How to Crate Train a Shih Tzu Puppy at Night

Medium
1-3 Months
General

Introduction

Your spunky little Shih Tzu puppy is going to have lots of playful energy and be incredibly affectionate towards you and your family. A Shih Tzu is a great companion devoted to pleasing you. He will want to feel secure and comfortable, so crate training him for nighttime sleep is the perfect way to build his security as well as keep your house safe from the adventures of a bored puppy. 

Night time crate training gives your Shih Tzu puppy a comfortable, safe place to sleep all night long for the years to come. When you crate train your puppy for nighttime sleep, you are teaching him to go into his personal bedroom space when it's time to go to bed. Your Shih Tzu will begin to see his little crate as his personal space and might even start going into his crate during the day when he's tired and nap.

Defining Tasks

Your Shih Tzu puppy will need a little extra time learning to sleep in the crate all night because, as a puppy, he's going to need to visit outside a few times during the night. Try to remember when your training your Shih Tzu puppy to sleep in the crate at night, he can hold his bladder for just about an hour for every month of his age. So if you are training your three-month-old Shih Tzu puppy, he might need to go potty every three to four hours, even in the middle of the night. Crate training a Shih Tzu puppy takes time and patience, but by the time your Shih Tzu puppy is potty trained, he will also have the understanding that his crate is a place for him to sleep with comfortable bedding every night when it's time to go to bed.

Getting Started

To prepare for crate training a Shih Tzu puppy at night you're going to need a small crate. Your puppy’s crate should be large enough for your adult Shih Tzu dog to stand up and turn around. Don't make it too large of a crate, as it will give him room to go potty. Be sure to fill the crate with lots of soft, comfortable bedding, a dog bed or blankets work just fine, and some safe chew toys for your Shih Tzu to chew on while he waits patiently awake for you to let him out of his crate. While your Shih Tzu is potty training, be prepared to let him out for those moments. Also, be sure to have lots of tasty treats on hand for night training your Shih Tzu puppy.

The Night Commands Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Tire out
Where your Shih Tzu puppy out before bedtime. This might mean extra play time so he is nice and tired once it's time for him to go into his crate to go to bed.
Step
2
Potty command
Teach your Shih Tzu puppy a potty command such as 'let's go potty' and take him outside to go potty just before you take him into his crate to go to bed.
Step
3
Bedtime command
Give you Shih Tzu puppy a bedtime command such as 'let's go to bed' and place him in his crate
Step
4
Treat
Condition your Shih Tzu puppy to go to bed by using the command and offering him a treat as you place himin his crate. Once he is in his crate with his treat, give him some time with the door closed to settle down.
Step
5
Whining
Your Shih Tzu puppy wants to be with you, so he will probably whine a bit. Leave him alone and let it go. He will eventually settle down and go to sleep.
Step
6
Night waking
Your Shih Tzu puppy is still potty training, so he will probably wake up at least once or twice during the night to go potty. When he wakes to go potty take him outside and give him a reward once he goes potty.
Step
7
Back in crate
Immediately place him back in the crate and give him the good night command again.
Step
8
Sleep
Your puppy should sleep for the rest of the night. Ignore his whines as he's falling back asleep.
Step
9
Morning
As soon as your Shih Tzu puppy wakes up for the morning, give him a reward and take him outside to go potty.
Step
10
Practice
Practice this every single night with your Shih Tzu puppy. It will take some time, but eventually, when you use the command, he will go into his crate to go to sleep. With growth and practice, he will also stay there all night without having to go potty in the middle of the night.
Recommend training method?

The Day Start Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Crate placement
Place your Shih Tzu's crate in a busy part of the house during the day. This should be a small crate, so if you want to move it for night time sleep, it shouldn't be very difficult to do.
Step
2
Naps
Start placing your Shih Tzu In his crate during the day when he is sleeping. Anytime your pup looks tired or falls asleep somewhere, lift him up and place him in his crate.
Step
3
After exercise
Anytime your Shih Tzu plays with you indoors or outdoors, take him out to go potty and then place him in his crate. You can leave the door open for afternoon naps, especially if your puppy is still awake when you put him in the crate. If he's worn out he will settle down in his nice, soft bedding and go to sleep.
Step
4
After meals
Schedule your Shih Tzu puppy’s meals, and after each meal take him outside to go potty and then place him in the crate for a nap. Again, you can leave the door open during this time. But if your Shih Tzu leaves the crate to go sleep somewhere else, be sure to pick him up and put him back in the crate for any naps.
Step
5
Nighttime Introduction
After spending even one day taking all naps in his crate, your Shih Tzu should be fairly used to the crate as a soft, warm, comfortable, safe, and secure place to sleep. When it is time for your Shih Tzu to go to bed, place him in the crate, close the door, and head to bed yourself.
Step
6
Not sleeping
If your Shih Tzu is not sleeping during the day, open the crate and let him out during the day as he wishes. If your Shih Tzu is not sleeping at night, ignore him and let him take the time he needs to settle down and fall asleep. Don't forget while your puppy is potty training, he will need to go out during the night to go potty until he's old enough to hold it all night.
Recommend training method?

