Shih Tzu - Do's And Don't's Of Housetraining Your Shih Tzu
Written by Connie Limon Tuesday, 22 November 2005
House training a shih tzu puppy is very important for the well being of both the shih tzu puppy and the owner. The number one reason that dogs are surrendered to animal shelters is problems with inappropriate elimination, so it is easy to see why proper house training is such an important consideration.
It is important to establish proper toilet habits when the shih tzu puppy is young, since these habits can last a lifetime, and be very hard to break once they are established. It is very important for the owner to house break the shih tzu puppy properly. In most cases, true house training cannot begin until the shih tzu puppy is six months old. Puppies younger than this generally lack the bowel and bladder control that is needed for true house training.
Shih Tzu puppies younger than six months should be confined to a small, shih tzu puppy proofed room when the owner cannot supervise them. The entire floor of the room should be covered with newspapers or similar absorbent materials, and the paper changed every time it is soiled. As the shih tzu puppy gets older, the amount of paper used can be reduced as the shih tzu puppy begins to establish a preferred toilet area. It is this preferred toilet area that will form the basis of later house training.
The Do's of House Training Your Puppy: Always provide the shih tzu puppy with constant, unrestricted access to the established toilet area. When you are at home, take the shih tzu puppy to the toilet area every 45 minutes.
When you are not at home or cannot supervise the shih tzu puppy, you must be sure the shih tzu puppy cannot make a mistake. This means confining the shih tzu puppy to a small area that has been thoroughly puppy proofed. Puppy proofing a room is very similar to baby proofing a room, since puppies chew on everything.
Always provide a toilet area that does not resemble anything in your home. Training the shih tzu puppy to eliminate on concrete, blacktop, grass or dirt is a good idea. The shih tzu puppy should never be encouraged to eliminate on anything that resembles the hardwood flooring, tile or carpet he may encounter in a home.
Praise and reward your shih tzu puppy every time he eliminates in the established toilet area. The shih tzu puppy must learn to associate toileting in the established areas with good things, like treats, toys and praise from his owner.
Always keep a set schedule when feeding your shih tzu puppy, and provide constant access to fresh, clean drinking water. A consistent feeding schedule equals a consistent toilet schedule. Using a crate can be a big help in helping a shih tzu puppy develop self control. The concept behind crate training is that the shih tzu puppy will not want to toilet in his bed area.
And finally, it is important to be patient when house training a shih tzu puppy. 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 dog.
The Don'ts of House Training Your Shih Tzu Puppy Never reprimand or punish the shih tzu puppy for mistakes. Punishing the shih tzu puppy will only cause fear and confusion. Do not leave food out for the shih tzu puppy all night long. Keep to a set feeding schedule in order to make the dog's toilet schedule as consistent as possible.
Do not give the shih tzu puppy the run of the house until he has been thoroughly house trained.
House training is not always the easiest thing to do, and some dogs tend to be much easier to house train than others. It is important, however to be patient, consistent and loving as you train your shih tzu. A rushed, frightened or intimidated shih tzu will not be able to learn the important lessons of house training. Once you have gained your shih tzu puppy's love and respect, however, you will find that house training your shih tzu puppy is easier than you ever expected.