I have a 10 month old male shih-tzu named Bentley. He’s a great dog, and was housebroken by the age of 3 or 4 months. He relieves himself on a “potty pad” that stays on the screened-in back porch.
Just recently, he has started a problem that we consider very serious. Instead of going to the door so that we will let him out, he has decided that he can just pee on our couch or in the bed.
He is crate trained, so leaving him in his crate close to all the time isn’t a problem, but he’s been so good for so long that we can’t understand the relapse (and WHY he only desires to pee on the couch and in our bed).
He doesn’t sleep with us except for “special occassions” (usually when my husband is out of town), but why not just pee on the floor? We have a high bed, so it’s a big jump to make JUST to pee there. He’s done it several times in the past month or so, and the same goes for the couch as well.
Does anyone have any tips for our semi-relapsed pup?


  1. Jason Homan

    Hi Pastfacesfuture!!
    When a the you makes a mistake and allows the dog to pee in the couch or bed, you have to get rid of the odor. If the couch or bed smells it, that tells her that is the place to go.
    This is accomplished with an odor neutralizer, which is available in pet stores. (Do not use household cleaners as they contain ammonia and will attract him back to the same spot.) When used properly it will completely eliminate these odors, discerned only by the dog, by neutralizing the scent. When areas previously used by the dog have been neutralized the incentive for using the same spot will be eliminated. Then spray the area that has been soiled with an indoor pet spray repellent.
    Make a big deal of her doing it right. Let your voice sound all this pride and pleasure in he. when he pees in the house, say a sharp “NO!” and take he immediately outside. If he pees more out there, praise be heaped on he little head.
    After he does he main job outside, keep he out there till he pees. he may think he is supposed to hold it until he gets back in.
    The more he gets praised for going outside, the better he will learn it, and the more he will do it. he just wants to please and get praised and petted, so what gets that, is what they do.
    He is just a “little boy”, and not very smart yet.LOL
    Shih-tzu are smart as a tack, he will learn quickly.
    Also, causes of urinary incontinence include cystitis, struvite crystals, bladder stones, separation anxiety, bladder or urinary tract infection…. The first thing you should do is take the dog to the vet. He will be able to tell you what’s going on.
    Jason Homan

  2. sophylak

    you have taught him to do this….dogs won’t pee where they live.. and he doesn’t live in your room.. an you taught him to go inside your home on “potty pads” i would recommend you start taking him outside – use your crate ( don’t overdo it) and make sure he is NEUTERED

  3. sassygal

    Unfortunately your dog is suffering from jealousy! The couch and the bed, the 2 places where you and your husband sit/lay together, and he wants “in”! He wants to be noticed and by peeing on the 2 areas you and your husband share, how dare you?[speaking for the dog]! So, he’s marking his territory, and letting him join you on “special occasions” is only confusing him more. You are telling him he’s accepted when you are by yourself, but threes a crowd the rest of the time. He may even think of it as a punishment to some degree, so how do you break him? You could start by aloowing him to be around as normal and use the crate as you have been, but perhaps, and tile floored “naughty room”, or a “time out” ONLY when he has peed on the bed or couch do you ever associate this area you pick out for him to be put in/at. Otherwise by using the crate he goes in if you need to work or run errands will become another retaliation item if he confuses the “safe nice dog” place, to the “peeing on the couch and bed isnt acceptable” place you designate. Will you ever break him of this?, I’m not sure if that has crossed your mind, but a little extra information, years ago we owned a small housedog, potty trained as yours. Then one day the family had went out, and the dog left home alone. Needless to say, when we returned our nice little dog pooped on the rug in front of the tv, and continued, for over a year, until we gave him to our neighbors where there wasnt that rug, and that tv, and that wonderful same old spot! Best of Luck,

  4. rose_mer

    10 months old is teenage rebellion time! Patience and perseverance – go back to potty training basics. Get a vet check – up just to be sure, though

  5. Dillon

    I think he is marking territory…you did not mention if he is neutered or not, and that would help the situation too. I would go back to step one withthe crate training, and also be sure you clean the pee spots with an enzymztic cleaner that will leave no trace of the smell…goo luck. Shih Tzus are the best.

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