A woman takes her year-old cocker spaniel to the groomer. The dog is happy for the car ride and walks well on her leash, right into the building. The owner-groomer comes out from behind the receptionist's counter and suddenly, a medium-sized puddle appears on the concrete floor. Thank goodness it's not a carpet! We guess animal workers have learned about dogs peeing on floors.
The same woman takes the same dog to the vet's office. Again, the dog loves the ride in the car and happily goes up the steps, through the door, and into the waiting room. As soon as the dog enters the room, a thin trail of urine follows her all the way to the front desk. the owner is embarrassed, the dog is unfazed, and the vet's aides are ready with paper towels. They explain that, unfortunately, most cocker spaniels pee when they are excited. The woman is told the dog may grow out of it in time, or she may not. This is not encouraging.
What you can do:
*Do take your pet for a checkup. Any physical issues or illnesses should be ruled out. If after that, the vet gives the dog a clean bill of health, he or she may suggest a calming agent to see if this would settle nerves somewhat. Your vet will also be able to suggest measures you can take to help your dog through this behavior.
*There are such things as doggy diapers, but knowing this little cocker, she would chew hers off within minutes. In fact, her main fault used to be chewing everything in sight, but now she's improved so that her major fault is peeing at inappropriate times and in inappropriate places. Doggy diapers may be helpful for some dogs, but one who still likes to chew some things may find diapers quite a lot of fun.
*This problem is the "excite pee response" and goes by other names, as well. There are ways to work around the problem. For example, a friend with an English cocker spaniel experiences the same issues with his older dog. When someone comes to the door, they must wait outside while he puts a short leash on the dog and takes him outside to greet the visitor and minimize accidents inside the house. The dog is nine years old, and has never outgrown the problem. He may be afraid of strangers or of anyone beyond his "immediate family members," or he may be displaying a submissive behavior that many dogs display. It may be a combination of both behaviors.
*Crating your dog before company arrives is another way of helping your dog stay a bit calmer, although he or she may still bark excessively. Because dogs are more hesitant to pee inside the crate where they may sometimes sleep, they may not pee there as readily, or at least they may make less of a puddle. The crate bedding can be laundered. The dog may also feel much safer inside the crate. If need be, a blanket can be draped over the crate so the dog feels even more secure at the sound of a strange voice.
A few things not to do:
*Do not reprimand your dog for the excite pee response. It will only serve to make matters worse by making your dog more nervous.
*Don't punish the dog by crating him or her for a lengthy period of time. The crate should never be used as punishment.
*Don't withhold your love and affection from the dog. Your pet is not doing this to make you angry - it simply loses control. Your dog's greatest desire is to please you. Just as excite peeing is not a good response from your dog, anger is not a good response from you. Learn to take this behavior in stride.
*Don't stop taking your dog places. If you need to, take a roll of paper towels along for just such occasions. The more socialized a dog is, the less chance of having accidents. Even if your dog is more than a year old, it is still worth it to take your dog as many places as you can. Try to greet others outside their home when you take your pet visiting.
*Don't confine your dog at home with no exposure to other people. Never banish your pet to the outdoors, especially chained or confined to a small area, or to run loose.
Above all, never give up! It may be tempting to sell or give away your pet because of a problem they cannot control. Your dog is depending on you for your love and support, so don't let your dog down. One day, you may notice the puddles have gotten smaller and hopefully, your dog may be able to overcome the excite pee response.