As a new dog owner, the prospect of crate training your Shih Tzu may seem a bit overwhelming. Where do you even begin? But fear not, as with any training process, it simply takes time, patience, and a little know-how. In this article, we’ll explore why crate training is beneficial for both you and your furry friend, as well as give you 10 helpful tips to make the process as successful as possible. So grab your notebook and let’s get started on this exciting journey towards a well-behaved and comfortable pooch.
Why Crate Train Your Shih Tzu?
Crate training is a popular method of training dogs, and Shih Tzus are no exception. Training your Shih Tzu to use a crate has several benefits, both for the dog and the owner.
Shih Tzus, like most dogs, need a safe space where they can feel secure and comfortable. A crate can provide that space for them. When properly introduced to the crate, your Shih Tzu will learn to associate it with safety and security, even when alone. This can help ease separation anxiety and reduce stress levels for both you and your pet.
Crate training can be a valuable tool in the process of house training your Shih Tzu. Because dogs are naturally reluctant to soil their personal space, the crate can be used to encourage your pet to wait until they are let outside to go to the bathroom. Additionally, crating your dog when unsupervised can prevent accidents in the home.
Some Shih Tzus may experience separation anxiety when left alone, which can lead to destructive behavior or excessive barking. Crate training can help alleviate these issues by giving your dog a safe and familiar space to retreat to when you’re away from home. It’s important to remember, however, that crate training should not be used as a substitute for proper socialization and exercise.
Crate training can provide numerous benefits for both you and your Shih Tzu. By creating a safe space, aiding in house training, and reducing anxiety, crate training can make life easier and more enjoyable for you and your furry friend. So, before you start, you might want to know how to choose the right crate in order to maximize its benefits.
1. Creates a Safe Space
When it comes to introducing your Shih Tzu to crate training, it’s important to understand the benefits that come with it. One of the main advantages of crate training is that it creates a secure and comfortable space for your furry friend to retreat to when they need to rest or feel safe. Just like humans, dogs appreciate having a private and cozy spot to call their own. Having a designated place to go can also prevent them from feeling overwhelmed or anxious in new surroundings. In fact, providing a safe space is crucial in reducing separation anxiety in dogs. Let’s explore why creating a safe space for your Shih Tzu is so important and how to do it effectively. If you want to learn more about choosing the best crate size for your Shih Tzu, check out our previous article.
2. Aids in House Training
Successful crate training can greatly aid in house training your Shih Tzu. When your pup is confined to a crate, they are less likely to have accidents in the house. This is because dogs instinctually try to avoid soiling their sleeping area. By reinforcing this behavior with crate training, you can help establish good potty habits for your Shih Tzu.
Here are some tips for how crate training can aid in house training:
- Establish a schedule: Consistency is key when it comes to potty training. Establish a regular feeding and potty schedule and stick to it as closely as possible. This will help your Shih Tzu learn when it’s time to go outside.
- Monitor food and water intake: Keep track of when your puppy eats and drinks. This will help you anticipate when they may need to go potty.
- Utilize the crate during the training process: The crate can be a powerful tool when house training your Shih Tzu. Use it to confine your pup when you can’t supervise them, and take them outside as soon as you let them out of the crate. This will help establish a routine and reinforce good habits.
- Praise and reward: When your Shih Tzu goes potty outside, give them lots of praise and a treat. This positive reinforcement will help them understand that going outside is a good thing.
- Be patient: Potty training can take time, especially with young puppies. Don’t get discouraged if there are accidents along the way. Stick to your schedule and routine, and eventually, your Shih Tzu will catch on.
Remember: Crate training is not a substitute for regular exercise and outdoor playtime. Be sure to provide plenty of opportunities for your Shih Tzu to explore and burn off energy outside of their crate.
3. Reduces Separation Anxiety
Reducing Separation Anxiety:
Crate training can be an effective way to help reduce separation anxiety in your Shih Tzu. Most dogs experience some level of anxiety when left alone, leading to undesirable behaviors such as excessive barking or destructive chewing. However, crate training can give your Shih Tzu a sense of security and comfort in your absence.
