When it comes to housetraining and a Shih Tzu, there are many challenges that can arise. In fact, it is going to take patience, diligence, persistence, and consistency if you want to succeed. The secret to success is praising her immensely when she does the right thing.
Shih Tzu puppies are great when it comes to not soiling where they’re housed or confined. For this reason, you should always keep your puppy in a travel kennel whenever you have to step away momentarily. Upon returning, your puppy will be waiting to do her business. As soon as you arrive, take her to her designated potty area. Put her in the spot where you want her to continue to eliminate, and when she does, shower her with praise. You can also offer your puppy a small treat to let her know that you’re extremely pleased.
The next step is to place your Shih Tzu in her designated living area. Whatever area of your home that you choose, make sure that it is an area that’s easy to clean. Avoid carpets, go for tile or linoleum flooring. Keep in mind that your Shih Tzu does not know how to fully control her bladder at this time. This means that there will be some accidents, and she will need to go outside frequently. Whenever your puppy understands that you want her to do her business in the spot that you designated, she will try her best not to go anywhere else.
Do not expect your Shih Tzu puppy to tell you when she needs to go. For the most part, she probably do not know how to tell you yet. Just like young children, a puppy does not know that she needs to go until the very last instant, and at times, the very last second. Therefore, it is totally up to you to keep an eye out for certain signs that she may be ready to do her business and quickly take her to the designated area. Here are some signs that you should look out for: Pacing, circling, whining, sniffing the ground, anxiety, and crying. When noticing these behaviors, you must act immediately, or you could miss the window, and it will be too late.
If your puppy happens to have an accident, please do not punish her. Do not verbally or physically punish your puppy at any time. It is the worst thing that you can do. Your puppy will not be able to associate punishment with her natural bodily functions, especially if some time have passed since the act. The best thing to do is to clean up the mess and use positive reinforcement. Shower your puppy with immense praise when she does the right thing. You have to make housetraining fun so that your puppy would want to join in and please you.
Setting up a regular housetraining schedule is important in how successful you will be. For the most part, young puppies should be let outside every two or three hours. However, there are times when you’re not going to be able to do this. If your Shih Tzu is left alone for a long period of time, keep her in a designated area of the home and cover the floor with housetraining pads or “wee” pads, you can also use newspapers. One thing that I notice about Shih Tzu puppies is the fact that they tend to wander about as they do their business; therefore, do not be alarmed if you notice that she missed the newspapers sometimes. You will need to be patient. As she grows older, she will gain more control over her bladder and bowels. She will also learn how to stay in one place while doing her business.
If the weather is not cooperating, and you cannot take your puppy outside, you will need to train her to use housetraining pads or newspapers. Do not take her outside during bad weather.
Whenever you take your Shih Tzu out to eliminate, it is important that you wait with her. Taking her outside and leaving will only prove to be a distraction, she may forget why she was let outside and try to find you. Then when you finally come back out for her, you won’t know whether or not she did what she was supposed to do. This could cause her to have an accident in the house, which could set her back in her training.
Checking on how your puppy defecates and urinates is also important. Doing this will let you know if she’s having trouble eliminating, has diarrhea, or has worms. You will not know any of this unless you’re there with her. If you notice any of the aforementioned problems, collect a fresh stool specimen and take it the veterinarian for diagnosis.
Proper housetraining requires two-way communication. It is your job to teach your Shih Tzu puppy that she must do her business outside, and it is her job to let you know when she wants to go outside. Do not look for her to warn you by barking, scratching at the door, or getting her leash like you see in the movies. Instead, look for her to act anxious or apprehensive, she will also do some whining, circling, and squatting as well.