House training a Shih Tzu puppy is one of the first, and one of the most important things, that any new Shih Tzu puppy owner must do. It is easy to get frustrated if you do not understand the basics of this important process, so we have put together a few tips to make the process of house training your Shih Tzu puppy a little easier.
It is vital to establish good toilet and hygiene habits in the Shih Tzu puppy when he is young, since the patterns that are established in those first few months can last a lifetime. When you consider that house training issues are the number one reason why dogs are surrendered to animal shelters, it is easy to see why house training is so extremely important.
In most cases, a Shih Tzu puppy will not be completely house trained until he or she is six months of age. That is because Shih Tzu puppies younger than six months often lack the bowel and bladder control that they need in order to be reliably left alone in the home all day.
Shih Tzu puppies younger than six months should be confined to a single, small Shih Tzu puppy proofed room any time the owner is not available to supervise the animal. The entire floor of the room should be covered in newspaper or other similarly absorbent and cheap material. At first the Shih Tzu puppy will go everywhere and anywhere in the room. As the Shih Tzu puppy gets older and begins to display better bladder and bowel control, the amount of paper used is slowly reduced, until the puppy goes only on the established “toilet” papers. This toilet area will form the basis of later house training.
House training the Shih Tzu puppy – what to do:
Provide the Shih Tzu puppy with constant, unrestricted access to the toilet area that has been established. Take the Shih Tzu puppy to the toilet area every 45 minutes when you are at home.
When you are away from home, or when you cannot supervise the Shih Tzu puppy, it is important to confine the Shih Tzu puppy to a small area that has been puppy proofed and covered with newspaper.
It is important to be sure that the toilet area does not resemble anything in the home, such as carpet or hardwood floor. Once the Shih Tzu puppy is used to eliminating on a particular surface, such as grass or blacktop, he will want to eliminate on that time of surface.
Always provide lots of praise when the Shih Tzu puppy does its business in the established toilet area. The Shih Tzu puppy needs to learn to associate eliminating in the established area with positive things like treats, toys and praise from you.
It is important to keep a set schedule when feeding the Shih Tzu puppy, and to provide ready access to fresh, clean drinking water at all times. Providing a consistent schedule for feeding will help you learn to anticipate your puppy’s toilet needs.
Using a crate can help the Shih Tzu puppy to develop much needed self control. Shih Tzu are naturally very clean animals, and they will try their best not to soil their bed area.
And finally, it is vital to employ patience during the house training process. House training can take as long as several months, but it is much easier to house train right the first time than to retrain a problem Shih Tzu.
House training the Shih Tzu puppy – what to avoid
Do not punish or reprimand the Shih Tzu puppy if it makes a mistake. The Shih Tzu puppy will not understand the reason for the punishment, and he may become nervous and agitated. This could set the training back even further.
Do not give the Shih Tzu puppy constant access to food. Keep the Shih Tzu puppy to a set feeding schedule instead of leaving food out all the time.
The Shih Tzu puppy should not be given the run of the house until he has been thoroughly house trained.
House training a new Shih Tzu puppy is not always easy, but it is important to persevere. By exercising patience, and rewarding your Shih Tzu with lavish praise every time he does the right thing, you will have your Shih Tzu puppy house trained in no time at all.