Here are some ways crate training can help reduce separation anxiety:
- Provides a Safe Space: By creating a safe and secure space for your Shih Tzu in their crate, they will feel more comfortable and relaxed when you leave home. Your Shih Tzu will view the crate as their own personal space, reducing the anxiety caused by being alone.
- Prevents Destructive Behaviors: Separation anxiety can lead to destructive behaviors, like chewing on furniture or shoes, while dogs try to cope with the anxiety. By keeping your Shih Tzu in a comfortable and secure crate while you’re away, you can prevent them from causing damage to your home.
- Calming Effect: The enclosed space of a crate can have a calming effect on a Shih Tzu’s nervous system, similar to swaddling a baby or the comfort of a small, enclosed den. This can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
Remember, crate training should not be a punishment. Rather, it is a positive tool to help your Shih Tzu feel safe and secure when you are not home. Be sure to properly introduce your Shih Tzu to the crate and use positive reinforcement during the training process. If you continue to struggle with separation anxiety, consider seeking the advice of a professional trainer or behaviorist.
For more information on crate training your Shih Tzu, check out our article on Teaching Your Shih Tzu to Love their Crate.
Choosing the Right Crate
Choosing the Right Crate
When it comes to crate training your Shih Tzu, selecting the right crate is crucial. The goal is to create a comfortable and secure space that your furry friend will enjoy spending time in. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect crate for your Shih Tzu.
1. Size Matters
The size of the crate is perhaps the most important factor to consider. It should be large enough for your Shih Tzu to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, it should not be so big that they have ample room to move around and use one end as a bathroom. A good rule of thumb is to choose a crate that is only a few inches larger than your dog.
2. Consider Material
Crates are made from various materials like metal, plastic, wire or fabric. Each type of material has its pros and cons, and it’s important to consider factors such as durability, ease of cleaning, and chew-proof before making your selection. Wire crates, for example, are durable and allow for proper ventilation, but they may not be the best option for dogs who like to chew.
3. Proper Ventilation
Proper ventilation is important when choosing a crate for your Shih Tzu. Look for crates that have good air circulation to prevent your dog from feeling suffocated. Wire and plastic crates will provide optimal ventilation.
By carefully considering the above factors, you can choose the perfect crate that will be comfortable and inviting for your Shih Tzu. Additionally, consider getting an adjustable crate that can grow with your Shih Tzu. With a little research and thoughtful consideration, you can find the perfect crate that both you and your Shih Tzu will love.
If you need more information on Shih Tzu crate training, check out this article on crate training time for Shih Tzu, or learn how to treat your furry friend during crate training with treats. Alternatively, consider some alternatives for crate training with this guide. And if you’re dealing with a Shih Tzu who cries in the crate, seek some useful tips in this article on how to deal with it. Lastly, if you plan on traveling with your furry friend, read our article on crate training during travel.
4. Size Matters
When it comes to choosing the right crate for your Shih Tzu, one crucial factor to consider is the size. You want to ensure that the crate is not too big or too small for your furry friend. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential to get right to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort. In this section, we’ll explore why size matters when it comes to crate training your Shih Tzu and how to select the appropriate size crate for your pup. So, let’s dive in and get started!
5. Consider Material
When choosing a crate for your Shih Tzu, the material is an important factor to consider. The type of material can affect the durability, comfort, and safety of the crate. Here are some materials to consider when selecting a crate for your furry friend:
- Wire: Wire crates are a popular choice because they are durable, provide good ventilation, and allow your Shih Tzu to see their surroundings. However, they may not be the most comfortable option and can be noisy if your pup moves around a lot.
- Plastic: Plastic crates can offer more privacy and a sense of security for your Shih Tzu. They can also be easier to clean and transport. However, they may not provide as much ventilation as wire crates and can be less durable.
- Fabric: Fabric or soft-sided crates can be a comfortable and lightweight option for your Shih Tzu. They can also offer more privacy and be easier to travel with. However, they may not be as durable and can be difficult to clean.
- Metal: Metal crates can be a strong and long-lasting option for your Shih Tzu. They are also easy to clean and provide good ventilation. However, they may be heavy and difficult to transport.
