Are Shih Tzu Dogs Hard to Potty Train

Potty training a dog can be a challenging task, and when it comes to Shih Tzu dogs, the process may require even more effort and patience. In this article, we will delve into the world of potty training Shih Tzu dogs, exploring their unique breed characteristics and traits that can make this process particularly tricky. Understanding these challenges is crucial for any owner who wants a well-behaved and clean Shih Tzu companion.

Shih Tzus are small dogs known for their adorable appearance and friendly nature. However, beneath that cute facade lies a breed with specific needs and tendencies that can affect their potty training journey. Their small size, delicate build, and sensitive temperament often contribute to the difficulties owners may face in teaching them proper bathroom manners.

Effective potty training for Shih Tzu dogs is of utmost importance. Not only does it prevent accidents in the house, but it also establishes good hygiene habits and helps maintain a clean environment for both the dog and its family. Additionally, proper potty training creates a sense of obedience and discipline in Shih Tzus, ensuring that they understand their role as members of the household hierarchy.

In this article, we will explore the common challenges encountered during the potty training process specifically for Shih Tzu dogs. By understanding these breed-specific difficulties such as stubbornness or aversion to certain environments or surfaces, owners can better tailor their approach to achieve success. We will also discuss key strategies for establishing an effective routine, along with practical tips and techniques that have proven successful with this particular breed.

Stay tuned as we journey through the unique world of potty training your beloved Shih Tzu companion. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement in mind – you’ll soon navigate this challenging but rewarding phase successfully.

The Shih Tzu breed

The Shih Tzu breed is known for its unique characteristics and traits that make them beloved companions. Understanding these qualities can help owners better navigate the potty training process.

  1. Size: Shih Tzus are small dogs, typically weighing between 9 to 16 pounds. Their small size means they have smaller bladders, which can make it more challenging for them to hold their urine for extended periods of time. This makes consistent potty training even more important.
  2. Temperament: Shih Tzus are often described as affectionate, friendly, and outgoing. However, they can also be stubborn and independent at times. This combination of traits can impact their willingness to follow instructions during potty training. It’s important to approach training with patience and consistency.
  3. Coat: Shih Tzus have long, dense, and luxurious coats that require regular grooming. This coat can pose challenges during potty training as it may become soiled if not properly managed. Owners should consider keeping the hair around the genital area trimmed short to minimize mess and clean-up.

Considering these characteristics, there are a few breed-specific challenges that owners may encounter when potty training their Shih Tzu:

  • Small bladder capacity: Due to their small size, Shih Tzus have limited bladder capacity and may need more frequent bathroom breaks compared to larger breeds.
  • Stubbornness: The independent nature of the Shih Tzu breed can sometimes manifest as stubbornness during potty training sessions. Consistent reinforcement and positive rewards will be valuable in overcoming this challenge.
  • Difficulty with outdoor conditions: The long coat of a Shih Tzu may make them less tolerant of extreme weather conditions such as heat or cold, making outdoor potty breaks uncomfortable for them.

Despite these challenges, establishing a routine is key to successful potty training for Shih Tzu dogs. Creating a consistent schedule for feeding and bathroom breaks can help them learn to anticipate and follow a routine. Additionally, using potty training techniques that work well with the Shih Tzu breed, such as crate training or using puppy pads, can be effective strategies.

The importance of effective potty training for Shih Tzu dogs

Effective potty training is crucial for Shih Tzu dogs due to several reasons. Not only does it ensure a clean and hygienic living environment, but it also helps maintain the overall health and well-being of the dog. Additionally, it promotes a harmonious relationship between the owners and their furry companions.

Cleanliness and hygiene

One of the primary reasons why effective potty training is important for Shih Tzu dogs is to maintain cleanliness and hygiene within the home. Shih Tzus are small dogs that often spend most of their time indoors. Accidents or improper potty training can lead to unpleasant odors, stains, and the spread of germs throughout the house. Properly trained Shih Tzu dogs learn where they should eliminate, reducing messes and making cleaning up easier for their owners.

Health benefits

Proper potty training also has significant health benefits for Shih Tzu dogs. When dogs are not trained to eliminate in specific areas, they may develop habits of eliminating in inappropriate places such as carpets, furniture, or bedding.

This can lead to unsanitary conditions that may contribute to skin infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), or other health issues. Effective potty training ensures that your Shih Tzu learns to relieve themselves in appropriate areas such as designated outdoor spots or indoor pee pads, minimizing the risk of these health problems.

Bonding and trust-building

Potty training provides an opportunity for owners to establish a strong bond with their Shih Tzu dogs through positive reinforcement. Consistently following a potty training routine helps build trust between the owner and the dog while promoting open communication.