The All Night Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Crate
Set up a crate in a place you would like your Shih Tzu puppy to sleep at night. The crate should have soft, comfortable bedding and should be only large enough for your Shih Tzu to stand up and turn around.
Step
2
Potty outside
Take your Shih Tzu puppy outside to go potty before bedtime.
Step
3
Playtime
Spend a few extra minutes every night playing with your Shih Tzu puppy to wear him out of any excess energy he may have.
Step
4
Good night, puppy
Put your Shih Tzu puppy inside his crate and close the door. With the door closed, you can give him a small treat and wait for him to settle down.
Step
5
Walk away
Walk away from your Shih Tzu puppy giving him a chance to go to sleep on his own. Ignore any whining you may hear. Your pup will be pretty adamant he does not want to be in the crate, but in order to crate train him to stay in the crate all night, you will need to give him time to settle on his own.
Step
6
Sleep
Once your Shih Tzu puppy is asleep, it might be a good time for you to get some nighttime sleep as well.
Step
7
Waking
While your Shih Tzu puppy is still house training, he will need to go outside and go potty every few hours. This will mean for the first several months at least one to two times a night your pup may need to visit outside to go potty. These are the only times he should be waking at night.
Step
8
Rewards
Be sure to give your Shih Tzu puppy rewards for staying in the crate each time he is successful. Over time, he will stay in the crate longer and longer without whining and without waking until morning.
Step
9
Morning
When your Shih Tzu puppy wakes up for morning take him outside right away to go potty. Be sure you are also giving him a reward each morning once he wakes.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Stephanie Plummer

Published: 02/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Kash
Shitzu
6 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kash
Shitzu
6 Weeks

He cries a lot when I put him in his crate

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hi there! Below are some tips on crate training. Your pup is still pretty young and it may be a few more weeks until he is comfortable being alone all night. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Question
Milo
Shih Tzu
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
Shih Tzu
10 Months

Milo whines all not! And he has to potty every 2hours please help it’s becoming difficult thought he would’ve settled down by 10month

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Barbara, If you have any reason to suspect he physically cannot hold his bladder for longer than 2 hours, I suggest a trip to your vet. At this age a healthy dog should be able to hold their bladder for longer. If there is something medical going on, you will need to address that first with your vet so that pup is physically capable of holding his bladder. If there isn't anything medically wrong, then this is probably an attention seeking behavior and not because he can't hold it overnight. To address this, remove all food and water 2 hours before his bedtime, don't give access to food or water during the night, take him potty right before bed and watch to make sure he actually goes, and crate him during the night. With the above addressed, its time to address the crying. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. Practice for a few days until he is doing well during the day. Continue what you are currently doing at night during this process. Once he is doing well during the day, if he isn't already being crated at night, crate him. When he cries at night before it has been 8 hours, tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Repeat the corrections every time he cries before 7-8 hours. Make sure there is nothing absorbent in the crate - use www.primopads.com or something similar if you want to give him padding. The crate should be just big enough for him to lie down, stand up, and turn around if he may have an accident. Some pups who aren't fully potty trained will have an accident in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it if it's too large and accidents are still an issue. If he is soiling himself in a correctly sized crate, free of absorbent material you may want to visit your vet to get things checked out. At first, he will may only be able to hold it for 7-8 hours if he wakes up a lot crying. After he stops waking for attention and sleeps through the night, he should be able to hold it for 10 hours if he stays asleep. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bob
Shih Tzu
17 Weeks
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Bob
Shih Tzu
17 Weeks

Bob is always under our feet. i'm afraid he's gonna get hurt.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ron, You can work on teaching Bob an "Out" command, and then tell him "Out" when he is too close to you. To teach him "Out", toss treats away from you, while pointing with your finger to where you are tossing the treats with your treat tossing hand, and saying "Out" at the same time. Practice this until he will go over to where you point before you have tossed the treat, and when he does that then praise him and toss the treat over to him as a reward. When he is underfoot you can also encourage him to give you more space by randomly tossing treats several feet away from your body, so that he starts to expect rewards to come from a certain distance away from you rather than right beside you, and stays at that distance in hopes of a treat. It also might be helpful to attach a small bell to his collar, to alert you to his presence so that you do not accidentally step on him because you were unaware that he was there. As he gets older he will likely follow you less closely as he gains more independence and becomes more confident and curious about the world around him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Chloe
Shih Tzu
2 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Chloe
Shih Tzu
2 Months