Consider your lifestyle and your Shih Tzu’s needs when selecting a crate material. A wire or plastic crate may be more suitable for at-home use, while a fabric or metal crate may be better for travel or outdoor use. Whatever material you choose, make sure it is sturdy and can provide a safe and comfortable space for your furry friend.
6. Proper Ventilation
Proper ventilation is an important consideration when choosing a crate for your Shih Tzu. It ensures that your furry friend has a constant supply of fresh air and reduces the buildup of unpleasant odors.
Here are some tips on ensuring proper ventilation:
- Look for crates with mesh or wire walls: These types of crates allow air to flow freely through the crate.
- Avoid solid-sided crates: These crates restrict air flow and can quickly become stuffy and uncomfortable.
- Place the crate in a well-ventilated area: Keep the crate in a room with plenty of windows or a room with a ceiling fan to encourage air flow.
- Don’t cover the crate entirely: Using a crate cover can create a cozy, den-like environment for your Shih Tzu, but make sure to leave openings for air to circulate.
- Clean the crate regularly: Keeping the crate clean and free of debris will not only promote good hygiene but also prevent air from becoming trapped and stale.
By providing proper ventilation, your Shih Tzu will be able to breathe easily and feel comfortable in their crate, making the crate training process much more successful.
Introducing Your Shih Tzu to the Crate
Gradual Introduction: When it comes to crate training your Shih Tzu, gradual introduction is key. You don’t want to force your furry friend into the crate or they may develop a negative association with it. Instead, give your Shih Tzu time to explore the crate at their own pace. Start by placing the crate in a common area of the house and leaving the door open. Let your dog sniff around and inspect the crate on their own terms. Once they seem comfortable, you can begin the next step.
Positive Reinforcement: As with any type of training, positive reinforcement is always the way to go. When your Shih Tzu shows any interest or curiosity towards the crate, provide them with treats and praise. This will help them establish a positive association with the crate and feel more comfortable inside it. Offer treats and positive reinforcement each time your dog enters the crate, and gradually start leaving the door closed for brief periods of time.
Avoid Using the Crate for Punishment: It’s important that your Shih Tzu views the crate as a safe and positive space, especially during their introduction to it. It’s crucial that you avoid using the crate as a form of punishment, as this can lead to negative associations and make your dog resistant to entering it. Remember, the crate should only be used as a positive training tool.
Introducing your Shih Tzu to the crate can take time and patience, which brings us to our next point.
Crating Tips and Tricks: Here are some tips and tricks to help make the introduction of your Shih Tzu to the crate as smooth as possible:
Make the Crate Comfortable: Ensure the crate is equipped with comfortable bedding, and perhaps a toy or two, to make your Shih Tzu feel more at home.
Keep it Consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to crate training. Use the same command when asking your Shih Tzu to enter the crate, and use the crate consistently for training and rest times.
Timing is Everything: Timing is important when it comes to crating your Shih Tzu. A good time to introduce your dog to the crate is after they have had a good play session and are feeling tired. This will make it more likely that they will want to settle down in the crate.
Don’t Rush Things: It’s important not to rush the process of crate training. Each dog is different and will adapt to the crate at their own pace. Be patient and consistent with your approach.
Trial Runs: Start with short periods of time in the crate and gradually increase the length of time. This will help make the transition easier for your Shih Tzu.
Consider Crate Location: The location of the crate is important. It should be in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home that your dog can easily access.
Exercise and Playtime: Ensure your Shih Tzu gets plenty of exercise and playtime to help reduce stress and anxiety associated with crate training.
Don’t Overuse the Crate: While the crate is an important training tool, it’s crucial not to overuse it. Your Shih Tzu needs time to play, explore and socialize with their family.
Gradually Extend Time Spent in the Crate: Once your Shih Tzu has become comfortable with the crate, gradually extend the length of time they spend inside it.
Stay Calm and Patient: Remember to stay patient and calm throughout the crate training process. This will help your Shih Tzu feel more at ease and comfortable with the crate.
By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to successful crate training for your Shih Tzu.
