I just wonder why she's becoming so submissive all of a sudden. It's a complete turnaround. It was as if it happened overnight. She's been such a confident puppy until lately.

Maybe you're right- fear period.
 

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is it all completely fear? Or is it partly from excitement? Try to tell people not pay too much attention to her when they first walk in the room, when she is very excited. Let them calmly say hi to her, and maybe give a pet, but dont let them come to her level or be enthusiastic with her. Sorry- i didnt read the whole email, so if this is not at all the problem you are having, just ignore this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think it's all fear. I think excitement has a lot to do with it. I'll try these things out. Thanks for the suggestions :)
 

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The Critical Fear Periods in Puppies
By: Nancy Frensley, CPDT, CAP1
Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society Training Manager


The Critical Fear Periods in Puppies:

Seven to Nine Weeks
Four to Six Months
Approximately Eight to Nine Months
Approximately Twelve Months
Approximately Fourteen to Eighteen Months

During these periods, puppies may show fear of items, situations or people with whom they formerly felt safe. They may start barking at people entering a house or become fearful and startle at benign items like trash cans, drainpipes or even yard gnomes. They may crouch, shake and try to run away, submissively urinate or tell the scary thing/person to go away by showing an aggressive display (which could include piloerection, snarling, lunging or other unruly behavior.

You must be patient during these periods and keep to the familiar. These are not good times to introduce your puppy to new situations or people. Be very careful to avoid doling out punishment or reprimands. It’s vitally important that you understand that your dog is afraid and that you add to the fear when you reprimand or punish. This, in turn, can set the dog up for future aggression problems.

During these periods, introduce your puppy slowly to the situation, with good tasting treats, so that he or she does not experience fear. Control situations so that you can prevent a fearful response and show your puppy that you enjoy the situation. Use food treats and happy talk to lure your puppy up to scary objects. Teach the targeting exercise (touch your hand with his nose) and work on getting your puppy to “touch the goblin”.

When people visit your home during these periods, put your puppy in another room until visitors are settled in, then bring your puppy out on leash and praise for any show of confidence. Even have visitors toss good treats toward your puppy without approaching him or her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
We took her to the vet today and it is a UTI. We've got her on antibiotics now, and hope she'll be better soon. The vet told us the peeing behavior will likely stop after the UTI is better. She (the vet) said that Echo is definitely not a submissive personality, so she should be on the mend soon. She's just feeling bad.


Thank you all for your help.
 
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