How To Potty Train An Older Shih Tzu?

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So, you’ve got an older Shih Tzu who’s having a bit of trouble with potty training? Don’t worry, my friend, I’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll dive into the world of potty training and explore some effective strategies specifically designed for older Shih Tzus. No more accidents on the carpet or frantic clean-ups! With a little patience and consistency, you’ll have your furry friend confidently using the appropriate spot in no time.

Now, I know what you might be thinking – potty training an older dog sounds like a daunting task. But fear not! It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. With the right approach and a positive attitude, you can successfully potty train your older Shih Tzu and create a cleaner and more hygienic living environment for both of you. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started on this potty training adventure!

How to Potty Train an Older Shih Tzu?

How to Potty Train an Older Shih Tzu?

Potty training an older Shih Tzu can be challenging, but with patience and consistency, it is definitely possible. Whether you’ve recently adopted an adult Shih Tzu or your furry friend has developed some bad habits, these tips will help you successfully potty train your older Shih Tzu.

Understanding Your Shih Tzu’s Behavior

When it comes to potty training, it’s important to understand your Shih Tzu’s behavior. Dogs have a natural instinct to keep their living area clean, so if your Shih Tzu is having accidents in the house, there may be underlying issues causing this behavior. It could be a medical problem such as a urinary tract infection or it could be related to anxiety or stress. Consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues and address any behavioral concerns.

Once you’ve ruled out any medical problems, it’s time to assess your Shih Tzu’s potty training history. If your Shih Tzu was not properly trained as a puppy, they may not have learned the appropriate behaviors. Older dogs can be retrained, but it will require patience and consistency on your part.

Establish a Routine

One of the key elements of successful potty training is establishing a routine for your Shih Tzu. Dogs thrive on consistency, so having a set schedule for meals, bathroom breaks, and exercise will help your Shih Tzu understand when and where they should go potty.

Start by taking your Shih Tzu outside to their designated potty area first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime. Use a command like “go potty” or “do your business” to associate the action with the command. When your Shih Tzu successfully goes potty outside, reward them with praise and a treat.

If you catch your Shih Tzu in the act of having an accident indoors, interrupt them with a loud noise or clap your hands to startle them. Immediately take them outside to their designated potty area and continue to use the command. Never punish your Shih Tzu for accidents as this can create fear and anxiety around potty training.

Manage Accidents and Reinforce Good Behavior

Accidents are bound to happen during the potty training process, especially with older Shih Tzus who may have developed bad habits. When accidents occur, it’s important to clean up the mess thoroughly to remove any lingering scent that may attract your Shih Tzu back to the same spot. Use an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for pet stains and odors.

When your Shih Tzu successfully goes potty outside, reinforce the behavior with praise and treats. Positive reinforcement is key to motivating your Shih Tzu and reinforcing the desired behavior. Be consistent with your rewards and praise, and eventually, your Shih Tzu will understand that going potty outside is the preferred behavior.

Tips for Successful Potty Training

Potty training an older Shih Tzu requires patience, consistency, and understanding. Here are some additional tips to help make the process smoother:

1. Use a crate or a confined space when you cannot supervise your Shih Tzu. Dogs naturally do not want to soil their living area, so confining them to a small space will encourage them to hold their bladder and bowels.

2. Take your Shih Tzu outside frequently, especially after meals and naps. This will help prevent accidents and reinforce the desired behavior of going potty outside.

3. Be vigilant and watch for signs that your Shih Tzu needs to go potty, such as circling, sniffing, or whining. Take them outside immediately when you notice these signs.

4. Consistency is key. Stick to the established routine and be patient with your Shih Tzu. It may take time for them to fully grasp the concept of potty training.

5. Consider using puppy pads or indoor grass patches as a temporary solution if your Shih Tzu is having difficulty holding their bladder for extended periods. Gradually transition them to going potty outside as they become more comfortable and reliable.

Remember, potty training an older Shih Tzu takes time and effort. Stay consistent, be patient, and celebrate small victories along the way. With your love and guidance, your older Shih Tzu will become a potty-trained companion in no time.