7. Gradual Introduction
Introducing your Shih Tzu to the crate can be a stressful process, both for you and your furry companion. That’s why it’s important to begin the process gradually and with patience. Your dog must learn to associate the crate with positive experiences and a sense of safety, rather than punishment or confinement. With the right mindset and techniques, your Shih Tzu can learn to love their crate and view it as a cozy spot of their own. Let’s explore some key tips for a gradual introduction to the crate that will set the foundation for successful crate training.
8. Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is an essential part of crate training your Shih Tzu. By rewarding good behavior, you can encourage your pup to feel comfortable and safe in their crate. Here are some tips for using positive reinforcement during crate training:
- Use treats: Reward your Shih Tzu with treats when they enter their crate or exhibit good behavior while inside.
- Verbal praise: Along with treats, verbal praise is an effective way to encourage positive behavior. Give your pup plenty of verbal praise when they enter their crate or behave calmly while inside.
- Consistency: Make sure to use consistent commands and rewards each time your Shih Tzu exhibits good behavior. This reinforces the behavior and helps your pup understand what is expected of them.
- Avoid punishment: Never punish your Shih Tzu for not entering their crate or for exhibiting anxious behavior while inside. This can make them associate the crate with negative feelings and make training more difficult.
- Stick to a routine: Consistency is key when it comes to crate training, so establish a routine for rewarding good behavior and stick to it. This helps your pup understand what is expected of them and promotes a sense of stability and security.
By using positive reinforcement techniques, your Shih Tzu will begin to associate their crate with positive feelings and will be more willing to enter it and spend time there. Remember to be patient and consistent, and to always reward good behavior with treats and verbal praise.
9. Avoid Using the Crate for Punishment
Avoid Using the Crate for Punishment
Using the crate for punishment can have serious negative effects on your Shih Tzu’s crate training process. It can create negative associations with the crate and make your dog fearful of it. This can lead to anxiety and reluctance to use the crate even when necessary.
|Why You Shouldn’t Use the Crate for Punishment||What to Do Instead|
|Punishing your Shih Tzu by putting them in the crate can create fear and anxiety towards the crate.||If your dog misbehaves, address the issue directly and calmly with positive reinforcement training outside of the crate.|
|Using the crate as a place of punishment can lead to negative associations and a reluctance to enter the crate even when needed.||Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage your Shih Tzu to enter the crate willingly and calmly.|
|If your Shih Tzu is afraid of the crate, they may become anxious and stressed, which can lead to behavioral problems.||Gradually introduce your Shih Tzu to the crate in a positive manner, using treats and praise to reinforce good behavior.|
It’s important to remember that crate training should be a positive experience for your Shih Tzu. While it’s important to address misbehavior, using the crate for punishment can have negative consequences. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement training and gradually introduce your dog to the crate in a positive manner. With patience and consistency, you can successfully crate train your Shih Tzu without causing unnecessary stress or fear.
Crating Tips and Tricks
Successful crate training for your Shih Tzu requires more than just choosing the right crate and introducing your dog to it. To make sure that the process goes smoothly, you’ll want to keep a few tips and tricks in mind.
Make the Crate Comfortable
Your goal should be to make the crate a comfortable and inviting space for your Shih Tzu. Add soft bedding and a few safe toys to the crate to create a cozy den-like atmosphere.
Keep it Consistent
Establishing a consistent routine is an essential part of successful crate training. Stick with a regular schedule for meals, potty breaks, and crate time, and avoid deviating from it whenever possible.
Timing is Everything
When it comes to crate training, timing is everything. Avoid crating your Shih Tzu for extended periods, especially during the first few weeks of training. Instead, limit the amount of time your dog spends in the crate to just a few hours at a time.
Don’t Rush Things
Crate training should always be approached slowly and gradually. Avoid rushing the process and gradually extend the amount of time your Shih Tzu spends in the crate over several weeks.
Before leaving your Shih Tzu in the crate for an extended period, introduce the crate gradually with shorter “trial runs.” This approach can help your dog get used to the crate and feel less anxious when it’s time to use it for an extended period.
Consider Crate Location
The location of the crate can also have a significant impact on your dog’s comfort level. Choose an area that is quiet, comfortable, and away from high-traffic areas.
Exercise and Playtime
Regular exercise and playtime are crucial for reducing anxiety and keeping your Shih Tzu happy and healthy. Make sure your dog has adequate opportunities to exercise and play outside of the crate.
