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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19663
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have a 4 month old shih tzu who is reversing s potty

Customer Question

I have a 4 month old shih tzu who is reversing his potty training.... He is so spiteful. If we leave him, he pee in the house instead of outside. He has done it 4 x today. We are at our wits end...what can we do??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Am I correct that he is only 4 months old?

How long have YOU owned him?

Do you have a doggy door?

Is he urinating in the same place each time?

What and how are you cleaning where he urinates?

Is is carpet or other flooring?

If you have a doggy door, does he use it when you are home or does he eliminate when you take him for walks or on scheduled trips outside to go?

how have you been house training him?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he is 4 months old. No doggy door. He pees when he goes out, but then decides to pee on the house after... Usually on wood floor or area rug in hall I have a odor eliminator from my rug cleaning company.
If we go out, he is in the crate. When we come home, he goes right out.he will go to the door and whine when he wants to go out, but then he comes back in and pees in the house....
I got him at 8 weeks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is a very spiteful dog.....think it is the breed...
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I'm working on your answer now.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you....
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for all the great information. There are a few things you should know. The first is that the cleaner needs to be an enzymatic cleaner. coming from a carpet cleaning company it may or may not be one. They want your repeat business which they won't get if you can clean up messes easily and effectively. So check and be sure it is enzymatic. Secondly you need to let it soak in so it reaches and is able to break down the protein in the urine which is what causes the odor. Most cleaners fool our noses but not a dogs. If there is any trace of the owner the dog will go back to the same area to eliminate again. So be sure you are cleaning effectively.

Pups frequently are not totally house trained until they are about 6 months or so. In addition, if a male is not neutered, they start feeling like they need to mark their territory as they get older. They are usually older when they start marking but I wanted to mention it. The other thing that does concern me is that his breed is often known to have disc issues. Disc issues can make it harder for a dog to hold their urine. He's pretty young for disc issues.

The best thing to do is to retrain him from the start. I recommend crate training. Below you will find the way I crate train dogs, which has worked consistently for 15 years. If you have other dogs you will need to separate them when taking them out to go to the bathroom, as they will want to play rather than potty. During crate training, you will be having your dog confined either in a crate or confined to a very small area which optimally will only allow the dog room to lay down in. Dogs will generally not soil an area where they sleep. Here is a site with more information on crate training.

This is how I house train all my dogs. In addition, put a bell or other noise maker on the door low enough for the dog to reach. Each time you take the dog out, ring the bell. The dog will associate ringing the bell with going out and one day ring the bell to signal to you that she needs to go out.

A second option is to keep him attached to you with a leash and when he goes to squat or lift a leg, give a tug and a firm NO so he realizes that it is urinating inside that you find unacceptable. When he urinates outside, give him a tasty treat like a hot dog sliver. If you have reprimanded him for going in the house without catching him in the act, he won't know why you are reprimanding him. Same with giving him treats. It has to be when he is actually urinating that you give it. He needs to associate the reward or punishment (verbal) with what he is doing.

You can also feed and water him on a schedule and track when he urinates and defecates. A pattern emerges and you can use that patter to ensure he is outside when he needs to be. Definitely go out with him and give him a treat when he succeeds outside. If he urinates 3 times, give him 3 treats. Make him want to empty his bladder when he's outside. If you let him out and won't let him in until he uriante, then he might run out, urinate quickly and come in without finishing.

Some dogs also have submissive or excitement urination as well. When they get near their masters or ones they feel are in charge they will urinate. Only you can judge if that is a factor. If it is your vet can prescribe a medication to help strengthen the bladder sphincter to stop that. In addition, obedience training can help the dog gain more self confidence and be less likely to experience submissive urination. This often clears up with maturity as well.

You might want to go ahead and have a urinalysis done to check for an infection if he is drinking more, or has an odor to the urine. A UTI can make it hard for a dog to hold their bladder.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer so I am compensated for my time.

Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.

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