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Home Alone: Keeping Your Shih Tzu Calm

by Scott Lipe
Home Alone: Keeping Your Shih Tzu Calm

Leaving your Shih Tzu home alone can be a challenge, especially if they experience separation anxiety. It’s important to understand their coping skills and provide the necessary training and preparation to ensure they stay calm while you’re away.

Separation anxiety can cause destructive behavior and stress in Shih Tzus. By addressing this issue and gradually exposing them to being alone, you can help alleviate their anxiety and prevent unwanted behaviors like peeing in the house or excessive chewing.

Young Shih Tzu puppies may struggle more with being home alone due to their lack of coping skills and incomplete housebreaking. It’s recommended to spend as much time as possible with them during their early stages to work on these skills. However, older Shih Tzus can handle being alone for longer periods.

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Instead of crating or leaving your Shih Tzu outside, create a designated comfort area inside your home. This area should include enough space, food, water, toys, and a cozy bed. It’s important to separate this area from their elimination spot to avoid accidents.

Before leaving, make sure to take your Shih Tzu for a walk, allow them to eliminate, and engage in play and affection. This will help tire them out and create a positive association with your departure. When leaving and returning home, keep it low-key to prevent excessive stress and excitement.

Experiment with providing a window view, using calming music or voices, leaving lights on, and offering a companion toy to help alleviate any loneliness your Shih Tzu may feel while being home alone.

While Shih Tzus can stay home alone, many may struggle with separation anxiety. Training, gradual exposure, and establishing routines are essential to help them become comfortable with short periods of being alone. Seek guidance from a vet or dog trainer if needed.

Stay tuned for the upcoming sections of this article, where we will provide 6 tips for helping your Shih Tzu stay home alone and guide you on how to train your dog to handle being alone.

Addressing Separation Anxiety

Dogs, including Shih Tzus, can experience separation anxiety when left alone. This condition can be distressing for both the dog and the owner. Separation anxiety may lead to various stress-related behaviors, such as peeing in the house, excessive chewing, and vocalization.

To address separation anxiety, it is important to implement training techniques and gradually expose your Shih Tzu to being alone. Consultation with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can provide valuable guidance tailored to your dog’s specific needs. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key elements in helping your Shih Tzu overcome separation anxiety.

Training Techniques for Addressing Separation Anxiety:

  • Desensitization: Gradually increase the duration of time you leave your Shih Tzu alone, starting with short intervals and gradually building up. This helps them learn that being alone is not a threat and that you will return.
  • Counterconditioning: Create positive associations with being alone by providing engaging toys or treats that your Shih Tzu enjoys. This can distract and occupy them during your absence.
  • Establish a Routine: Dogs thrive on routine and predictability. Create a consistent departure routine that includes activities such as playing calming music, giving a stuffed Kong toy, or providing a safe space where your Shih Tzu can relax.

Addressing separation anxiety requires time and effort, but with proper training and support, your Shih Tzu can learn to feel more secure and comfortable when home alone.

Behaviors Associated with Separation Anxiety Recommended Solutions
Peeing in the house Ensure your Shih Tzu has ample opportunities to eliminate before being left alone. Consider using puppy pads or providing access to an appropriate elimination area.
Excessive chewing Provide your Shih Tzu with safe and engaging chew toys to redirect their chewing behavior. Avoid leaving valuable items within their reach.
Vocalization Use white noise machines or calming music to mask external sounds that may trigger vocalization. Additionally, leave a comforting item with your scent, such as a worn t-shirt, to provide reassurance.

Age Appropriateness

When it comes to leaving your Shih Tzu home alone, age plays a crucial role in determining their ability to cope with the situation. Young Shih Tzu puppies, in particular, may struggle with being left alone due to their limited coping skills and incomplete housebreaking. It is important to understand their developmental stage and provide appropriate training and support.

Puppies are still learning about boundaries and may not have developed the necessary skills to handle being alone for extended periods. They may become anxious, stressed, or even engage in destructive behaviors. To help them adjust, it is recommended to stay home with your puppy for as long as possible, gradually exposing them to short periods of alone time.

On the other hand, older Shih Tzus tend to have better coping skills and can handle being alone for longer periods. However, it is essential to consider their individual temperament and behavior before leaving them alone for extended periods. Some older dogs may still experience anxiety or separation issues, so it’s important to monitor their behavior and provide appropriate training and support.

Age Coping Skills Housebreaking
Puppies Limited Incomplete
Adults Developed Usually complete

Understanding the age appropriateness of leaving your Shih Tzu home alone is crucial for their well-being and your peace of mind. By providing the right training, support, and gradual exposure to being alone, you can help your furry friend develop the necessary coping skills and become more comfortable with independence.

