Shih Tzu - Dealing With Housebreaking Problems
The best house training uses the shih tzus own instincts to avoid soiling its bed to train the shih tzu where and where not to eliminate. That is the basis behind crate training, in which the shih tzu is confined to its crate in the absence of the owner, and den training, in which the shih tzu is confined to a small area of the home. In essence, the crate, or the room, becomes the shih tzus den. Shih Tzu are naturally very clean animals, and they try their best to avoid using their dens as toilets.
This type of training usually works very well, both for shih tzu puppies and for older shih tzu. Problems with this type of toilet training are usually the result of not understanding the signals the shih tzu is sending, not being consistent with feeding times, or trying to rush the process.
While the house training process can be sped up somewhat by consistently praising the shih tzu and rewarding it for toileting in the proper place, some shih tzu cannot be rushed through this important process. It is always best to house train the shih tzu properly the first time than to go back and retrain a problem shih tzu.
If the dog continues to soil the den area after house training, the most likely reason is that the owner has left the shih tzu in the den for too long. Another reason may be that the den area is too large. In this case, the best strategy is to make the den area smaller or to take the shih tzu to the toilet area more frequently.
If the shih tzu soils the bed that has been provided in the den area, it is most likely because the owner has left the shih tzu there for too long, and the shih tzu had an understandable accident. Or it could be that the shih tzu has not yet adopted this area as the bed. In addition, urinary tract infections and other medical conditions can also cause shih tzu to soil their beds. It is important to have the shih tzu thoroughly checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any medical problems.
One other reason for house training accidents that many people overlook is boredom. Shih tzu who are bored often drink large amounts of water and therefore must urinate more frequently than you might think. If you notice your shih tzu consuming large amounts of water, be sure to take the shih tzu to the established toilet area more often, and provide the shih tzu with toys and other distractions to eliminate boredom.
Boredom is the root cause of many shih tzu behavior problems, not only house training issues. Chewing and other destructive behaviors are also often caused by boredom and separation anxiety.
Other problems with house training can occur when the shih tzus den is not properly introduced. In some cases dogs can react to the den as if it is a prison or a punishment. Those shih tzu may exhibit signs of anxiety, such as whining, chewing and excessive barking. It is important for the shih tzu to feel secure in its den, and to think of it as a home and not a cage.
The best way to house train a shih tzu puppy or shih tzu dog, or to re-house train a problem shih tzu, is to make yourself aware of the shih tzus habits and needs. Creating a healthy, safe sleeping and play area for your shih tzu, as well as a well defined toilet area, is important for any house training program.
House training is not always an easy process, but it is certainly an important one. The number one reason that dogs are surrendered to animal shelters is problems with inappropriate elimination, so a well structured house training program can literally be a lifesaver for your shih tzu.
Connie Limon is a professional shih tzu breeder in Indiana. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts on shih tzu puppies are offered to subscribers. Sign up at: http://www.stainglassshihtzus.com
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