How to Potty Train a Shih Tzu Puppy

Medium
4-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

Potty training a Shih Tzu puppy takes time and patience. Your Shih Tzu actually started potty training while he was still in his den with his litter mates and his mother. Puppies learn very easy early on to separate their potty areas from their living quarters. So, this idea is not new for your Shih Tzu puppy. Potty training him now that he's in your home will consist of teaching him to tell you when he needs to go outside to go potty or showing him a place in the house where he could go such as a litter box or a pee pad, or even artificial pee-pee grass within your home because he's small. 

Once he knows where to go and how to get there, your Shih Tzu puppy can be conditioned rather quickly to go there to go potty. You can even bell train your puppy if you’d like him to ring a bell to let you know he needs to go outside. 

Defining Tasks

However you decide to potty train your Shih Tzu puppy, whether indoors or outdoors, it will require time, patience, and commitment to paying attention and being around to watch the signs that your pup needs to go potty. Setting your Shih Tzu up for success rather than failure will be key in making this a quick process for you both. Your Shih Tzu puppy can begin potty training as soon as he arrives in your home, however, he will get it easier the older he gets. You should remember that your puppy can hold his bladder for about one hour for every month he is old. So, if you are bringing home a 3-month-old pup, he can hold it for about 3 hours. Remember this when you are potty training during the day if you're out of the house for long periods of time and at night because he will interrupt your sleep to go potty.

Getting Started

To potty train your Shih Tzu puppy you will need to decide exactly where you need him to go. If you need to take him for a walk to go potty, you will need proper leash and harness or collar to keep him safe and secure while you are going outside to go potty. If you are taking him into a safe fenced-in backyard, consider the things you may need to prepare for a trip into the backyard in the middle of the night such as a pair of shoes for your cold feet. If you're going to train your Shih Tzu puppy to go potty indoors on a pee-pee pad or indoor grass or even a litter box, have all of this set up and ready to go before you start your training sessions. Of course, as with any training for your little guy, be sure to have treats handy so you can reward him for good behavior as he learns.

The Special Spot Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Choose potty spot
Choose an area in your yard where you would like your Shih Tzu puppy to go potty every time he needs to go. This will protect other areas of your yard from urine damage and keep your yard clean and free of dog poo. Be prepared to keep this area as clean as possible so your pup wants to go here as he gets older.
Step
2
Time to go
Take your Shih Tzu to that special potty area every time you take him outside to go potty. Do not let him play in the area. Wait patiently and start using a command such as ‘go potty’ each time you take your puppy to that area.
Step
3
Timing
Your Shih Tzu puppy should be able to hold his bladder only about one hour for each month he is old. This means if your dog is three months old, he can hold it for about three hours. Avoid making him wait any longer to go outside.
Step
4
Upon waking
Each time your Shih Tzu wakes from sleep, take him to his special potty spot so he can go potty. Avoid playing in this area. Let him sniff and go potty, but once he is done, take him elsewhere for play.
Step
5
After meals
Be sure to take your Shih Tzu to his potty area after every meal. Again, this is not time for play, so avoid giving any attention or allowing him to play.
Step
6
Rewards
Any time your Shih Tzu goes potty in his special area, give him a treat. If he goes outside but not in his special area, you can still treat him, but try to make sure he makes it to the spot the next time. If your pup has accidents inside the house, redirect him by taking him to his special spot but do not treat him. Avoid scolding him for accidents, just be sure to get him to his spot on time next time. Be sure to set him up to succeed by taking him out often.
Step
7
Other areas indoors
This method works for special areas inside as well such pee pads or indoor grass. Be consistent and get your Shih Tzu puppy to his spot on time to go potty before having accidents elsewhere, know the signs he needs to go, and reward him for succeeding.
Recommend training method?

