7 month old shih tzu - barking and accidents

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7 month old shih tzu - barking and accidents

This is a discussion on 7 month old shih tzu - barking and accidents within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; So, I have a 7 month old shih tzu. Until the past couple of weeks, he would sleep pretty much through the whole night no ...

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Old 02-02-2014, 02:17 PM
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Unhappy 7 month old shih tzu - barking and accidents

So, I have a 7 month old shih tzu. Until the past couple of weeks, he would sleep pretty much through the whole night no problem. If he woke up before us, he would usually just keep quiet and chew on his keys until we got him out. We were so impressed at how well-behaved he was in the crate when it's time for bed. Now, he barks several times throughout the night. I don't think he has to potty because I have been taking him out every night, slowly pushing the time further. It's becoming very frustrating, especially for my girlfriend, and we don't know why this is suddenly happening.

The only thing that has changed within the past couple of weeks is that he is hardly in the crate during the day now. I'm guessing it's separation anxiety? Should we put him in the crate for a couple of hours during the day so he's used to it again?

Also, potty training has proven to be difficult. People weren't kidding that shih tzus are stubborn! He still has accidents, and I admit, it's usually due to my poor timing. But the thing is, I feel like he still does not feel a difference between going outside and inside. I say this because he does not give any warning before he has an accident in the house. He will just suddenly stop what he's doing and go. I try not to interrupt with intimidation such out yelling, though I may say "No! No!" out of a natural reaction, and I do not punish him for it. I reward him with praise and treats within seconds after he goes outside. I have used bagged treats, hot dog, homemade biscuits and now I am currently using homemade chicken jerky which he seems to really like. And something that really confuses me is that when we go on a walk, he will hold it until we get to some grass, but yet he does not seem to try and hold it inside.

Am I doing something wrong or do I just need to be extra patient with my shih tzu?

Thank you!

Last edited by Howie; 02-02-2014 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:01 PM
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Oh, and he has scratched and sniffed by the door, telling us he wants to go outside to pee before, so there was some improvement. But again, he has just suddenly went potty without warning lately, and we're back to square one.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:39 PM
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Go back to basics with house training. Read this, and follow it, slowing giving him more freedom as he succeeds in not having accidents.

As far as the barking at night, try putting his crate in your room. He will be a lot happier.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:01 PM
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Thank you, Tess.

And his crate is in our room, right next to our bed, which makes it even more frustrating. ):
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:19 PM
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Thank you, Tess.

And his crate is in our room, right next to our bed, which makes it even more frustrating. ):
Hm... that's curious then....
I guess I would try more exercise during the day, and make double sure the pup has gone potty etc before bed, then totally ignore the fussing. You may have to survive a couple sleepless nights, but in the long run, ignoring a behavior such as this, is the way to make it go away.

And by "ignoring" that means say nothing, do not comfort or scold, just totally and completely give the behavior no response what so ever. Even scolding will be reinforcing for the dog.

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Old 02-02-2014, 06:28 PM
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Hm... that's curious then....
I guess I would try more exercise during the day, and make double sure the pup has gone potty etc before bed, then totally ignore the fussing. You may have to survive a couple sleepless nights, but in the long run, ignoring a behavior such as this, is the way to make it go away.
Yeah, I was thinking to give him more exercise. I just find it a bit odd this behavior has just started within the past couple of weeks, though. He got neutered just little over a month ago and we didn't let him run around or anything for two weeks and yet he slept peacefully just fine. I am just wondering why is he suddenly throwing fits during the night/morning.

But again, thank you. I will try more exercising during the day and hopefully we can survive some restless nights!
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:38 PM
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Seven months for a small breed is the peak of adolescence. Is he neutered? The hormones can drive dogs kinda nutty. Keep going with the potty training like Tess said, and make sure you aren't stretching the time he is crated at night too far. You said you have been slowly increasing the time, but you have to make sure you go back a little so that your pup doesn't start anticipating that every night he will have to wait longer than before. At his age with what has been going on, 7 hours might be pushing it, so try to keep that in mind. As for peeing inside- do you have carpets? Dogs prefer to go on absorbant surfaces rather than hard floors or pavement.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:40 PM
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I've had pups "relapse" on the sleeping through the night thing too. Sometimes there is a reason it starts, maybe one night the pup really did need to go potty. But then it is easy to have getting up at night start to become a pattern, after all, it is fun to get humans' attention at night.
If you are sure there is nothing wrong, then it is just a matter of enduring some noise for a while. My guess is you'll have no more than 3 rough nights at most, then the behavior will be done, at least until the next relapse! But puppyhood is not much longer now, so soon enough he'll be a grown up.

Keep in mind the fussing will be most frantic right before he gives up, so hold out! If you give in when he is most frantic, then you will have reinforced him to try even harder/longer next time. (this is called the "extinction burst".)

In my experience, pups will fuss for about 30 minutes, then give up and go to sleep. Then sometimes wake up a bit later and start again, but overall, its not like most pups will scream for hours continuously, at least not if they are right there in their human's room. Although, in the middle of it, it can FEEL like they will scream for hours.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:31 AM
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welcome and i have been through this! So frustrating isnt it? I have a shih tzu x who is 15 months old now. I truly had a hard time toilet training her to poo outside wee's were ok and shih tzu's are truly stubborn! no kidding there. takes having one to know what it means!

