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
5 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 Ringing Bell Method

Effective
1 Vote
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?

The Crate and Potty Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
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?
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Written by Stephanie Plummer

Published: 02/19/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Ezra
Shih Tzu
7 Weeks
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Question
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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
833 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.

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Question
Teddy
Shih Tzu
Eight Months
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Question
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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
833 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

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Question
No name yet
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
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Question
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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
833 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

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Shelby
Shih Tzu/poodle
3 Months
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Question
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Shelby
Shih Tzu/poodle
3 Months

Toilet training has not been very successful

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Check out the crate training method from the article linked below. I recommend following that method strictly for harder cases especially. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Leo
Shih Tzu
5 Months
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Question
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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
833 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

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Question
Piper
Shih Tzu
1 Month
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Question
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Piper
Shih Tzu
1 Month

Piper's cage is so small cause we haven't find a suitable cage for her. And the she always poop on the floor and its so hard to train her cause i think shes noty a little bit. And she always laydown in the floor not the rag.I really wanna train her how to poop so please help me. She sleep inside of our house

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jesselle, If pup is only 4 weeks old, I suggest setting up an exercise pen with a disposable real grass pad, since pup will not have a lot of control over pee and pooping yet. You may need to use several grass pads to cover half the exercise pen floor at first, while she is learning to go potty on them, then gradually remove the extra as she learns and is consistently going on the grass not the floor. Disposable real grass pad brands - can also be bought on Amazon.com www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com Whenever you don't know for sure pup's bladder is completely empty, pup should be in the exercise pen, then supervised when not in the exercise pen. When you see pup going potty on the grass pad, reward with a small, soft treat or lick of liver paste. Know that pup is not being knotty. She does not understand potty training since she hasn't been taught yet - all puppies struggle at first. She is just doing what's natural and has to be intentionally taught. Check out the free PDF e-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy, that can be downloaded at the link below. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads When pup is 7-8 weeks old, follow the Crate Training method or Tethering method linked below to teach regular, outside potty training, when pup can hold their bladder a bit better. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside At this age, use a non-absorbent bed for her, instead of something fluffy she might potty on. Check out www.primopads.com, cot type beds, and crate mats for options. https://kuranda.com/dog-beds/dog-crate-bed Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Chloe
Shitzu
4 Months
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Question
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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
833 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

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Question
Leo
Shihpoo
5 Months
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Question
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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
833 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

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Oso
ShiChi
2 Months
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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
833 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

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Bindi
Shih Tzu
15 Weeks
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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
833 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

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Leia
Shih Tzu
5 Months
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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
833 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

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Maggie
Shih Tzu
12 Weeks
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Maggie
Shih Tzu
12 Weeks

We are struggling with potty training. We take her out many times an hour. She goes outside but then comes inside and pees again. She does not go in her crate.

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

Thank you for the question. Keep trying and being patient as you are doing. It will come! The fact that she does not pee in her crate is a good sign that she has some idea of what is expected. I expect you are already doing so, but when Maggie pees outside, praise her with treats and verbal high fives that let her know she's done well. Be sure to clean her messes thoroughly and use an enzymatic cleaner (not ammonia) to clean every spill. You may not smell it, but Maggie does and will continue to pee inside. The fact that Maggie does so well in her crate leads me to say that using the Crate Training Method from this guide may be the solution. She may be in her crate more than you'd like for a few days, but it will be worth it. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Good luck!

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Cleo
Shih Tzu
10 Years
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Cleo
Shih Tzu
10 Years

Hello, I have a Shih Tzu I adopted almost 2.5 years ago. She is about 10-12 years old and had very little training when I got her. I have worked excessively hard on potty training and crate training for the entirety of my time having her. I have tried having food and water available for certain periods of time, treats immediately given for going to the bathroom outside, a thorough schedule to be outside every two hours at maximum, and any training recommendation I can think of. At times it seems to work for about a week and then she goes right back to having accidents in my apartment. I have recently gotten her mostly pee pad trained, which is better than nothing, but not ideal. But now she has started to pee on my bed! I am running out of ideas and now that she has started to go on furniture I am unsure what else to do. What recommendations do you have?

