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Can Shih Tzu Be Left Alone (and Will They Be Happy)?

Shih Tzu can be left alone at home. But because they tend to develop a strong attachment with their owners, they will not be too happy about it. They can be upset, distressed, and anxious. As a result, they may exhibit destructive behaviors, even self-harm.
Can Shih Tzu Be Left Alone?

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Fortunately, there are several ways to make the situation better. You can train your dog to feel comfortable being at home without you. Consider their age, toileting skills, and confidence before leaving them alone.

How Long Can I Leave My Shih Tzu Alone?

Since you may need to go outside for errands, school, work, or other engagements, you can leave your Shih Tzu for 7 to 9 hours. But before you do, set the necessary measures in place to make sure that your pet is well-prepared for this milestone.

Water and food should be available if your Shih Tzu feels thirst and hunger. Their favorite toys should also be accessible. It will be their source of comfort and entertainment in your absence. Leave the lights on, especially if you expect to get home after dark.

Can You Leave a Shih Tzu Alone for 8 Hours?

Older Shih Tzu who can hold their bladder longer will tolerate staying alone in an empty house for 8 hours. If you plan to start leaving your young Shih Tzu alone for the same length of time, take baby steps. Try to make your outing short and gradually increase it as your Shih Tzu begins to tolerate it.

At the start, you may want to go home and check in to make sure that everything is fine. If you cannot do it, talk to someone who can help. Find people who can take a peek, walk the dog and keep it company for a few minutes while you are away.

Keep bladder control in mind. Shih Tzu can control their toileting activities for one hour for each month of their lives. If you leave your six-month-old Shih Tzu for eight hours, then prepare to come home to a puddle.

Are Shih Tzu Ok to Be Left Alone?

Since they are very affectionate, they won’t like being left alone. To your Shih Tzu, you are the world! If they haven’t been conditioned to separate from you, they might get anxious and upset. Don’t be surprised to find broken things or a puddle when you get home.

When left alone unprepared, some Shih Tzu engage in ripping, chewing, and scratching. These behaviors are a result of their insecurity. They become too nervous and end up with problem behaviors. They might chew your slippers, rip a pillow apart or scratch the door as a release of their negative emotion.

Remember that your Shih Tzu engages in these negative behaviors as a stress reliever. They don’t do these out of spite. There is no need to punish them.

Another undesirable outcome when you leave your unprepared Shih Tzu is toileting issues. Keep in mind that a Shih Tzu younger than six months can only hold its bladder for less than six hours. If it tries to hold it in, it might develop kidney diseases.

Do Shih Tzu Bark When Left Alone?

Some Shih Tzu release their anxiety through barking and howling. When leaving them alone, in the initial stages, ensure an open space for them to move around. Keeping them locked in a room will make them feel trapped, more nervous, and scared.

Before leaving your Shit Tzu alone at home, find out if it is better to leave the windows open or closed. Some Shih Tzu will feel excited to go out if the windows are open. The excitement will cause them to keep barking to get attention.

Can Two Shih Tzu Be Left Alone?

One way to ease your Shih Tzu’s pain when left alone is to get a second puppy or dog. Because they are a friendly breed, having another dog for company is better than having no one at all. This way, both will be less lonely while you are away.

Do Shih Tzu Have Separation Anxiety?

A Shih Tzu tends to be easily attached to its owners. Playing and cuddling with them makes your bond stronger each day. This strong attachment develops separation anxiety (previously known as owner absent behavior).

Separation anxiety is the intense fear and distress dogs may feel when their owners leave them alone at home for a few minutes to several hours. Shih Tzu, especially younger ones, don’t understand why their owners have to go. It makes them scared and nervous.

Do Shih Tzu Grow Out of Separation Anxiety?

A Shih Tzu with separation anxiety displays destructive behaviors when you go out. Your Shih Tzu will learn to cope with your absence with proper training and conditioning. They will learn how to be comfortable being home alone.

How Can I Get My Shih Tzu to Stop Having Separation Anxiety?

Each time before you leave, have a suitable amount of time to play with your Shih Tzu. Assure your dog that while you are out, you will return, and you can play again. To meet your dog’s needs, make sure to feed it and walk it outside before you leave.

Please don’t make a big deal out of your return when you get home. Act as you normally would. By doing this, your Shih Tzu will also understand: if you go out, you will also return. Also, it will think that your return is not something it should be excited about. Later, it will get used to your absence.

How to Train a Shih Tzu to Be Alone

After housebreaking, aim to develop your Shih Tzu’s self-confidence. You can do this by teaching them how to self-soothe and play independently. These two skills will play an essential role in your Shih Tzu’s ability to tolerate an empty house.

One of the concerns, when you leave your Shih Tzu alone, is toileting. Keep in mind that your dog can hold its bladder for one hour for each month of its life. If you leave your five-month-old puppy, don’t be away for more than five hours. If you do, you’ll be wiping the floor when you get home.

You need to prepare the space, as well as your Shih Tzu’s disposition before you leave. Allot time for feeding and for dog walking. Feed it at least two hours before, and then walk it outside to eliminate fifteen minutes before you leave.

Cuddle with it for an undivided fifteen minutes. It will keep it feeling secure and confident before you part ways. Also, a significant gesture is to shower it with attention and affection. Please do this before feeding it, around two hours before you go. Never engage with your Shih Tzu minutes before your scheduled leaving time.

Prepare the following to ensure that your Shih Tzu has everything it needs while you’re out:

  • Food, for when it gets hungry.
  • Water, for when it gets thirsty.
  • A Basket of Toys to self-soothe and entertain itself.
  • Laid-Out Newspapers, if it needs to move its bowels.
  • Doggie Bed, to rest on if it gets tired.

Refrain from keeping your Shih Tzu in one room when you leave. It might feel that it’s being punished and act out. If it does not see the other side of the door, it might panic. Your Shih Tzu might resort to troubling behaviors like scratching, ripping, and chewing. Some dogs have been reported to chew themselves when they are anxious.

Here are other helpful tips:

  • Windows: Find out if your Shih Tzu will cope better with the windows open or closed. Some dogs get more anxious when they cannot see what’s outside. As a result, they would resort to barking, scratching, and other troubling behaviors.
  • Music: See how your Shih Tzu will respond to calming music. It might help them stay composed while you are away. You can also leave the TV on so your Shih Tzu does not feel alone. Make sure that there won’t be violence and shouting, which would make your dog all the more scared.
  • Lights: If you expect to be late, leave the lights on. Your Shih Tzu might panic if it turns dark in the house without you.
  • Company: Having another dog is a way to end your Shih Tzu’s distress when leaving it alone. They could pretend that it’s just another ordinary day when you are out.

When you arrive, act normal even when you miss your Shih Tzu as much as it missed you. Try to do the usual things you do without appearing too enthusiastic. Doing this will give your Shih Tzu the impression that it’s not a big deal. It will understand that it is not something to look forward to every time you leave.