Help!we just got our first puppy.she sleeps in my daughter room.when it’s time to go to sleep and my daughter puts her in the create,she starts crying and whining.my daughter then takes her out and sleeps with her,I don’t want this every night.is there any tips on how to put her to sleep with out whining and crying?thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Yarglelin, I suggest having her sleep in another room in the crate for the first couple of weeks. You can put an audio baby monitor by her to wake you up when she cries to go potty at night if she is not in your room (it is alright for her to sleep in a room alone with a baby monitor). Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Surprise" method during the day. Most puppies will cry some at night during the first week or two...you need to ignore the crying and give her the opportunity to learn how to self-sooth and go to sleep. Once she can do that consistently, then you can move the crate into your daughter's room again (since the crying will keep her awake and be harder for her to ignore without giving in right now). This process isn't fun but doing the "Surprise" method from the article linked below during the day will help her adjust faster and not giving in by letting her out will make it go faster - every time you let her out the process takes twice as long as it probably would have because you are teaching her that cries is the way to get out - so she cries more persistently the next time. Being crated at night is essential for potty training and when she gets a little older, is less sleepy and her jaws are stronger she will be able to chew more - which is dangerous while no one is watching (because they are asleep). https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Oreo
Shih Tzu
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Oreo
Shih Tzu
5 Months

We have had our puppy for 7 weeks and has been great sleeping through the night and going in his crate for few hours at a time. The last two nights he has been crying and whimpering all night and crying when we leave during the day. He doesn't need to eliminate. Do you have any suggestions on how to ease this rough patch?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christine, At his age he is probably waking up more because he is less sleepy now and also testing boundaries more. Five months is the beginning of puppy adolescents. Unfortunately, being form is usually what's needed. If it's been less than six-hours so you know it's not a potty issue, then you either need to ignore or discipline the crying. I highly suggest ignoring unless you are in a situation where you are not able to do that. If he is crated in your room, then moving him to another room, like a walk in closet, large bathroom, den, or guest bedroom often helps because the night time crying is likely for attention. Also, look at how much you are feeding him. At this age you might need to increase the amount again. He might be hungry if you find that you are now underfeeding him. When you leave him during the day, leave a food stuffed Kong or other food stuffed hollow chew toy in the crate with him. Now that he is less sleepy he is more likely to get bored. The food in the toy will also help him look forward to crate time more. At night only give him an empty toy though or the food might make him have to go potty. If you can't let him cry it out or move him, you can discipline the barking using a pet Convincer, which is a small canister of pressurized air. Tell him "Ah Ah" and spray a small puff of air at his side through the crate's holes (NOT his face!). This should surprise him but not harm him. After you spray the air, leave. If he stays quiet (practice this during the day first-don't feed him at night), after five minutes return to him and toss a couple of treats in his crate to reward his quietness. Practice correcting the crying and rewarding the quiet and giving him a food stuffed chew toy during the day. At night only ignore or correct. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Brutus
Shih Tzu
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Brutus
Shih Tzu
5 Months

My boyfriend and I just recently moved into our new apartment. Brutus previously was sleeping in our bed with us at night, with no issues, but we had discussed crate training after we had settled in. Well, we are now on day 6 in our new apartment, and tonight we decided to start him back on the crate training (as he'd previously been crated during the night by his previous owner). He has his bed in the crate with a few small chew toys without any treats in them, and he was placed in the crate around 9 PM (our normal bedtime). He will quiet down and go to sleep for about an hour, but will wake up and start incessantly barking/whining/crying. He is fully trained in not needing to go potty during the night, as he has been able to sleep the entire night with us with no issues. I make sure that he gets fed the proper portions and that he has enough water during the day and that he goes on walks that are at least 15=20 minutes every time we go out. My boyfriend and I are reaching our breaking point tonight as I work early morning hours and he works night shifts, so he gets home late and would like to be able to get to sleep. Both of us have had dogs in the past, and we have both had success in crate training without this much of an issue. The other reason for crate training, is his excessive urinating and pooping in the house. Again, he does usually tell us when he has to go and we will respond right away with taking him outside, but then there are times where we will go out for walks and he wont do anything and when we come back in he will poop all over the house 5 minutes later. So we have decided that crate training for night time and during the day when neither of us are home, would be the best option, but we have reached a point where we don't know what to do. Help???