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

Thank you for the question. Sorry to heat about Cleo peeing on your bed - you do seem to be doing all of the right things to work on her training. You have tried a lot - basically all of my recommendations. The fact that she has used the pee pads is encouraging. There may be some tips here: https://wagwalking.com/training/use-a-pee-pad-2. It is important to designate one spot for the pads. Be sure to clean all other areas (including your bedding) with an enzymatic cleaner to remove all of the odor. There is also the option of a grass litter box; she may like that and the outdoor peeing reinforces it. Follow the instructions here for the litter training: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy. I suggest the grass litter option because she may think your bedding is similar to the fabric-like pads. If you are home with her all day, you could start with her like a puppy from day one - this means taking her out every 30 minutes. But if after a few weeks, she gets the idea, then it is worth it. Alternatively a doggy diaper but I am sure that you would prefer potty training. I hope these suggestions help. All the best!

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Dash
Mal-shi
4 Months
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Dash
Mal-shi
4 Months

I’ve been working on potty training my 4 month old puppy for 1.5 months now. I crate him at night and he holds it the entire night and wakes me up around 7 to go pee/poop and I crate him for his naps throughout the day and take him outside right after taking him out of his crate and every 30 min(20 min if he gulps water) when he’s out and about. However he still goes pee on the carpet and poops by the TV if I take my eyes off of him for 2 minutes. I tried tethering him to me but he hates it and gets very aggressive. I’m trying the potty bell method and he’s probably hit the bell and gone to the bathroom 3 times in the past 2 weeks. What am I doing wrong? How long does it take to start seeing results? Will neutering help? Any advice is appreciated

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maryam, First, I would work through him not liking to be tethered - not just because of the potty training but because that's a sign that leashing him could be an issue later if not dealt with not. Check out the article linked below to help him get used to leash pressure. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash Second, if pup is having an accident less than 30 minutes after going potty outside (and you were right there are saw him for sure go), then the issue may be that he isn't finishing, in which case I suggest walking him around for a few more minutes after he goes potty, telling him to "Go Potty" and giving him a treat each time he goes to encourage going potty faster in the future. Insist that he fully empty himself when you take him. Another issue could be something medical that's going on and causing him to need to pee all the time. Normally a puppy can go an hour between potty trips without needing to go again until then, unless they are submissive or excited peeing, drinking a ton of water, or not fully emptying their bladder when they go out. I would check with your vet if pup seems unable to hold it for longer than 30 minutes. Pay attention to whether pup can hold it in the crate for a couple of hours or several hours overnight, to help you determine pup's bladder capacity. (I am not a vet, so consult your vet about anything medical). Last, pup may be drinking too much water. You want to give pup access to plenty of water several different times throughout the day, but some puppies will drink just for pup at this age. Pay attention to whether pup seems to be constantly drinking for fun. If so, begin scheduling the water, to give pup drinks several times throughout the day but not to leave large amounts of water available at all times at this age. When you can't keep your eyes on pup, I suggest confining pup to a smaller area of the house that doesn't have carpeting to interrupt pup's habit of seeking out carpet. Work on getting pup used to the leash and try tethering again also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Zuzu
Shih Tzu
2 Months
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Zuzu
Shih Tzu
2 Months

I recently got zuzu a couple days ago and I fear that I did not properly introduced him to the house. I ordered a crate for him but it did not come yet, I have his food and pee May set up in the next room while he sleeps in my room with me but he’s only used the pee mat a few times and as of now he is peeing and pooping every where. What do I do? Feeling super anxious

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

Hello, I would suggest setting up a litter box and starting the training right away. You can use a grass pad (real sod) that should be available at the pet supply store. This makes it easy to transition to outside when ready. Take a look here at the Exercise Pen Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy. Also, this is how to set up a great exercise pen and discusses why to use it: https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. Your pup will have lots of space but won't have the run of the house while potty training. Be sure to clean up the accidents with an enzymatic cleaner - it is the only way to remove the smell. Buy that at the pet supply store, too. You may not smell the odor but Zuzu does. These pointers should get Zuzu on the right track. Good luck!

