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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Give you Shih Tzu puppy a bedtime command such as 'let's go to bed' and place him in his crate
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.
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.
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.
Back in crate
Immediately place him back in the crate and give him the good night command again.
Your puppy should sleep for the rest of the night. Ignore his whines as he's falling back asleep.
As soon as your Shih Tzu puppy wakes up for the morning, give him a reward and take him outside to go potty.
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.
The Day Start Method
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The All Night Method
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.
Take your Shih Tzu puppy outside to go potty before bedtime.
Spend a few extra minutes every night playing with your Shih Tzu puppy to wear him out of any excess energy he may have.
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.
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.
Once your Shih Tzu puppy is asleep, it might be a good time for you to get some nighttime sleep as well.
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.
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.
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.
By Stephanie Plummer
Published: 02/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021
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