Your Shih Tzu puppy is soft cuddly and cute. They are also incredibly little and easy to train to go potty indoors. Even when your Shih Tzu puppy is an adult, he's not going to be very large so he can be litter box trained to go potty inside your house. Litter box training your dog is easy to do and is ideal for situations such as living in a high-rise apartment or in an area where winter weather can be extremely harsh. Your Shih Tzu puppy is so little, taking him outside during winter conditions can be so uncomfortable he could forget to go potty. Your Shih Tzu puppy is eager to please you. He will be your loyal companion and will likely want to participate in all of the training you provide for him.
When you decide to litter box train your Shih Tzu puppy, be prepared for him to spend a lifetime using a litter box inside your home instead of going outdoors to go potty. Litter box training your Shih Tzu puppy is not much different than house training your puppy. It will require lots of patience and commitment to watching the signs that your puppy needs to go. When litter box training, you will need to pay attention and be around to acknowledge when he typically needs to go potty. Remember, your Shih Tzu puppy can hold it for about an hour for every month he is old. During these early days of potty training, be available to get your pup to the litter box on time to avoid accidents in the house.
Your Shih Tzu puppy can be litter box trained with the right size litter box, lots of treats for rewards, and positive behavior training. Be prepared for repetitive training, acknowledging good behavior with treats, and verbal praise. Scheduling meals for your Shih Tzu puppy rather than letting him free feed will make after mealtime potty sessions easier to recognize.
We rescued Teddy when he was a year old. His previous owner was an 85 year old man who lived alone.
He never walked him and just laid pee pads EVERYWHERE.
He also only fed him table food. I've tried to wean him off but he will refuse to eat if its something he doesn't want.
He is so stubborn and right after coming back from a walk will poop in the house a few minutes later. Any guidance will be appreciated.
Hello Kathleen, First, I highly recommend crate training pup and temporarily pup should always be either tethered to you with a hands free leash or in the crate while learning, unless you know he has just peed AND pooped and you have eyes on him 100%.. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the smell and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently. I suggest taking him potty every 2.5- 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if he has an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since his last potty trip. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-8 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. If he hasn't gone poop yet during that half of the day, he needs to be tethered to you or returned to the crate, then taken back outside again in 30-45 minutes if you know he likely needs to go, less frequently if he likely doesn't need to poop. Pooping outside equals more freedom. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he is not already used to a crate, expect crying at first. When he cries and you know he doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give him a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help him adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. Work on teaching "Quiet" by using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell him "Quiet" when he barks and cries. If he gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark As far as feeding, I suggest mixing his food with something he likes the night before feeding him. Start with a higher quantity of food he likes and a bit of dog food, then gradually increase the dog food and decrease the food he likes overtime. Test out freeze dried meat dog food toppers, like stella and chewy or nature's variety first. If he likes those, crush them into a powder in a ziplock bag, then place that and some of his dog food in the bag overnight to flavor and scent the food. Feed that regularly if he will eat it, then gradually decrease how much powder you use and increase the dog food slowly in place of it - go slow so that eating the new food has become habit and he doesn't think about it changing gradually so keeps eating it. If he likes the kibble topper, you can also feed something like Ziwi peak or nature's variety raw boost long term - which is composed of freeze dried food or has it mixed in, if that's in your budget. If pup doesn't like the freeze dried stuff, then do the same thing but use things like minced chicken, liver paste, or goats milk mixed with the dog food and refrigerated overnight (you may want to do the goats milk last minute because it will get soggy though). Another option, is to have pup work for all of their kibble. Have pup perform commands and tricks and use the dog food that has been mixed with freeze dried powder from a ziplock bag, as rewards for pup obeying commands. Many dogs are actually more enthusiastic about their food if they have to earn it and consider it a treat. Feed pup entire meal amounts this way so that he is hungry during training in place of the bowl for a while. When you do so, act like the food is treats - you should act like you have a great prize not like you have to temp pup to eat. It may seem opposite but what a dog can't have without working for it, often makes it even more appealing. Finally, if feeding meals in bowls opposed to as treats pup is working for, you can try feeding pup breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and removing the food after 45 minutes if pup isn't eating it...giving it again at the next mealtime. Once pup is eating regularly, then remove the lunch meal. Feeding the food at intervals rather than free feeding can help motivate some dogs to eat. Pup will likely skip breakfast and lunch the first day. Consult your vet about how long you can do this - some dogs can go like this for a couple of days until they get hungry enough to eat what they are given and see that there isn't an alternative, others can't do so due to a more sensitive blood sugar. Let your vet guide you on that if pup isn't eating by dinner time the first day. I am not a vet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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