No matter if it is your child or your puppy, it is a hard thing and takes lots of time and consistency.

I get a lot of questions about potty training and so I decided to add this link to my website for everyone to look over.

For me, I have done both crate training and potty pad training. Both have worked for me. BUT I have found that if you put them in a little play area, with pee pads right at the front where they leave the play pen area that is where they will go pee pee. It gets them started on it to begin with when they are little at my house. Then when you are not playing with them always leave them in the crated area. It is my favorite way to train and works best for these dogs! People also don't like to crate train because with their Shih Tzu's if they need to go potty they don't have control they will lose it and then you will have a mess. But some others have found it to work. You have to try different things and go with what works for you! but for me the play area works the best. 

Crate training is a good option for some who have a lot of rugs and carpet and do not want to section off your house. You keep the puppy in the crate at night time and also throughout the day when you are not home, working or busy around the house. Typically puppies do not want to go to the bathroom where they sleep, but like I said they do not have control of their bladder so you may end up with a mess. The size of the crate should be only big enough for them to stand up in and turn around. Any bigger and you may find you will have accidents in the crate. Keep something warm such as a blanket, tiny dog bed or towel in the crate.

You will want to take your puppy out to go to the bathroom every 1-2 hours for the first few weeks.

Now, remember that your puppy will not have complete control of their bladder until they are 5-7 months old. So accidents WILL happen. Just plan on it and do not get upset about it. You just HAVE TO KNOW it is going to happen.

Also, if you are consistent, you will have very few accidents. Be consistent, you may have to get up in the might for the first couple of months to take them out to potty. It is like having a baby, they will not know what you want them to do unless you show them and be consistent. Take them to the SAME spot each time you go out to go potty, then they will know it is potty time. Do not look at them or play with them while out potty training, because then they will just think it is play time. A good thing to do as well, is to take a tiny little treat outside with you and when your baby does what you want s/he to do,  you need to get overly excited and praise your puppy and give them a treat. Shih Tzu’s want to please their owner and when they know they have done something good, over time they will want to continue to do so.

So when there is accident in the house, do not get mad at the puppy, get mad at yourself for not catching it in time. LOL

I go to a lot of Breeders seminars around the Valley and one thing a speaker said that made me laugh and also is so true I would like to share: “If your puppy has an accident, roll up a newspaper and smack yourself on the head for not paying attention.” I laughed because it is so true.

It is a lot of work in the beginning but it will all be worth it once they get the hang of it.

One thing I tell most families to do is get a dog door. This will really help with Potty training. I have found through everything that I have done, the Dog Door has been the best thing for me. They may just make it out on to the deck and not down the stairs to the grass, but at least they tried and made it out of the house!

If you do not want to crate train, then I suggest getting these brass gates from Pet Co. or Amazon now has them and they are cheaper and free shipping if you are a Prime member! (my favorite option!) They are sections of gates all looped together, you can stretch them out long, put them in a square or a circle. I tell my families to get these gates and put them in an area when the floor is tile, wood or linoleum. Place several pee pads and possibly a potty park (looks like a grass pad you can also purchase from Pet Co.) Also, stick a nice soft bed in the area and some toys for them to play with.

This is personally what I do. I have the gates set up, the pads in place, dog bed, food and water set out as well. (Always leave water and dry food out for them all day, Shih Tzu’s typically do not over eat.)

You will still need to follow the potty schedule I listed above, going outside 1-2 hours every day for the first weeks. Then when you are not playing with your puppy, working or it is bed time, place your puppy in the kennel area.

One thing to also consider, your puppy may cry at night for the first few nights. So, you may want to put their kennel or crate in an area where you will not hear them at night. I know it is heart breaking to hear them cry, BUT you have to let them cry it out, otherwise, if you go and get them every time they cry or go and talk to them, they will continue to whine for the rest of their lives at night.

You have to start them off on the right foot with the habits you want them to have from the beginning. Do not give in because you feel bad for them. Otherwise they will take advantage of that whenever possible. Shih Tzu’s are extremely smart! LOL

If you have accidents inside, (Poop) take the poop outside and leave it where you want them to go. Then they will know this is where they should go potty. I always leave some of the poop in the backyard/front yard when I am potty training, so they know where they should go. Also, this may seem kind of gross, but the potty pads, let them have some pee on them and leave it out so they know they are suppose to go there when in the house. If there is a pee accident, suck it up with the pee pad and flip it over so they can smell this is where they are suppose to go pee pee.

I know all this seems like a lot, but do not over think everything, it will happen, your puppy will get it, just takes time, be patient and do not get angry. Once you start smacking or yelling, your puppy will be frightened of you and you do not want that.

Always remember, 5-7 months until they have complete control of their bladders. Then at that point, if they are still having accidents, I personally will rub their nose in it and tap them on the head and say, NO! You go potty outside! And then I send them outside (Where they should have gone potty) to sit and think about their actions. LOL Sounds funny I know! But it works!


This is always a problem and will be for several months. The teeth that your baby has when you adopt them from me, they will lose them all and have a full new set within  4-6 months or age.

You sometimes will find the teeth, but most the time they just swallow them and it is totally normal to do so. So do not worry! J

Just as human babies do, your puppy will be teething, and while you will not get the screaming and fevers like you would with a human baby, you puppy is still in pain, and this is why you will find the wood around the door or the base boards maybe a wooden chair chewed on. You puppy is teething and needs to chew on things to help with the pain and also to help the new teeth come in.

So, I am sure you are asking… oh great! My furniture! How do I avoid this? Well, my suggestion is get A LOT of chew toys, squeaky ones are always fun, rope toys, rubber ones, empty water bottles are also fun for them to play with, they are loud and fun to chew. But, you may end up with some bite marks on some of your base boards, wooden stools and so forth. It does happen, so my suggestion for that, get a marker that matches the wood color to cover it up… ha ha

You really cannot get to mad at them, because they are babies trying to ease the pain and need something hard to chew on and for some reason they just love wood. I went as far as to get some blocks cut out in fun shapes of wood and gave them to my dogs and they loved it and it saved some chairs from bite marks.

You can always take them to the area they chewed and show them and say really mad, NO! You do not eat this and give them a little tap on the head. But, to be honest, it will more than likely happen again.

Sometimes, with some puppies, you won’t have this problem, with my two oldest Molly and Charlie and my second to youngest Nala, we never had chewing issues. However, Jasmine and Belle and Bailey have all chewed up the wood work around the sliding door. I cannot even tell you how many times we have stained it. It cracks me up. I really am not mad about it, because I understand it and just know that is part of having a puppy.

So with all this said, Having a puppy is not an easy breeze, it is a lot of work, but it sure is worth it! When at the end of the day they are fast asleep in your lap. Or when you come home from work/school/shopping and they are standing at the top of the stairs or in the door way shaking their tails and are so excited to see you their entire body is almost in a total circle! When they lick your face and snuggle with you! Or when you first wake up and then come to the bathroom and nip your heels and bark hello! Their love for you is unconditional, so have your love for them be the same!

You will have challenges but I always say, the good outweighs the bad for sure!

Enjoy all the stages with your puppy. They grow fast 1 year for us is 7 years to them. Love your dog! Care for them! Be Consistent! and whenever you have questions you can always call or text me anytime for their entire life! I am here for you always!