How to Prepare

designated comfort area

When leaving your Shih Tzu home alone, it’s important to create a comfortable and safe environment for them. Instead of crating or leaving them outside, it is recommended to create a designated comfort area inside the home. This area should have plenty of space, food, water, toys, and a cozy bed for your Shih Tzu to relax in.

By providing a designated comfort area, you are giving your Shih Tzu a sense of security and their own space. This can help alleviate anxiety and promote a more positive experience while you are away. Make sure the comfort area is separate from the elimination area to avoid any accidents.

Toys are also an essential part of preparing your Shih Tzu for being home alone. Interactive and mentally stimulating toys can help keep them occupied and entertained. Consider providing a variety of toys that cater to your Shih Tzu’s preferences, such as puzzle toys or chew toys. This will help divert their attention away from any potential separation anxiety.

Additionally, make sure to include a resting area in the designated comfort area. A comfortable bed or blanket can provide a cozy spot for your Shih Tzu to relax and rest while you are away. This will help them feel secure and comfortable, reducing the likelihood of anxiety or destructive behaviors.

To Prepare for Your Shih Tzu Being Home Alone:
Create a designated comfort area
Provide plenty of space, food, water, and toys
Ensure a cozy bed or blanket for resting

Before You Leave


Prior to leaving your Shih Tzu alone, it’s important to ensure they are adequately prepared for their time without you. Taking certain steps can help make the experience less stressful for your furry friend.

1. Take them for a walk:

Before you leave, take your Shih Tzu for a brisk walk to help them burn off excess energy. This can help tire them out and make them more relaxed during their alone time.

2. Allow them to eliminate:

Make sure your Shih Tzu has the opportunity to eliminate before you leave. This can prevent accidents in the house and make them more comfortable while you’re away.

3. Engage in play and affection:

Spend some time playing with and giving affection to your Shih Tzu before you depart. This can create a positive association with your leaving and help reduce any anxiety they may feel.

By incorporating these activities into your routine before you leave, you can help set your Shih Tzu up for a more relaxed and comfortable time alone.

Before You Leave Checklist:
Take your Shih Tzu for a walk
Allow them to eliminate
Engage in play and affection

Leaving and Returning

When it comes to leaving your Shih Tzu home alone, it’s important to consider the stress and excitement that can be associated with both your departure and arrival. By establishing a consistent departure routine and practicing a calm arrival routine, you can help your furry friend feel more at ease.

For your departure routine, try to keep things low-key. This means avoiding long, emotional goodbyes that can trigger anxiety in your Shih Tzu. Instead, distract them with a favorite toy or treat, and then leave casually without drawing too much attention to your departure.

When you return home, resist the urge to greet your Shih Tzu right away. Give them a few minutes to settle and relax before offering any attention or affection. This helps to prevent excessive excitement and reinforces the idea that your arrival is a normal part of their day.

The Importance of Low-Key Departures and Calm Arrivals

“By establishing a departure routine that includes distracting your Shih Tzu with a toy and leaving casually, you can minimize stress and anxiety during your absence.”

  1. Create a departure routine that is consistent and predictable.
  2. Distract your Shih Tzu with a favorite toy or treat before leaving.
  3. Leave calmly and avoid drawing attention to your departure.
  4. When you return, give your Shih Tzu some time to relax before offering attention or affection.

By following these practices, you can help reduce stress and excitement for your Shih Tzu when leaving and returning home. Remember, consistency is key, so stick to your routines and be patient as your furry companion adjusts to being home alone.

Helpful Tips

When leaving your Shih Tzu home alone, there are several helpful tips that can create a more comfortable environment for them. Consider providing a window view for your Shih Tzu, as it may offer visual stimulation and a sense of connection to the outside world. However, every dog is different, so observe your Shih Tzu’s behavior to determine if the window view causes stress or anxiety.

In addition, playing calming music or voices while you are away can create a relaxed atmosphere for your Shih Tzu. This can help to mask any outside noises and provide a soothing environment. Leaving lights on, especially if you will be returning home after dark, can also help alleviate any potential fears or anxieties your Shih Tzu may have.

Another helpful tip is to consider providing a companion toy for your Shih Tzu. This can help alleviate loneliness and provide comfort while you are away. Choose a toy that is safe and engaging for your Shih Tzu, such as one with interactive features or a plush toy with a built-in squeaker.

Tip Description
Window View Provide a window view for visual stimulation and connection to the outside world.
Calming Music Play soothing music or voices to create a relaxed atmosphere.
Lights On Leave lights on, especially if returning home after dark, to alleviate fear or anxiety.
Companion Toy Provide a safe and engaging toy to alleviate loneliness and provide comfort.

Remember, every Shih Tzu is unique, so it’s important to observe and understand your dog’s preferences and reactions. By implementing these helpful tips, you can create a more positive and comfortable experience for your Shih Tzu when they are home alone.

