When it comes to companions it is hard to beat a Shih Tzu. It’s name means ‘the little lion’ but that is just it’s appearance. When it comes to demeanor this furry friend is all about the cuddles. So what is the best way to go about Shih Tzu potty training? In this article we will talk about how to properly potty train a Shih Tzu so that you can get results FAST.
Housebreaking a Shih Tzu pup: Communication
When you are housebreaking a Shih Tzu there are some communication prompts that the pup will make which you should familiarize yourself with. Some examples of bree specific communication are as follows:
- Glancing towards the door – Your pup will likely make quick glances at you and then at the door when they need to go to the bathroom. This behavior shows that they are starting to understand that they should go to the bathroom outside. Watch for these cues so that you have a good heads-up if your friend needs to go to the bathroom.
- Lip-licks – You will see this behavior often when your Shih Tzu is interacting with other dogs. It is actually a nervous gesture, so you should look out for it. If your Shih Tzu does this when you are alone together it may be a sign that they need to take a walk outside for a potty break.
- Carpet sniffing – This is a definite warning sign that your Shih Tzu needs to go to the potty. Generally they will sniff and then squat down if you do not take them out quickly enough, so if you see this behavior then you should take your pup out immediately.
How to potty train a Shih Tzu puppy
Until your pup gets a little older then it is a good idea for you to make a ‘puppy den’ for them to sleep inside of. This is best accomplished with an old wooden crate or even a repurposed child’s playpen. Add a place to sleep as well as some toys, a water bowl, and a pee-pad (for emergencies) and we now have a puppy den to help keep your little one from using the carpet at night. When it’s bedtime, you will place your pup here and then as soon as you wake in the morning you should walk them. While the pup is still young they may have to use the pee pad (as the little one can only ‘hold it’ for approximately 2-3 hours), but over time they will be able to wait longer.
Potty training a Shih Tzu puppy: Making a schedule
As your little one can’t wait for very long you will want to create a schedule for going outside and stick to it. This way your pup knows that they will be going outside like clockwork and this helps them to learn to wait. As a general rule, every 2 to 3 hours is good, although your pup will also want to go about 10 minutes after a meal so this should be considered as well. The first few weeks you may want to consider one ‘late night walk’ at 2 or 3 hours past bedtime as well. This is because they will be alone for a very long time so if you have the patience, taking your pup out for the late night walks can help them to avoid emergencies until they are older and more capable of waiting.
Shih Tzu potty accidents: Be patient!
While any age is suitable to begin house training your Shih Tzu, keep in mind that
“Just be patient and watch for the communication signs.”
accidents are going to happen. Don’t lose your temper, just be patient and watch for the communication signs that we have mentioned. Your Shih Tzu will make it clear to you when they need to go outside, you will just need to watch for the behavior.
Other useful tips for potty training your Shih Tzu
There are a few other things to keep in mind when you are potty training your Shih Tzu. Some examples are as follows:
- Clean up messes quickly – You will want to quickly and thoroughly clean up any ‘accidents’. If your pup can still smell poop-scents in a place in the house then they will be more likely to use the bathroom there again. Quick cleanup can help to discourage this behavior. Also, watch them to see if they go back to one of these places, as this is a sure sign that they need to go out right away.
- Pet fencing can help – Pet fencing is cheap and easy to use. Utilize it to block off entry to places such as bedrooms, stairways, and other places so that your pup doesn’t wander far out of your view. This will help to minimize accidents and to contain those which still occur within a defined area of the house.
- Watch for barking – When your Shih Tzu is confident in their potty training then they may actually start barking at you when they need to go outside. This is a very good sign, so don’t ignore your little one. Take it as a signal that they need to go on a walk and take them out immediately for best results. Your Shih Tzu is a smart little dog and they will talk to you if you learn to listen to them.
Potty training your Shih Tzu can take a little time but with a lot of love and patience your pup will learn. Don’t expect overnight results, of course, but as long as you watch for the signs and create a dependable schedule (providing treats whenever your pup ‘goes’ outside to reinforce the behavior) then your pup will quickly get used to going potty outside. Consider the late night walk to avoid accidents and in a few weeks your pup should be well and thoroughly potty trained. Just wait and see!