With your Shih Tzu right by your side, you will be able to see any motions of needing to pee or poo and react right away (more ahead).
You will want to use a harness and not a collar to prevent potential neck injury. There are several great choices that are easy to put on and are comfortable for a Shih Tzu (more ahead).
In addition, a harness is best when going for walks; it offers you better control and helps to prevent breathing issues, which are common with this brachycelphic breed.
Loop the handle of the leash around your wrist, or you can loop it through your belt loop.
A 6-foot non-adjustable dog leash is often the best choice. You do not want an adjustable one, since the retractable casing will impede you from connecting it to your wrist or belt (more ahead).
When you're not home & when you're busy: Containment.
Any time that you cannot do the tethering method, your Shih Tzu should kept in 1 spot.
And any time that your Shih Tzu is home alone, he should be in 1 designated spot.
One of the best methods of doing this is to make use of a comfortable, properly sized indoor canine playpen.
Playpens are fantastic for several reasons:
- To help prevent separation anxiety. When dogs have a 'den', they feel more secure. The pen also ensures that all of their comfort items are within reach.
- To limit accidents. If your Shih Tzu is always either closely supervised by you or in his playpen, there will literally never be a housebreaking accident in the house. Ever.
- To keep offer a safe spot. We recommend a pen with a door (more ahead) to allow easy access. This can be an area where your Shih Tzu goes voluntarily if things become too chaotic or a comfortable spot to place your dog if there are lots of visitors, if you are vacuuming, etc.
How to set it up:
Choose a room such as the living room or kitchen so that your Shih Tzu does not feel isolated.
Within the playpen, have a bed, water, food (when you are not home), and pee pads.
Since the pen is a defined space, there will be room for a bed, toys, and bowls. The other area should be for the pee pads.
Dogs very rarely will soil their own belongings, so any pee or poo will end up on the pads 99% of the time.
If your Shih Tzu plays with, moves around, or tries to chew up the pads, keep them in place with a shallow canine litter box (using no clay).
The potty training supervision method (harness & 6-foot non-adjustable leash) and containment method (indoor playpen & shallow litter box for holding pee pads) are below.
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