Don’t Overuse the Crate
While crates can be an essential tool for training and safety, overusing them can be counterproductive. Avoid crating your Shih Tzu for long periods or using the crate as a substitute for regular exercise and playtime.
Gradually Extend Time Spent in the Crate
As your Shih Tzu grows more comfortable with the crate, you can begin to extend the amount of time they spend in it gradually. However, proceed with caution and never rush the process.
Stay Calm and Patient
Finally, remember to stay calm, patient, and positive throughout the crate training process. Your Shih Tzu will sense your emotions and react accordingly, so try to remain calm and reassuring. With time and patience, your Shih Tzu will learn to love their crate and feel comfortable and safe when they’re inside.
10. Make the Crate Comfortable
When it comes to crate training your Shih Tzu, making the crate a comfortable space is essential. After all, if your furry companion is going to spend time in it, they should feel at ease and relaxed. Here are some tips for creating a cozy crate that your Shih Tzu will love.
11. Keep it Consistent
Consistency is key when crate training your Shih Tzu. Once you have decided on a schedule and routine, make sure to stick to it as closely as possible. This will help your dog feel more comfortable and understand what is expected of them. Here are some tips to help you keep it consistent:
- Establish a routine: Decide on a schedule for when your Shih Tzu will be let out of the crate for meals, potty breaks, and playtime. This routine will help your dog understand when they can expect these activities and make them feel more secure in their environment.
- Use the same commands: When it’s time to put your Shih Tzu in the crate, use the same command every time, such as “crate” or “go to bed.” Reinforcing this command consistently will help your dog associate it with going into the crate and feeling comfortable there.
- Stick to the same location: Keep the crate in the same location so your Shih Tzu knows where their safe space is located. Avoid moving the crate around too often as this can confuse your dog and make them feel less secure.
- Limit exceptions: Try to limit exceptions to the routine as much as possible. If you need to make a change, do so gradually and with plenty of positive reinforcement to help your Shih Tzu adapt to the new schedule.
By keeping things consistent, you will help your Shih Tzu feel more secure in their crate and understand what is expected of them. This will make the training process go smoother and help your dog feel more comfortable and happy in their new environment.
12. Timing is Everything
When it comes to crate training your Shih Tzu, timing is everything. This means that you should have a schedule in place for when your dog will be crated and for how long. Inconsistency can confuse your pup and make the training process more difficult.
To ensure that your Shih Tzu is comfortable in their crate, you should aim to crate them during times when they naturally rest or sleep. This may be at night or during the day when you’re away at work. According to the American Kennel Club, adult dogs should not be crated for more than six to eight hours at a time, while puppies should not be crated for more than three to four hours at a time.
To help you plan out your pup’s crate training schedule, here is a helpful table:
|Time of Day||Duration of Crate Time|
|Overnight (8 pm-6 am)||8 hours|
|Morning (6 am-12 pm)||3-4 hours|
|Afternoon (12 pm-5 pm)||3-4 hours|
|Evening (5 pm-8 pm)||1-2 hours|
Remember, these are general guidelines and may need to be adjusted based on your individual Shih Tzu’s needs. Additionally, it’s important to gradually increase the time that your pup spends in their crate, as abruptly crating them for extended periods may cause stress and anxiety. Go slow, stay consistent, and your Shih Tzu will soon be happily crate trained.
13. Don’t Rush Things
Take your time and don’t rush the crate training process– it’s important to remember that every dog is different and will respond to crate training at their own pace. Rushing things could lead to your Shih Tzu feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Here are some tips to help you avoid rushing things:
|Start Slow||Begin with short and supervised sessions in the crate, and gradually increase the time your Shih Tzu spends in the crate.|
|Pay Attention to Body Language||Watch your Shih Tzu’s body language to make sure they are comfortable and not feeling anxious or stressed. Signs of anxiety include panting, excessive drooling, and shaking.|
|Take Breaks||Allow your Shih Tzu to take breaks from the crate, especially if they seem stressed or uncomfortable. This is not a sign of weakness, but rather a way of helping your dog feel comfortable in its own space.|
|Be Patient||Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your Shih Tzu’s crate training process. Be patient and understand that it might take some time for your furry friend to adjust to the crate.|
|Offer Positive Reinforcement||Make crate time a positive experience for your Shih Tzu by offering treats, toys, and praise. This will help your dog see the crate as a safe and comfortable space.|
|Don’t Get Frustrated||It can be frustrating when your Shih Tzu doesn’t respond to crate training as quickly as you’d like. However, getting frustrated will only make things more difficult for your dog. Stay calm and positive.|
Remember, crate training is a process and it’s important to take your time with it. By following these tips and being patient with your furry friend, you can create a positive association with the crate and make it a safe and comfortable space for your Shih Tzu.