Can Shih Tzus Stay Home Alone?

Many Shih Tzu owners wonder whether their furry companions can stay home alone. While it is possible for Shih Tzus to be left alone, it’s important to understand that some may experience separation anxiety. Training and patience are key to helping them become comfortable with being alone for short periods.

Separation anxiety can manifest in various ways, such as excessive barking, destructive behavior, or even harm to themselves. To address this issue, implementing a gradual exposure approach is crucial. Start by leaving your Shih Tzu alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration over time. This helps them build confidence and trust that you’ll return.

Training plays a crucial role in preparing your Shih Tzu to stay home alone. Teach them to associate positive experiences with being alone, such as providing engaging toys or treats to keep them occupied. Consistency in departure and arrival routines can also help alleviate anxiety. Additionally, consider using calming aids, such as white noise or soothing music, to create a serene environment.

It’s important to remember that each Shih Tzu is unique, and their ability to stay home alone may vary. Some may adapt quickly, while others may require more time and support. By understanding their needs, addressing separation anxiety, and providing the necessary training and preparation, you can help your Shih Tzu feel more at ease when home alone.

Benefits of Training Shih Tzus to Stay Home Alone Steps to Train Shih Tzus to Stay Home Alone
  • Improved behavior
  • Reduced separation anxiety
  • Increased independence
  • Less destructive behavior
  1. Gradual exposure to being alone
  2. Establishing departure routines
  3. Creating a comfortable and engaging space
  4. Using calming aids
  5. Consistent training and reinforcement
  6. Seeking professional guidance if needed

The 6 Tips for Helping Your Shih Tzu Stay Home Alone

Training your Shih Tzu to stay home alone requires patience and a structured approach. Follow these 6 tips to help your furry friend become more comfortable with being alone:

1. Gradual Exposure

Start by gradually increasing the amount of time your Shih Tzu spends alone. Begin with short periods and slowly extend the duration over time. This helps your dog build confidence and adapt to being alone.

2. Establish a Departure Routine

Create a consistent departure routine that signals to your Shih Tzu that you’re leaving. This can include picking up your keys, putting on your coat, or even a specific phrase. Establishing a routine helps your dog anticipate your departure and reduces anxiety.

3. Establish Return Rituals

When you return home, establish a calm and positive routine. Avoid immediately showering your Shih Tzu with attention. Instead, wait for your dog to settle down before offering affection. This teaches your dog that your return is a normal part of their day.

4. Use Music or White Noise

Playing calming music or white noise can help create a soothing environment for your Shih Tzu while you’re away. This can mask outside noises and provide a sense of comfort and security.

5. Leave Lights On

Leaving lights on can help reduce the sense of isolation for your Shih Tzu. It provides a sense of familiarity and can help them feel more at ease while you’re not there.

6. Ensure a Comfortable Space

Create a comfortable and safe space for your Shih Tzu to be in while you’re away. Make sure they have access to their bed, water, toys, and any other items that bring them comfort. This designated area should be separate from their elimination area to avoid accidents.

By following these tips and consistently training your Shih Tzu, you can help them develop the skills and confidence necessary to stay home alone. Remember to be patient and understanding as your furry companion adapts to this new routine.

Train Your Shih Tzu to Stay Home Alone

Training your Shih Tzu to stay home alone requires careful consideration of timing, departure routines, and preparing the surroundings. Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, these steps can help alleviate separation anxiety and ensure a calm experience for your furry friend.

1. Timing is Crucial

Start training your Shih Tzu when they are most relaxed and receptive. Choose a time when they have already been exercised, eliminated, and are in a calm state of mind. This will set the stage for a positive learning experience.

2. Establish Departure Routines

Create a consistent departure routine that signals to your Shih Tzu that you will be leaving for a short time. This can include grabbing your keys, putting on your shoes, or opening and closing the door. By repeating these actions regularly, your dog will become desensitized to them and develop a sense of predictability.

3. Prepare the Surroundings

Make sure your Shih Tzu’s environment is safe, comfortable, and engaging. Provide plenty of toys, puzzle feeders, and interactive games to keep them mentally stimulated. Set up a cozy resting area with their bed or blanket, and ensure access to fresh water and a designated elimination area.

4. Extra Help for Nervous Dogs

If your Shih Tzu is particularly nervous or prone to separation anxiety, consider seeking guidance from a veterinarian or professional dog trainer. They can provide additional strategies and techniques to help your dog feel more secure and confident when home alone.

By following these training tips and techniques, you can empower your Shih Tzu to stay home alone with confidence and peace of mind. Remember, patience and consistency are key, and seeking professional advice when needed can make the training process even more successful.

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