House training is one of those issues that every Shih Tzu owner must grapple with. In most cases house training is the first major milestone in the relationship between owner and Shih Tzu, and it can sometimes be difficult and confusing for owner and Shih Tzu alike.
The best house training procedures are those that use the Shih Tzu’s own instincts to the owner’s advantage. These strategies take into account the Shih Tzu’s reluctance to soil the spots where he eats and sleeps. This is the concept behind den training and crate training. Dogs are very clean animals, and in nature they always avoid using their dens as toilet areas.
These kinds of natural training methods generally work very well, for both Shih Tzu puppies and older Shih Tzu. Naturally, older, larger dogs will need a larger area for their den, and crate training is generally best used for Shih Tzu puppies and small Shih Tzu.
When house training a Shih Tzu or a Shih Tzu puppy, however, it is important to pay close attention to the signals the Shih Tzu is sending. It is also important to be consistent when it comes to feeding times, and to provide the Shih Tzu with ready access to the toilet area you establish on a regular basis.
It is important as well to never try to rush the process of house training. While some Shih Tzu are naturally easier to train, most Shih Tzu puppies and adult Shih Tzu will experience at least one or two slip ups during the house training process. When these accidents occur, it is important to not get mad and punish the Shih Tzu. Accidents during house training usually mean that the owner is trying to move too fast, or that the Shih Tzu has been left alone for too long. In this case, it is best to just take a step back and start the process again.
It is also important for the owner to reward the Shih Tzu enthusiastically when it does its business in the appointed area. The Shih Tzu should learn to associate doing its business in its toilet area with good things like treats, rewards and praise.
During the house training process, the den area starts out very small, often as small as half of a small room in the beginning. As the Shih Tzu learns to control his bladder and bowels better, and the owner learns to anticipate the Shih Tzu’s toilet needs, the den area can be slowly expanded. It is important not to make the den area too large too soon. The den area must be expanded slowly in order for the house training process to move along smoothly.
It is important for the Shih Tzu to be properly introduced to its den. Many Shih Tzu, particularly those who have never been confined before, such as those who have spent their lives as outdoor dogs, may react to the den area as if it is a prison, and constantly whine, cry and try to escape the den. It is important that the Shih Tzu learn to accept its den as a home and not a cage.
One problem many Shih Tzu owners overlook when house training a Shih Tzu is that of boredom. Boredom is actually the root cause of many behavior problems in Shih Tzu, including chewing and other destructive behaviors. Boredom can also be the root cause of problems with house training. Shih Tzu that are bored often consume large amounts of water during the day, and this excess water consumption can lead to the need to urinate often, even in its den area. Since soiling the den area goes against the Shih Tzu’s nature, he can quickly become confused and frightened, thereby setting the house training program back even further.
To prevent the Shih Tzu from becoming bored when you are away from home, be sure to provide him with lots of different kinds of toys, as well as a safe and secure place to sleep. In addition, a vigorous period of play time can help the Shih Tzu sleep while you are away. In addition, playing with the Shih Tzu in its den area will help him bond with this area and recognize it as a safe, secure home.
Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Sign up at: http://www.stainglassshihtzus.com