Dear Miss Behavin’: My six month old puppy Josie is getting used to being alone for short periods, and all is going well, but sometimes when I come back, she runs right up to me and piddles at me feet. Why is this happening?
It sounds like Josie is simply so excited to see you that she just can’t contain herself! The good news is that urinating when excited is normal for puppies, and usually something that’s grown out of. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to be done about it.
To curb the excited peeing, you have to curb the overall excitement. If the accidents are only occurring when you get home, greet Josie very calmly, or better yet, don’t greet her at all. Walk in and go about your business until she settles down, and then proceed with saying hello.
If she is still excited just by you being there, start taking her outside immediately when you return to her, continuing to ignore her as much as possible. Once she’s gone potty outside, come back in, and wait again for her to settle again. When you do finally engage her, try teaching her a way to greet you that you do like, such as performing a “sit” or a “shake.” With practice, these can become her go-to greetings for when you get home.
Never scold your puppy for excited urination, as she will not understand and may become worried about you returning home in the future. Scolding or yelling will also just add to the excitement of your arrival, and will not help you achieve your goal of an accident-free household. Teaching her an alternate behavior will help her figure out what you’d rather her do instead, and keeping your greetings calm will help keep her calm from the start.