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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody!

I just adopted a 1 yr old Silky Terrier Mix yesterday and I've noticed that every time I go to pick her up, she crouches down and I notice a small puddle. I'm not sure if this is because she was just spayed yesterday or if this is Submissive Urination - but either way, any suggestions to teach her not to do so or to help the situation in any way?

Thanks!
 

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It's common in small dogs and young dogs. It's mostly a confidence issue. So never scold or punish her for it, or even let her see that you're annoyed, or it'll get worse. Work on things that boost her confidence level, and age helps too.
 

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Submissive urination isn't something you can teach her not to do; it's an involuntary reaction like goosebumps when you're cold or jumping when startled. What you can do is what Willowy suggested. Since you just adopted her, allow her to get settled and comfortable in her new home with new people.

I'd also suggest not picking her up. Teach her cues so that she can move without your physically moving her. Reaching towards and picking her up is likely very scary for her, especially when she doesn't know you very well and her whole world has just changed.
 

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I think not picking her up when she is excited may help also (like when you're just getting home and she is excited to see you). Picking her up when she is nice and calm or picking her up from a higher position (like sitting on your lap) might be helpful since you wouldn't be leaning over her.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
It's common in small dogs and young dogs. It's mostly a confidence issue. So never scold or punish her for it, or even let her see that you're annoyed, or it'll get worse. Work on things that boost her confidence level, and age helps too.
Thanks for responding! She doesn't know any commands yet so I'm thinking that teaching her to sit, stay, come, etc will help boost her confidence. Also, I praise her when she goes potty outside and I try and pet her from underneath her chin. The only thing is, she's only done it when she was excited to greet me in the morning and when I'm going to pick her. I can make the greetings less exciting for her, but I have to pick her up since she doesn't know how to go up/down stairs yet. Any suggestions? I'm thinking I'm just going to have to be patient and teach her stairs and hopefully with age she'll grow out of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Submissive urination isn't something you can teach her not to do; it's an involuntary reaction like goosebumps when you're cold or jumping when startled. What you can do is what Willowy suggested. Since you just adopted her, allow her to get settled and comfortable in her new home with new people.

I'd also suggest not picking her up. Teach her cues so that she can move without your physically moving her. Reaching towards and picking her up is likely very scary for her, especially when she doesn't know you very well and her whole world has just changed.

Thanks for responding! The thing is, I have to pick her up for now, until she learns how to go up/down stairs. She is very afraid of stairs and will only attempt to climb when she is just a few steps from the top after i pick her up for a majority of them. Any suggestions on ways I could pick her up that wouldn't be so intimidating for her? She doesn't seem scared at all and it seems to be a learned behavior, maybe from her previous home? Every time it looks like I'm going to pick her up she just crouches down. She doesn't know any commands yet, just come.. so hopefully I can teach her to sit and then proceed to pick her up from there. Until then, any suggestions on ways I could pick her up?
 

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Submissive urination is a bit of misnomer, it is anxiety. So building confidence is really the only way to overcome it.
 