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Toby
Shih Tzu
4 Months
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Toby
Shih Tzu
4 Months

Potty trained

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 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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Drew
ShihTzu
9 Years
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Drew
ShihTzu
9 Years

I adopted Drew from rescue. Having problems with him peeing on furniture in the house. What can I do?

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

Hello, I would start training Drew as if you are training him for the first time. There are helpful tips in this guide: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Read the entire guide and see if any of the excellent methods will suit Drew. Take him outside every 30 - 60 minutes This may seem excessive but once he gets the idea, it will be worth the effort. Take him immediately upon waking, after meals, after a nap, after play, etc. Clean up all accidents in the home with an enzymatic cleaner to completely remove the odor so that Drew does not repeat the behavior. If one of the methods in the guide does not work, read this guide as well for great tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/poop-outside-1. You may want to discuss it with your vet as well, to rule out an infection or medical problem. Good luck!

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BaoBao
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
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BaoBao
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

I want to know the most effective and humane way to housebreak my new shih tzu puppy--a breeder I reached out to discouraged crate training so I was wondering what are some viable alternatives?

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

Hello. Everyone will have a different opinion regarding training in general. If you don't like the idea of crate training, you will have to make sure you keep an eye on your puppy to make sure there are no accidents in the house. I am sending you some pretty detailed information on potty training basics. You can pick and choose what suits your dynamic the best! Usually there is some trial and error, but you will fall into a nice routine over the next few days. 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.

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Puddin
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
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Puddin
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

First puppy she pees about every 20 minutes in the morning is that normal ?? Also my husband is having us crate her at night with pew pads but it seems like she doesn’t care that she’s is peeing inside the crate. How often should I take her out during the night

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

I am sending you information on potty training as well as crate training. There is a lot of information, but it should help you with this process. 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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pumpkin
Shih Tzu cross
8 Months
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pumpkin
Shih Tzu cross
8 Months

this dog has been kept in a yard in his previous home for the past 4 months,and he has come to my home for about 2 weeks now and he does not seem to have a regular plan for peeing.he was also suffering from urinary infection, which I took him to vet and he is getting antibiotics for that.
he pees different spots in the house and I have been unable to teach him to pee in the right place indoors. every time I take him to that spot he just lays down on the floor and would not react to the command of peeing. how can I teach him the right place to pee indoors?

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

Hi there! So you may want to train him to use potty pads. Here are some tips on potty pad training. 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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Catie
Shih Tzu
3 Years
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Catie
Shih Tzu
3 Years

My dog is 3 years old, a Shih Tzu. She's a rescue from Puerto Rico. We got her October 3rd. I'm working on training her with the ring the bell with a treat. She is scared of the bell. I take her paw to ring bell and give her a treat and carry her outside to kennel or back yard. She is only 6 lbs. She does go out but tries to come in fast. She has a couple accidents. She pees in kennel. Starts whining so I bring in shortly after that she tries to do poop on our small carpet. She does not bark to go out.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Joyce, 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 pup in cage where they are forced to pee through wired flooring - like at a pet store and some shelters. There are rare dogs 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. 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. I would also work on helping pup overcome their fear of being outside. Simply spend time outside for an hour at a time. Play treat hiding games, any games she likes like Tug of war, or simply sit outside and read calmly while she sits with you or explores on a long training leash - this is just a time of socialization to get her used to being outside. Ignore the whining, and try to keep things calm, fun, and your attitude confident and not pittying her - to help her feel calm and confident as well. For the bell ringing, I would wait until pup is fully potty trained - meaning that they consistently hold it between scheduled potty trips (without alerting on their own yet). Once pup reaches that point, a couple of months after being potty trained, they may begin to alert on their own. If they don't then you can either work toward desensitizing pup to the bell by continuing with the treats (once they aren't so afraid to go outside and the bell won't further deter them from wanting to potty train), or you can teach pup to run and get you when they need to go potty, by having pup com over to you while next to the door, receiving a treat, then opening the door to go outside. As pup improves, stand further away from the door, have pup come over to you for a treat, then walk to the outside door and let pup out - giving a second treat after they go potty outside. Once pup can run over to you from another room then go outside right after, begin only rewarding pup for running over to you, going outside, AND going potty - after they go potty only, and not when they run to you. Do continue to praise running to you to ask to go though, even once the treat is given after going potty only. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Leonardo
Shih Tzu
5 Years
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Leonardo
Shih Tzu
5 Years

My daughters Shih Tzu dig is 5 years old and still soils the house the owners aren’t consistent. I have a puppy I’m trying to house break . I’m going to stick to the advice you’ve given . Is it too late for my grand dog to be trained ?

