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Potty Training Your Puppy

Few things can be as frustrating to a new owner as potty training their puppy.  Patience and consistency are a must.  However, even despite the sincerest efforts, some puppies will be difficult for their new owners to train in this area.  Here are a few tips that you may find helpful as you begin your new challenge. 

I would not suggest giving your Shih-tzu or Shichon puppy complete run of your house until he is completely crate trained.  Keep him crated in an exercise pen unless you are with him and your eyes are not leaving him.  In other words, do not let him run loose just because he is in the same room as you if you are working on something else.  If he 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.

Always feed and water your Shih-tzu or Shichon puppy at the same time every day.  If he eats on a schedule, then he will begin to relieve himself on a schedule also.  Begin by taking him outside every couple hours until he is eliminating consistently and you feel confident with him.  Allow him 5 minutes to eliminate.  If he doesn’t go in 5 minutes, then carry him inside and hold him in your lap for 5 minutes.  Do not set him 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 he does his duty outside.  After he eliminates successfully outside, you may want to reward him with a 15 minute walk or playtime.  If he 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 is a puppy who will be outside for up to half an hour refusing to go.  As soon as he 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 him 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.

If your Shih-tzu or Shichon 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 the puppy a chance to empty his bladder before night.

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


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