Shih Tzu Potty Training [Complete Guide]

Shih Tzu potty training is easy but usually takes longer. In this case, schedule training is the best and most effective housetraining method.

Even more importantly than how often you take your shih tzu is that you take her at the same time every day. This is the heart of schedule training, so make your schedule in whatever way works for you and your shih tzu, and then stick to it like glue.

So, In this guide you will learn how to potty train a Shih Tzu puppy or an older one.

How to Potty Train a Shih Tzu

Image Credit: FB/Krista Moore

During shih tzu potty training consistency is the key. Here is how to potty train your shih tzu.

  • Take your shih tzu to her potty spot as soon as she wakes up in the morning. Is your shih tzu an early riser? If so, take her to her pee spot, and then go back to bed — she’ll probably be glad to join you.
  • Take her to her potty spot again about 15 minutes after she’s eaten her first meal, snack, or treat of the day. If she doesn’t eat in the morning, take her about three hours after her first potty break.
  • Go again midmorning, around the time when most people would have a coffee or bathroom break.
  • Take her to the spot about 15 minutes after any midday meal, snack, or treat.
  • Take her to potty in the mid-afternoon, after she’s had a nap.
  • Head for a potty break 15 minutes after she’s eaten dinner.
  • Take her after any particularly frisky play or training sessions.
  • Make one last trip to the potty spot just before bed.
  • If your shih tzu is still a puppy, plan to wake up once or twice during the night when she wakes up and starts stirring and whining.

Shih Tzu Paper or Litter Box Training

Shih Tzu Paper Training

If you decide that your Shih Tzu’s potty spot should be indoors rather than out, you can paper or litter box train him pretty easily.

People paper or litter box train their shih tzus easily without using a crate, but you can still use the crate. If you’re paper or litter box training your Shih Tzu, especially in the beginning when you’re still teaching her where to go.

Let her rest in the crate when you aren’t watching her, and then take her out and straight to her paper or litter box, on a leash, for her to “go.”

Some people have great success litter box training their Shih Tzu.

Litter box training is especially useful if you live in high-rise apartments or condominiums and can’t quickly get outside or if you’re housebound.

Litter boxes make clean-up easy, and although you can use a litter box made for a cat, some companies also make litter boxes for dogs. However, you don’t use the same litter as you would use for a cat.

You can buy special dog litter that’s designed to absorb odor and wetness (like kitty litter), or you can also just line the litter box with newspaper.

If your Shih Tzu has a long coat, newspaper works better than litter because the litter can get caught in the hair. You may end up spending extra grooming time just combing out the litter!

The following Shih Tzu potty training tips can help you with paper or litter training:

  • Use pre-scented puppy pee pads because dogs tend to pee where they smell pee.
  • If your dog has a favorite pee spot, move the paper to that spot. If the spot isn’t a good place, wait until your dog pees there reliably on the paper, then move the paper, one or two feet each day, to the place you want your dog to go. He should follow the potty spot.
  • Always clean up any pee and poop in the house immediately and thoroughly. You don’t want you dog to smell her previous accident and continue to use the wrong spot.
  • Never forget to praise your dog for going in the right spot, every time. Good pup!
IRIS Jumbo Hooded Litter Box with Scoop
  • Flap entry door keeps litter and spray contained as well as odor
  • Handle and secure buckles on the lid for easy portability
  • Quick access lift top allows for quick and easy cleaning
  • Keep the scoop hidden and stored away with the scoop clip feature.
  • Inside Dimensions- 15.25 x 14.0 x 15.5 Inches

Shih Tzu Potty Training Problems

image credite: FB/Margo Holder

Mostly Shih Tzu potty training problems occurs when you don’t know the right way of potty training a shih tzu. In this case most trainers suggests schedule training method. Another problem is people forget or ignore to take Shih Tzu out for a potty break.

When Shih Tzu need potty break?

If you are feeding your shih tzu 3 times a day, you will need to take your shih tzu out 15 to 30 minutes after the meal.

Shih Tzus need potty break:

  • Right after their first wake up
  • After Eating
  • After vigorous exercise and play time
  • After a nap
  • Before bed

If you aren’t available for all these potty breaks, find someone else who can be (another family member, a pet sitter, a dog walker, or a friend).

Shih Tzu potty Training Tips

Here are extreme helpful Shih Tzu potty training tips. While shih tzu potty training you need to keeps few things in your mind.

Your level of consistency is up to you. As long as you realize that housetraining takes longer when you mess up, and that housetraining mistakes are usually your mistakes, you won’t feel so compelled to yell at your shih tzu because you forgot to take her out or didn’t notice that she was circling and sniffing or staring mournfully at the back door (see “Watching for warning signs”). You’re in charge, so be a good manager.

