The Shih Tzu is an affectionate dog with a lovable personality. They are sweet-natured and arrogant, with proud bearings. They love to play outdoors and need lots of comfort, attention, and cuddling. They are polite towards strangers, and are also amiable towards other pets. Shih Tzus are a bit stubborn and have their own likes and dislikes. They have an independent attitude and grooming requires frequent brushing and combing. Apart from some health problems that may arise due to their small face, owners often face a bit of trouble when housebreaking a Shih Tzu. This is mostly due to their stubborn nature, and if you do not follow some strict rules, you are in for a lot of problems. You can overcome this moderately challenging process by following the housebreaking steps mentioned here regularly and consistently.
Housebreaking a Shih Tzu needs to be consistent and should begin once the puppy is about 10 weeks or older. You will need to muster up enough perseverance, patience, commitment, and time for this task. You need to be loving and affectionate while doing so. Shih Tzus have a lot of energy and a short attention span, thus, making training difficult. They are known to do what they please, and if they are allowed to do so, you will have problems in the process.
The first step in the training involves taking your puppy outside every 2 hours to do his job at the same place. You should praise the dog a lot, as it learns a lot better through praise, rather than punishment. It is very important that you follow the 2-hour routine consistently.
Whenever your dog starts to urinate or defecate, say the word 'potty' loud and clear. You need to associate the word potty with the action. This will help you speed up the process as the dog gets older. You will find, soon enough, that the dog will run outdoors to do his job when you say 'potty'.
You need to praise the dog not only with words but also with touch. You should use a kind and loving tone, and hug the dog a lot. Shih Tzus love the extra affection that they get from their owners.
You should always watch out for signs that show the dog needs to relieve himself. Whenever it starts circling and sniffing an area, you need to immediately take it outdoors to the regular spot. An observant owner will help reduce the number of accidents indoors. Also, if you catch the dog in the act, shout the word 'NO', and take the dog outside. If it has already had an accident, there is no need to shout and lecture the dog. He won't understand why you are upset. It may even make the dog more stubborn, and continue to mess up indoors.
You need to continue housebreaking a Shih Tzu for about 6 weeks, without any gaps. If your dog goes without having an accident for about 4 weeks, it means you have been successful in housebreaking. You should slowly cut down on your visits outdoors. You will find that when the dog needs to go, he will be standing at the door whimpering.
If you are not able to take your Shih Tzu outdoors every two hours, you need to confine the dog in one area with baby fences or in a room or bathroom. Cover the floor with newspaper or absorbent material. As the puppy begins to develop a preferred spot, concentrate the paper in that area. Make sure you encourage the puppy to do his job on concrete, blacktop, dirt, or grass. Do not allow him to go about with his business on any hardwood flooring, tile or carpet that he may see around the house. Crate training is also a good idea, as it will avoid messing up in its sleeping area. Punishments and reprimanding the dog is of no use, and will only confuse the animal further.
You should develop a routine for feeding time, play time, and potty time. This will train the dog to have better self-control and bowel control. With a little patience, affection, and a lot of care, you will successful in your quest.