Problems with inappropriate urination are some of the most commonly encountered by shih tzu owners and dog owners of any breeder. As a matter of fact, inappropriate urination and defecation is the most frequently cited reason that owners surrender their animals to shelters.
Before you can address problems with inappropriate urination, it is important to understand the basis of the problem. There are several reasons why shih tzu lose control of their bladders, and it is important to know the root cause of the problem before it can be properly addressed.
Problem #1 – Excitement Urination
Shih Tzu often urinate when they become overly excited, and shih tzu that are otherwise perfectly housebroken sometimes show their excitement by dribbling urine when greeting you excitedly. It is normal for some shih tzu to urinate when they get excited, and this can be a particular problem for many older shih tzu.
A lot of excitement induced urination occurs in young shih tzu puppies, and it is caused by a lack of bladder control. The shih tzu puppy may not even know he is urinating, and punishment will simply confuse him. Becoming angry with the shih tzu puppy will quickly cause excitement urination to morph into submissive urination, thus compounding the problem. As the shih tzu puppy gets older and develops better bladder control, this type of excitement urination should disappear.
The best cure for excitement urination is prevention. Preventing your shih tzu dog from becoming over excited is the best way to control this problem behavior. If your shih tzu dog is excited by a particular stimulus or situation, it is important to repeatedly expose him to that situation until it no longer causes excessive excitement.
Problem #2 – Submissive Urination
Submissive urination is a natural part of pack behavior among animals like dogs and wolves. The submissive member of the pack shows his or her submissiveness by lowering itself and urinating. Since shih tzu are pack animals, they may show their submissiveness to their owner, who they regard as the pack leader, by exhibiting this submissive urination.
Shih Tzu who exhibit submissive urination are usually showing their insecurity. Unsocialzed and previously abused shih tzu often exhibit submissive urination. These shih tzu need to be shown that there are more appropriate ways to express their submissive status, such as shaking hands or licking the owner’s hand.
The best way to deal with submissive urination problems is often to ignore the urination. Trying to reassure the shih tzu can give the mistaken impression that you approve of the behavior, while scolding the shih tzu can make the submissive urination worse.
Correcting problems with submissive urination should be directed at building the shih tzu’s confidence and teaching him other ways to show his respect. Teaching the shih tzu to lift his paw, sit on command, or similar obedience commands, is a great way to direct the shih tzu’s respect in a more appropriate direction.
Problems with urination are not always easy to deal with, but it is important to be consistent, and to always reward acceptable behavior on the part of the shih tzu. When urination problems do occur, it is always a good idea to first rule out any medical conditions that could be causing those problems. Medical issues like bladder infections can be the root cause of problems with unwanted urination.
After any medical problems have been ruled out, it is important to determine what is causing the problem, and treat it appropriately. While it can be tempting to punish the shih tzu for inappropriate elimination, doing so will only confuse and further intimidate him.