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.
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.
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.
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
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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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
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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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 🤔
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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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.
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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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
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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