Rescued Female Shih Tzu Started Marking

Posted by kellyt21
Jul 24, 2011
We have two rescued female Shih Tzu's and are having trouble with training one named Holli. She came to us from the foster family not fully trained b/c her first owner had trained her on pee pads, and she had also spent a great deal of her first year in doggy day care where she could pee any time, anywhere. Up to this point (over 2 years) she has been pretty good at telling us when she needs to go out, but still has occasional accidents. The last few weeks, though, she has peed several times on a wool rug we got just over a year ago. She did have a bladder infection when I first started noticing the pee spots, but that is officially cleared up and she's still marking the same rug, almost daily now. We were on vacation for a week and had a very responsible pet sitter, but that was over two weeks ago, so even if she was a little off schedule, she should be back on track, right? We have had this same pet sitter other times and did not see any changes in Holli's habits; in fact, she's a friend of ours and Holli loves her. I have an x-ray schedule in a couple days to check for bladder/kidney stones, but if that's not the problem, what could cause her to regress so much? Help!
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jul 26, 2011
Hey kellyt21,

Its a possibility that its not medically related at all - if she was urinating on the rug when you got, because she was sick, she pretty much marked it as a pee spot. This happens pretty commonly - an animals (dog or cat!) will unfortunately go somewhere inappropriate due to stress or health problems, and once the incurring cause is gone, they can smell that they've peed in that spot before, and just keep going there, because its officially a bathroom spot.

Try using a heavy duty pet urine cleaner on the spot. You can find home recipes too, a lot involve citrus and vinegar mixes to get rid of the underlying smell, as well as making it less appealling to sniff at in the future. You may have cleaned it already, but unless you go all out and get right down to the carpet base, you probably haven't gotten rid of the urine smell enough so that your Holli can't tell its there.

While youre cleaning and drying it, block access to that specific spot. I know its a rug, but you can put some large item (solid based! you dont want her just going under it and still peeing) over the spot. Or baby gate the area off. If her accidents go away once she can't pee on this particular spot, then thats your cause for sure.

Its a good idea that you're going to the vet, hopefully Holli comes back all clear! Keep us updated please!