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Peeing

Questions and Answers - Shih Tzu Peeing

Question: 

Hello,

I have a question about my Shih Tzu peeing in the house when we are not home with him.

Our dog is 7 years old, his name is Vinny and he spends a lot of time with me and my husband. We own a resort, so he is almost always with us. However, if we go out to dinner, and we also take him outside to pee before we leave, he will then pee all over the house while we are gone. 

Sometimes he seems to enjoy peeing all over his bed, but we solved that by keeping that door closed. Now, he will pee just about anywhere and it is always a big puddle. It seems as if he is doing this to protest that we left him home alone. Please help.

Answer: 

Hi. When a Shih Tzu is peeing like this, only when you are not home, it is almost always an issue of separation anxiety that develops when left home alone. There are several things that you can do, that when done, should come together to help him stop peeing like this.

First, he must learn that it is okay to be alone. It will be best if you choose 1 room for Vinny to stay in when you are not home with him. This will limit the area in which he can ruin carpeting and furniture with urine. Perhaps a room that is tiled.

Set up a nice area for him....Have toys (that he only is allowed to play with when in that area), blankets to cuddle in, a soft doggie bed, chews, snacks (best if hidden inside toys that make a dog "work" for the snack, water (best if in a dispenser bottle and not a bowl) etc. It is often best to have a radio or TV playing in the background so that it is not completely silent.
Then, put him in this area for a very short amount of time when you are home. Start with 5 minutes. He will be so busy checking out the new items that he may not want to leave! But, do take him out. Then the next day, work up to 10 minutes...then 15, then 20 and so on.

End at the length of time that you would usually be away from home when going out for dinner, etc.

Before putting him in there, do as you do now by having him pee in what ever designated area you use.
Having him spend some alone time in that area while you are home but not paying attention to him, will slowly allow Vinny to get used to this being "his" area and it will allow him to get used to entertaining himself without constant company.

Then, it will be "test" time. It will be time to actually leave the house while he is in his new spot. It is best if you put him in there but do NOT say "good bye".

He will be used to being there while you are home... So once he is settled in, leave without saying a word and leave quietly. If he is engrossed with new toys or trying to work a snack out of a toy, he will not be listening for you to leave.
Shih Tzu peeing page
You see, when an owner says "goodbye" and kisses and hugs the dog, it can make a dog feel as if it is a "final goodbye" ...they have NO idea that the owner is coming back and anxiety sets in as they can think that they are all on their own with no end in sight.

Come back home after 20 minutes or so. Do NOT make a big deal about coming home. Do some other activities such as checking mail, listening to voice mail, cleaning up in the kitchen, etc BEFORE you calmly greet Vinny and let him out of his area.

If all goes well, increase the time to say, 30 to 40 minutes. Remember to follow all of the same rules about not saying "good bye" , etc.

Then, as time goes by, you should be able to go out to dinner while Vinny calmly entertains himself in his area.

Please keep us updated about how this works for you and Vinny.

Love, Hugs & Shih Tzu Kisses,
 
The AllShihTzu Team 
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