How To Potty Train A Shih Tzu Puppy: Tactics That WORK

Congratulations on your new furry addition! Potty training your Shih Tzu puppy may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a breeze.

If you take a proactive approach and be consistent, you can have your puppy house trained in no time.

Setting up successful potty breaks is the key to effective house training. This involves establishing a routine that works for both you and your puppy. You’ll need to take your puppy out frequently, especially after meals, naps, and playtime.

The more opportunities you give your puppy to go outside, the more likely they’ll be to do their business outside. It’s important to reward your puppy for going potty outside, so make sure to have some treats on hand.

With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can have your Shih Tzu puppy fully potty trained in just a few weeks.

Supplies You Will Need

Here is a small list of supplies that you should have when preparing to potty train your Shih Tzu puppy:

How to Potty Train a Shih Tzu Puppy

There are several ways to potty train your shih tzu puppy, including:


Keep your little Shih Tzu puppy by your side at all times using a leash, so that they’re never too far away from you. This technique is called tethering, and it’s an effective way to keep an eye on your puppy and prevent them from wandering off and having accidents in the house.

Here are some benefits of tethering your Shih Tzu puppy:

  • You can monitor your puppy’s behavior closely and intervene if they start sniffing around or pacing, which are signs that they need to go potty.
  • Your puppy will learn to associate being near you with positive experiences, such as praise and treats, which will reinforce good behavior.
  • Tethering allows you to establish a routine for taking your puppy outside to potty, which will help them develop a schedule and eventually learn to hold it until it’s time to go out.

While tethering your Shih Tzu puppy, it’s also a good idea to use puppy pads as a backup in case you can’t take them outside in time.

Place the pads in an easily accessible area and encourage your puppy to use them by placing them on the pads when you notice they need to go.

Remember to praise and reward your puppy every time they use the pads correctly.


If you want to limit your Shih Tzu puppy’s access to certain areas of your home, you can confine them to a safe and comfortable space using a crate or baby gate.

Crate training is an effective way to potty train your puppy as it teaches them to hold their bladder and bowel movements until they are taken outside. Choose a crate that is just the right size for your puppy – not too big and not too small.

You can also use a baby gate to confine your puppy to a specific area of your home. Ensure that the space is free of any harmful objects or substances and has enough room for your puppy to move around comfortably.

When your puppy is confined, make sure to provide them with puppy pads to use for potty breaks. Place the puppy pads in a designated area of the confined space, away from their sleeping and eating areas.

When your puppy uses the puppy pad, give them lots of praise and a treat to encourage them to continue using it. Remember to replace the used puppy pads regularly to keep the confined space clean and hygienic.


Crated training is an effective and comfortable way to teach your shih tzu puppy how to control their bladder and bowel movements until it is time for their scheduled potty breaks.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure the crate is big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably.
  2. Keep the crate in a quiet area away from distractions to prevent your pup from becoming anxious or overstimulated.
  3. Use positive reinforcement (1) by rewarding your puppy every time they successfully hold their bladder or bowel movements until it is time for their potty break.
  4. Stick to a consistent schedule for potty breaks and gradually increase the time between them as your puppy becomes more comfortable with holding it in the crate.

Remember, crate training is not a punishment but a helpful tool for potty training your shih tzu puppy.


Taking your furry friend outdoors for regular walks and playtime is an essential part of their overall health and happiness. It’s also an important aspect of potty training your shih tzu puppy.

Puppies have limited bladder control, and taking them outdoors frequently can help them establish a bathroom routine. Start by creating a puppy potty training schedule that includes regular outdoor trips, especially after meals and naps.

It’s important to pay attention to your puppy’s bathroom habits when you take them outside. Look for signs that your puppy needs to go, such as sniffing around or circling a spot.

Once you notice these behaviors, take them outside immediately and wait patiently for them to go potty.

Make sure to praise them and offer a treat when they are successful. With patience and consistency, your shih tzu puppy will soon learn to associate going potty with being outside and establish a healthy bathroom routine.


