How To Crate Train A Shih Tzu?

If you’re wondering how to crate train a Shih Tzu, you’ve come to the right place! Crate training can be a beneficial and effective method to help your furry friend feel safe and secure while also preventing unwanted behaviors. Whether you’re a new Shih Tzu owner or looking to improve your current training techniques, this article will provide you with valuable insights on crate training your adorable companion.

Crate training is an essential aspect of raising a well-behaved and happy Shih Tzu. Not only does it provide them with a cozy den-like space to call their own, but it also aids in potty training and prevents destructive behaviors. By following a few simple steps and using positive reinforcement, you can make crate training an enjoyable experience for both you and your Shih Tzu. So, let’s dive into the world of crate training and discover the secrets to success!

How to Crate Train a Shih Tzu?

How to Crate Train a Shih Tzu?

If you’re a proud Shih Tzu owner, you know how important it is to train your furry friend properly. One aspect of training that can greatly benefit both you and your dog is crate training. Crate training provides a safe and comfortable space for your Shih Tzu while also helping with potty training and preventing destructive behavior. In this article, we will guide you through the process of crate training your Shih Tzu, step by step.

Why Crate Training is Important for Shih Tzus

Crate training is essential for Shih Tzus for several reasons. Firstly, it helps with potty training. Dogs naturally avoid soiling their sleeping area, so by confining them to a crate, you can teach them to hold their bladder and bowels until they are let out. This is especially crucial for small breeds like Shih Tzus, as they have tiny bladders and may struggle with housebreaking.

Secondly, crate training provides a safe and secure space for your Shih Tzu. Dogs are den animals by nature, and a crate mimics the cozy den-like environment that they instinctively seek. Having a designated space of their own can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of security, especially when you’re not at home.

The Step-by-Step Guide to Crate Training a Shih Tzu

Step 1: Choose the Right Crate
When crate training your Shih Tzu, it’s crucial to select the right crate size. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not too spacious that they can use one end as a bathroom. Opt for a sturdy crate with proper ventilation and a secure door.

Step 2: Introduce the Crate Gradually
Start by introducing the crate to your Shih Tzu in a positive and gradual manner. Place the crate in a quiet area of your home and leave the door open. Encourage your dog to explore the crate by tossing treats or placing their favorite toys inside. Make the crate a positive and enticing space.

Step 3: Associate the Crate with Positive Experiences
To further create a positive association with the crate, feed your Shih Tzu their meals near the crate or even inside it. You can also place their favorite blanket or bedding inside to make it more comfortable. Gradually increase the amount of time your dog spends in the crate, always rewarding them for calm behavior.

Step 4: Establish a Routine
Consistency is key when crate training. Establish a routine where your Shih Tzu spends short periods in the crate throughout the day. This can include nap times or when you need to step out for a short while. Gradually increase the duration of crate time, ensuring your dog feels comfortable and secure.

Step 5: Use Positive Reinforcement
Whenever your Shih Tzu enters the crate willingly or remains calm inside, reward them with praise and treats. Positive reinforcement helps reinforce the idea that the crate is a pleasant and safe space. Avoid using the crate as a form of punishment, as this can create negative associations.

Step 6: Gradually Extend Alone Time
Once your Shih Tzu is comfortable spending time in the crate with you present, gradually increase the amount of time they spend alone. Start with short intervals, such as a few minutes, and gradually extend the duration. This helps prevent separation anxiety and prepares them for longer periods alone.

Step 7: Never Force Your Shih Tzu into the Crate
It’s important to note that you should never force your Shih Tzu into the crate or use any form of physical punishment. This can create fear and resistance, making the crate training process more challenging. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key to successful crate training.

By following these steps and being patient, you can successfully crate train your Shih Tzu. Remember to make the crate a positive and comfortable space, and never use it as a form of punishment. With time and consistency, your Shih Tzu will see the crate as their safe haven and willingly enter it whenever needed.

Key Takeaways: How to Crate Train a Shih Tzu?

  • Crate training can help your Shih Tzu feel safe and secure.
  • Start by introducing the crate as a positive and comfortable space.
  • Gradually increase the time your Shih Tzu spends in the crate.
  • Use treats and praise to reward your Shih Tzu for going in the crate.
  • Be patient and consistent with the crate training process.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is crate training and why is it important for Shih Tzus?

