Hi, I have a 5 years old male Maltese who is paper trained. The dog is left at home with another Shihtzu during the day when my husband and myself go to work. And the territory marking usually happens when we are not home. That means we are unable to catch the dog when he is marking the territory. And it is not the same place. Sometimes on the carpet as well. And the whole house smells so badly when we came back and has to clean the whole house nearly everyday. What should I do to stop this? And this has happened for a couple of years already and it is making me frustrated. As advised by the books, you should not punish the dog when he is not doing it or he will not know what he has done wrongly. But in my case, I am not sure what I should do now. How can I stop his territory marking?
first thing to do is get him neutered. if this has been going on for years the possibility of it stopping after neutering lessens. it may have become a habit to him at this point. also if the shihtzu is a female , also not spayed, that will not help the situation. best bet is to neuter him. you could also pen him into one room, like the kitchen or bathroom while you are away so at least he isn't marking your whole house.
Neutering *may* help, but at this point, he has been doing it so long, it's a good chance that the marking is an established behavior and a habit. You need to crate him when you are gone. If you are somewhat against this, you don't have many options (if any) if neutering doesn't help. You can either be cleaning pee up for the rest of the dog's natural life or have a little peace of mind and not dread coming home to an apartment that smells like urine. If you're gone during the day and you give him special treats when he is crated, he should adjust quickly. You probably can even get a larger sized crate, as you say he is housetrained otherwise. You say he is left alone with another shih tzu? Is the other dog not yours?
is your shihtzu a girl or boy? yes i do believe neutering is a step in the right direction. its his hormones that drive him to mark territory. the hormones don't instantaneously leave the body the day he is neutered though. it takes about 2 months or so for all the hormones to leave, so he won't stop marking the day you bring him home. as his testosterone levels decrease so should the desire to mark.
Until you can get him neutered use crate in the meantime. A crate is not mean for the dog,as a matter of fact it will give your dog a safe place to stay,and you a peace of mind that your dog is not marking his territory in your home.Both of you will be happier.Neutering your dog will also help prevent health problems that can occur in in tact dogs.
My Shihtzu is a female dog who has been sterilised. I am not aware that neutering a dog helps in eliminating the territory marking habit. Perhaps I really should have look into neutering the dog. In the meantime, guess I will have to put the dog into another room for the time being. Thanks for all the advises!
Definatly have him neutered. This will help. I strongly agree about crating him, but if for some reason you are not able to do that, they sell "belly-bands" for male dogs on e-bay. These are made to stop males from marking your home, and work like a little diaper. I think you use them with small disposable pads. The bad side of this is you may need to bath him far more often than is good for him.
if you don't crate him, which i think would be best after neutering, contain him in a room with papers down. i have heard also that for male dogs you can crumple up some newspaper in a big mound and tape it to the floor on the papers for pottying and he'll have papers to mark on, much preferable to the walls and furniture. leave him several mounds of paper to mark on. i've never had this problem so i haven't tried this technique.