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Miranda, Since you can't ignore the crying until he gives up, I suggest taking a firmer approach and correcting the crying. Teach him the Quiet command using the Quiet command from the article linked below. Work on this command during the day so that he will understand what Quiet means: Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, purchase a Pet Convincer, which is a small canister of pressurized air. When he barks at night and you feel confident that he does not need to go potty, tell him "Quiet", then leave again - If it has been less than 5-6 hours since he last peed, he should be able to hold it. If he stays asleep he will be able to hold it for longer, once awake his bladder control will decrease. After telling him Quiet, if he stays quiet, great!! Celebrate and continue practicing quiet during the day too to reinforce that lesson. If he continues barking (which he probably will at first), then tell him "Ah Ah" in a calm tone of voice, and spray a spray of unscented air from the Pet Convincer at his side through the crate wires (Do NOT spray him in the face). After spraying him, leave again. Repeat your Quiet command, followed by a correction for barking if he doesn't get quiet, whenever he barks. During the day when you practice this also return after 5-10 minutes of him staying quiet and sprinkle treats into the crate to reward his quietness - only give treats during the day though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Mylove
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Mylove
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

It will be his first night home with me I have bed and new crate ready...what's the best food for him and can he drink spring water...his cage will be in bedroom with me. How often should I feed him and how much exercise...I work for call Center from home

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Beverly, Look for a food formulated for puppies or all life stages - ideally puppies. Nature's variety and Fromm both have a puppy formula. Check out dog food advisor. You can look up foods there to get an idea of quality. Puppy foods have different mineral ratios and calorie contents to meet puppies' specific needs. https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/ Once you have chosen a food, look on that food bag or on that brands website and many will provide recommended feeding amounts based on either puppy's current size or expected adult size. You can start by feeding pup that amount, but then watch their weight to see if your own pup needs the amount adjusted since he could have a faster or slower metabolism. His belly should tuck up at the waist (not be pot bellied or straight across) and you should be able to feel his ribs without too much effort. His hip bones, spine and ribs should not be obviously protruding out though, and the tuck up should not be extreme. You want just a slight amount of padding over ribs (once you get past fur haha). Spring water should be fine as long as there are not too many additives. Most puppies need to eat three times a day. Look at the recommended feeding amounts and divide that into three meals a day. You can also feed puppies entire meals as food stuffed chew toys and treats for being social and learning commands spread throughout the day. Puppies this age don't need hard exercise, but several 15-30 minute training sessions, short walks and games. There isn't a specific amount since puppies are different from each other but at least 3 a day would be good. Puppy in general needs time to rest quietly in crate and chew on a chew toy, time to be stimulated mentally through training and play, and moderate exercise through play, training or walks. You can download a free PDF e-book on puppies at: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Coco
Shih Tzu
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Coco
Shih Tzu
3 Months

My puppy was pretty good going to bed for three nights. But tonight he refuse to sleep and start barking. For the last nights he slept in my daughters room but he waked them up to go potty and later he wants to play. Tonight I put him in the basement because he wants to sleep in my daughters bed. The problem was last night in the middle of the night my oldest put him in her bed. Do you thing that was the problem? I put him alone tonight the basement But he cried got long time. I was tempted to bring him back and let him sleep on my daughters bed. What do you recommend me.
Thank you.
Claudia L

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Claudia, The more pup is freed when he barks (except when he needs to really go potty), the more he will learn to bark. The firmer you can stay and ignore the barking when he doesn't have to really go potty, the quicker he will learn to sleep better. At this age pup will need to go potty at night. Crate pup in the basement if it's safe and climate controlled down there. Set up an audio baby monitor to listen out for when pup barks needing to go potty - probably every 4-6 hours at night. If it's been less than 3 hours, you can ignore the barking. After that pup is probably barking because he really does need to potty though. When pup barks, take pup potty on a leash, keep the trip as boring as you can - no playing after, no treats, don't talk to pup much, then after pup finishes, put pup straight back in the crate and go back to bed. At first pup will bark when you put them back into the crate - ignore the barking so pup learns after a couple of nights that they should just go back to sleep when put back in the crate. Pup will probably need to go potty at least once per night for another month, but if you keep the trips really boring and ignore the barking when you put him back into his crate, he should start to sleep through the night all the way, on his own as soon as his bladder can hold it that long. I know its hard to loose sleep and be firm (I have been there with my own pups), but know that a couple of weeks of consistency can mean years of better behavior because potty training got off to the right start, destructive chewing was prevented, and pup is crate trained more quickly. Not sticking to it consistently can lead to months or years of playing catch up with behavior - so the work is far worth it in the end, and its a lot easier to be consistent for a couple of weeks at first than have to go back and train it later. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Haven't gotten the dog yet
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
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Haven't gotten the dog yet
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

