Media – Shy Dog Embarrasses Herself


Calm; Don’t Punish

My 6-month-old corgi knows that she’s supposed to pee outside and does a really good job most of the time. But when she’s inside, every once in a while, if we approach her, she will squat and pee. This doesn’t happen every time. Just sometimes. She could be inside for an hour or two with no issues, but if we approach her a certain way she squats and pees.

Dr. Nichol-
Dogs who strut around beating their chests are the confident, take-charge type. Your corgi, on the other hand, came genetically programmed for the low rung on the ladder. When you march around like you own the place she demonstrates her subordinate status by whizzing at your feet. You can make it easy for her to communicate without embarrassment by walking a little slower and ignoring. Avoidance of reprimands and punishments will make success possible.

Your pupster is a member of a canine social group, featuring you as head banana. Like all dogs she is a frequent communicator. Beyond swapping news and corny jokes dogs frequently remind everybody in their group that they know their place. Lower status dogs who dribble when the boss drops by are making it clear that they are so low they would have to parachute off a dime.

Trying to convince your girl to stand proud and control her bladder would only confuse her. Sidestep her triggers by never approaching, leaning over, or reaching for her. Instead, invite her to visit by squatting a few feet away, with your side turned. She’ll lose the heebie jeebies, knowing that you come in peace.

Your shrinking violet needs special consideration; she can go from naturally submissive to frightened and miserable if anyone reacts harshly to her. She’s lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon track. If you accept her for who she is you’ll spend less time mopping and muttering.

Finally, if this challenge continues, despite your enlightened leadership, your veterinarian can prescribe imipramine to reduce nervous Nellie’s anxiety while helping her bladder retain urine.
For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website,

Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in-person and in groups by Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a Facebook Live video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at Post pet behavioral or physical questions on or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.