You’ll need to keep a close eye on your furry friend to make sure they stay out of trouble and don’t get into anything they shouldn’t while they’re exploring their new home.

Potty training a Shih Tzu puppy requires patience and consistency, and supervision is a key aspect of achieving success. Watch your puppy closely and intervene if you see them sniffing around or circling, as this could be a sign that they need to go potty.

Setting Up Successful Potty Breaks

To be successful with potty training, here are some simple steps you can follow:

Take Your Puppy Outside Every 30 Minutes

You won’t regret stepping outside every half hour with your furry friend. Taking your Shih Tzu puppy outside every 30 minutes is crucial for their potty training. This will help them get used to going outside to do their business and prevent accidents inside.

To make these trips successful, here are some tips:

  • Use a consistent command to let your puppy know it’s time to go potty.
  • Take your puppy to the same spot every time.
  • Reward your puppy with praise and treats when they successfully go potty outside.

By taking your Shih Tzu puppy outside every 30 minutes and following these tips, you’ll successfully potty train them. Remember to be patient and consistent, and soon your puppy will be fully trained and accident-free.

Wait 5 Minutes While Watching Your Puppy

One of the most important things you can do when potty training your Shih Tzu is to wait 5 minutes while watching them. This will help them learn that they are supposed to go to the bathroom outside, and it will also help you catch any accidents before they happen.

When you first take your puppy outside, let them sniff around for a few minutes. This will help them find a spot that they like to use the bathroom. Once they have found a spot, stay with them and watch them closely.

If they start to squat or circle, immediately praise them and give them a treat. This will help them associate going to the bathroom outside with positive reinforcement.

If your puppy does not go to the bathroom after 5 minutes, take them back inside and try again later. It is important to be patient and consistent with potty training. With time and effort, your puppy will learn to go to the bathroom outside on command.

Here are some additional tips for potty training your Shih Tzu:

  • Take your puppy outside first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bed. These are the times when they are most likely to need to go to the bathroom.
  • Do not punish your puppy for accidents. This will only make them afraid of you and less likely to want to go to the bathroom in front of you.
  • Clean up any accidents immediately with an enzyme cleaner. This will help remove the odor, which will discourage your puppy from going to the bathroom in that spot again.

Praise or Offer a Treat If Your Puppy Uses the Bathroom

When your furry friend uses the bathroom outside, make sure to give them lots of praise and maybe even a treat to reinforce their good behavior.

Shih Tzu puppies respond well to positive reinforcement, and praising them for using the bathroom in the right place will encourage them to repeat the behavior.

Verbal praise is also important, so make sure to use a happy and enthusiastic tone when praising your puppy. This will let them know that they’re doing something good, and that you’re pleased with their behavior.

To make sure that your puppy understands why they are receiving praise or a treat, it’s important to offer it immediately after they use the bathroom outside. This will help them connect the reward with the desired behavior.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when offering praise or treats during puppy potty training:

  • Use a small, healthy treat that your puppy enjoys. This could be a piece of kibble, a small piece of cheese, or a training treat.
  • Make sure to give the treat or praise immediately after your puppy finishes using the bathroom outside.
  • Use a happy and enthusiastic tone of voice when praising your puppy. This will let them know that you’re pleased with their behavior.
  • Remember that consistency is key. Make sure to offer praise or a treat every time your puppy uses the bathroom outside, until they’re fully potty trained.

Reward With Off-Leash Time

Rewarding your furry friend with off-leash time is another great way to reinforce positive behaviors during their potty training sessions.

After your shih tzu puppy has successfully used the bathroom outside, try giving them some extra playtime without their leash.

This will help them associate going potty outside with having fun and freedom, which will encourage them to continue using the bathroom in the correct place.

Make sure to supervise your puppy during this off-leash time to ensure they don’t get into any trouble or wander off too far. If they start to show signs that they need to use the bathroom again, take them back to their designated spot immediately.

With consistent off-leash rewards, your puppy will quickly learn that using the bathroom outside is the key to more playtime and fun.