When a dog successfully eliminates in a designated area, owners can reward them with treats or praise, strengthening the bond between them. This positive reinforcement encourages good behavior and further motivates the Shih Tzu to continue following the established potty training routine.

Overall, effective potty training for Shih Tzu dogs is crucial for maintaining cleanliness, promoting good health, and fostering a strong bond between owners and their furry companions. Taking the time to properly train a Shih Tzu not only benefits the dog but also creates a harmonious living environment for both the pet and its owners.

The potential difficulties in potty training Shih Tzu dogs

Shih Tzu dogs may present some unique challenges when it comes to potty training. Understanding these breed-specific difficulties can help pet owners navigate the training process more effectively.

One potential difficulty in potty training Shih Tzu dogs is their stubborn nature. This breed is known for its independent streak, which can make them resistant to following commands or instructions. When faced with the task of potty training, Shih Tzus may be less inclined to comply and may require more patience and persistence from their owners.

Another challenge specific to Shih Tzus is their small size. With their petite stature, these dogs have smaller bladders and shorter attention spans compared to larger breeds. This means they may need more frequent trips outside to relieve themselves and may have a harder time holding their bladder for extended periods of time. Pet owners should be prepared for more frequent bathroom breaks during the potty training process.

Additionally, Shih Tzu dogs have a reputation for being difficult to housebreak because they are prone to marking and territory issues. They may develop a habit of marking their territory inside the house even after they have been successfully potty trained. Owners should be aware of this behavior and take proactive measures such as using odor-neutralizing cleaners and providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor marking.

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Despite these potential difficulties, it’s important to note that every dog is unique, and individual experiences may vary. With proper techniques, consistency, and patience, Shih Tzu dogs can be successfully potty trained like any other breed.

Potential DifficultiesBreed-Specific Challenges
Stubborn natureShih Tzus may be resistant to following commands or instructions during potty training.
Small sizeShih Tzus have smaller bladders and shorter attention spans, requiring more frequent bathroom breaks.
Marking and territory issuesShih Tzus may develop a habit of marking their territory inside the house, even after potty training.

Establishing a routine

Establishing a routine is crucial for successfully potty training Shih Tzu dogs. Dogs, including Shih Tzus, are creatures of habit and thrive on consistency. By creating and sticking to a routine, you can help your Shih Tzu develop good potty habits and minimize accidents in the house.

The Importance of Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to establishing a potty training routine for your Shih Tzu. This means taking them to their designated potty area at the same times every day, such as first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime. By consistently bringing your dog to the appropriate spot to eliminate, they will begin to associate that location with going potty.

Schedule Regular Potty Breaks

In addition to consistency, it is important to schedule regular potty breaks throughout the day. Shih Tzus have small bladders and may need more frequent opportunities to relieve themselves compared to larger breeds. During the initial stages of potty training, take your Shih Tzu outside every 1-2 hours or immediately after they wake up from a nap or finish playing.

Use Cue Words and Rewards

When establishing a routine for potty training, it can be helpful to use cue words or phrases that signal to your Shih Tzu that it’s time to go potty. Choose simple and consistent words such as “go potty” or “do your business,” so your dog begins to understand what you’re asking them to do.

Additionally, positive reinforcement is essential for successful potty training. Whenever your Shih Tzu eliminates in the designated area, praise them enthusiastically and give them a treat or verbal reward. This positive association encourages them to continue using that spot in the future.

By implementing these strategies and establishing a consistent routine for potty training, you can set your Shih Tzu up for success and minimize accidents in the house. Remember, patience and consistency are key when it comes to potty training any dog breed, including Shih Tzus.

Potty training techniques for Shih Tzu dogs

Potty training a Shih Tzu dog can be a challenging task, but there are several effective techniques, tips, tricks, and strategies that can help make the process smoother and more successful. Here are some key methods to consider when potty training your Shih Tzu:

  1. Establish a consistent routine: Consistency is key when it comes to potty training any dog, including Shih Tzus. Set a regular schedule for taking your dog outside to eliminate, such as after meals, nap times, and play sessions. By following a consistent routine, you can help your Shih Tzu understand when and where they should go potty.
  2. Use positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective techniques for potty training any dog breed. When your Shih Tzu successfully goes potty outside, praise them enthusiastically and give them treats or verbal rewards. This will help reinforce the desired behavior and motivate your Shih Tzu to continue going potty in the appropriate place.
  3. Utilize crate training: Crate training can be particularly helpful for potty training small breeds like Shih Tzus. Dogs naturally avoid soiling their sleeping areas, so using a crate can encourage your Shih Tzu to hold their bladder until they’re taken outside. Make sure the crate is appropriately sized for your dog’s comfort and provide them with plenty of positive reinforcement while they’re inside.
  4. Supervise closely indoors: Keep a close eye on your Shih Tzu while they’re indoors during the potty training process. Whenever you notice signs that they need to go, such as sniffing or circling around an area, immediately take them outside to their designated toilet spot.

