Tuesday, March 29, 2016

4. A Shih Tzu puppy prefers to sleep on the pee tray nowadays

Email to Dr Sing of Toa Payoh Vets,  dated Mar 30, 2016

Good day!

I read your article on potty training and I am adhering to your advice. I have recently took home a shih tzu puppy. She is now around 7 weeks plus of age. I practice play pan confinement when I am not around. When j am around, i opened the area but she stays within her bed and confinement area even though I opened up the play pan area. I have practice bringing her to her designated spot to pee and poop everytime I noticed she is about to make a mistake. When she does make a mistake I clean it with white vinegar+detol+water.

She is extremely smart and has on several occasions successfully peed at the right spot (in the pee tray). She doesn't pee on her bed or toys. However, recently I have noticed that she will lay on her pee tray. Is there a reason to this?

I have tried to collect the smell of her urine in the pee tray by inserting a napkin in between the tray. Hence, after she eliminate, i simply just remove the stools and wipe the top of the tray leaving the bottom to be absorbed by the smell of her urine. Could this be a reason why she is sleeping on the pee tray? Could it be possible she likes the smell of her pee? I have tried to think of possible reasons why and I am simply lost and unsure of how to tackle this situation.

She do sleep on her bed, however sometimes she lays on the pee tray or near the pee tray.

Hope you can advice me on how to stop her from laying on her pee tray and use it only to pee and to poop.


I am Dr Sing Kong Yuen from Toa Payoh Vets.  Thank you for your email regarding toilet training of your Shih Tzu.

The following may be the reasons:

1.  It is possible that you have cleaned the pee tray free of urine and stools very well. So, it is a clean area.
2.  It is possible that the surrounding "clean" area has become a dirty area (too much cleaning liquid etc). It could have been soiled by the puppy's feet (stools and urine smells which only the puppy knows). So she lays on the cleaner pee tray.
3. The surrounding "clean" area is not comfortable e.g. no towel or cushion to lay on.
4. The puppy might have preferred sleeping on the clean pee tray from a young age.  The seller had got her used to her sleeping on the pee tray and she likes it.
5. You or a family member/friend could have praised and rewarded her with a treat when she lie down on the pee tray.
6. Other causes due to management I am not aware of.

Possible solution that may or may not work: 
1. Reduce the size of the crate to hold only the pee tray.
2. Let the puppy stay outside the crate by enlarging the total confinement area. Feed and water bowls are outside the crate. A cushion or towel for the puppy to lie down.
3. Place the pee tray inside the crate only for pee and poo by re-training the puppy again. The puppy will be trained to think that the toilet area is inside the crate and the outside area is the den.
Please let me know if the suggested solution works. Best wishes.

Warmest regards, E.....

Sent from my iPhone

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