The more consistent you are, the faster your shih tzu will be housetrained, and you’ll completely forget how much time it took.

Shih Tzu potty Training Schedule

Usually Shih Tzu and other small breeds need to go for bath every 3 to 4 hours at night. Adult or older shih tzus need to potty at other predictable times (mentioned above). So, you will need to set up a schedule if you haven’t potty train your shih tzu yet.

Shih Tzu Litter Stain and Odor Additive: Buy Now

Potty Training Senior Shih Tzu

Adopting an older Shih Tzu comes with many joys, one of which is that older dogs are usually potty trained.

However, sometimes a rescued Shih Tzu never really grasped house training because no one ever communicated the concept correctly.

In other cases, a formerly house trained Shih Tzu has endured so much stress from losing his home and family that his house training may have lapsed, or he may not be sure what the new rules are in this new situation with you.

The best way to potty train an older Shih Tzu is to do exactly the same thing you would to potty train a shih tzu puppy. When you bring a Shih Tzu into a new home, start a new potty training schedule right away. Your dog will more readily accept any new routines you set up.

Senior Shih Tzu Potty Training Problems

Image credit: FB/Charlene Tash

Shih Tzu Potty Training problems are more likely to arise when you bring home an older Shih Tzu and wait to start the routine, hoping to let him get settled.

He wants to know what’s what right off the bat, so don’t delay.

If your older Shih Tzu has trouble understanding, just proceed with potty training as if he was a puppy. You can teach an old shih potty training, but remember to be patient, consistent, and gentle.

Watching For Shih Tzu Potty Warning Signs

Shih Tzus don’t usually let their bladders fly all over your carpet; they give signs beforehand. You just need to know how to read them.

So even when it isn’t time for that scheduled pit stop (everyone needs to go to the bathroom out of their normal schedule once in a while), you must keep an eye on your Shih Tzu, especially in their early days.

Doing so is especially important when you’re the first potty training your shih tzu, no matter what her age. After you figure out her cues, you can pick up on them much more quickly.

Look for these signs that indicate Shih Tzu may need to go potty:

  •  Sniffing and circling: Many dogs sniff the ground and walk in small circles before they actually go.
  •  Dancing around: No, your Shih Tzu doesn’t don a little skirt and start doing the cha-cha or hop from one foot to the other whimpering. Rather, dogs generally flit around and squirm and go to the door and then come back to see if you’ve noticed yet.
  • Whining: If you had to go to the bathroom and you couldn’t open the bathroom door and nobody was helping you, and no one was paying attention to let you go, you’d whine and whimper too. The whine may not be obvious, but if you hear some noises coming from your Shih Tzu, check it out.
  •  Starring: Some dogs just stare at you. After you figure out the stare, you’ll know in a flash that your Shih Tzu needs to go out.
  •  Standing by the door: Many dogs stand at attention at the door when they need to go out. They don’t make any noise, so if you haven’t seen your dog in a while, go check by the door.

If you see any of the preceding signs, immediately whisk your pup to the appropriate spot. When your shih tzu starts to squat or lift a leg, the event is imminent! After he goes in the right spot, praise him.

Catching your Shih Tzu in the Act

If you catch your dog in a piddle, how you respond can make all the difference. If you see your Shih Tzu doing her business, follow these steps:

  • Clap your hands once or say, “No.” Don’t shout. You just want to get the dog’s attention. You don’t want to scold or give a lecture; you just want to remind him of the proper spot.
  • Pick him up and take him to the designated bathroom area. When he goes, praise him.
  • Make sure to thoroughly clean the mess up off the floor. Old stains can lead to new accidents. Check out “Cleaning Up after Your Shih Tzu” later in this chapter for ways to clean properly.

When your Shih Tzu forgets his Potty training, you feel frustrated, but don’t take it out on your dog. He isn’t peeing and pooping in the house to get back at you (even if it seems like that).

Your Shih Tzu really is having a problem, and even if you don’t know exactly what the problem is, your Shih Tzu needs your help, your gentle reminders, and your leadership – not your wrath.

Why Your Shih Tzu Had an Accident?

Image Credit: FB/Shawn Bragg Hughes

Sometimes, a perfectly housetrained Shih Tzu suddenly begins having accidents in the house. You may catch little shih tzu taking a piddle right there in your living room for no apparent reason.

Everybody makes mistakes, but if your Shih Tzu seems to forget his training and starts having accidents in the house every day for more than a few days, see your vet first. Your dog may have a medical problem, such as a kidney infection or diabetes.

