Housetraining Made Easy
…..Everything is easy when you know how!

Are you skeptical at the thought of housebreaking your new puppy?
Do you want to get a Shih Tzu but are afraid he or she is going to make a mess in your house?

Wants some help?  Well, you came to the right place.

Housebreaking your new Shih Tzu puppy or even an older Shih Tzu that you recently adopted is one of the biggest challenges new parents face.  Rest assured you are not alone.  The good news is that it is possible if you follow some very simple guidelines.  The key is to be consistent, patient and determined.

The reason your Shih Tzu has accidents in the house is not your Shih Tzu fault.  It’s yours!  Yes, sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

The first thing a new parent needs to know is puppies and dogs learn through repetition. Potty training begins the moment you bring your new friend home, so plan a schedule. Designate an area outside, and understand your dog’s bladder limitations.

Your Shih Tzu is ready to learn if you are ready to teach him!

Below are the basic rules you should follow to ensure success.

1. Be consistent – Take your Shih Tzu out the same door to the same spot at the same time every day.  Additionally use a trigger word such as “Go Potty”. He will eventually associate the door, the spot, and the trigger words with the action of going potty.

These actions will teach your Shih Tzu to go to a specific door when he needs to go outside and eventually you won’t even have to ask him.  He will tell you when he has to go

Your Shih Tzu is an environmental learner which means he will associate one response with another over time. Ivan Pavlov proved this theory of conditional response way back in 1927. So do yourself and your precious Shih Tzu a favor and use it.

2. Know when your Shih Tzu has to go potty – Shih Tzu are no different then us.  They need to go potty when they wake up in the morning, after they take a nap and just before they go to bed.  Additionally if they are bouncing around playing, they will need to go potty after play time.

If your Shih Tzu puppy is around eight weeks old, you will want to take him out to go potty at least every 30 minutes.

Don’t worry; your Shih Tzu will give you signs when he needs to go out. Some signs to look out for include sniffing around, spinning in circles or signs of being restless or agitated.  Don’t wait, grab him and take him to the designated door and potty spot.

3. Give praises when he does a good thing –. When your Shih Tzu does what you want him to do, praise, praise and praise again. Use an excited voice, smile, pat his head, smile.

Again this is a conditional response. Your Shih Tzu will associate the warm, pleasant feelings with the action of going potty outside.

In contrast, use a low, firm voice to let him know when you are not pleased.  This will teach him to understand your verbal disappointment as well. Make sure you clearly separate the two actions so he understands the difference between the two different reactions of going potty outside vs. inside.

4. Keep a close eye on your puppy – Don’t set your puppy of for failure. Keep an out of for those signs that he may have to go potty.  Additionally, avoid giving him the run of the house while you are gone until he is potty trained. It is best to keep him in an area that is easy to clean up when you are gone.

5. Don’t scold your puppy if he makes a mistake – If your puppy has an opportunity to make a mistake then you have failed somewhere. Perhaps you didn’t take him outside enough, you left him alone too long, you played with him and did not notice his happy dance. It is your job as the parent to make sure he does not have an accident.

Now, I realize there will be times when he will squat right in front of you.  It is ok to say “No” or “Bad” in a firm voice to let him know that his actions are not appropriate.  You then need to immediately take him outside to his designated potty spot and use your command word “go potty”. This will help to reinforce his designated potty area.

6. Be patient – Remember, your puppy will fall off the wagon from time to time.  This is perfectly normal and to be expected.  Patients, consistency, and determination will prevail.