The Crate and Potty Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Inside crate
If you are crate training your Shih Tzu puppy, be sure to take him outside to go potty each time you remove him from his crate. Make his crate a comfortable place to be with bedding and toys. Avoid placing any pee pads inside the crate.
Step
2
Every hour
While your puppy is getting used to the crate and you are learning more about him, take him out of the crate every hour to go potty. Once your Shih Tzu is about eight weeks old, he should be able to hold it for two hours. You can typically count on adding an hour for each new month of age as your Shih Tzu grows.
Step
3
Outside
Once your Shih Tzu puppy is outside, let him sniff around and explore. Do not let him play too much if your only goal is to go potty. If he is playing he probably doesn’t have to go just yet. Begin using words, commands, or key phrases your Shih Tzu will know later as a command to go potty.
Step
4
Potty success
When your Shih Tzu is successful and goes potty outside, give him verbal praise and a treat. Once he is done you can take him back inside for play time or cuddle time. Try to keep his time in the crate down to a minimum.
Step
5
After meals
Be sure to take your Shih Tzu puppy outside to go potty about five to ten minutes after he has eaten any meals. Make this happen before you place him back in his crate and also even if he has his meals in his crate.
Step
6
Out of crate
When your Shih Tzu is out of the crate for social or play time, keep an eye on him for signs he may need to go potty. He will sniff or circle if he needs to go. These actions might be incorporated into play time, so be sure to keep a close eye on him.
Step
7
In crate
When your puppy needs to be in the crate for extended periods such as when you are working or out of the house or during nighttime sleep, be sure to take him out in time to go potty. Remember your Shih Tzu puppy should be let outside to go potty every hour or two. If he’s older than three months, old, he might be able to wait up to three hours.
Step
8
Success
Remember to reward your Shih Tzu puppy with a treat each time he is successful and makes it outside without accidents. Try to stay on top of getting your Shih Tzu puppy out in time to be successful and make it without accidents.
Recommend training method?

The Ringing Bell Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Introduce a bell
Show your Shih Tzu puppy a bell he will ring to let you know when he needs to go potty. Let him sniff the bell and ring it so he can hear what it sounds like. Once this introduction is done, give your little guy a treat.
Step
2
Hang the bell
Hang the bell near the door your Shih Tzu will use to get outside to go potty each time he needs to go.
Step
3
Show puppy the bell
Take your Shih Tzu to the bell and ring it for him. Sit on the floor and train your pup to ring the bell himself. Show him the bell and place a treat next to it. Your Shih Tzu should sniff the treat causing the bell to ring. When the bell rings, say a command you’d like your dog to know such as “bell” or even “potty.” Over time, he will connect ringing the bell with the action of getting outside to go potty.
Step
4
Practice
Keep practicing getting your Shih Tzu to ring the bell and give him a treat each time he gets the bell to ring. Eventually, stop holding a treat to the bell and only use the command you’ve been repeating. When he rings the bell, give him a treat.
Step
5
Potty bell
Once your Shih Tzu knows how to ring the bell, you’ll need to train him when to ring the bell and what he gets when he rings it. Get your puppy to ring the bell and once he does, open the door and let him outside. Do not give him a treat until he is outside.
Step
6
At certain times
Your Shih Tzu will likely need to go potty soon after meals, right after waking from sleep, and throughout the day a few hours after his last trip outside. Take advantage of these times and get him to ring his bell before letting him outside. For instance, after a meal, take your Shih Tzu right to the bell, have him ring it, take him outside, and once he goes potty, give him a treat. Do this anytime you think he needs to go potty.
Step
7
Sniff and circle
Any time you catch your Shih Tzu puppy sniffing in the house or circling, he is likely looking for a place to go potty. If you catch him doing these things before an accident indoors, get him outside quickly. If you have time to stop and have him ring the bell, do so. If you do not think you have time, you can ring it on your way out and still give him a treat for making it outside.
Step
8
On his own
Over time, with lots of practice with the bell and successful potty training, your Shih Tzu will likely start going to the door on his own to let you know he needs to go outside to go potty. If he is not ringing the bell on his own when he gets there, practicing ringing it before you let him outside. With practice, your Shih Tzu should ring the bell to let you know he needs to go outside.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Ezra
Shih Tzu
7 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ezra
Shih Tzu
7 Weeks

Trying to find a good solution to potty train. He doesn’t pee every hour but seems to pee pretty regularly. I can tell when he is about to pee and he will go on newspaper but we’re trying to get him to go outside to pee. We take him out and he doesn’t always pee. I keep getting conflicting information on taking him out. It says 30 mins a day. So how can I know when he’s about to pee? I don’t want to have newspaper & potty pads all over my house for the next 6 months which is what I hear is how long it takes to train them. Also at night he sleeps in his crate from about 10-5:30am and many times there’s been no pee. Some days it has pee. It’s frustrating