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

Hello, I do not think it is too late for the grand dog. Show your daughter this guide; it has excellent tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Both the Crate Training Method and the Timing Method may help. Remember, dogs need to go out first thing in the morning, when they wake from a nap, after eating, when excited, and any other time they start to circle and sniff. Have your daughter wash the floors with an enzymatic cleaner as this is the only thing to completely remove the scent. We think that cleaning with a regular cleaner does the trick but the problem is, a dog's sensitive nose will still smell the scent of urine and feces, causing them to repeat the behavior. Good luck!

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Bella
shuh tzu
10 Weeks
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Question
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Bella
shuh tzu
10 Weeks

My dog is pooping outside but we are peeing inside. Also which kind of bell would u recommend with the bell train with our door?

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

Hello! Any bell on a string, or set of bells on a string will work fine. Anything long enough for your dog to paw at or touch with it's nose. Here is information on potty training, as well as crate training just in case you decide 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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Benito
Shih Tzu
4 Months
0 found helpful
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Benito
Shih Tzu
4 Months

I started crate training him but ended up letting him sleep with my at night. He is a cuddler. I think he understands now that peeing and pooping is for outside. However, when he wants to go he just sits at the door. If I’m in the other room I don’t know he has to go and then he finds a place and goes there inside. I want to bell train him but I wonder.... if we are visiting a friend, other than taking him out regularly, do I always need to bring the bell with me and hang it at the door? Or will the dog eventually know to bark or make a noise at the door to let me know he has to go out?

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

Hello. What great success you have had with potty training! For now until he is about 9 months, I would carry a bell with you wherever you go. I know this may seem a bit ridiculous, but you don't want to set him back with potty training. And usually by 9 months, whatever skills they have as young puppies, will be pretty solidified.

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Pip Squeak
Shih Tzu
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Pip Squeak
Shih Tzu
3 Months

goes outside , not a thing, then inside she goes

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 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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Scout and Brody
Shih Tzu
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Scout and Brody
Shih Tzu
10 Weeks

A lot of accidents... I’m not catching them while they are going potty or poop. A lot of the time they go outside. Maybe a bit harder because I have 2!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 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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Question
Muffin
Shih Tzu
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Muffin
Shih Tzu
5 Months

My puppy has started eating pee pad. I am trying to command and stop him. Any advice.

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

Hello! You will want to start out by teaching him "leave it". Leave is great for anything you want your dog to leave alone. Here are the steps for "leave it" Teaching a dog 'leave it' Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until he finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer him the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and he stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of his reach. Wait until he stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as he does, either say “yes” or click and then give him a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding him with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching him that asking him to leave some food doesn’t mean he won’t get anything, but that in fact he might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach him that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items he would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Keep it fun Even though you’re practicing “leave it” as a way to keep your dog safe, you want him to see it as a fun game you play. When your dog is proficient at the game in your home, start practicing in a variety of locations with more distractions.

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Lolo
Shih Tzu
2 Months
0 found helpful
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Lolo
Shih Tzu
2 Months

Hello, I've been trying to potty train my puppy, so I've been taking him out several times a day(early morning, after napping, after eating and after playing). I sometimes spent a lot of time outside with him, but he won't do his business, but when we step inside, he will do it right away. I would appreciate advise! Thank you

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/training/potty-train-a-shih-tzu-puppy

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 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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Chanel
Shih Tzu
1 Month
0 found helpful
Question
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Chanel
Shih Tzu
1 Month

I am a new pet owner and eventually I want my dog to be able to go around my house without me being worried she is going to have a accident on the floor.The only problem is that she is not old enough to get her shots to go in the grass so I can't take her outside to use the restroom.but also want to be able to go out for long periods of time and I want to be able to keep her in a room with a pee pad and have her use the restroom on there.So far I have been putting her in a crate and keeping a pee pad there so at night she can walk to the pee pad. But is that right ? Because sometime she will go on the pee pad and other times she will pee on the other side of the crate.She will be getting her shots next week so I can began to take her on walks before and after school. I just came on here for advice on which method/how the best way to train my puppy would be ,thank you so much it is greatly appreciated.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 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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Elphie
Shih Tzu
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Elphie
Shih Tzu
9 Weeks

I am potty training Elphie. He will pee on the pads but poops wherever he pleases. This is frustrating.

