Q: My dog has an urination problem only when greeting. I have tried all of the advice of no eye contact, no greeting until the dog calms down, etc. My dog follows me wherever I go, gets in front of me and then pees. I have tried ignoring her, commanding her to sit, scolding her, averting her attention—all to no avail. I don’t believe this is a submissive act, nor does my vet, since she has slight aggressive tendencies. Any suggestions or info you have that might save my sanity and carpet would be appreciated. Other than that she is a pretty well behaved 2-year old.

A: A more accurate assessment of what’s going on might include more contextual information such as your dog’s body language and volume of urine while it’s happening as well as who or what might be in the environment at the time. So if medical issues have been ruled out, it might still be stressed based insofar as submissive urination or excitation or she could be “marking” her “possession”—you—which means there certainly is a leadership issue involved.

The methods you’ve tried are all viable. I think the problem may be either in the length of time the methods were consistently applied or possibly a mis-step with one of the incremental steps that each of these methods contain. In other words, your dog might still be confused. Sometimes thousands of repetitions are necessary before a behavior can be modified … not unlike how long it takes us humans to break a long-standing bad habit.

Anticipating the behavior before it happens and redirecting her attention with a game such as “find-it,” or asking her to lie down before she has a chance to pee might be very helpful. Games like this are presented on The Dog Whisperer DVD, Beginning and Intermediate Dog Training for Puppies and Dogs.

If you’ve tried all of these methods and things haven’t improved, I suggest you hire a professional trainer who uses only positive methods to help you out. But you also mentioned aggressive tendencies. That certainly needs to be addressed!