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jacqueline, Check out the article that I have linked below. I suggest either following the "Crate Training" method or the "Crate Training" method when you cannot supervise him or need to be gone, plus the "Tethering" method when you are home and can supervise him. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside At seven weeks of age when he is awake he cannot hold his bladder for longer than two-and-a-half hours, even if he was completely potty trained. Crate training and switching to exclusively training him to pee outside - since you indicated that's what you eventually want, will be MUCH easier and quicker in the long run if you avoid pee pads all together and transition away from paper by 8-9 weeks of age. This will only be possible if someone is home to take him potty every 1-2 hours while his bladder capacity is so limited though. Follow the directions in the method closely. I suggest taking him outside every hour at first since he is so little. You can transition to every hour-and-a-half around nine weeks of age if he is doing well. If he does not pee after an hour, you will bring him back inside and put him back into the crate for thirty-to-forty-five more minutes, then take him back out after that. He should get better about peeing quickly when you take him when he learns what "Go Potty" means and wants to pee to get the treat. The schedule timing, combined with the rewards, the "Go Potty" command, and what to do if he does not go potty, should help a lot with your confusion. Seven weeks is very early to potty train. It's great to start as soon as possible, so keep trying! but also try to be patient, knowing that he really needs about another week before he will even start to have more control over his bladder. Right now you are just helping him learn the general concept of holding his bladder and not just peeing as soon as he feels the urge. Crate training during the day should help him discover his ability to hold his bladder. At night, look at how big his crate is. His crate should be big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down. If it's big enough for him to pee or poop in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid the mess, then it won't encourage him to hold his pee and wake you up to go outside when he needs to go potty. If you have a larger sized crate and it's metal, then it likely came with a metal divider that you can use to block part of the crate off for now, to make it a small enough space for him. At this age, he should be waking you up to pee in the middle of the night most nights. Make sure that you are hearing him if he cries to go out and not sleeping through it. If you are sleeping through it, then you will probably have to set an alarm for halfway into the night until he is around nine weeks old. He will need to pee after about five to six hours of sleep right now, and sooner if he wakes up early. When you take him potty, take him on a leash, keep the trip boring, don't give any treats, and immediately put him back into the crate when you go back inside. If he cries when you put him back into the crate and you know that his bladder is empty now, then ignore the crying so that he will not think the middle of the night is time to play. While awake the maximum amount of time that a puppy can generally hold his bladder for is the number of months they are in age plus one (two-months-old = 2-3 hours, four-months-old = 4-5 hours). This number only applies when a puppy is trying to hold his bladder, such as when he is in a crate or has been potty trained. If a puppy is not potty trained, then I recommend taking the puppy out twice as often as he is physically capable of or sooner (two-month old puppy = every 1 to 1.5 hours, four-months-old = every 2 to 2.5 hours). At night a puppy can typically hold his bladder for double the amount of time that they can hold it for while awake during the day, as long as they stay asleep. Once they wake up, they will need to pee right away if it's been the length of time they can hold it for during the day. (two-months-old = 4-6 hours, four-months-old =8-10 hours - if they stay asleep). Each puppy is a bit different though. Some puppies start making it through the night much earlier and others take longer than average. The exact amount of time that your puppy can hold his bladder for in different situations will depend on his own body and needs though, so take what you are learning about him into consideration and adjust if needed, but know that those seem to be the averages, so try not to stray or expect too much more than that. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

We have a three month old and have been taking her out every two hours or so. She seems to understand the command "go pee" when I am there, but when she follows my other dog out, she seems to forget and will often come right inside and go. The treats do seem to be working for positive reinforcement.

Add a comment to Ezra's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Teddy
Shih Tzu
Eight Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Teddy
Shih Tzu
Eight Months

Goes out every 3/4 hours to pee. Most nights he goes 9 or so hours. Once, he peed on my bed at night. I am now putting him out once at night. He poops in kitchen in approx. same spot, but sometimes carries it in next room. Main problem, I think, is he doesn't know how to tell me he needs to go. Just turned 8 months on the 23rd. We have had only GS before this. They were crate trained. Wonderful companion