If your vet rules out a medical problem, consider these other reasons why your Shih Tzu’s house-training has seemingly disappeared:

  • Your Shih Tzu is stressed. Changes in routine can stress your dog. The birth of a child, a divorce, a death in the family, a new home or job, and even the furniture rearranged can stress dogs, causing a housetraining setback (the same as with small children and potty training). Shih Tzu tend to take on the household’s personality, so look at what’s going on at home.
  • You’re stressed. Think about how things are going in the family. Are you particularly stressed out about work? Are certain family members depressed or arguing a lot? Shih Tzu tune in to people in their family. If someone is stressed, your Shih Tzu is probably stressing, too. The best way to address this problem is to spend quiet, together-time with your Shih Tzu, and also make sure you’re keeping a regular schedule of meals and potty breaks. Remember, routines reassure dogs and help alleviate stress. Also, take measure to reduce your stress. (Routines and clearing your schedule can help you — so can petting a Shih Tzu!)
  • You weren’t paying attention. Did you miss the signs that your dog had to go, or were you too busy sitting at the computer that you forgot to let her out? Check for warning signs (see “Watch for shih tzu accident warning signs” ). You may have been really busy lately, and the problem is your neglect.
  • Your Shih Tzu smelled the scent of an accident. One accident can lead to more, especially if you don’t see it and never clean it up. Always clean any housetraining errors thoroughly with an enzyme cleaner that removes the odor. When a dog smells a previous pee spot, she’s more likely to pee there again.
  • Your shih tzu has a behavior problem. Sometimes dogs develop behavior problems like anxiety that need professional help. House-training problems related to behavior happen often in rescued dogs who may have endured abuse or neglect in the past. Consult an animal behaviorist for an evaluation if you can’t resolve your shih tzu’s potty training issues.

Whether the problem is physical or emotional, you obviously need to do something about it. No matter how old your Shih Tzu is, you can start back at square one, cheerfully and calmly, house-training as if your Shih Tzu has never had training lessons before.

Cleaning up Shih Tzu Accidents

Cleaning Shih Tzu Accidents

Accidents happen. Sometimes, you forget to take the Shih Tzu outside. Sometimes you just can’t bear to get up in the morning when your Shih Tzu does.

Or you got delayed coming home and your Shih Tzu left you a little present on your rug. Lucky for you, your Shih Tzu is tiny and leaves tiny messes. Not to worry.

Here is how to clean up Shih Tzu accidents and remove the mess and odor and which cleaning products to use.

When your Shih Tzu has an accident, you must clean it thoroughly so no lingering odor remains, which would signal to your shih tzu that this spot is okay for future bathroom use.

To do so, you need a product that removes the scent completely. Many odor-removing products exist; some are more effective than others, so you may have to experiment to find one that works.

For messes on hard surfaces like tile, wipe and spray with a deodorizing cleaner.

For messes on wood, you can buy special products that penetrate the grain.

For messes on carpet or fabric, get a product that penetrates down through all the layers. Look for a product that removes both the odor and the stain.

Nature's Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator
  • FOR SEVERE DOG MESSES: Powerful enzymatic formula works to eliminate tough stains and odors from dog urine, diarrhea, vomit and other bio-based accidents.
  • LIGHT FRESH SCENT: Dog odor control formula gets your home smelling clean again.
  • ENZYMATIC FORMULA: Continues working as long as any bio-based mess is still present.
  • DISCOURAGES RESOILING: Removes the odor from even the toughest dog messes.
  • TRUSTED BRAND: From the maker of Nature’s Miracle products, the pet stain and odor removing brand you trust because it works.
  • SAFE FOR PETS AND HOME: When used and stored as directed, this formula can be used around your pets.
  • Ingredients : Water, Surfactants, Isopropyl Alcohol, Enzymatic Blend, Fresh Fragrance, Preservative, Odor Counteractant

Frequently Asked Questions About Shih Tzu Potty Training

Are Shih Tzus Hard to Potty Train?

No, shih tzus are not difficult to potty train. They are highly intelligent dogs and can be easily trained to go potty in the appropriate place. However, like all dogs, they do require patience and consistency from their owners.

How long does it take to potty train a Shih Tzu?

It typically takes around 3-5 months to potty train a shih tzu. However, this process can vary depending on the individual dog and their level of obedience. Some may learn quicker than others, while some may take a bit longer. The key is to be patient and consistent with the training.

How often should you take a Shih Tzu to potty?

A Shih Tzu should be taken to potty every 3-4 hours, or as needed. They may need to go more frequently if they are puppies, have diarrhea, or are drinking a lot of water.

See: “Shih Tzu Training” for more guides and tips.

Spread Love:
Scroll to Top