Potty & Crate Training

Chimera Shih Tzu – SW Florida – AKC Shih Tzu Puppies

Potty Training

Shih Tzu puppies are one of the slower breeds to potty train. They can get distracted and forgetful. Setting up their environment for successful potty training will make this a much faster and easier process! If they have too much space, too quickly, they will not make it back to their potty area in time and may develop bad habits of going wherever they are.

Potty training should not be a punishment, focus on preventing accidents and rewarding good behavior. Shih Tzu may not be the sharpest breed, but they certainly know how to charm their way to a treat!! Good potty routines are a great way for them to earn those treats.

At Chimera Shih Tzu, your puppies are restricted to a puppy play yard or pen when we aren’t actively with them. This gives them their own little puppy city with plenty of space to sleep, eat, drink, potty, excercise and play. The method of containment also gives them boundaries so they do not wander too far from their potty. We highly recommend setting up a puppy pen for your shih tzu puppy until they are potty trained.

We use potty pads to start training & recommend continuing to offer pads until the baby is mature enough to hold it longer.

Teaching to potty outside is a straight forward process but you have to be consistent and you have to get the pup to the designated spot before they need to go. Once they feel the urge to potty, they’re going to release quickly. To teach your puppy to potty outside, choose a designated spot in the yard. Carry them to the potty spot and give a word you’ve chosen to cue them, like “go potty”. Wake them up in the morning, or as soon as they start to move around and wake you up, rush them to the potty spot and tell them to go potty. Then 10-15 minutes later, do it again. After they ear, do it again. After they nap, so it again. If they’ve been playing for 5-10 minutes, so it again. Initially, when teaching, you’ll need to take the pup to the potty spot atleast once every 30 minutes while they’re awake and as soon as they wake from any sleep. You have to stay ahead of their potty urges, which will create success and good potty habits. Their body will know its supposed to pee or poop in the grass and they will feel the need to get there when they need to go. Just like we rush to the bathroom when we feel the urge.

Crate Training

Your Chimera Shih Tzu puppy has already been introduced to a crate. Even if you never plan to lock your Shih Tzu in a crate, learning to relax in a crate is a very important skill that will help you and your pup during the most stressful times of life.

To teach your dog that a crate is a safe place, leave a crate with door open in the living room or bedroom. Place a comfy dog bed or blanket in the crate. In most cases, dogs are naturally drawn to this ‘den’ like area. Every day, toss a few treats in the crate to entice pup to enter on their own. Never force a dog into a crate, always ask or lure them in with a reward. Once they are peacefully napping in the crate, you can close and latch the door. At first only close it for a few seconds. Then open and allow the dog to come out if they want. Toss a treat to lure them back in, leaving the door open. Make sure they know that going in the crate doesn’t mean they are locked up. You can slowly increase the amount of time the crate door is locked, rewarding quiet and calm with treats. You can also feed meals inside the crate. This is a good idea especially for multi dog households, for each dog to have their own private space to eat. There are lots of great ideas online to help dogs become comfortable in crates. You can find them by googling ‘crate games’. Keep in mind, Shih Tzu puppies still have very limited bladder and bowel control. You still need to let them out of the crate and take them potty on a regular schedule. Never isolate a young pup, or any age Shih Tzu. They are bred as companions and need our companionsho as much as we need theirs!

We personally don’t crate our dogs routinely but this is an important skill for any dog, and most especially dogs living in hurricane zone or any other area prone to natural disasters where quick evacuation or unexpected transport may be needed. I know many people think NO! when it comes to crates but think if there’s a massive hurricane, sudden flooding, you become injured on the way to evacuate, unable to carry your terrified, confused dog. Someone tries to help, maybe a first responder in a uniform your dog isn’t used to, or a neighbor. If your dog is scared, they may feel the need to protect themselves or try to protect you. They could panic and try to flee, with you unable to find and catch them in a storm. If they are crate trained you can put them in a soft Shera crate/carrier and anyone can help you move them to safety whether by boat, plane, car, or walking.

Crate training doesn’t mean you *want* to crate your dog, or that you intend to crate them. It only means they recognize a crate as a place to nap or chew their treat until it’s safe to come back out.

Times crate training may help your Shih Tzu

  • During travel, airplane, boat, car, bike, in and out of hotel rooms
  • During emergency weather, natural disasters, emergency evacuations
  • During Veterinary hospitalizations
  • During boarding
  • If owners are injured, sick, hospitalized
  • During boarding if you go on vacation
  • After surgery or after medical treatment crate rest (ACL tear, heartworm treatment, ect)
  • When visiting family or friends
  • At the groomers
  • In any shelter situation: homeless, battered women, emergency weather evacuation ie: fires, hurricane, tornado, flooding.