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jan, Crate Training is typically the best method for small dogs too. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the Crate Training method for a couple of months until he has not had an accident for at least 1.5 months. You want to very carefully prevent the accidents from happening to break that habit that's formed, while also rewarding him with treats for going potty outside. I also suggest teaching him to ring a bell when he needs to go potty. Clean up previous and current accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes to remove any lingering smell so that he will not be encouraged to go potty in the same spot again. When you are very closely supervising, you can also use the "Tethering" method found in the article with the Crate Training" method, but don't give him any freedom without tethering him to you or making sure he has peed outside during the last 1.5 hr. Because he is older, when you follow the crate training method, you can use a schedule similar to what you are doing now...take him outside every three hours when you are home. He can go longer at this age if he is in the crate but more frequent trips every three hours will help him learn. Also, after he goes potty, you can give him 1.5 hrs of supervised free time out of the crate instead of just 45 minutes like the article mentions for younger puppies. Potty training article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you are currently using pee pads right now, in addition to taking him outside, that may be causing confusion too. Many dogs confuse pee pads with carpet and rugs, so I suggest switching to a real grass pad or litter box instead, inside an exercise pen. Check out the Exercise Pen method if you want to train him to potty inside. Potty inside training: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy To train Teddy to ring a bell to go outside, check out the article that I have linked below. I suggest using the Peanut Butter method but you can try any of the methods. https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Teddy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
No name yet
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
No name yet
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

I’m thinking about getting a shitzu puppy However I do work and lm gone for about 6 to 8 hours 4 days a week If I can’t find someone to let her or him out while I’m gone will it confuse them if they pee in their cage ? And also which is easier to train male or female ? Or should I just not get one 🤔
Sandy

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sandra, Absolutely do not let her pee in her cage, that will cause a lot of confusion and future potty training issues. You can set up and exercise pen, put the cage with the door open in one corner and a disposable grass pad in the far corner for her to use as a potty. Check out the exercise pen method from the article linked below and follow the "Exercise Pen" method. The article mentions litter box training but you can use real grass pads instead too. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to No name yet's experience

Was this experience helpful?

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

We have been potty training this puppy for two straight months. He is crate trained and has a very small area during the day to eat/rest/ play. The size of a medium crate. He whines to go outside when in these two areas. But in the house he will not do anything to let us know he has to go out. He will pee in the house. I am at a loss. Two months of consisting training, rewards when he goes outside, he goes to the same spot every time, out the same door each time. I feel bad keeping him locked up all the time but how else do I help him make the connection to pee outside when in the house? He sniffs and circles when he is about to lie down on the floor so that sign doesn’t help us either.
He is almost 6 months old.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cynthia, Unfortunately, what you are describing (especially for his small breed) is still normal. Keep up the crate training and stay consistent. Puppies learn to alert you last...Holding it in the house between potty trips and pottying outside when you take them are the first steps, but they still need you to initiate taking them and if you don't they will eventually have an accident. Most puppies need to be kept on a consistent potty schedule and taken outside without them having to initiate it for months before they start alerting you. Even the easiest dogs to potty train typically take 3 months of training (you're on month 2), many dogs don't learn to alert you until 6 months - but will learn to potty outside when taken and hold it for a few hours while loose inside. Alerting comes last. Don't feel bad about crating. Many dogs that are not crated correctly end up euthanized or re-homed because they develop destructive chewing habits, window barking habits, potty training issues, and other behavior issues. My own most recent dog stayed in a crate when not supervised until 1 year of age! But as an adult now doesn't have to be crated even while traveling because she is mannerly in the house and fully house trained. One year of crating is worthwhile for 10+ years of being trustworthy and having more freedom. Check out the tethering method from the article linked below. In another month, you can switch to using that method while you are home, and crating while you are gone off or don't want him tethered to yourself if you want to. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside You can also teach him to ring a bell to go potty - honestly I don't think you are there yet, but in one to two months if he doesn't find his own appropriate way to alert you, teach it then. Peanut Butter method (squeeze cheese or liver paste can also be used instead - avoid Xylitol ingredient in peanut butter: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Leo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Chloe
Shitzu
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chloe
Shitzu
4 Months

E just got her and she pees in crate and lays in it. Pees and poos right after you bring her in. Never had this small of a dog. Our last dog was a Bichon. How do I break peeing in crate and not outside? She is about 2 lbs

