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How Long Does It Take to Potty Train a Shih Tzu? Expert Housetraining Tips (2024)

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how long does it take to potty train a shih tzuPotty training a Shih Tzu can take 2-4 months with consistent, positive reinforcement-based methods. Start indoor training at 8 weeks old, rewarding your pup for going in designated areas.

Shih Tzus are known for stubbornness and slow learning, so be patient. Stick to a routine, use crate training, and avoid punishment. With time and persistence, your Shih Tzu will get the hang of it.

Keep reading to uncover more expert tips for housetraining your furry friend successfully.

Key Takeaways

  • Potty training a Shih Tzu can take 2-4 months with consistent, positive reinforcement-based methods.
  • Choose appropriate training methods, such as indoor training with designated bathroom areas and outdoor training in a specific area.
  • Positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, is essential for promoting desirable behavior during potty training.
  • Patience and consistency are key during training, as well as maintaining a routine and avoiding punishment.

How Long Does It Take to Potty Train a Shih Tzu?

It typically takes around 1 to 3 months to potty train a Shih Tzu puppy, depending on the individual dog and the consistency of training.

Choose Appropriate Training Methods

Choose Appropriate Training Methods
Selecting the appropriate training methods is essential when potty training your Shih Tzu. Consistency in implementing the chosen techniques, employing positive reinforcement, and maintaining patience and perseverance are fundamental elements that will guarantee successful housetraining.

Discussion Point(s)

To effectively potty train your Shih Tzu, it’s vital to select the appropriate training methods.

Indoor training options encompass pee pads, synthetic turf mats, and assigned bathroom areas.

Outdoor training aligns with your Shih Tzu’s innate instincts and can be conducted in a specific area you designate.

Crate training can also be advantageous, but refrain from using it as a disciplinary measure.

Positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, is essential for promoting desirable behavior.

Exercise patience and consistency during training, and don’t hesitate to seek expert assistance if necessary.

Consistency in Training

Consistency is essential in housebreaking your Shih Tzu.

Select suitable training methods that align with your dog’s requirements and preferences. For instance, if you’re utilizing a tethering system, make certain it’s secure and comfortable for your dog. If you’re using cue words, ensure they’re clear and consistent.

Utilize a quality enzyme cleaner to effectively clean up accidents, eliminating any scent that may confuse your dog.

Both indoor and outdoor training offer advantages, so consider both options.

For indoor training, consider using pee pads, artificial grass mats, or designated bathroom areas. Transfer scent to these areas after missed opportunities.

Outdoor training is recommended to align with canine instincts, but make certain you designate a specific outdoor area for training and utilize a defined indoor area for unsupervised puppies.

Positive Reinforcement

Essential reinforcement is a vital aspect of potty training your Shih Tzu. Use treat rewards, verbal praise, and clicker training to motivate your puppy. Establish potty breaks as a routine and be consistent with your training methods. Remember, patience and persistence are key.

Patience and Persistence

Patience and perseverance are essential when potty training your Shih Tzu. Here’s how to make it work:

  • Consistency: Establish a routine and stick to it.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward good behavior with treats and praise.
  • Patience: Be patient and don’t rush the process.
  • Persistence: Keep trying and don’t give up, even if it takes time.

Start Training Early

Start Training Early

Starting potty training early is essential for a Shih Tzu’s success.

Puppies can begin training at 8 weeks old, and training methods are similar for adults.

Be patient and consistent, as housebreaking can take 2-4 months.

Indoor training options include pee pads, artificial grass mats, and designated bathroom areas.

Outdoor training aligns with canine instincts and involves a specific area and transferring scent to designated areas.

Remember to vaccinate your puppy before going outside.

Socialization is also important for a well-rounded dog training experience.

With an online dog training course, you can learn the basics and start your Shih Tzu’s potty training journey right away.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Use Positive Reinforcement

Use positive reinforcement to motivate your Shih Tzu during potty training.

This means rewarding your dog with treats, verbal praise, or other rewards when they successfully eliminate outside.

Be patient and consistent with your training methods, as it may take time for your Shih Tzu to fully understand and follow the rules.

Consider using crate training or outdoor training methods to help your dog associate a specific area with elimination.

Be Patient and Consistent

Be Patient and Consistent

Moving from providing treats and praise, recall that patience and consistency are your best friends in potty training your Shih Tzu.

Like a gardener nurturing seedlings, you’ll need to foster your pup’s habits with unwavering dedication.

Crate training can be a cozy sanctuary for your furry companion, reinforcing those potty principles.

Maintain your expectations realistic; Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a perfectly potty-trained pooch.

Remain steadfast, and you’ll both reap the rewards of a well-trained companion.

Socialize Your Shih Tzu

Socialize Your Shih Tzu

To guarantee your Shih Tzu’s successful potty training, socialization plays a vital role**.

Begin socialization early, ideally between 8 and 12 weeks, to help your pup become at ease in various environments.

This includes exposing them to different people, animals, and situations.