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Thanks for responding! The thing is, I have to pick her up for now, until she learns how to go up/down stairs. She is very afraid of stairs and will only attempt to climb when she is just a few steps from the top after i pick her up for a majority of them. Any suggestions on ways I could pick her up that wouldn't be so intimidating for her? She doesn't seem scared at all and it seems to be a learned behavior, maybe from her previous home? Every time it looks like I'm going to pick her up she just crouches down. She doesn't know any commands yet, just come.. so hopefully I can teach her to sit and then proceed to pick her up from there. Until then, any suggestions on ways I could pick her up?
Are you bending down, over the top of her when you pick her up? If so, try turning sideways & crouching (or sitting) down on the floor next to her. Then call her to you & encourage her to climb into your lap. Pet & stroke her gently, then slowly wrap your arms around her & very slowly stand up. If possible, have a treat in one hand that she can nibble on as you gently restrain her & rise up. And, yes, definitely work on confidence building & basic skills so you can avoid the 'pick up' all together.
One additional tip - make sure you aren't reinforcing any overly submissive/fearful behaviors. If you go to pet her or are petting her & she rolls over, withdraw attention until she returns to laying in a more upright position (rather than belly up)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Are you bending down, over the top of her when you pick her up? If so, try turning sideways & crouching (or sitting) down on the floor next to her. Then call her to you & encourage her to climb into your lap. Pet & stroke her gently, then slowly wrap your arms around her & very slowly stand up. If possible, have a treat in one hand that she can nibble on as you gently restrain her & rise up. And, yes, definitely work on confidence building & basic skills so you can avoid the 'pick up' all together.
One additional tip - make sure you aren't reinforcing any overly submissive/fearful behaviors. If you go to pet her or are petting her & she rolls over, withdraw attention until she returns to laying in a more upright position (rather than belly up)
Ok been trying this for the past few hours and it seems to be working! I sit on the steps and get on her level and she comes and sits next to me. From there i just slowly pick her up and she is not peeing! I don't know if this is bc I'm picking her up too fast for her to pee or not. But even when petting she has reduced assuming a submissive position. We're not 100% there but I'm glad to see even a little improvement. However, now I've noticed that she doesn't listen to my "come" anymore. I wonder if this is bc she believes that i will crate her if she does (I'm trying to crate train her for a few weeks. I've kept the crate in the office where I am and I let her out every two hours) or if she just actually doesn't really understand "come". It's only been two days, so I'm just going to try and train her and hopefully we'll have a confident, obedient little buddy!
 

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I wouldn't use a formal "come" command for calling her to her crate, or anything other than the most wonderful things of all times (particularly at this point) A formal recall should never be used for anything the dog might (even in the slightest way) consider 'aversive'. Go & get her for anything that she might not totally love, or just sit down & speak to her in whatever tone she finds most appealing (soft & low, high & 'squeaky', etc...) while offering yummy treats. After a minute or two, then you can move her to the crate (where she gets a *super* high-value & long lasting chew)

Keep in mind, she's only been with you two days & is coming in on the heels of having major surgery. At this point the most critical thing you can be 'teaching' her is to trust you & look to you for all things wonderful in life. :) Build a rock-solid foundation of trust at this point. Everything else will follow & fall into place from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I wouldn't use a formal "come" command for calling her to her crate, or anything other than the most wonderful things of all times (particularly at this point) A formal recall should never be used for anything the dog might (even in the slightest way) consider 'aversive'. Go & get her for anything that she might not totally love, or just sit down & speak to her in whatever tone she finds most appealing (soft & low, high & 'squeaky', etc...) while offering yummy treats. After a minute or two, then you can move her to the crate (where she gets a *super* high-value & long lasting chew)

Keep in mind, she's only been with you two days & is coming in on the heels of having major surgery. At this point the most critical thing you can be 'teaching' her is to trust you & look to you for all things wonderful in life. :) Build a rock-solid foundation of trust at this point. Everything else will follow & fall into place from there.
Thanks for responding! I've stopped using "come" to get her in her crate now. Now when I say "come" she looks at me and if I get on the floor she comes. But it's only when she really wants to! Lol this morning she escaped through the gate in my backyard.. she's not a runner but she's a sniffer so I just had to go grab her from my neighbor's yard. Guess I just need to reinforce the idea that "come" is positive, cuz when she sniffs her way out it would be nice if she listened to my "come back here" haha! She is definitely seeming more confident and happy in her surroundings now though, so I'm very happy about that! And she's pretty comfortable around all the members of my family.. and she's loving her new older brother Sam! He's a 6 yr old Chi/Terrier mix, a sweet thing but he was a little iffy about sharing his toys at first! haha

Do you have any ideas on how to get her to not bark/run at the neighbors? The other day she was off leash in the front yard (my mistake! I just let her out for a second) and a neighbor across the street came out of his house and she ran across the street barking and was barking at his heel. I understand it may take time, but just to teach her to not run and attack neighbors I feel is very important, so any suggestions on baby steps?
 
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