Tips To Speed Up House Training Your Shih Tzu

Following these steps will help you speed up the potty training process:

Keep Track of Your Puppies Potty Habits

Monitor your furry friend’s bathroom schedule.  Then you can better understand their needs and establish a routine that works for both you and your new companion.

Shih Tzu puppies have small bladders and will need to go outside frequently, especially after meals and naps. It’s important to keep a puppy potty training schedule that’s consistent and incorporates regular bathroom breaks throughout the day.

To keep track of your puppy’s potty habits, consider keeping a record of when they go outside to use the bathroom and whether or not they were successful. This will help you identify patterns and adjust your routine accordingly.

Also, pay attention to your puppy’s body language, as they may give signals that they need to go outside, such as pacing or sniffing around.

With you being proactive and monitoring your puppy’s bathroom schedule, you can minimize accidents in the house and make the potty training process smoother for both you and your furry friend.

Take Them Potty During the Habitual Times as Well

Make sure to take your furry friend outside during their habitual times, such as right after waking up or after playtime, as this will help establish a routine and prevent accidents in the house.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and a regular schedule will help them understand when it’s time to do their business. It’s like setting your watch to the sun’s movements, you’ll always know when it’s time to go outside.

To help establish a regular schedule for your Shih Tzu puppy, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Take them out first thing in the morning, as soon as they wake up.
  • Take them out after meals, as digestion can stimulate the need to go potty.
  • Take them out after playtime or naps, as they may have built up the need to go.
  • Take them out right before bedtime, so they have an opportunity to relieve themselves before settling in for the night.

Follow a regular puppy potty training schedule. Your Shih Tzu will quickly learn when it’s time to go outside, and you’ll be able to avoid accidents in the house.

Remember to be patient and consistent with your training, and your furry friend will be fully potty trained in no time.

Get Your Puppy on a Feeding Schedule

It’s important to establish a feeding schedule for your furry friend to keep them healthy and happy. When it comes to potty training your shih tzu puppy, having a consistent feeding time can help you predict when your pup needs to go outside.

You can create a puppy potty training schedule based on your puppy’s feeding time and take them out accordingly.

Here’s a sample feeding schedule for your shih tzu puppy:

Time Meal
7 AM Breakfast
12 PM Lunch
5 PM Dinner
8 PM Snack

Remember to adjust the schedule based on your puppy’s age, weight, and activity level. With a consistent feeding schedule, your puppy will have a predictable potty schedule, making it easier for you to anticipate when they need to go outside.

Clean Up Accidents Thoroughly

Cleaning up after accidents is never a pleasant task, but it’s an essential part of the potty training process for your Shih Tzu puppy.

When accidents happen, it’s important to clean up thoroughly to prevent any lingering odors or stains.

Using an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for pet messes can help to break down and eliminate any lingering scent that may attract your puppy to the same spot again.

Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and allow the cleaner to soak into the affected area to fully eliminate any odor.

When cleaning up after accidents, it’s important to use a paper towel or cloth to soak up as much of the mess as possible before applying the enzymatic cleaner.

Avoid using any harsh chemicals or ammonia-based products as these can actually make the odor worse and may encourage your puppy to continue using the same spot.

Consistently cleaning up after accidents and thoroughly sanitizing the area can help to reinforce the potty training process and teach your Shih Tzu puppy where they should be going to the bathroom.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully potty trained your Shih Tzu puppy! It may have taken some time and patience, but your efforts have paid off.

Now, your furry friend knows where to go when nature calls and you can enjoy a cleaner, fresher-smelling home. As you watch your Shih Tzu puppy confidently trotting to their designated potty spot, you can’t help but feel proud.

It’s like watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon, transformed from a clueless, potty-challenged pup into a well-behaved and house-trained dog.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to potty training, and with time, practice, and a lot of positive reinforcement, your Shih Tzu will become a potty pro in no time.

So, pat yourself on the back, give your Shih Tzu a treat, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a successfully potty trained puppy.

As the saying goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but with your dedication and persistence, you’ve certainly taught your Shih Tzu puppy a very important one.

Scroll to Top