Hello,
I'm being proactive and asking this questions prior to actually purchasing the puppy we are looking at. I have never owned a dog but my husband has had 2 dogs (both Peek A Poos). We are doing a ton of research in advance. We are looking at an 8 week old Shih Tzu that would be about 10 weeks when we got her. I have two teenagers. We are all out of the house from 7:30-3. Is it feasible to crate a puppy that age for that many hours or do I need to hire someone to come in and let her out and if so would once a day be reasonable. I'm a bit uneducated in this area so I appreciate any advice. Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Doreen, Unfortunately, bladder limits are the issue at that age. A puppy can only hold their bladder for the number of months they are in age plus one. Which would mean that a 2 month old puppy can't hold it for longer than 3 hours in a crate (or even less anywhere else), or a 3 month old puppy for 4 hours, ect... Once pup reaches 7-8 months, they can hold it for 8 hours- which is the maximum amount of time that an adult dog can hold it for. At night the numbers are a bit different because pup's bladder will essentially shut down during long sleep phases - allowing pup to hold it for longer - a 10 week old puppy will probably need to go potty 1-2 times during 10 hours overnight. At first you would likely need someone to come twice per day to let pup out. In a month or two, probably once in the middle of the day would be feasible, but then you would continue to need once in the middle of the day until pup was around 7 months old. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Huckleberry
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
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Huckleberry
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

I pick my pup up next week but here is my question. I plan to have him sleep in a crate in my bedroom at night but during the day I was going to bring him into the same room that my husband and our 10 ShihTzu spend our time in since we are both retired. Both rooms have sliding glass doors out to our patio. Should I always take him out the same door? It would be much easier if I could use the door in whichever room we are in. Eventually when he is big enough and trained enough we will teach him to use the doggie door in the wall next to the living room slider.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sue, You can take him outside through both doors - the den one is the one he will probably learn to ask to go potty at eventually, since he will spend most of his waking time closer to it. It may take him a little longer to learn to go to the correct door for pottying but it takes a dog a while to learn to tell you when they need to go outside anyway - typically learning to hold it between scheduled potty trips takes about 3 consistent months of training, but pups are still dependent on you initiating the outings for a few months longer before they start to ask to go out on their own when not in a crate also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Olive
shih poo
8 Weeks
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Olive
shih poo
8 Weeks

We are about to get our puppy and trying to learn most I can about crate training. At night time when we put her in crate should I set a timer to bring her out to potty or wait until she whines? Also should she be in crate periodically through the day or just during naps?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question and congratulations on the new addition coming soon! I would set a timer when crate training during the day, so that Olive (love the name!) sees the crate as a nice place to rest and stay for a while. If you let her out every time she whines, she may start whining all of the time when in the crate. You can put her in periodically just to teach her that it is a fun place, a nice den for her to call her own. I like this guide with a section on crate training - you may find the tips very helpful. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. This guide is all about teaching your dog to like the crate, which is the main idea. More good tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. Good luck and have fun training!

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Chloe
Shihpoo
13 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Chloe
Shihpoo
13 Weeks

Hi! We have had our puppy,Chloe, for about 5 weeks now. Crate training 2 times during the day (1-2 hours max) and at night. We are feeding meals in her crate, randomly putting her toys and small treats in there to find, her favorite blanket and toy at night, only associating the crate with positivity, correct small size, etc. and she is still struggling! We took her for a week-long overnight training and the trainer said she was sleeping from 11 PM - 6 AM, crying for a minute once in there before settling down, which we were so happy about! First night/week back and we seem to be back to where we were. Any tips or tricks we should try? At what age should we begin to see some positive changes and association with the crate? We understand she is still a baby and this takes time but there have been a few nights lately we have to physically move the crate into a different room because of the crying (not because she has to go potty) and we feel somewhat defeated! Thanks so much!

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. Based on what the trainer said, you know Chloe can do it. However, it sounds like she would rather be with you than in the crate and that is understandable. You are doing everything right. I would not move the crate back and forth, in and out of the room, though. You may have to put up with the crying for a few days to weeks before she gets the idea. Have you heard of dog appeasing pheromones? This room diffuser works naturally to calm a pup down. Ask Chloe's vet about it. I do want to point out that the trainer who gave the overnight training probably offers follow-up help (this is often a part of the overnight training fee). I would call the trainer and ask them for advice - they will be happy to give it. Good luck and enjoy little Chloe!

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Kajal
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
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Kajal
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

My shih tzu whines ALOT if i leave her in her crate. Also, if i leave her wandering freely in the room and lay down on my bed, she tries to climb up and keep whining until i go down with her. She is 600grams and so tiny that i am afraid that she would hurt her throat. What should i do to stop this behaviour?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hi there! This is likely due to her age and it will subside with a little more time. Usually by 4 months, they become much more secure with their surroundings. But in the mean time, I will give you some tips about crate training. Some of it, you may know already, and some of it may sound remedial. But the key with crate training at a young age, is patience. Also, you do not have to worry about her damaging her throat with all of that whining. Puppies have fairly loud whines and wimpers for the first few months of their lives. It is part of their survival. Although I. am sure it isn't pleasant, try to ignore it as much as you can. If you know she is fed, has had water, is safe and secure, then you can do your best not to respond. By responding, she is learning that whining gets her what she wants, and that will become a habit. First off, the crate should be large enough that your pup can stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. You don’t want one that’s too big, however, because the cozy size helps create a safe feeling for your dog as they are natural den animals. Also remember that until a dog is around 4 months of age, they can only hold their bladders for 1 hour per month old. So expect roughly 2 hours right now. That is after the last potty break, and no new intake of water. Also, dogs usually have to eliminate their bowels about 20 minutes after eating solid food. Those tips will help you figure out a schedule to begin the crate training. Below are some tips to get started: Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they doesn't associate crating with being left alone. All of these tips can be modified to fit your dynamic. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Louie
Shih Tzu
16 Weeks
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Louie
Shih Tzu
16 Weeks

