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Potty Training
Your Shih-tzu
Few things can be as frustrating to a
new owner as potty training your
shihtzu puppy during the first few
weeks.  Patience and consistency are
a must.  Here are a few tips that you
may find helpful as you begin your
new challenge.
The method of crate training your shihtzu puppy is the most successful method to
get the job done thoroughly and quickly.  This means that you will keep your
shihtzu puppy crated in an small wire crate or pet taxi unless you are playing with
him and your eyes are not leaving him.  In other words, do not let your shihtzu
puppy run loose just because he is in the same room as you, while you are working
on something else.  If your shihtzu puppy should go to the bathroom in the corner
while you are not looking, he may begin to think that is the spot he should continue
to go to the bathroom in.

Begin by taking your shihtzu puppy out every hour through the same door to the
same spot in the yard each time.  If you plan to litter box train your shihtzu puppy
or paper train your shihtzu puppy, then you would take them to the litter or paper
every hour.  Shihtzu puppies have an instinct to keep their sleeping area (or
bedroom) clean.  They will try to hold it as long as they can until they can relieve
themselves somewhere else.  By instinct, your crate will be helping to minimize the
accidents while
potty training your shihtzu puppy through the first few weeks.

There are specific times that your shihtzu puppy should be taken out in order to
prevent accidents.  Take your puppy out first thing in the morning, after each
meal, after each play time, each time he comes out of his crate and before retiring
for the night.  Sniffing and circling would be signs that your shihtzu puppy may
need to go out.

Always feed and water your shihtzu puppy at the same time every day.  If he eats
on a schedule, then he will begin to relieve himself on a schedule also.   Allow him 5
minutes to eliminate.  If your shihtzu puppy doesn't go in 5 minutes, then carry
him inside and hold him in your lap for 5 minutes.  Do not set your shihtzu puppy
down.  This would give him a perfect opportunity to have an accident on your
floor.  After the 5 minutes on your lap is over, take him outside again for 5 minutes.  
Continue to repeat this until your shihtzu puppy does his duty outside.  After he
eliminates successfully outside, you may want to reward him with a 15 minute
walk or playtime.  If your shihtzu puppy consistently is not ready to eliminate for
15-20 minutes after eating, you may want to wait about 10-15 minutes after he eats
to begin the “taking outside” process.

One of the most common frustrations that I hear, while
crate training your shihtzu
puppy, is a puppy who will be outside for up to a half an hour refusing to go.  As
soon as the shihtzu puppy enters the house, he will mess.  By only letting him out
at 5 minute intervals, he will learn to be a prompt eliminator.  By not letting your
shihtzu puppy down on your floor until after he has eliminated outside, you are
ensuring that he doesn’t get into the habit of eliminating in the house.

I've also found that it helps to use an exercise pen outside for your shihtzu puppy
to eliminate in.  By placing the puppy in an exercise pen it confines him so that he
is not distracted by everything outside.  If your shihtzu puppy becomes distracted,
he will forget what he is outside for.  Once he is back in the house, he will
remember, and he'll have an accident.

If your shihtzu puppy has trouble with wetting in his bed through the night, you
may want to offer him water 2-3 hours before bedtime and no more.  This would
give your shihtzu puppy a chance to empty his bladder before bedtime.

When your shihtzu puppy has an accident, don’t reprimand him.  This will only
teach your shihtzu puppy to not eliminate when you can see him inside or outside.  
Rather reward and praise him for successful elimination.  Your shihtzu puppy will
quickly learn how to please you.

So whether you are paper training your shihtzu puppy, litter box training your
shihtzu puppy, or crate training your shihtzu puppy, these are some helpful tips
that will hopefully help potty training your shihtzu puppy go much more quickly
and smoothly.