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Teresa, First, 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 her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she 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 small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. Check out the Crate Training article linked below for tips on how to get pup to go potty while outside - which makes accidents in the crate less likely. Also, be aware that a 4 month old puppy cannot hold her bladder for longer than about 4 hours during the day even in a crate. Any longer and she will be forced to have an accident - enough accidents and she will loose her desire to keep even the right size crate without something absorbent in it clean. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you are still struggling after applying the above suggestions, then unfortunately pup may have already lost her desire to hold it while in a confined space. This commonly happens when someone accidentally teaches pup to do so by placing something like a puppy pad on one end of a larger crate or confining a puppy in cage where they are forced to pee through wired flooring - like at a pet store and some shelters. There are rare puppies who simply do it anyway, even though nothing happened to teach that. In those cases you can try feeding pup her meals in there to discourage it but most of the time you simply have to switch potty training methods until she is fully potty trained - at which point you might be able to use a crate for travel again later in life. Check out the Tethering method from the article linked below. Whenever you are home use the Tethering method. Also, set up an exercise pen in a room that you can close off access to later on (pup will learn it's okay to potty in this room so choose accordingly). A guest bathroom, laundry room, or enclosed balcony - once weather is a safe temperature are a few options. Don't set the exercise up in a main area of the house like the den or kitchen. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, and instead of a litter box like the article mentions, use a real grass pad to stay consistent with teaching pup to potty on grass outside - which is far less confusing than pee pads (Don't use pee pads if the end goal is pottying outside!). Since your goal is pottying outside only use the Exercise Pen at night and when you are not home. When pup will hold her bladder while in the rest of the house consistently and can hold it for as long as you are gone for during the day and overnight, then remove the exercise pen and grass pad completely, close off access to the room that the pen was in so she won't go into there looking to pee, and take her potty outside only. Since she may still chew longer even after potty training, when you leave her alone, be sure to leave her in a safe area that's been puppy proofed, like a cordoned off area of the kitchen with chew toys - until she is out of the destructive chewing phases too - which typically happens between 1-2 years for most dogs with the right training. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - Also found on Amazon www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com You can also make your own out of a piece of grass sod cut up and a large, shallow plastic storage container. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Chloe's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Leo
Shihpoo
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Leo
Shihpoo
5 Months

Hello,
We got my boy on 09/26 right at 4 months old. He was doing awesome with potty training, never pottied in his crate, had only one accident in the first few weeks but we caught him and took him outside and he was doing excellent. He went to the door to let us know that he needed to go. All up until 2 days ago. Since 2 days ago he has had multiple accidents in the house and has also peed in his crate. At first I thought maybe just maybe a UTI. But firstly, its not just pee, it poop too, and secondly I've work in the veterinary field for 8 years and he doesn't have any other UTI symptoms. This is behavioral. How do I get him back to stop regressing? Our scheduled hasn't changed. I kept a strict schedule with him since we brought him home. Please help before it gets out of hand!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tanzeena, First, what is his potty schedule? At five months he should be taken outside every 1.5-2 hours still when you are home and no longer than every 5 hours when you are gone and he is in the crate. Nothing absorbent should be in the crate, including towels or a soft bed. Check out www.primopad.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him at this age. Whenever you cannot watch him carefully he should be crated and only free for the hour after pottying outside - after that he should either be taken outside again or crated until he is taken out (limiting his freedom to only times when his bladder is empty). Be a detective - did something change? Is he being taken out less frequently now, not being taken on a leash to help him focus, not being rewarded anymore, scared of something outside, more distracted now when he goes out (which is common at this age), changed food, has any other symptoms of GI upset? Sometimes setbacks just happen and you have to buckle down more and be more strict with the schedule and confining and supervising more, but if there is something else going on look into that also. Check out the crate training and tethering methods from the article linked below. Whenever a pup is struggling, those two methods, especially the crate training method, can usually help get pup back on track. Follow it closely, adjusting a bit for his older age - such as potty trips every 2 hours instead of 1. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Finally, make sure you are cleaning up any accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes - only enzymes remove the smell completely for pup, and any remaining pee or poop smell encourages a dog to potty in the same location again - even bleach won't remove the smell enough. Enzymes are needed. Look for a pet cleaner that has the word enzyme or enzymatic on the bottle somewhere. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Leo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Oso
ShiChi
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Oso
ShiChi
2 Months