Crate training is the process of teaching your Shih Tzu to view their crate as a safe and comfortable space. It is important for Shih Tzus because it provides them with a sense of security and helps with potty training and preventing destructive behavior. By crate training your Shih Tzu, you are giving them their own special den where they can relax and feel at ease.

When crate training, it’s essential to choose the right size crate for your Shih Tzu. It should be large enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not so big that they have extra space to eliminate in one corner and sleep in another. Introduce the crate gradually, using positive reinforcement, and make it a positive experience for your Shih Tzu.

2. How do I introduce my Shih Tzu to the crate?

Introducing your Shih Tzu to the crate should be a gradual process. Start by placing the crate in a quiet and familiar area of your home. Keep the door open and place some treats or toys inside to entice your Shih Tzu to explore. Allow them to voluntarily enter and exit the crate at their own pace.

Once your Shih Tzu is comfortable going in and out of the crate, you can start closing the door for short periods of time while they are inside. Gradually increase the duration of time with the door closed, always making sure to reward your Shih Tzu with treats and praise for calm behavior. Remember to never force your Shih Tzu into the crate or use it as a form of punishment.

3. How long can I leave my Shih Tzu in the crate?

The amount of time you can leave your Shih Tzu in the crate depends on their age and bladder control. As a general guideline, puppies can hold their bladder for about one hour per month of age, up to a maximum of 8 hours. However, it’s important to note that puppies should not be left in the crate for extended periods of time as it can hinder their socialization and lead to anxiety.

Adult Shih Tzus, on the other hand, can typically hold their bladder for 4-6 hours. It’s important to provide them with regular bathroom breaks and exercise outside the crate to prevent accidents and ensure their comfort. If you need to leave your Shih Tzu for longer durations, consider hiring a pet sitter or using a doggy daycare service to provide them with necessary care and attention.

4. How do I prevent my Shih Tzu from whining or barking in the crate?

Whining or barking in the crate is a common behavior, especially during the initial stages of crate training. It’s important to remember that this is your Shih Tzu’s way of communicating their discomfort or anxiety. To prevent or reduce whining and barking, you can try the following strategies:

– Make the crate comfortable with soft bedding and familiar scents.

– Provide interactive toys or puzzle feeders to keep your Shih Tzu occupied.

– Use a calming product, such as a pheromone spray or lavender scent, to create a soothing environment.

– Gradually increase the duration of time your Shih Tzu spends in the crate, starting with short periods and gradually extending them.

Remember to never punish your Shih Tzu for whining or barking in the crate, as it can worsen their anxiety and make crate training more challenging.

5. Can I use a crate for punishment?

No, a crate should never be used as a form of punishment for your Shih Tzu. The crate should always be associated with positive experiences and a place of comfort and security. Using the crate as a punishment can create negative associations and lead to anxiety or fear of the crate.

If you find that your Shih Tzu is experiencing anxiety or fear in the crate, it’s important to address the underlying cause and make crate training a positive experience. Consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for guidance and support in helping your Shih Tzu overcome any crate-related issues.

Final Summary: Successfully Crate Training Your Shih Tzu

Congratulations on making it to the end of our guide on crate training your adorable Shih Tzu! We’ve covered everything from choosing the right crate to gradually introducing your furry friend to their new space. By following these tips and tricks, you can create a positive and comfortable environment for your Shih Tzu, making crate training a breeze.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to crate training. Start with short intervals and gradually increase the duration as your pup becomes more comfortable. Make the crate a positive place by offering treats, toys, and praise. Utilize a calm and reassuring tone to let your Shih Tzu know that the crate is a safe and secure space.

As you continue the crate training process, be patient and understanding. Each dog is unique and may require different approaches. Keep an eye out for any signs of anxiety or distress and adjust your training methods accordingly. With time and dedication, you’ll soon find that your Shih Tzu happily retreats to their crate for relaxation and rest.

Incorporate these crate training techniques into your routine and watch as your Shih Tzu becomes comfortable and content in their cozy den. Remember, crate training is not only beneficial for you as a pet owner, but it also provides a safe haven for your furry companion. So, go ahead and embark on this crate training journey with your Shih Tzu, and enjoy the wonderful bond that will blossom as a result. Happy training!


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

Recent Posts