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Uncle Matty Q+A
Question:My little dog has a big problem. If a stranger comes around, the dog becomes skittish and loses control of his bladder. If I yell at him, he will make another mess and now we have two puddles. Is the dog not properly housebroken? What can I do to fix this problem?

Answer:I wouldn't look at this as a housebreaking problem, it is more about improper training methods. Your pet is doing what is called "submissive wetting," and you can correct this behavior.

The dog has probably been shy since he was a puppy and yelling at him when he makes a mess will not help the problem. The best way to train him is by being supportive or what is called positive reconditioning. A pat on the back and a treat will work better than angry words. When a stranger comes around, have that person give your dog a treat. This will replace fear with welcome anticipation.

You can also make your dog more at ease by staying at his eye level. Kneel down or sit on the floor when training your pet -- you are much taller than the dog and this can be intimidating. If you add angry words and harsh discipline to the mix, your dog's skittish behavior is understandable. Most importantly, remember to treat your pet with patience and love.


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