Key Takeaways: How to Potty Train an Older Shih Tzu?

  • Potty training an older Shih Tzu requires patience and consistency.
  • Start by establishing a routine and taking your dog outside regularly.
  • Use positive reinforcement and rewards to encourage good behavior.
  • Monitor your Shih Tzu’s behavior and look for signs that they need to go potty.
  • Accidents may happen, but never punish your dog as it can lead to anxiety and regression.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you struggling to potty train your older Shih Tzu? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many pet owners face challenges when it comes to housebreaking their adult dogs. In this article, we’ll answer some common questions about how to potty train an older Shih Tzu and provide helpful tips to make the process easier and more effective.

1. Why is my older Shih Tzu not potty trained?

There could be several reasons why your older Shih Tzu is not potty trained. One possibility is that they were never properly trained as a puppy. Another reason could be a lack of consistency in their daily routine or confusion about where they should eliminate. It’s also important to consider any underlying medical issues that could be contributing to their inability to hold their bladder. Consulting with a veterinarian can help rule out any health concerns.

To address this issue, it’s crucial to establish a consistent potty training routine. Take your Shih Tzu outside at regular intervals, such as after meals or naps, and reward them with praise and treats when they eliminate in the appropriate spot. Be patient and consistent, as it may take some time for your older Shih Tzu to learn the new routine.

2. How can I create a designated potty area for my older Shih Tzu?

Creating a designated potty area for your older Shih Tzu can help reinforce their potty training. Start by choosing a specific spot in your yard or on a pee pad indoors. Take your Shih Tzu to this area every time they need to eliminate. Use a specific command, such as “go potty,” to associate the behavior with the location.

To encourage your Shih Tzu to use the designated area, you can also use scent markers, such as a piece of sod or a small amount of their urine, to attract them to the spot. Consistency is key, so make sure to always take your older Shih Tzu to the designated potty area when it’s time to go.

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

If your older Shih Tzu has accidents indoors, it’s important not to punish or scold them. This can create fear and anxiety, making the potty training process even more challenging. Instead, clean up the mess using an enzymatic cleaner to remove any lingering odors that may attract your Shih Tzu to eliminate in the same spot again.

Focus on reinforcing positive behavior by rewarding your Shih Tzu when they eliminate in the appropriate area. Additionally, closely monitor their behavior and look for signs that they need to go, such as sniffing or circling. If you notice these signs, quickly redirect them to the designated potty area.

4. How long does it take to potty train an older Shih Tzu?

The time it takes to potty train an older Shih Tzu can vary depending on several factors, including their previous training, consistency in the training routine, and individual temperament. While some dogs may catch on quickly, others may require more time and patience.

On average, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for an older Shih Tzu to become fully potty trained. It’s important to remember that every dog is different, so it’s crucial to remain patient, consistent, and reinforce positive behavior throughout the training process.

5. Should I use pee pads to potty train my older Shih Tzu?

Using pee pads can be a useful tool when potty training an older Shih Tzu, especially if you live in an apartment or have limited outdoor access. However, it’s important to note that relying solely on pee pads may make it more difficult to transition your dog to eliminate outdoors in the long run.

If you choose to use pee pads, place them in a designated area and gradually move them closer to the door leading outside. This will help your Shih Tzu associate the act of eliminating with going outside. Over time, you can gradually reduce the number of pee pads and encourage your dog to eliminate exclusively outdoors.

Final Summary: Successfully Potty Training Your Older Shih Tzu

Congratulations! You’ve come to the end of our potty training journey for your older Shih Tzu. By now, you should have a good understanding of the steps involved in helping your furry friend master the art of going potty in the right place. Remember, patience and consistency are key when working with an older dog.

In conclusion, the first step in potty training your older Shih Tzu is to establish a routine and provide a designated potty area. Be sure to reward your pup for successful potty breaks and never punish them for accidents. Utilize crate training and supervise your dog closely to prevent any mishaps. And always remember, accidents happen, but with your dedication and love, your older Shih Tzu will soon become a potty training pro. So, put on your positive mindset, grab some treats, and embark on this exciting journey with your furry companion. Happy potty 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!

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