Do’s and Don’ts of Potty Training Your Shih Tzu

The potty training process can be aggravating at times.  Stick with it though because it is worth its weight in gold. 

Remember, you need to be patient, consistent and determined.

  • Do be there for your Shih Tzu puppy when he first arrives.

Plan a vacation for when you bring your puppy home.  After all, if you were bringing home a newborn baby wouldn’t you want to be home with your baby the first few weeks?  Puppies are no different.

  • Do prepare a designated potty spot for your Shih Tzu

Pick a spot in your yard that you don’t generally walk in.  Somewhere your puppy can call his own.  Make sure your puppy has a safe place to go potty by enclosing the area with a fence.

  • Do plan a realistic schedule for your Shih Tzu to potty and stick with it

Plan a time in the morning before you leave for work, at lunch time (if you are fortunate enough to be home), just after dinner, and before bedtime.

  • Do not punish your Shih Tzu physically when he has an accident as this is inhumane

This one shouldn’t need further explanation.  However, I feel it is necessary to state that you should never physically punish your puppy for any reason.

  • Do not scold your Shih Tzu if you did not catch him in the act.

Puppies do not know why they are being scolded if you don’t do it right when you catch them.  Scolding your Shih Tzu hours later only confuses your little one and hurts their feelings.  Sure you can say “Bad Boy” and they will walk away with their tail between their legs.  That is only a natural response when you use those words.  So, don’t think for a minute they are thinking ha ha I almost got away with it. Dogs do not confess to their crimes hours after the incident.

  • Do say “No” in a firm voice when you catch your Shih Tzu in the act and take him outside immediately

A firm voice reinforces his actions are not appropriate.  Now, don’t yell and start swinging your arms in the air.  A firm “No” is all that is needed then immediately take your puppy to his designated potty spot.

  • Do praise your Shih Tzu every time he potty’s in the right place

This is especially important for positive reinforcement.  Your puppy wants to please you.

  • Do take your dog out every after every meal, in the morning, before night time, and after every nap

This is pretty basic.  Think about the times you have to go potty. Don’t you generally need to go potty yourself after you eat, when you wake up from a nap and after physical activity like walking or running?

  • Do use the right command word every time to associate the potty process so your dog can make the connection

Pick your command words and stick with it.  Your puppy will learn to associate your command word with relieving himself. Don’t change your command words or your puppy will start to get confused.

  • Do not allow your dog to run free in the house until he his potty trained

It is your responsibility, as the parent, to make sure your puppy is not put in a situation that could cause him to fail.

  • Do be consistent and patient

Patience and consistency will ensure success!