Hello- since we have been in quarantine we haven’t had to leave Louie alone in his crate during the day. He has roamed all day everyday. He is great at night. We have formed a routine and he sleeps from about 10:45pm-8:00am. My question is do we train him to be in his crate during the day since he’s already 4 months old and if so, can you help with the best way to train him? I have read about distress crying and don’t want that to happen. Thanks!!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to send you information on crate training. Some of it will be remedial because your dog is already comfortable with the crate. So just power through the parts you know. The best way to do this though, is to approach the day time crate time as if it's a brand new thing. Because it will be to Louie! Dogs learn by association. He associates bed time with the crate. But that's about it. So it may take some time for him to be comfortable in it during the day and that is ok. Also, he is old enough that the whining and crying should be minimal. That is usually a young puppy thing and it is due to them simply being lonely and uncertain of their surroundings. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.

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Poppa
Shih Tzu
7 Weeks
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Question
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Poppa
Shih Tzu
7 Weeks

New puppy owner 7weeks need help keepin him in his crate fr bed.. is it ok he sleeps in bed a few to calm him

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, it is really a personal choice as to whether your dog sleeps in your bed, and to be honest, I have let dogs sleep in bed before, too. However, it can sometimes mean that you do not sleep as well. And there is always the chance that it will be hard to transition Poppa back to his own bed. But one step at a time - I always say do what feels right for you, while being safe. Poppa no doubt misses his mom and littermates. To help Poppa like the crate, there are great tips here: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. The Surprise Method may be a good one. Read the entire guide through for suggestions. As well, when it is time for the crate, you can have it in your room so that Poppa feels secure. As well, have white noise (like a fan but not pointed at him) for noise. Remember, he may need a pee break in the night since his bladder is so tiny at this point. I hope these tips help and enjoy your puppy!

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Have not named him yet
Shih Tzu
10 Days
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Question
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Have not named him yet
Shih Tzu
10 Days

I will be getting our new family member in February when he is 9 weeks old, we live in a high rise and 2 of our bathrooms have walk in showers. I want to train our fur baby to pee, poo in the shower as well as outside on the grass. The shower for any middle of the night pees and late light pees. What do you suggest? Should I buy faux grass & put dog urine on it, in the shower, in order to potty train in the shower bathroom ? What are your suggestions? This little guy is expected to be 8lbs full
grown. Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Diana, I recommend teaching to potty in the shower if that's what you want pup doing as an adult too. At pup's grown size, it sounds like the shower could be a good option, just make sure you want pup peeing there as an adult later on too because in the long run it will be easier to teach pup to potty where you want them to long term instead of undoing a habit - like peeing in the shower. I would recommend using grass in the shower to be consistent with outside. You can purchase potty encouraging sprays like Go Here and Hurry, that aren't real urine but encourage pottying there. www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com Once pup is trained to go outside and in the shower, you can gradually cut away the grass pad in the shower until pup is simply going on the shower floor if you don't want to use the grass in there long term - although using it in there on a slightly raised platform with holes for the urine to pass through is a long term option. Check out the exercise pen method from the article linked below. Although that method is for litter boxes and exercises pens, I would create a similar set up of confining pup to that area by the shower when you can't supervise and rewarding with treats when they go on the grass in there. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lego
Shhitzu
1 Month
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Lego
Shhitzu
1 Month

Potty training

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use a crate to help with potty training Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Penelope
Shih Tzu
11 Months
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Penelope
Shih Tzu
11 Months

We adopted our 11 month old after she needed to be re-homed. At her first home, the owners said she slept through the night, but she is having trouble in the transition. We have a crate with blankets and a soft toy, but she has whined or cried all night. Because I don’t know her “potty” bark, I’ve taken her out several times at night to avoid accidents in her crate. Is this normal?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Sasha
Shitzu
4 Months
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Sasha
Shitzu
4 Months

