A very important part of a Shih Tzu’s education is definitely crate training. Firstly, situate the crate in a safe and secure place where your dog can have some privacy. The crate should also be in a place where you can keep an eye on her and she should be able to see you and the family as well. Do not put the puppy’s crate in an isolated area where she may feel lonely. Puppy socialization greatly depends on exposure to a variety of smells, sounds, activities, and sights.
When you start crate training, you will need to play with your puppy so that she has the opportunity to exercise and have a bowel movement. Put her inside the crate tranquilly with a favorite toy and/or treat, and then close the crate door, and make sure that the house is quiet. Let her stay in the crate for no more than ten minutes. If everything goes according to plan, she should fall fast asleep; however, if she is still awake but stays quiet, take her out after ten minutes and shower her with praise. Repeating this method, progressively extend the time a few minutes more over the next few days.
Whenever your puppy can stay in the crate for at least 2 hours at a time, go ahead and change crate training time from day to evening. Use your puppy’s crate training as a bridge to housetraining. At nighttime, put ample amounts of absorbent bedding inside of the crate and place the crate in the bedroom; therefore, you’d be able to hear her if she needs to eliminate throughout the night. Most puppies do not like to soil their sleeping quarters. If you do have to take her outside at night, try hard not play with her. Wait as long as it takes for her to do her business, shower her with praise, then it is time to put her back into the crate for the remainder of the night. Don’t forget that you still have to wake up as needed throughout the night and early in the morning to let your Shih Tzu do her business. Remember, a Shih Tzu puppy has a very small bladder that cannot hold too much. Fortunately, later in life her bladder and bowels will become stronger, and she’ll be able to control them for up to six hours, which will enable both of you to sleep a lot better.
The crate should not be used as a tool to punish your puppy. Do not put her in the crate when she misbehaves. The crate should be a place where she can go to relax, have some privacy, and be comfortable, not when she’s been a bad girl.
Remember: When you’re not crating your Shih Tzu puppy, do not leave the door on the crate. She can get her feet caught and/or pinched between the crate and the hinged side of the swaying door if it is not detached.
Remember: If your Shih Tzu makes a lot of noise, barking, crying, or scratching at the door when she’s in her crate, ignore her. Let at least five minutes of her being quiet pass before you let her out. If you do let her out, she will perceive that as a reward for barking and scratching.