Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dealing with Excitement and Submissive Urination in JRT's

You get home from a stressful day at work, and just want to see your JRT and cuddle with them.  You walk in the door, and are greeted by an excited, happy companion.  But, that is not all you are greeted by…you are also greeted by a puddle of piddle.

There are two types of urination control problems, usually in younger JRT’s, those that are triggered by excitement or as a form of submission.  Both can be somewhat annoying, but there is hope.  You, and your JRT, are both best served by determining which trigger is involved, so that you may be better aided in taking the proper steps in helping your companion overcome this stressful situation.

Excitement Urination

Excitement urination usually occurs when quite simply your JRT is excited.   This may be when you come home from work, and they are so happy to see you.  It may also occur when they are playing and are so full of joy that they accidentally urinate on themselves.

Excitement urination usually affects puppies and younger JRT’s, as they age, the problem will resolve itself.  When they are young, your companion is still learning to control their bladder.  As they mature and achieve more control their urination condition should clear up on its own.


In some cases, the condition will continue and become a problem for your companion.  This continuation could possibly be caused by you, because you are unknowingly reinforcing the condition. 

When your companion accidentally urinates on themselves, due to being over excited, you automatically feel the need to comfort and cajole your JRT.  You want to make sure that they know that you are not mad, that you understand they can’t help it.  Your thoughts are that you are helping your JRT deal with the situation.  In actuality you are doing your companion a disservice.  By comforting your JRT you are reinforcing the situation, and your companion will begin to think that the urination problem is not a problem at all.

Jack Russell Terriers

The one thing to remember through this whole process is that the condition is one that your JRT has no control over.  They are not acting up, and it has nothing to do with house-breaking them.  It is a reaction to the conditions and stimuli around them.

But, how do you help your JRT overcome this problem?  If trying to comfort them through it will not help, what will? 

The first thing to do is visit your veterinarian and have him or her examine your JRT.  You will need to rule out a physical reason for the urinating, before you begin to try to deal with a psychological one.  Once a physical condition is ruled out, you may then move on to several techniques that will help with the problem. 

Until the problem is resolved, move play-time outside as much as possible.  Make sure that your JRT gets plenty of exercise, such as running, playing, and long walks.   Make sure they are able to completely empty their bladder whenever needed.  This only makes sense, that if their bladder is empty there is less of a chance of an accident happening.

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Do not punish or scold your JRT when they do have an accident.  This will only hinder rather than help them in resolving this condition.  When they do accidentally urinate, just clean the area up, and do not bring any more attention to it than is necessary.  Basically, act as if nothing has happened.  If your JRT is constantly reminded of the accident, it will heighten their anxiety and the situation will continue. 

When you arrive home, do not make over your JRT.  No high-pitched greetings, no hand clapping, and no over stimulation.  It is this very stimulation that triggers the excitement in your JRT that causes them to urinate.  So, if the stimulation is kept to a minimum, then there is less chance an accident will occur.

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When strangers meet your JRT, make sure they are instructed to not make over, or encourage excitement in your companion.  Ask them to remain calm, and low toned, and do their best to keep the situation very low key.  This will help your JRT from become over excited, over stressed, and will better guarantee that urination will not be a problem.

Submissive Urination

Submissive urination can present with similarities to excitement stimulation, but with a completely different psychology behind it.  This type of urination is more common in JRT’s that have been abused, or mistreated, especially those rescued.  They have most probably accidentally urinated, someone has gotten mad, and taken the anger out on the JRT.  Quiet, shy, and withdrawn JRT’s an experience this ailment as well.

Like with excitement urination, the one thing to remember is to not take your anger or disappointment out on your JRT.  Do not yell at, or scold, your  companion, as this will, again, only serve to either prolong or  make the situation worse. 

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When your JRT suffers from submissive urination, you will need to change the entire way in which you approach your JRT.  You will need to crouch down to their level, and not loom over them.  Do your best to avoid direct eye contact, as in the canine world, this is a form of body language initiating challenge or dominance.  And, do not approach your JRT from angle that they do not see you coming.  

This will only serve to startle them and increase their anxiety.  It is best to approach them from a side angle, so that you will not be directly coming at them, but they may still see you.  Even better yet, let your JRT take its time and approach you.

When you chose to pet your JRT, do not pat them roughly on the head.  A gentle stroking of the chin, while using soothing, low tones will help to ease any anxiety your companion is experiencing.  If your JRT does accidentally urinate, do not make a fuss about it.  Simply clean the accident up, and move on.  When they do urinate in the proper location, make sure to praise them and treat them, reinforcing the behavior.

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With both excitement and submissive urination, until the situation is under control, you may want to use doggie diapers, or a belly band for males, so as not to have any areas of your floor discolored or ruined.  You may also think about putting your JRT into a class, specifically geared towards solving these two ailments.

Once you determine that your JRT’s ailment is a psychological, not a medical one, and figuring out what stimulation may be causing your JRT’s unwanted urination, you will be better able to treat the symptoms and the cause.  With a little patience, and care, you and your JRT will be able to overcome this stress filled situation for all involved.  

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