Chewing the pee pads

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you some training information on how to work with your dog to use a potty pad. Choose Your Spot Pick a space in your house where you want your dog to go. Obviously, you’ll want this spot to be a low-traffic area. Make sure this spot is easily accessible to your dog, and make sure the floor surface is linoleum or tile, as opposed to carpet. If your dog “misses,” it will be easier to clean up. If the only spot you can put the pee pad is a carpet, you might consider getting a small tarp to put underneath the puppy pee pad to guard against spillage. Choose a spot that is outside of your “smell zone.” An important tip to remember is to make sure not to let your dog decide the spot he likes. Not only might he pick an area you won’t like, but he’ll learn that he is in charge – not you – which can cause a host of problems down the line. Monitor Your Dog When you are potty training your dog, full-time monitoring is an absolute necessity. It’s impossible to correct bad behaviors if you don’t see them happen. Dogs have very short memories. It is important to catch your dog in the act. If your dog goes on the floor, and you try to correct him hours after the fact, he will be confused and upset, not knowing what he did wrong. This can hinder training and your relationship with your dog. Puppies, in particular, must be watched constantly. They have less control over their bowels and will go when they have to go. If you miss these moments, you lose precious training opportunities. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to be with your dog 24 hours a day, but try to spend more time at home during the weeks you are potty training – it will pay off in the long run. Learn Your Dog’s Schedule Dogs, for the most part, are predictable. They will go to the bathroom at predictable times. You should be able to learn when your dog has to go based on timing as much as on his signals. Take some time to study your dog’s bathroom habits. You’ll learn the amount of time after he eats or drinks that he has to go, and you’ll get in rhythm with his daily bathroom schedule. This will help you reduce accidents and speed up the potty training process. Studying your dog’s habits can also help you identify his bathroom “triggers” – like having to go after a certain amount of playtime. Once you learn your dog’s schedule, use it to your advantage in potty training. Bring him to the pee pad a few minutes before he normally goes, and encourage him. This will help him get used to going in the right spot, and help you establish repetition in your training. Choose a Command Word Dogs have keen senses – they respond to sight, smell, and sound. When you begin pee pad training, choose a command word and use it every time you take your dog to the pad. Just about any word will work. The tone of your voice is more important than the actual word. Try phrases like “go on” or “go potty” in a slightly elevated, encouraging tone. Make sure to repeat this same command, in the same tone, every time you take your dog to the pee pad. Avoid Punishment When your dog has an accident, it’s just that – an accident. When you punish your dog during potty training, he will become confused and scared. He doesn’t know what he’s done wrong, and can’t understand why the person he loves most is mad at him. Most importantly, it will not help his potty training. Positive Reinforcement Both human and dog behavior is largely based on incentives. Dogs’ incentives are very simple – they want to eat when they are hungry, play when they are excited, and sleep when they are tired. But the most important thing your dog wants in life is to please you. Use this to your advantage. Whenever your dog goes on his potty training pad, shower him with lots of praise. If he sees that he gets praise for doing his business on the pad, he will be incentivized to keep going on the pad – and he’ll be excited to do it! Potty training – whether it’s a pee pad or going outside – will take time, but if you do it right, can take less time. Many dogs are potty trained in less than two weeks. Just remember that you and your dog are partners. Do everything you can to help him learn the proper etiquette, and you will enjoy a long, quality relationship together. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in.

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Sonny
Schicon
19 Weeks
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Sonny
Schicon
19 Weeks

Hi , we have had Sonny for 10 weeks now and he is our first pet , we originally had him sleeping in a playpen downstairs but as he whined a little we then bought a crate and had him sleeping in our bedroom and then in the morning I would put him on the bed with my wife as I went to work , which he obviously loved.my wife has been at home due to lockdown for the whole period that we have had Sonny and he is attached like Velcro to her which is something we obviously want to nip in the bud to allow us our freedom going forwards as the lockdown measures are lessened.we decided to put Sonny downstairs to sleep in his crate but despite following advice on the internet of pottying him and tiring him out before bedtime he simply refuses to settle and actually barked constantly for close to 8 hours last night as we tried to follow the advice to let him bark it out and naturally settle, do you suggest we persevere with the tactic of ignoring him and see if he will eventually settle or do we need to look at alternative methods
Kind regards

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Neil, You can, and it likely will improve in less than a week, with the first three nights typically being the worst if you can hold out consistently for that long. He is also just old enough you could use a different method that often involves less barking too. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. Practice for a few days until he is doing well during the day. You can either continue what you are currently doing at night during this process or go ahead and jump into what I explain below for night time training - waiting until the day is good before starting the night or starting the night and day both at the same time. When he cries at night (in the crate - where he needs to be sleeping for now) before it has been 6 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chloe
Shih Tzu
11 Weeks
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Chloe
Shih Tzu
11 Weeks