Implementing these techniques along with patience and consistency can significantly increase the chances of successfully potty training your Shih Tzu. It’s important to remember that every dog is unique and may respond differently to various methods, so be prepared to adjust your approach as needed.

Common mistakes to avoid when potty training Shih Tzu dogs

Potty training can be a challenging process for any dog breed, and Shih Tzu dogs are no exception. However, there are certain common mistakes that owners should avoid to ensure successful potty training for their furry friends.

One of the most common mistakes is not being consistent with the designated potty area. It’s important to establish a specific spot outside where you want your Shih Tzu to eliminate and consistently take them to that spot every time they need to go. This helps reinforce the desired behavior and prevents confusion for your dog. Additionally, avoid changing the location of the potty area during the training process as it may cause setbacks in their progress.

Another mistake to avoid is punishing or scolding your Shih Tzu for accidents or mistakes during potty training. It’s crucial to remember that accidents will happen, especially during the initial stages of training. Instead of scolding or punishing them, focus on positive reinforcement by rewarding and praising them when they eliminate in the designated spot. This positive reinforcement helps build a strong association between going potty in the correct place and receiving praise or treats.

Consistency in timing is another pitfall to navigate when potty training Shih Tzu dogs. Establishing a regular feeding schedule will help predict when they need to eliminate and make it easier for you to take them out at the appropriate times. Consistently taking your dog out after meals, naps, playtime, and waking up in the morning will help prevent accidents inside the house.

Additionally, neglecting proper supervision can lead to accidents and setbacks in potty training progress. Keeping a close eye on your Shih Tzu at all times during the initial stages of training ensures that you can catch any signs that they need to go outside promptly. Using baby gates or crate-training can be useful tools for keeping them confined and under observation.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can navigate through potential pitfalls in the potty training process for Shih Tzu dogs. Remember to be patient, consistent, and positive in your approach, as this will help create a successful and stress-free potty training experience for both you and your furry companion.

Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement

Potty training can be a challenging process, especially when it comes to Shih Tzu dogs. However, with the right approach and mindset, it is possible to successfully train them. One of the key ingredients for successful potty training is patience.

Shih Tzu dogs are known for their stubbornness and independent nature, which means that they may not pick up on the potty training cues as quickly as other breeds. It’s important for owners to remain patient and understanding throughout the process.

Consistency is another crucial element in potty training Shih Tzu dogs. Establishing a routine and sticking to it will help them understand what is expected of them. This includes taking them out at regular intervals, especially after meals, naps, and playtime. By being consistent with their potty training schedule, owners can reduce accidents inside the house and reinforce good bathroom habits.

Positive reinforcement is an effective way to encourage desired behaviors in Shih Tzu dogs during potty training. Rather than punishing or scolding them for accidents, it’s important to reward them for going outside or using a designated spot indoors. This can be done through verbal praise, treats, or even a special toy or playtime session. Positive reinforcement helps create a positive association with going potty in the right place and encourages them to repeat this behavior.

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It’s worth noting that every Shih Tzu dog is different and may respond differently to various training methods. Some may pick up on potty training quickly while others may take more time and effort. As an owner, it’s essential to adapt your approach based on your dog’s individual needs and personalities. By combining patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement tailored specifically for your Shih Tzu dog, you’ll have a winning formula for successful potty training.

Remember that accidents are likely to happen during the potty training process with any breed of dog, including Shih Tzus. It’s crucial to remain patient and not get discouraged. Consistently reinforce the desired behavior, correct any accidents calmly and redirect them to the appropriate spot, and continue with positive reinforcement. With time and effort, your Shih Tzu will learn where to go potty and can become reliably trained in this aspect.

Troubleshooting potty training issues

Potty training can sometimes be a challenging process, and this is no different when it comes to Shih Tzu dogs. While they are generally intelligent and eager to please, there may still be setbacks and challenges that arise along the way. It’s important to address these issues promptly and effectively to ensure successful potty training for your Shih Tzu.

One common challenge that Shih Tzu owners may face during potty training is accidents inside the house. It’s not uncommon for these small dogs to have difficulty holding their bladder for long periods of time, especially as puppies. To prevent accidents, it’s essential to establish a consistent routine for bathroom breaks.

