How Do You Say Hello?

| November 1, 2014 | 0 Comments
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Dr Zeus

Dr. Zeus

Dr. Zeus is known as BISS Am GCH Can CH Gingerbred Celestial Thunder JH, CGC by the AKC and just plain old Zeus to his friends. He has traveled far and wide in his four years. All across the US and Canada where he learned many things about being a great dog. His show career brought him to the elite of the sport and he hopes his new passion of hunting will also bring him great success. In all of his travels Zeus has met many dogs of all breeds. His insight and knowledge is how he achieved his honorary doctorate in “How to be a dog”. If you have a question for him, Zeus would happy to give you a dog’s perspective, so please send them to

Dear Dr. Zeus,

When my people come home I am so excited and so pleased to see them. I want to ask them so many questions – where did they go? who did they see? what did they smell? Sometimes, I’m so excited that I accidentally pee. It either usually makes them laugh or totally puts a damper on the homecoming. Why do I do this?! Damp in Arizona – Winnie, the Toller

Dear Winnie,

Well to be frank with you, peeing when greeting someone is the ultimate form of respect & intimidation. So by peeing when you are greeting them, you are trying to show them respect. Alas, people greet and show appreciation for each other in very different ways and they typically do not include peeing. For us dogs, peeing is the ultimate form of respect. This is because knowing our own rank and others ranks is very important to us and this comes from our pack instincts. We do not care where we are in the hierarchy, whether we are at the top or the bottom, but we really want to be clear on our position. When our hierarchical position is in question, that is when aggression or fear can affect us. Thus, to keep questions of rank very clear we like to use body language to show respect as well as power. Some other ways that we show respect is by avoiding eye contact, crouching, and peeing is the ultimate for of clearing up any ambiguity. It is essentially like saying “You are the boss and I am not!”. But wait there’s more!

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever in Bewegung

Photo by Fotolia

Sometimes we are just too excited and we lose control of our bladders. This is more common in puppies and young dogs because they just have so much energy and their minds generally tend to have but one track. But it can also occur in older dogs as well. The same dogs that pee when they are excited also tend to do it in the alternate situation, when they are in trouble. Submissive peeing is a way of saying sorry. An example is that most dogs hate it when people raise their voices and will try to make them happy again, if all else fails and the tension is too high often, dogs will pee in submission because they are just trying to make it better. Although people may not feel this is the best way of saying sorry or breaking the tension, it’s not like we can bake them a cake or order flowers, it’s the best we can do sometimes!

So I hope this helps you, Winnie. You are just trying to show respect as well as you’re probably a little too excited to remember your bladder control. You will likely grow out of it. But what is not to like about a happy dog when someone comes home?!

Regards, Dr. Zeus

Category : Ask Dr. Zeus

Misha Abbenhouse

About the Author ()

Being surrounded by the Great Northwest for the entirety of my life I have come to really enjoy the outdoors, loving the rain almost as much as the fleeting sunshine and all the activities that come along with it. I've always loved animals especially those of the equine and canine variety. My intense interest in dogs led me to start writing about the adventures that Indy, my black lab, and I shared. Aside from animals, I love to read and write and college really fostered this love and I now find myself being able to couple my two great loves of writing and dogs.

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