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Why Did My Dog Pee on Me? 5 Likely Reasons & How to Stop It

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By Nicole Cosgrove

puppy licking owner's leg

It can certainly come as a surprise when your pooch suddenly pees on you out of nowhere! Luckily, there is no reason to worry, as this behavior is actually fairly common. There are various reasons for it, from marking territory to excitement or anxiety and even fear. Understanding why your pooch is suddenly peeing on you is the key to stopping the behavior, and thankfully, there are indeed ways to stop it. Proper training is key to most of the solutions, so be prepared to put in the time and have patience with your pooch.

In this article, we look at what it means when your dog pees on you through discussing five potential reasons, and the steps to take to stop it from happening again. Let’s get started!

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The 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Pees on You

1. Marking Scent

The first and most common reason that your dog may be peeing on you is scent marking. Luckily, when dogs mark their scent, they only excrete a tiny spray of urine. If this is what’s happened, it’s likely that they are just marking their scent — letting other dogs know that you are theirs! This is most common in males that have not been neutered but can happen in neutered males and even females too. The behavior may be that your dog simply wants your attention, or there may be another dog around that they are threatened by.


Stopping this behavior will take consistent and careful training and a fair bit of patience. Try to catch your dog before they start — you’ll see them begin lifting their leg — and quickly move away and correct them with a firm “no,” and then pay no attention to them for a few minutes. This may take persistence, but it should stop the behavior in the end. Neutering may help too.

2. Excitement

It’s fairly common for some dogs, especially females and young pups, to urinate when they get overly excited. Some pooches are easily excited and will release a small amount of pee when their owners get home, when they are going for their daily walk, or even when a guest arrives. It’s easy to tell if excitement is the cause of your dog peeing on you, as it will be accompanied by a wagging tail, barking, and possibly running in circles.


This behavior can be quite tricky to fix, as the peeing is involuntary and not something to correct your pooch for. The best course of action is to try to keep your dog as calm as possible during exciting occasions like before walks or when you come home. While this is easier said than done, try to greet them calmly or only when they are completely calm or to begin their walk only when they are sitting and relaxed, and the behavior should correct itself as they get older.

Excited dog
Image Credit: zoegammon, Pixabay

3. Submission

Submissive behavior can often involve urination because when your pooch feels threatened they may pee to be submissive to higher members of the “pack.” This can happen if there are other dogs around and your pooch is afraid, but if it is just you and your pooch, this is not a good sign. While you are the alpha, it should come from a loving, caring place. Peeing in submission is a sign of a highly nervous dog.


This type of submissive behavior stems from nervousness and anxiety, which may be caused by a lack of socialization, both with you and other dogs. Make sure your pooch gets plenty of interactive time alone with you, as well as an hour every day or two with other dogs, to help ease their nervousness.

4. Anxiety and Fear

scared german shepherd
Image Credit: Brett_Hondow, Pixabay

Anxiety, nervousness, and fear are common reasons for dogs to suddenly urinate, and this can be caused by several reasons. Events as small as a simple change in routine are enough to stress some dogs out, but bigger changes like new pets or people in your home are common triggers too. Like territorial spraying, a sign of nervous urinating is also generally just a small amount of pee, as well as them having their tail between their legs, shaking, or whimpering.


Correcting or scolding your dog is certainly not going to help the situation, as they are simply scared or anxious. Unfortunately, there is no proven method to stop this except to take them away to a calm, safe environment when they feel anxious or afraid. This will hopefully ease their anxiety and make them understand they are safe around you and will gradually stop the behavior.

5. Illness

One potential reason that your pooch may be peeing on you is due to an underlying illness. This could be caused by incontinence, or your dog’s lack of control of their bladder. This is fairly common in older dogs that may have weak bladder muscles or prostate issues, but it can also be caused by urinary infections, spinal injuries, and even certain medications.


If your dog is not old or has not been on any medication and is not displaying any other signs, this could be an early sign of illness. In any case, you should take them to a vet right away to perform a checkup and make sure they are healthy.

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Final Thoughts

The most common reason for your dog suddenly peeing on you is a behavioral issue, and this usually is solved easily with proper training. The behavior could be caused by fear, excitement, and even dominance, all of which require patience and consistency to correct. Illness is, of course, another issue altogether and should be left for a vet to take a look at.

Featured Image Credit: Alby83, Shutterstock

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