14. Trial Runs
When you feel that your Shih Tzu is becoming more comfortable with the crate, it’s time to start incorporating trial runs. This will allow you to assess whether your furry friend is ready for extended periods inside the crate. Start slowly, by closing the door and leaving for a few minutes at a time. Gradually increase the amount of time your Shih Tzu spends in the crate, so they can get used to being alone for longer periods.
This is also a great time to observe your dog’s behavior when inside the crate. Is your Shih Tzu whining or barking excessively? Are they scratching or biting at the crate? If your pup is exhibiting these behaviors, it may be a sign that they are not ready for extended periods inside the crate.
It’s important to remember that crate training is a process and may take some time. Be patient and don’t rush things. If your dog is struggling with the crate, try taking a few steps back and gradually building up to longer periods of time.
Remember to always reward your Shih Tzu for good behavior. Use treats, praise or their favorite toy to reinforce positive behavior while inside the crate. With patience and consistency, your furry friend will soon come to love their crate as their own personal space.
15. Consider Crate Location
When it comes to selecting a location for your Shih Tzu’s crate, there are a few important things to consider to ensure that your furry friend is comfortable and content while in their crate.
1. Avoid High-Traffic Areas: Keep your Shih Tzu’s crate in a quiet area of your house where there are minimal distractions and noise. Avoid placing it near main doors, windows, or high-traffic areas like the living room or kitchen.
2. Ensure Proper Temperature: Your Shih Tzu’s crate should be placed in a location that is comfortable for them, without being too hot or too cold. Avoid placing the crate in direct sunlight or near heating or cooling vents, as this may disrupt your Shih Tzu’s ability to regulate their body temperature.
3. Keep it Close to You: Your Shih Tzu is a social animal who wants to be close to their family, so consider placing their crate in a room where you spend a lot of time. This will allow your furry little friend to feel close to you and part of the family.
4. Provide Adequate Lighting: Visibility is important for your Shih Tzu to feel at ease. Ensure that there is adequate lighting in the room and that the crate is not placed in a dark or poorly lit corner.
5. Ensure Good Airflow: Proper ventilation is critical to your Shih Tzu’s comfort, so ensure that the location you select has ample airflow. A location near an opened window or in a room with a fan can help keep your Shih Tzu cool and comfortable.
By keeping these factors in mind when selecting a location for your Shih Tzu’s crate, you can help to ensure that they feel safe, comfortable, and happy in their new home within your home.
16. Exercise and Playtime
One of the most important aspects of crate training your Shih Tzu is providing enough exercise and playtime throughout the day. A tired pup is less likely to exhibit destructive behavior, making crate training easier on both of you. Here are some tips for incorporating exercise and playtime into your crate training routine:
- Include walks in your daily routine: Taking your Shih Tzu on a brisk walk, at least twice a day, will not only tire them out, but also provide an opportunity to burn off energy and use the potty before crating them again.
- Try interactive toys: Give your Shih Tzu interactive toys that require them to use their brain, like puzzle toys or treat-dispensing balls. These types of toys can provide mental stimulation during playtime in or out of the crate.
- Rotate toys: Keep a rotation of toys available for your Shih Tzu to play with. This will help prevent boredom and keep them entertained while they’re in the crate.
- Play fetch: Shih Tzus love to play fetch, and a game of fetch can wear them out quickly. Playing fetch indoors or in a fenced yard is a great way to exercise your pup.
Remember, exercise and playtime should be a fun and positive experience for both you and your Shih Tzu. By incorporating it into your crate training routine, you’ll be setting your pup up for success and making the process easier on both of you.