He is constantly peeing and pooping inside the house what do you think is the best method for this type of breed to learn how to potty train?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lesly, I suggest the crate training method. Check out the article I have linked below. It includes the crate training method also but has additional details that I believe would help pup learn faster. Even with the ideal method and wonderful consistency on your part, expect potty training to take at least a couple of months. Pup also won't be able to hold his bladder for long periods of time until about 8 months of age. A puppy can generally hold it for a maximum of the number of months they are in age plus one. 2 month old puppy = 3 hours, 3 month old puppy = 4 hours, 4 month old puppy = 5 hours, ect... At night pup will probably need to be taken potty once or twice for a while also. I suggest crating pup at night and waiting until he cries to go outside to take him - instead of setting an alarm unless you sleep through puppy's cries. You can either crate pup in your room or in another room and use an audio baby monitor to listen for him. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Oso's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bindi
Shih Tzu
15 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bindi
Shih Tzu
15 Weeks

I am having trouble getting a handle on my puppy's potty needs schedule. Sometimes when I take her out she urinates, sometimes (infrequently) she will poo. But I seem to be having difficulty figuring out when she needs to go. I take her out first thing in the morning, right after she eats, every hour or so and before bedtime. I have put up a 5-sided enclosure for her at night with potty pads, a bed, blanket and toys. The pads usually have pee and/or poo when we get up in the a.m.

Can you give me your thoughts on how to better train her? Am I expecting too much at this age?
Thank you
Patty Almond

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Patricia, Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Even if you plan to pee pad train, that method outlines how a potty training schedule should look - essentially a puppy should only be given 45 minutes of freedom away from a pee pad or outside of a crate after pottying - after 45 minutes, pup should either be confined in a crate again or penned next to the pad, and taken potty again in 45 minutes - making potty trips about every 1.5 hours, but ensuring pup is never free when their bladder isn't completely empty. At her age, in a crate, a pup can normally hold their bladder for a maximum of the number of months they are in age plus one, meaning an almost 4 month old pup can hold it for about 4.5 hours maximum while awake. At night pup can generally hold it for longer. For potty training to be effective, you should take pup out about twice as often as their maximum - meaning every 2 or so hours BUT that's only while using the crate, and their free time shouldn't exceed 45 minutes before being crated or penned again. Here is an example schedule: 8:00am - take pup potty when she wakes up 8:30am Feed pup 9:00am Take pup potty again 15-30 minutes after eating for her to poop Give 45 minutes of freedom for play 9:45 Return to pen or crate for 45 minutes 10:30 Take pup outside - pup doesn't potty Return to crate or pen for 30 minutes 11:00am Take pup potty - pup goes potty this time Give 45 minutes of freedom 11:45am crate or pen pup for 45 minutes 12:30pm take pup potty again - pup goes potty Give 45 minutes of freedom 1:15pm crate or pen pup for 45 minutes 2:00pm take pup potty - pup doesn't go Crate or pen pup for 30 minutes 2:30pm take pup potty again - pup doesn't go Crate or pen pup for 30 minutes 3:00pm take pup potty again - pup DOES go potty this time Give 45 minutes of freedom 3:45pm crate or pen for 45 minutes 4:30pm take pup potty - pup goes Ect... The key is for pup not to be given freedom except while their bladder is completely empty. Their will be this inbetween period from when they are empty still and when they are full enough to go potty, during that middle period - the 45 minutes after the initial 45 minutes of freedom - pup needs to be confined in a crate or penned next to their pee pad to prevent accidents in the house until pup is fully potty trained. When you are home the above applies. When you are not home pup can be crated for longer if needed, but no longer than the maximum time for her age - which is 4.5 hours right now, and will be 5 hours in a couple weeks, then 6 hours at five months, until she is 8 months and reaches the maximum 8 hours an adult dog should be expected to hold it for. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Exercise Pen method and Crate Training method examples with litter box training - which can be used for pee pad training: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you plan to train pup to go potty outside long-term, go ahead and get rid of the pee pads and switch to crate training right away if your schedule will allow it (you will be home to let pup out every 4.5 hours or sooner). Using pee pads for too long when you don't plan to use them long term can lead to a lot of accidents if you wait to remove them too long. Only stick with pee pads if that's your end goal and you don't plan to remove them when pup is older. If you don't plan to use pee pads long term but can't be home or hire a dog walker to come every 4 hours, I suggest switching to real grass pads during the in between phase so pup is less likely to learn to pee on fabric like rugs. www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com You can also build your own grass pad out of a shallow large plastic tub and a piece of sod or replacement top from porchpotty. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bindi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

