How To House Train A Shih Tzu?

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Do you have a furry friend in your life who happens to be a Shih Tzu? These adorable little dogs are known for their playful personalities and charming looks. However, when it comes to potty training, they can sometimes be a bit challenging. But fear not! In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of how to house train a Shih Tzu.

House training a Shih Tzu can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry companion. By following a few simple steps and being consistent with your training, you can have your Shih Tzu happily doing their business in the appropriate place in no time. So, grab a treat, put on your training hat, and let’s dive into the world of house training a Shih Tzu!

How to House Train a Shih Tzu?

How to House Train a Shih Tzu?

House training a Shih Tzu can be a challenging task, but with consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement, it is definitely achievable. Shih Tzus are known for their intelligence and eagerness to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. In this article, we will discuss effective methods to house train your Shih Tzu and provide you with useful tips and tricks to make the process smoother.

Understanding the Basics of House Training

Before diving into the techniques and strategies of house training, it is important to understand the basics. House training, also known as potty training or toilet training, involves teaching your Shih Tzu to eliminate in appropriate areas, such as outdoors or on designated pee pads or litter boxes. It requires consistency, routine, and positive reinforcement to establish good habits and prevent accidents inside the house.

The key to successful house training is to establish a regular schedule for feeding, watering, and bathroom breaks. This helps your Shih Tzu develop a sense of routine and learn to anticipate when they need to go outside. Additionally, it is crucial to be patient and understanding during the process, as accidents are bound to happen.

Creating a Designated Bathroom Area

One of the first steps in house training your Shih Tzu is to create a designated bathroom area. This can be a specific spot in your backyard or a pee pad or litter box placed indoors. Having a consistent bathroom area helps your Shih Tzu associate that spot with elimination, making it easier for them to understand where they should go.

To create a designated bathroom area outdoors, choose an easily accessible spot that is away from high foot traffic areas. Take your Shih Tzu to that spot every time they need to eliminate and use a command such as “go potty” or “do your business” to associate the action with the cue. When they successfully eliminate in the designated area, reward them with praise, treats, or playtime to reinforce the positive behavior.

Establishing a Feeding and Bathroom Schedule

Consistency is key when it comes to house training your Shih Tzu. Establishing a regular feeding and bathroom schedule helps your dog develop a routine and predict when they need to eliminate. Feed your Shih Tzu at the same times every day and take them outside or to the designated bathroom area shortly after eating.

After meals, wait approximately 10-15 minutes before taking your Shih Tzu outside. This allows their digestive system to start working and increases the chances of successful elimination. Use the command you have chosen and be patient as they learn to understand what is expected of them. If your Shih Tzu doesn’t eliminate after a few minutes, bring them back inside and try again in 10-15 minutes.

Positive Reinforcement and Reward-Based Training

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool when it comes to training your Shih Tzu. Dogs respond well to praise, treats, and other rewards, which can be used to reinforce desired behaviors and motivate them to continue practicing good habits.

When your Shih Tzu eliminates in the designated bathroom area, immediately praise them with a happy and enthusiastic tone of voice. You can also offer a small treat or engage in a short play session as a reward. This positive association encourages your dog to repeat the behavior and reinforces the concept of outdoor elimination or using the designated indoor area.

Dealing with Accidents and Mistakes

Accidents are a normal part of the house training process, and it is important not to punish or scold your Shih Tzu when they have an accident. Punishment can create fear and anxiety, which hinders the training progress and may lead to more accidents in the future.

If you catch your Shih Tzu in the act of eliminating indoors, interrupt them by clapping your hands or making a noise to get their attention. Quickly take them outside or to the designated bathroom area and give the command to eliminate. Once they finish, reward them with praise and treats. Clean up any accidents inside the house using an enzymatic cleaner to remove the scent and discourage repeat incidents.

Consistency and Patience for Successful House Training

House training a Shih Tzu requires consistency and patience. It is important to establish a routine, provide positive reinforcement, and avoid punishment. Remember that accidents are normal and should be handled calmly and effectively. With dedication and the right approach, your Shih Tzu will become house trained and enjoy a clean and comfortable living environment.

Key Takeaways: How to House Train a Shih Tzu?

  • Start training your Shih Tzu as soon as you bring them home.
  • Establish a consistent feeding schedule for your Shih Tzu.
  • Take your Shih Tzu outside frequently, especially after meals and naps.
  • Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to reward your Shih Tzu for going potty outside.
  • Be patient and consistent with your training, as accidents may happen during the house training process.

Frequently Asked Questions

House training a Shih Tzu can be a challenging task, but with the right approach and consistency, it is definitely achievable. Here are some commonly asked questions about house training a Shih Tzu and their answers:

1. What is the best age to start house training a Shih Tzu?

It is best to start house training your Shih Tzu when they are around 8 to 10 weeks old. At this age, they have better bladder and bowel control and can start learning to hold it in and eliminate in the appropriate spot.

To begin the process, establish a routine and take your Shih Tzu outside to the designated potty area every 2 to 3 hours. Be patient and consistent in your training, rewarding them with praise and treats when they eliminate in the right spot.

2. How long does it usually take to house train a Shih Tzu?

The time it takes to house train a Shih Tzu can vary from dog to dog. Some may learn quickly within a few weeks, while others may take a few months. Consistency, positive reinforcement, and patience are key to successful house training.

Remember to never punish your Shih Tzu for accidents indoors, as it can create fear and hinder the training process. Instead, clean up any accidents promptly and continue with the training routine.

3. Should I use puppy pads or take my Shih Tzu outside to eliminate?

It is generally recommended to take your Shih Tzu outside to eliminate rather than relying on puppy pads. This helps them associate the act of eliminating with being outdoors and encourages them to develop good potty habits.

If you live in an apartment or have limited outdoor space, you can use puppy pads temporarily, but gradually transition your Shih Tzu to eliminating outside. This can be done by gradually moving the puppy pad closer to the door and eventually placing it outside.

4. What should I do if my Shih Tzu has accidents indoors?

If your Shih Tzu has an accident indoors, it’s important not to scold or punish them. Instead, calmly interrupt the behavior, take them outside to the designated potty area, and praise them when they finish eliminating.

Accidents may happen during the house training process, but it’s essential to remain patient and consistent. Clean up any accidents with an enzymatic cleaner to remove the scent and avoid reinforcing the idea that indoors is an acceptable potty spot.

5. Can I use crate training to help with house training a Shih Tzu?

Yes, crate training can be a useful tool in house training a Shih Tzu. A crate provides a safe and comfortable space for your dog and can help prevent accidents when you’re unable to supervise them.

Introduce the crate gradually, making it a positive and inviting space for your Shih Tzu. Use the crate for short periods when you’re unable to watch them, and take them outside immediately after being let out of the crate. Remember, never use the crate as a form of punishment.

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Final Thoughts on House Training a Shih Tzu

And there you have it, folks! We’ve reached the end of our guide on how to house train a Shih Tzu. It’s been a journey filled with ups and downs, but with a little patience and consistency, you can successfully potty train your furry friend.

Remember, house training a Shih Tzu takes time and effort. Be prepared for the occasional accident, but don’t let that discourage you. Consistency is key. Stick to a routine, reward good behavior, and be understanding when accidents happen. Before you know it, your Shih Tzu will be a pro at using the designated potty area.

Now go forth and conquer the world of house training! Your Shih Tzu will thank you for it, and you’ll both enjoy a cleaner and more stress-free living environment. Remember to celebrate the small victories and have patience during setbacks. With love, dedication, and a whole lot of puppy treats, you’ll have a house-trained Shih Tzu in no time!


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!

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