Early socialization benefits include reduced fearfulness, better behavior, and easier training.

Set Realistic Expectations

Set Realistic Expectations
Set Practical Expectations for Housetraining Your Shih Tzu

Housetraining your Shih Tzu can be a demanding undertaking, particularly in terms of establishing realistic expectations. Here are four crucial points to guide you through this process:

  1. Recognize the breed: Shih Tzus are renowned for their obstinacy and gradual learning, which can render housetraining more arduous.
  2. Account for particular traits: Shih Tzus possess diminutive bladders and bowel muscles, necessitating frequent bathroom breaks.
  3. Opt for suitable methods: Indoor training techniques, like using pee pads or synthetic grass mats, can prove effective for Shih Tzus.
  4. Age is a factor: Housetraining can span 2-4 months, and it’s imperative to commence promptly, ideally when your Shih Tzu is 8 weeks old.

Avoid Punishment-based Training

Avoid Punishment-based Training
When potty training your Shih Tzu, avoid punishment-based methods.

These techniques, including shouting, hitting, or withholding affection, can have negative consequences for your dog.

They might induce fear, resentment, and even exacerbate behavior in the long term.

Instead, emphasize positive reinforcement.

Your dog should be rewarded for the desired behaviors, such as eliminating outside.

This approach is more effective, safer, and reinforces the bond between you and your dog.

Teach Basic Commands

Teach Basic Commands

Teaching basic commands is an essential part of housebreaking your Shih Tzu. Commands like sit, stay, come, leave it, down, and heel will help your Shih Tzu understand what’s expected of them in various situations. To teach these commands, use verbal cues, hand gestures, and potty words, and establish a reward system using treats and praise.

When it comes to crate training, it’s important to remember that pee pads shouldn’t be placed in the crate, as this can confuse your Shih Tzu and make it difficult for them to understand where they should go to relieve themselves. Instead, take your Shih Tzu outside to potty after removing them from the crate, and use commands or phrases to indicate potty time. Reward your Shih Tzu for successful pottying outside with treats and praise.

Remember to be patient and consistent with your training, as it takes time for your Shih Tzu to learn and understand the commands. With patience and persistence, your Shih Tzu will become a well-trained and obedient companion.

Use a Crate for Training

Use a Crate for Training

Crate training is an effective method for potty training your Shih Tzu. Choose a crate size that guarantees comfort for your pet, and provide toys, bedding, and water. Keep the crate accessible during the day and use it for potty training.

Avoid using the crate as a form of punishment. Establish a crate schedule that matches your pet’s needs, considering their age and feeding times.

Remember to clean up accidents thoroughly to remove the scent and maintain a positive training environment.

Monitor Your Shih Tzu’s Behavior

Monitor Your Shih Tzu
Observing your Shih Tzu’s behavior is essential for successful potty training. Here are three key points to remember:

  1. Watch for Potty Signals: Shih Tzus often communicate when they need to go, such as sniffing, circling, or squatting. Be alert to these signs and take your dog outside promptly to prevent accidents.
  2. Frequent Trips: Young Shih Tzus may need to go outside every hour or two, gradually increasing the time between potty breaks as they mature.
  3. Designated Area: Establish a specific place for your Shih Tzu to eliminate, whether indoors or outdoors, and maintain consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best age to start potty training a Shih Tzu?

The best age to start potty training your Shih Tzu is around 8-12 weeks old. This is when they’re most receptive to learning and forming good habits. Be patient, consistent, and use positive reinforcement for the best results.

How often should a Shih Tzu puppy be taken outside for potty breaks?

As a Shih Tzu pup, you’ll need to go out every 1-2 hours initially. Be patient – consistency is key, and with time and positive reinforcement, your pup will be an ace at potty training in no time!

What are some effective strategies for potty training a Shih Tzu with a stubborn streak?

Potty training a stubborn Shih Tzu requires persistence and creativity. Try a combination of crate training, reward-based methods, and consistent routines. Stay patient – with the right approach, you’ll have your pup house-trained in no time!

How can I use positive reinforcement to encourage my Shih Tzu to go potty outside?

Consistently rewarding your Shih Tzu with treats and praise when they eliminate outdoors will reinforce the behavior and encourage them to potty in the designated area. Stay patient and celebrate their successes!

What are some common mistakes to avoid during the potty training process for a Shih Tzu?

Don’t scold or punish your Shih Tzu for accidents – that’ll only make them afraid to go in front of you. Stay patient, use positive reinforcement, and celebrate their successes to guarantee a stress-free potty training journey.


Mastering the art of potty training your Shih Tzu takes time, but the payoff is a well-behaved, house-trained pup. By embracing a consistent routine and employing positive reinforcement, you’ll witness your furry companion’s transformation.

Exercise unwavering patience, as the journey may be lengthy. However, the rewards of a fully house-trained Shih Tzu make it all worthwhile.

Stick to the plan, and in 2-4 months, you’ll have a potty-trained Shih Tzu for the long haul.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.