17. Don’t Overuse the Crate
When it comes to crate training your Shih Tzu, it’s important to not overuse the crate. While it can be a great tool for both house training and creating a safe space for your pup, it’s important to remember that your Shih Tzu is a social animal and needs interaction with you and the world around them.
Here are a few tips to help prevent overuse of the crate:
- Use the crate during times when you are away from home or during the night for sleeping.
- During the day, make sure to let your Shih Tzu have plenty of time outside of the crate to play, exercise and interact with their surroundings.
- Do not leave your Shih Tzu in the crate for long periods of time or use it as a “time-out” space for behavioral issues.
- Make sure your Shih Tzu has plenty of toys and comforts outside of the crate to keep them occupied.
- Gradually increase the amount of time your Shih Tzu spends outside of the crate to promote socialization and proper behavior.
Remember, crate training is a process and should be used as a tool to aid in your Shih Tzu’s development and safety, not as a permanent solution. By following these strategies for preventing overuse, you can help ensure your Shih Tzu is happy and well-adjusted both inside and outside of their crate.
18. Gradually Extend Time Spent in the Crate
One of the important aspects of successfully crate training your Shih Tzu is gradually extending the amount of time they spend in the crate. While it’s important to start with shorter durations initially, you should gradually increase the length of time spent in the crate as your dog becomes more comfortable.
Here are some tips to help you gradually extend the length of time your Shih Tzu spends in their crate:
- Start by leaving your dog in the crate for a few minutes at a time while you’re at home.
- Gradually increase the duration of time by a few minutes each day.
- Be sure to also give your dog plenty of exercise and playtime outside of the crate to burn off energy.
- When you leave the house, start with shorter durations and work your way up to longer periods of time.
- While it’s important to gradually extend the amount of time spent in the crate, it’s equally important not to rush the process.
- Be patient and attentive to your dog’s behavior, as you don’t want to leave them in the crate for too long and risk causing undue stress or anxiety.
Remember, each dog is different, and it’s important to tailor the training process to suit their individual needs. It’s also important to remember that crate training is a process, and it may take some time before your Shih Tzu becomes comfortable spending extended periods in their crate. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, however, you can help your furry friend become acclimated to their crate and feel comfortable and secure while spending time inside.
19. Stay Calm and Patient
Crate training your Shih Tzu can be a challenging process, but it’s important to stay calm and patient throughout the journey. Remember that your dog is an individual with unique needs and abilities, and their progress may not always be linear. Here are some tips to help you maintain your cool during the process:
- Acknowledge Your Frustration: It’s normal to feel frustrated when your dog isn’t progressing as quickly as you’d like. However, it’s important to recognize when these feelings are starting to boil over and take a step back to re-center yourself.
- Take Breaks: Remember that crate training is a marathon, not a sprint. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, take a break and come back to training later when you’re feeling more relaxed.
- Practice Self Care: Crate training your Shih Tzu can be stressful, so don’t forget to take care of yourself too. Make time for activities that help you unwind and relax, such as going for a walk, taking a yoga class, or enjoying a hot bath.
- Celebrate Small Wins: Recognize and celebrate the small victories you and your dog achieve along the way. Maybe your dog spent a few minutes calmly in the crate or didn’t whine when you closed the door. These may seem like small accomplishments, but they add up over time.
- Stay Consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to crate training, so stick to your routine even when it feels like progress is slow. Remember that every training session is an opportunity for your dog to learn and improve.
By staying calm and patient, you’ll be able to provide a safe and supportive training environment for your Shih Tzu, and you’ll be more likely to see progress over time. Remember, crate training is a process that requires time and patience, so don’t give up if things don’t go smoothly at first. With perseverance and a positive attitude, you and your Shih Tzu can conquer crate training together.
After following the 19 tips for crate training your Shih Tzu, you may still feel uncertain about the process. It’s important to remember that crate training is a process and requires time, patience, and consistency.
Don’t give up! If your Shih Tzu is having difficulty adjusting to the crate, try going back a few steps in the training process and gradually work your way up again. Make sure to use positive reinforcement and praise your dog when they make progress.