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

I have a VERY stubborn Shih Tzu. Shortly after bringing her home at 8 weeks, I set up a little "play pen" in the living room. It had a tarp on the floor with a fenced in area so I could let her be with us when we couldn't watch her every minutes. The problem is, once when I was letting her have the run of the house, she went to the tarp and peed. I was so happy with her, I praised her for going there rather than on the rug and so of course, that's now where she thinks she should go. Now at 5 1/2 months, I'm at my whits end. I've tried crate training but she refuses to go outside. As soon as I bring her back in, she runs for the tarp. I grab her and take her out again, and she won't go, not matter how long I wait. I bring her in, put her in her crate. Wait an hour and take her out again. She won't go. Normally, my puppy goes to the bathroom rather frequently but she's held it the entire day and half the night because she refuses to go outside. Finally, she was crying and had to go so badly, I took her out again about 3 am. She kept trying to get back in the house until she finally started leaking because she just couldn't hold it any longer. I praised her for finally going outside, but that was the 1st and only time. Since then, whenever I try to crate her because she won't go outside, she cries so pitifully that my mom can't stand it and leaves her out where, of course, she runs to the tarp (or where the tarp used to be) and goes. Please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Joanna, I suggest setting up the tarp outside. Crate train her by following the Crate Training method from the article I have linked below. Put the tarp on the part of the yard that is on grass/mulch/dirt still, but closest to the outside door that you take her to so it's not too far away at first. Persist with taking her outside to the tarp to go potty and crating her again if she doesn't go. When you take her, stay with her, encouraging her to walk around and sniff on the tarp to find a spot. Tell her to "Go Potty", then reward with a treat after she goes. First, just work on getting her in the habit of going potty outside - even if it is on the tarp. Anchor the tarp down good with stakes or rocks to keep it from moving in the wind and scaring her or blowing away. Once she is doing well going potty on the trap, start cutting the tarp down. Gradually take away a foot of tarp at a time - let this process take you 2-4 weeks - don't go too fast removing it or she may start refusing to go potty on it. Eventually after about 3 or so weeks you should be left with a small 1/2 x 1/2 foot piece of tarp. At that point pup will probably end up peeing on the grass underneath some too because the tarp is so small. Continue to make the tarp smaller until she is peeing on the grass most of the time and just using the tarp as a target for where to go potty. Once the tarp is just a few inches and she is pottying on the grass/mulch/ground consistently, remove the rest of the tarp completely. At the same time you are cutting down the tarp, you can also start moving it away from the door if you prefer her to go potty further away from the house. Only move it one foot at a time each time you move it, and wait until she is completely comfortable going potty on it at first before you start moving it. Take 2-4 weeks to move it to your desired area also - moving just one foot at a time. Continue to tell her to "Go Potty" and reward with treats when she goes potty outside. Be strict with the crate training when her bladder isn't completely empty while inside. If you aren't strict with crate training also, she will just learn to go potty inside AND outside, instead of just outside. When you know her bladder isn't full, you can also attach her to you with a leash - this is the in-between option between total freedom in the house and being crated. It will help you watch her carefully, prevent her from sneaking over to the spot to go potty, and help you notice as soon as she starts acting like she needs to go. Only use the tethering method when her bladder isn't very full - if it's very full and she is refusing to go potty outside, she needs to be crated between potty trips. Crate Training method and Tethering method (tethering to yourself with leash): https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Finally, clean the area under where the tarp used to be really well with a cleaner that contains enzymes - only enzymes will fully remove the pee and poop smell there that her sensitive nose can detect. Any remaining smell in the area will just continue to trigger pottying there again. Block off the area too until she is completely potty trained if she has anymore accidents in the old area while doing the above training and after cleaning the area good. Again, make sure you are using cleaners that advertise enzyme or enzymatic on the bottle somewhere - even bleach won't remove the smell well enough. For the crying in the crate, check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. There will still be some crying but this should help her learn gradually what to do instead of crying. Go ahead and skip to the part where she is in the crate with the door closed and you are rewarding with treats when she stays quiet and giving a dog-food stuffed chew toy. Google ways to safely stuff a hollow chew toy like a Kong. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Leia's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd