Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Submissive/excitation urination in a female Shih Tzu?


Hi Judy,
I read this article and find it very useful. I am currently actively looking for a family pet and would be very thankful if you could help to answer my following query.
I am interested to use the crate + pee pan method or play pen + pee pan method. With one of these method, does it mean that they are trained to pee/poo inside the crate/play pen and I do not have to bring him/her out to pee/poo? How about at night? Do I still have to wake up and bring it to pee/poo or should I leave him/her in the crate/play pen? Your kind advise would be greatly appreciated.



I am Dr Sing from Toa Payoh Vets,
Thank you for your email.

1. The objective of the two methods you mention in your email below is to confine the puppy for 2-4 weeks so that they will pee and poop within that confined area. However, the owner must clean up the soiled area immediately after the puppy has had eliminated. The puppy is naturally a clean animal and if the owner does not remove the stools or wash the soiled area, the chances of early sucess (ie. within 4 weeks) are slim.

1.1 Therefore, you do not have to bring the puppy out to pee and poop using the above methods. However, after midnight, in some situations where there is no distraction from many family members, (e.g. a couple living alone), some new puppies do make a lot of noise asking the owner to change/wash the soiled area. Owners who sleep near the puppies will do it. But most owners don't know and think that the puppy needs company.

2. If you wish to take the puppy out to pee and poop, you can do it but do it as a routine (i.e. at certain times e.g. after each meal) but you sabotage your objective as stated in Para 1. You just need to be consistent in your routine in toilet training.

I hope the above answers your questions.
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Hi Dr Sing (apologize for the wrong address previously),
Thanks for the advice. I have attachd a photo of the cage layout. My puppy is able to go to the other half of the cage with the Pee tray (note that I placed the Pee tray below the grill for ease of cleaning) since day 1 to pee and pooh. It is able to keep the blue portion clean without any incident of pee or pooh there.
During the time I let her out to play, she will tend to pee on the floor and she is really fast. By the time I see her swatting trying to pee, it is already too late and what I did was to scold her by say loudly "No pee", show her the pee and bring her back to the cage for 5 minutes. Is this the right approach? Again, thanks alot for your advice.

(1st time dog owner)


Oct 6, 2011

I am Dr Sing from Toa Payoh Vets. Sorry, I missed reading your email as I have over a hundred junk mails a day. In reply, after 2-4 weeks, depending on your puppy's intelligence and your training methods and patience, expand the outer space (floor area by 100%. For example, you fence off a floor area 100% of the floor area of the cage. The puppy comes out to this area to eat and drink and jumps back to the cage (or pee pan) to pee and poop (in theory!) and sleep. do this for another 2 weeks or less. Once the puppy has the routine, you can expand the space to a room e.g. kitchen or balcony. Gradually increase the space till the puppy knows what to do.

I hope you understand what I am talking about. If not, let me know.

As I don't have pictures of what is the exact housing of this puppy, it is extremely difficult to know how to advise you. You may wish to email 3 pictures of how the puppy is housed and where it pees and poops. Otherwise you say one thing and I imagine and advise on another incorrectly. That is the problem with email advices on toilet training in puppies.
Thanks alot for the advice. One more question if you do not mind. After 4 weeks, do I still let the puppy pee and poop inside or do I have to switch training method to let the puppy pee and poop outside on a pee pan (without the cage). The intention is to eventually get rid of the cage so that the puppy can sleep in a cosy basket in my children's room, but will go back to the pee pan to pee and poop.




Hi Dr Sing,
I have been confining the puppy to the cage but whenever I release my puppy to play during the evening, she will pee on the floor as if she is holding her pee for this period of time. She is super quick and by the time I shouted, she would have already peed on the floor. Is this normal. When she is confined, she does pee at one corner of the cage where I put a pee tray below the grill.



There are at least 5 possible explanations to the puppy behaviour

1. Duration of training. She has not been confined long enough to use the "corner" of the crate as the only toilet area. Your method is grate-training although you do have paper on the pee tray below as the puppy stands on the grate to pee.

2. No cage door. It looks like your crate has NO door. So, the puppy cannot run back into the crate even she wants to, when let out.

3. Submissive/excitation urination. If she has submissive urination, she will pee when you come home, greet or shout at her loudly (before and after the fact). This behaviour is to please the alpha member of the dog family and you are the alpha. Changing your behaviour will need a different approach when you let her out. This seems to be the likely explanation.

4. Smell of urine in the outside area. Puppies pee on areas with urine smell. Neutralise the area with white vinegar + water at 1:3.

5. Attention-seeking. "Getting shouted at" is great attention for your puppy. Some puppy needs more attention than others.

1. If you don't have a door in your crate, open up the side of one crate. Fence up the external area by another 50-100% for the next 2 weeks, using the usual puppy pen gates available from the pet shop. Gradually increase the fenced up areas as the puppy learns to go back to the grate to pee in the evening. No shouting or attention giving when you see her in the evening (I assume you come home from work). Read up on "submissive urination". Let me know if it works.
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