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

Hello. Sometimes dogs need more space on the pads to sniff around before they poop. They like to find just the right spot. So adding another pad or two to his potty area may help.

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Archie
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Archie
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

He pee on the pad but won’t poop on there.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 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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Brody
Shih Tzu
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Brody
Shih Tzu
3 Years

How can I start getting my dog to potty outside? He’s such a hyper, energetic dog he’s not well trained yet but I’m trying to get the hang of it. He has been using the bathroom inside on pads, and it’s time for a new change I’ve tried training him outside but it never really worked out but now I’m ready to try it again, so please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Baylee, 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 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Fluffy
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks
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Question
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Fluffy
Shih Tzu
8 Weeks

Why does my dog act determined to use the bathroom everywhere but the puppy pad? When ever he acts like he needs to go I put him on the pad but he holds it till I let him of and he goes somewhere else and starts to use it so I bring him back but it's not working.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 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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Daisy
Shih Tzu
10 Months
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Daisy
Shih Tzu
10 Months

I’m having a challenge training my pup how to poop. Is there something m doing wrong?
I’d love her to learn indoor and outdoor potty training

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dami, For dogs who are learning indoor and outdoor potty training, consistency between the two and clearer boundaries are really important. First, I would start by using a disposable indoor grass pad for the indoor potty training, instead of something like a pee pad, because pee pads are much more likely to be confused with other fabrics like rugs, and don't resemble the outside world. www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty Most of these can also be bought on Amazon Second, I would use the Exercise Pen method I have linked below for the indoor potty training initially, and set up the exercise pen in the location where you want the pad to live long term - you want pup to learn to go potty in a specific location in the house, not just on a certain surface, to ensure pup doesn't associate the rest of the house with pottying too. Some dogs even need something like an exercise pen to be left up around the pad long term to give a visual cue that the potty is different than the rest of the house - sort of like how we expect to find a toilet inside a bathroom so go looking for a bathroom when in a home, and don't expect to toilet anywhere else inside. Exercise Pen method - a litter box or grass pad can either one be used while following this method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Third, I would follow the Tethering method from the article I have linked below for the outside potty training. When pup isn't 100% empty, I would either have pup be in the exercise pen near the indoor potty or tethered to you with a hands free leash at this point in the training. There are additional steps in the tethering method article for how to get pup to go potty while outside - like walking pup slowly around on leash, teaching Go Potty, using scent to encourage pup, choosing a calm location to walk pup around in (require pup to go potty in a calm location before a walk instead of during, so pup doesn't hold their bladder is hopes of keeping the walk progressing), and using treats to reward pup when they do go. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since pup is a bit older, pup can likely go about 2-4 hours between potty trips when not in a crate. When you will be gone, confine pup to a crate or in the exercise pen with the grass pad to prevent accidents inside. The #1 goal of potty training is preventing accidents through management at first, so that pup develops a natural preference for keeping your home clean to help motivate them to want to keep it clean on their own as they are then rewarded for going potty in the correct location. With some dogs you may find that you need to teach pup to go potty just outside, so pottying isn't associated with inside at all, then after about a year of consistent outside potty training you can attempt adding in a grass pad and exercise pen inside, once pup can clearly differentiate that the rest of the house is supposed to be kept clean. When that's the case, I would simply start with outside potty training and the crate training method from the article I have linked below, adding the exercise pen method for inside potty training later on. 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 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) or 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 5-7 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. You want him to get into the habit of holder his bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever he feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. 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 dog food stuffed hollow chew toy to help him adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If he continues protesting for long periods of time past 3-5 days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but 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. If he disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at his side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If he stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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