Help! We just got our puppy 2 days ago. She had never been outside and was used to peepads. The first night and yesterday morning we used the peepads as she had already been through a lot of changes. She had roughly 50% success rate starting yesterday afternoon her first full day I have started taking her outside. We have snow here so it’s a difference world but she is doing quite well with it :). Where the problem lies is with her crate. I take her outside to do her business then put her in her crate with a nice comfy bed. She barks, howls & wines right thru the night. I took her out to potty and then put her back in and she continued. She only stopped for maybe an hour all told when she fell asleep from exhaustion. She is very young still and obviously is feeling some seperation anxiety from her sibling so she wants to be right where I am pretty much exclusively. She does explore a bit outside when go out for her to relieve herself and play. I need to go out and pick up a few things and will be putting her in her crate for that time. So far she does not seem to be adjusting and I am worried that it will make her even more anxious. Pleae help me to help her.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Paula, Congratulations on the new puppy! Everything that you are experiencing is completely normal! It is only day two and it is completely normal for it to take a young puppy up to two weeks to adjust to a crate. Most will adjust within just a few days and you can speed up the process by doing what I will discuss below. Don't despair and don't give up! Instead, check out the article that I have linked below and practice the "Surprise" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Also, check out this article that I have linked below, and follow the "Crate Training" method. This article will cover how to potty train using a crate, as well as get the puppy used to the crate. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside There will be times when you simply have to put her straight into the crate, without easing into it. Continue to practice the steps from the articles' methods to help her like it, like giving her a food-stuffed chew toy when you put her in and sprinkling the treats into the crate, but don't despair if she sometimes has to be put in there and simply cries. Most puppies will adjust. Doing it gradually just makes it easier on the puppy. Crate training puppies using food-stuffed chew toys also PREVENTS separation anxiety later on. Puppies need opportunities to practice self-soothing and self-entertainment to be able to handle being alone as needed when adults. Giving a food-stuffed chew toy and crate training paves the way for puppies to learn self-soothing and self-entertainment, which helps with Separation anxiety. My retriever had to ride in a crate for twelve hours spread out over two days when I first drove her home from another state. We had zero time to acclimate her. There was a lot of loud crying, but after a couple of days, and making the crate fun with treats once home, she did adjust. We just had a lot of crying the first three days. She now chooses to go into the crate on her own for a nap with the door open. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Fig
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
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Question
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Fig
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

I’m getting ready to take home my new puppy and have been researching crate and potty training. My concerned about taking her outside to potty because she will be so young and vulnerable, but I also want to get her to go potty outside rather than on pee pads. Should I just use pee pads for the first few weeks and then switch to outdoor potty training, or will it be too late by then?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use the crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Jessica Waddell
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
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Question
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Jessica Waddell
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

Night time crate time is rough. He thinks he needs to be with me ALL the time

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, At 8 weeks of age I am guessing that you recently brought pup home? If that's the case, then know that what you are experiencing is completely normal. Pup is getting used to sleeping alone and that's an adjustment. Usually the first five days are the worst. It typically takes about two weeks for most pups to adjust completely; however, you can help that adjustment be as smooth as possible by doing the following. 1. When pup cries but doesn't have to go potty (like after you return them to the crate when they just went potty outside) be consistent about ignoring the crying until they go back to sleep. The more consistent you are the quicker the overall process tends to take even if it's hard to do for the first couple weeks. 2. When pup does truly need to go potty (when it's been at least 2 hours since pup last peed), take pup to go potty outside on a leash to keep pup focused and things calmer. Don't give treats, food, play, or much attention during these trips - boring and sleepy is the goal, then right back to bed after. This helps pup learn to only wake when they truly need to go potty and be able to put themselves back to sleep - helping them start sleeping longer stretches sooner and not ask to go out unless they actually need to potty. Pup will generally need 1-2 potty trips at night even after trained for a couple months though due to a small bladder. 3. Wait until pup asks to go potty by crying in the crate at night before you take them - opposed to setting an alarm clock, unless pup is having accidents in the crate and not asking to go out. This gives pup the chance to learn to start falling back to sleep when they wake in light sleep if they don't really need to go potty, instead of being woken up all the way when they could have held it a bit longer. 4. Practice the Surprise method from the article I have linked below to help pup get used to crate time during the day too - so that there is less crying at night due to pup adjusting to being alone. Surprise method - only give treats during daytime practice, not at night though: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Luna
Shih Tzu
2 Months
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Question
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Luna
Shih Tzu
2 Months

Why does my shih tzu always bite me and other things she see?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Reanne, For the object chewing, check out this article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ For general puppy information, you can download a free PDF e-book, After You Get Your Puppy, at this link. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads For the biting, check out this article, and follow both the Bite Inhibition and Leave It methods. The Leave It method will take time to teach, so start with the Bite Inhibition method, which can be used right away, but once pup is good at Leave It, use that method also to stop biting completely. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Training Success Stories

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Pupsy
Shih Tzu
5 Weeks

Yet no any story but I need to say a big thank you 😊 I been research for two weeks now but this website just an amazing 😉 and helpful one ever 🙏 this really helped me for the night sleep as everyone in the house suggested something different any we all confused 😐 couldn’t now what to do but now with those beautiful and helpful advice we can settle down every thing thanks

2 years, 2 months ago
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