Training Methods For Teaching Your Shih Tzu Potty & Eliminate Excessive Barking
Training your Shih Tzu puppy to go potty can be a frustrating experience, however, the process can be easily done with time, patience and a few different methods.
During the early stages of having a Shih Tzu puppy, you may notice they also start to develop a barking habit, luckily this can also be rectified with some training methods.
To train you Shih Tzu puppy to go potty you simply need to follow either the bell, spot, or crate method, and for training your pup not to bark, this can be achieved by exercising, ignoring, the speak method or muzzle method.
We have gone into more details about how these methods work below so as you can train your pup quick and effectively to go potty and stop barking.
The Best Methods To Train Your Shih Tzu To Go Potty
Training your Shih Tzu pup to go potty can be an easy and rewarding experience for your dog. These pups naturally know to separate there potty from where they live anyway, just some guidance will show them where to do it and avoid any unwanted accidents.
We have listed out a few of the best methods below to start with when potty training your Shih Tzu.
Find The Right Spot
First of all, the best way to potty train your pup is by finding the right location, whether this is inside or out, make sure there is an area of your garden which is dedicated for your dogs potty training.
Every time your dog then needs to pee, take him to this spot and use a command such as 'go pee', so as he can associate this spot with the potty, wait patiently till your Shih Tzu pees then reward him with a treat.
Make sure to do this regularly so as your pup can avoid having any accidents and take them to this spot when they wake up from sleep or after eating a meal.
Be consistent and reward your Shih Tzu every time he pees on the spot and don't scold them when they have an accident, just look for the signs of when your dog needs to pee so as you know next time.
Crate Training Potty Method
If you have decided to crate train your pup for sleeping at night or when you are at work then you will want to ensure they don't have any accidents inside there crate and know where/when to go potty.
For every hour your Shih Tzu is in its crate its best to take it out and give the dog a chance to pee, this time can gradually be increased as they get older too.
When your puppy goes potty outside after being taken out you should reward him with a treat so as the dog can know its good behaviour.
Be extra careful with your pup when you take him out the crate inside to play so that he doesn't have any accidents, always take the pup out and give him a chance to go potty first before any playing or after meals.
Try a Bell
Believe it or not, you can train your Shih Tzu to ring a bell when they need to go potty.
First of all, you will need to introduce the bell to your dog, let them get used to its sound and place it in an accessible spot near the exit of your house.
Teach your pup to ring the bell via positive reinforcement, every time he rings it, you then give him a treat, you can teach your dog to ring the bell by placing the treat near the bell as this will make a sound.
Repeat this step with a command such as 'bell' so as your pup can know to ring the bell on command, practise until you can do this without a treat, then starting opening the door to let your dog out every time he rings the bell.
You can get your puppy to ring the bell after meals and waking up too so as they can know when they need to go potty, they ring the bell first.
Tips For Potty Training Your Shih Tzu Puppy
Now we have gone over the basic methods for potty training your puppy, you might be wondering if there are any do's or don'ts of potty training and how you can help your dog learn faster.
We have put together some great tips to help you with potty training your dog below.
- Give them a chance to go out often - If your dog is under 3 months old you should be taking it outside as much as you can every hour or so.
- Don't use pee pads as a potty replacement - Pee pads are great to help pups have an emergency area to pee or poo on inside when they get stuck, however, they should not become a replacement for going potty outside, only use these pads to supplement your dog's training rather than become dependent on them.
- Never punish your dog for accidents - Punishment for your dog having an accident inside will only confuse them and make them scared of you, instead try to get your dog outside quicker next time.
- Keep them on a feeding schedule - A feeding schedule will help regulate your pups bowel movements so as you know when to take them out each day.
- Use positive reinforcement - Every time your Shih Tzu goes outside for potty you should make the whole act a positive experience, by playing with him after or giving the dog a treat, this reinforcement is what will make the behaviour stick.
- Watch when your puppy needs to go out - Over time, you will learn to see the signs of when your puppy needs to go out, this could be running in circles or waiting by the door, by observing these signs and taking your dog out for potty you can help avoid accidents inside the house.
Why Is My Shih Tzu Barking Excessively?
Your puppy is probably barking excessively due to the fact they either feel; too excited, threatened or find something interesting/unusual.
You can never stop a puppy from barking completely, but instead, you should try and teach them when its okay to bark and when it's not, barking is not usually the problem in dogs, but excessive barking is.
The Best Methods To Stop Your Shih Tzu Puppy Barking
Now we have covered tips and methods for potty training your Shih Tzu, you may wonder how to stop them yapping and barking.
Well, lucky for you, we have got some top training methods below to help stop your dog barking.
The muzzle method is only effective for your dog if you stick with it.
You first want to make your dog bark via a trigger such as knocking on the wall, then when your dog barks, gently hold the muzzle and say 'no'.
When your dog is quiet and does not go back to barking after you release the muzzle, you can then reward them and eventually use the command without a muzzle once they make the connection.
Do the 'Speak' Command
The speak command is highly effective in Shih Tzu's and worth a try if you want to stop them barking.
To start this method, trigger your dog to bark like in the muzzle method and say 'speak' when they bark.
After doing this, try holding a treat in front of your dog's nose and saying the same command 'speak', if they recognise this command and bark then give them the treat.
Now your Shih Tzu can bark on command, you can teach them to stop barking by saying 'quiet' and when they stop barking you can then reward them again.
Keep repeating these commands till you can eventually stop your dog from barking with your 'quiet' command.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shih Tzu Potty Training & Barking
Should I yell at my Shih Tzu when it barks?
No, yelling at your dog does not work when they are barking and may only excite them and make them bark more, always remain calm and use commands to quiet your puppy instead.
How long will it take for a Shih Tzu to learn potty training?
This depends on your dog, some puppies can learn potty training from 3-6 weeks and others could even take up to 6 months.
Is potty training a Shih Tzu hard?
No, as long as you have consistency, patience and use positive reinforcement your puppy should learn potty training very quickly, no faster or slower than other dog breeds.
How often does a Shih Tzu need to be let outside as a puppy?
This depends on their age but as a young pup, every hour or so is great, then as they get older you can expect them to hold there bladder for longer periods, for example, three months will be three hours.
Will exercise help my puppy stop barking?
If your puppy's barking is coming from boredom then yes, more interaction and exercise can help burn off some of there excess energy and make them less of a troublemaker!
Overall, Shih Tzu puppies can be trained pretty well to potty train and stop barking as long as you are consistent and use positive reinforcement to help them learn and repeat there new learnt behaviours.