Take your Shih Tzu outside regularly throughout the day, especially after meals, naps, or playtime. Initially, you may need to take them out every hour or so until they develop better bladder control.

Another challenge in potty training Shih Tzu dogs is marking behavior. Marking is when a dog urinates in small amounts in various spots around the house or yard to assert their territory. This behavior can make it difficult to fully potty train your Shih Tzu as they may still have accidents despite being housebroken.

To address marking behavior, it’s important to thoroughly clean any areas where accidents occur with an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed to eliminate pet odors. Additionally, consider having your Shih Tzu wear a belly band or using baby gates to prevent access to certain areas of the house until they have learned proper bathroom habits.

Consistency is key when troubleshooting potty training issues with Shih Tzu dogs. It’s important not to scold or punish your dog for accidents but instead redirect their behavior and reward them for going in the appropriate place. Positive reinforcement through praise, treats, and consistent rewards will help reinforce good bathroom habits and encourage your Shih Tzu to continue using appropriate elimination areas.

By addressing setbacks and challenges promptly, using consistent training methods, and providing positive reinforcement, you can overcome potty training issues with your Shih Tzu. Remember to be patient and understanding throughout the process. With time and effort, your Shih Tzu will develop good habits and become fully potty trained.


In conclusion, potty training Shih Tzu dogs can present its fair share of challenges, but with the right approach and consistency, it is definitely possible to achieve success. Understanding the breed-specific characteristics and traits of Shih Tzus is crucial in formulating an effective training strategy. By establishing a routine and using proven techniques, such as positive reinforcement and consistency, owners can set their Shih Tzus on the path to successful potty training.

One key takeaway from this article is the importance of patience and understanding when potty training Shih Tzu dogs. It is important to remember that each dog is unique and may require different approaches. Another crucial aspect to consider is consistency. By maintaining a consistent routine and reinforcing desired behaviors consistently, owners can help their Shih Tzus grasp where they should relieve themselves.

Additionally, it is essential for owners to avoid common mistakes during the potty training process that may inadvertently hinder progress. This includes punishing or scolding the dog for accidents, which could lead to anxiety and setbacks in their training journey. Instead, focusing on positive reinforcement and rewarding good behavior can help encourage desired habits.

While there may be setbacks and challenges along the way, troubleshooting these issues with patience and persistence will ultimately lead to success in potty training Shih Tzu dogs. With a combination of understanding the breed-specific challenges, implementing effective techniques, avoiding common pitfalls, and offering consistent positive reinforcement, owners can overcome difficulties and enjoy a well-trained Shih Tzu companion.

In summary, though potty training Shih Tzu dogs may come with some difficulties specific to the breed, it is certainly possible to train them successfully. By following the guidelines outlined in this article – establishing a routine, using proven techniques like positive reinforcement and consistency – owners can lead their furry friends through successful potty training journeys. Remembering to exercise patience, avoiding common mistakes, troubleshoot setbacks diligently will ensure a harmonious and well-trained Shih Tzu.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to potty train a Shih Tzu?

The length of time it takes to potty train a Shih Tzu can vary depending on several factors. Generally, it is recommended to start the potty training process as early as possible, ideally when the puppy is around 8 to 12 weeks old. Consistency and patience are key in this training process.

It typically takes several months for a Shih Tzu to become fully potty trained, but some individuals may take longer than others. It is important to establish a routine, use positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and praise for appropriate bathroom behaviors, and consistently guide the dog to designated potty areas.

How do I stop my Shih Tzu from peeing in the house?

To stop a Shih Tzu from peeing in the house, it is essential to address the underlying cause of the behavior. Firstly, ensure that there are no medical issues causing frequent urination or inability to hold their bladder. Once any medical concerns have been ruled out, focus on consistent potty training and providing ample opportunities for outdoor bathroom breaks.

Supervising your dog closely indoors and promptly taking them outside when signs of needing to relieve themselves are observed can help prevent accidents in the house. Reinforce desirable behaviors by praising and rewarding your Shih Tzu when they eliminate outside. Using deterrents and cleaning products specifically designed to eliminate pet odors indoors can also help discourage them from using certain areas as a bathroom.

What is the hardest dog to potty train?

While each individual dog can present unique challenges during potty training, small breeds like Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and Pomeranians are often considered more difficult breeds to potty train compared to larger ones due to their smaller bladders and higher energy levels. Additionally, some stubborn or independent breeds like Basset Hounds or Beagles may pose additional difficulties during the potty training process due to their strong scent instincts or preference for following their own agenda rather than following commands.

However, it is important to note that with proper training techniques, consistency, and patience, any dog breed can eventually be successfully potty trained.

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