First of all where do you live and is it winter? reason he is playing up at night is he wants to come on your bed with you all night either that or he is cold.

Its also a form of attention seeking as with my Jessie she has seperation anxiety she will whine and cry when i put her in her crate( stubborn on not going in atm since i moved on 1st oct, though went in today no problems! when i get home she will whine, cry if i dont let her out right away while i put grocerys away.

What i do is ignore her , i dont look at her or respond to her until she is quiet.

i would go back to basics as tess suggested on a long line/lead esp if he goes toilet where your not happy with him going, teach him where to go via the long lead. Im doing this with Jessie as she has behavioural incontience. and in a few weeks a fence is going up to seperate the gardens. well i want her to pee where i want her to so taken to using long line so i can control her.

have you tried shredded chicken as a treat for going outside? do you have a enzyme cleaner eg natures miracle? if so clean every area with it where accidents have happened.

Have you had the urine checked by vet to rule out medical reasons?
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChelseaMorning View Post
Seven months for a small breed is the peak of adolescence. Is he neutered? The hormones can drive dogs kinda nutty. Keep going with the potty training like Tess said, and make sure you aren't stretching the time he is crated at night too far. You said you have been slowly increasing the time, but you have to make sure you go back a little so that your pup doesn't start anticipating that every night he will have to wait longer than before. At his age with what has been going on, 7 hours might be pushing it, so try to keep that in mind. As for peeing inside- do you have carpets? Dogs prefer to go on absorbant surfaces rather than hard floors or pavement.
Yes, he is neutered. I am now taking him out two hours earlier again. He has hardly barked the past two nights. Just for a couple of minutes, but we just ignore and he goes back to sleep. We have carpets. That makes sense they prefer absorbent surfaces. Thank goodness for Nature's Miracle!

Thank you for your response, ChelseaMorning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tess View Post
I've had pups "relapse" on the sleeping through the night thing too. Sometimes there is a reason it starts, maybe one night the pup really did need to go potty. But then it is easy to have getting up at night start to become a pattern, after all, it is fun to get humans' attention at night.
If you are sure there is nothing wrong, then it is just a matter of enduring some noise for a while. My guess is you'll have no more than 3 rough nights at most, then the behavior will be done, at least until the next relapse! But puppyhood is not much longer now, so soon enough he'll be a grown up.

Keep in mind the fussing will be most frantic right before he gives up, so hold out! If you give in when he is most frantic, then you will have reinforced him to try even harder/longer next time. (this is called the "extinction burst".)

In my experience, pups will fuss for about 30 minutes, then give up and go to sleep. Then sometimes wake up a bit later and start again, but overall, its not like most pups will scream for hours continuously, at least not if they are right there in their human's room. Although, in the middle of it, it can FEEL like they will scream for hours.
This is very reassuring. Thank you, Tess. It does feel like hours when we're trying to sleep and it's so hard not to react. The past two days I've been getting him to exercise more, and as I mentioned to Chelsea, pushed back the time I take him out to potty during the middle of the night. Perhaps I was pushing it. Restarting and taking it slow again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy View Post
welcome and i have been through this! So frustrating isnt it? I have a shih tzu x who is 15 months old now. I truly had a hard time toilet training her to poo outside wee's were ok and shih tzu's are truly stubborn! no kidding there. takes having one to know what it means!

First of all where do you live and is it winter? reason he is playing up at night is he wants to come on your bed with you all night either that or he is cold.

Its also a form of attention seeking as with my Jessie she has seperation anxiety she will whine and cry when i put her in her crate( stubborn on not going in atm since i moved on 1st oct, though went in today no problems! when i get home she will whine, cry if i dont let her out right away while i put grocerys away.

What i do is ignore her , i dont look at her or respond to her until she is quiet.

i would go back to basics as tess suggested on a long line/lead esp if he goes toilet where your not happy with him going, teach him where to go via the long lead. Im doing this with Jessie as she has behavioural incontience. and in a few weeks a fence is going up to seperate the gardens. well i want her to pee where i want her to so taken to using long line so i can control her.

have you tried shredded chicken as a treat for going outside? do you have a enzyme cleaner eg natures miracle? if so clean every area with it where accidents have happened.

Have you had the urine checked by vet to rule out medical reasons?
We live in Washington. It's been pretty cold lately, but it's totally fine inside. I just think he wants attention from us. He's been doing much better the past two nights, however. As for potty training, I have a pen in the backyard that he goes in, or I walk him out on a leash to control where he goes. I have used diced chicken and chicken jerky, but not shredded chicken. He seems to really like the chewiness and texture of the chicken jerky the most. And yes! I definitely have Nature's Miracle at hand. I have not had his urine checked, but I do not think there is any medical issue. Just management mistakes, on my part, at times. I'm just wondering when he will ever find going inside to be uncomfortable and would much rather go inside. It just feels like he's just not getting it.

Thank you for your reply, crazy!
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