Remember: crate training should be a positive experience for your Shih Tzu. Never use the crate as a form of punishment, and don’t keep your dog in the crate for extended periods of time. Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of exercise and playtime outside of the crate.
As you progress through the training process, take note of what works best for your dog. Every Shih Tzu is unique, and what works for one dog may not work for another. Be open to making adjustments and trying new techniques until you find what works best for your furry friend.
With time and consistency, your Shih Tzu will learn to love their crate and see it as a safe and comfortable space. Remember to stay calm and patient throughout the training process, and enjoy the bond that forms between you and your dog as you work together to achieve success.
20. Crate Training Your Shih Tzu is a Process
When it comes to crate training your Shih Tzu, it is important to remember that it is a process that requires patience and consistency. Don’t expect your furry friend to adjust to their new crate immediately. It may take time for them to feel comfortable and secure in their new space.
Be prepared for setbacks. Like with any new training technique, there may be a few setbacks along the way. Don’t get discouraged if your Shih Tzu has accidents in their crate or doesn’t want to enter it at first. These things take time and patience, and with positive reinforcement, your furry friend will eventually learn to love their crate.
Stay consistent with your training routine. To help your Shih Tzu adjust to their new crate, it is important to keep the training routine consistent. This means using the same positive reinforcement techniques, scheduling potty breaks at the same time, and gradually increasing the amount of time your furry friend spends in their crate.
Remember to stay patient and calm. As with any new training technique, crate training can be frustrating at times. It is important to stay patient and calm, and not to lose your temper if your Shih Tzu doesn’t seem to be catching on. Remember that you are building a positive relationship with your furry friend, and progress takes time.
Be gentle and loving. Remember, your Shih Tzu is a beloved member of your family and should always be treated with love and respect. Never use the crate as a form of punishment, or force your furry friend into their crate. Instead, use positive reinforcement techniques, and gently encourage them to love their new space.
Enjoy the process. Finally, remember to enjoy the crate training process with your Shih Tzu. This is an opportunity to build a stronger bond with your furry friend, and to introduce them to a safe, comfortable space that they can call their own. With patience, consistency, and love, you and your Shih Tzu will soon discover the joys of crate training.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my Shih Tzu doesn’t like the crate?
It’s normal for dogs to take some time to adjust to the crate, so try a gradual introduction and positive reinforcement to help them feel more comfortable.
How long can I leave my Shih Tzu in the crate?
It’s recommended to limit crate time to 4 hours for puppies and 8 hours for adult dogs.
What if my Shih Tzu whines or barks in the crate?
They may be experiencing separation anxiety, so try to make the crate more comfortable and gradually increase the amount of time they spend inside. Avoid giving in to their demands to let them out.
Can I use a soft-sided crate for my Shih Tzu?
Yes, but only if your Shih Tzu is crate-trained and won’t chew through the material. Soft-sided crates are not suitable for puppies or dogs who like to chew or scratch.
What if my Shih Tzu is too big for the crate?
It’s important to choose the right size crate for your dog, so measure them carefully and choose a larger size if necessary. A crate that is too small can be uncomfortable and stressful for your Shih Tzu.
Should I cover the crate?
Some dogs prefer a covered crate, as it can provide a den-like environment and reduce distractions. However, not all dogs like the feeling of being enclosed, so observe your Shih Tzu’s behavior and adjust accordingly.
Can I use a crate for house training my Shih Tzu?
Yes, a crate can be a useful tool for house training your Shih Tzu, as it encourages them to hold their bladder and bowel movements until they are outside. However, it’s important to take them outside frequently and reward when they go potty outside.
How do I clean the crate?
Use mild soap and warm water to clean the crate, and allow it to dry completely before putting bedding or your Shih Tzu back inside.
What if my Shih Tzu refuses to enter the crate?
Try using treats, toys, and praise to encourage your Shih Tzu to enter the crate on their own. If they still refuse, try leaving the crate door open and allowing them to explore it on their own terms.
Can I use a crate for travel with my Shih Tzu?
Yes, a crate can be a safe and secure way to travel with your Shih Tzu. However, make sure the crate is properly secured and ventilated, and provide food, water, and breaks as necessary during long trips.
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