Crate Training Shih Poo Tips Tricks

Crate training is an effective and humane way to train your Shih Poo. This method provides a safe and secure space for your furry friend while helping with housebreaking and reducing anxiety. Shih Poos, a crossbreed between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle, are intelligent and affectionate dogs that can benefit greatly from crate training. In this article, we will discuss various tips and tricks to make crate training a positive experience for both you and your Shih Poo.

Choosing the Right Crate

When it comes to crate training your Shih Poo, selecting the right crate is crucial. The crate should be spacious enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, it should not be too big as this may encourage your Shih Poo to use one end as a bathroom area. Opt for a crate that is cozy and inviting, such as a wire crate with a comfortable bed or blanket inside.

Introducing the Crate

Before diving into crate training, introduce the crate to your Shih Poo as a positive space. Place treats, toys, and familiar bedding inside the crate to entice your furry friend to explore. Leave the crate door open initially, allowing your Shih Poo to enter and exit freely. Encourage your dog to spend time in the crate voluntarily by praising and rewarding good behavior.

Feeding in the Crate

To create a positive association with the crate, consider feeding your Shih Poo meals inside the crate. This will help your dog view the crate as a source of comfort and sustenance. Start by placing your dog’s food bowl near the crate, gradually moving it inside during meal times. Use positive reinforcement and praise to reinforce the idea that the crate is a pleasant place to be.

Gradual Enclosure

Once your Shih Poo is comfortable entering the crate voluntarily, you can begin closing the door for short periods. Start by closing the door for a few seconds while your dog is inside, then gradually increase the duration. Stay nearby and offer reassurance through your voice or by sitting next to the crate. Avoid opening the door if your dog whines or barks, as this may reinforce negative behavior.

Creating a Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to crate training your Shih Poo. Establish a routine that includes regular feeding times, bathroom breaks, and crate sessions. Dogs thrive on predictability, so sticking to a schedule will help your Shih Poo adjust to crate training more easily. Incorporate playtime, exercise, and bonding activities outside of the crate to ensure a well-rounded experience for your furry companion.

Bedtime Routine

Bedtime can be a challenging time for both you and your Shih Poo, especially during the crate training phase. To make bedtime more comfortable, establish a calming routine before placing your dog in the crate for the night. Offer a final bathroom break, a soothing bedtime snack, and some quiet time together to help your Shih Poo wind down. Use a comforting phrase or cue to signal bedtime and reassure your dog that it’s time to rest.

Midday Breaks

During the day, be mindful of your Shih Poo’s bathroom needs and provide regular breaks outside of the crate. Puppies, in particular, may need to relieve themselves more frequently, so schedule midday breaks for bathroom trips and exercise. Use this time to interact with your dog, play games, and reinforce positive behaviors outside of the crate. A well-exercised and stimulated Shih Poo is more likely to rest comfortably in the crate.

Positive Reinforcement

When crate training your Shih Poo, focus on positive reinforcement to encourage desired behaviors. Reward your dog with treats, praise, or playtime for entering the crate willingly, staying calm inside, and remaining quiet during crate sessions. Avoid using the crate as a form of punishment, as this can create negative associations and lead to anxiety or resistance. Make crate time a positive and rewarding experience for your Shih Poo.

Overcoming Challenges

While crate training can be a beneficial tool for shaping your Shih Poo’s behavior, it may come with its own set of challenges. Understanding common obstacles and how to address them can help you navigate the crate training process more effectively.

Separation Anxiety

Shih Poos are known for their affectionate nature and may experience separation anxiety when left alone in the crate. To help your dog cope with being separated from you, gradually increase the duration of crate sessions and practice short absences. Use comforting toys or blankets with your scent to provide reassurance while you are away. Avoid making a big fuss when leaving or returning to prevent reinforcing anxious behavior.

Barking or Whining

Excessive barking or whining in the crate can be a common challenge during training. To address this behavior, avoid responding to vocalizations with attention or letting your Shih Poo out of the crate immediately. Instead, wait for a moment of quiet before opening the door to reward calm behavior. Use distractions, such as puzzle toys or chew treats, to keep your dog occupied and engaged during crate time.

Potty Accidents

Accidents inside the crate can happen, especially during the housebreaking phase. To prevent potty accidents, ensure your Shih Poo has regular bathroom breaks and opportunities to relieve themselves outside of the crate. Clean up accidents promptly using pet-safe cleaners to remove odors and discourage repeat incidents. Consider adjusting feeding and watering schedules to minimize accidents inside the crate.

Long-Term Benefits

While crate training may require time and patience, the long-term benefits for your Shih Poo are well worth the effort. A well-trained dog who is comfortable in a crate can enjoy a sense of security, independence, and structure in their daily routine. Crate training can also facilitate travel, vet visits, and overnight stays by providing a familiar and safe space for your Shih Poo to relax.

Looking for more tips and tricks on training your Shih Poo? Check out our articles on training tips and tricks for Shih Poos, crate training Shih Poos, potty training Shih Poos, the benefits of crate training for Shih Poos, and leash training tips for Shih Poos to help you raise a well-behaved and happy pup!


In conclusion, crate training can be a valuable tool for shaping your Shih Poo’s behavior and creating a positive environment for learning and relaxation. By choosing the right crate, introducing it gradually, establishing a routine, overcoming challenges, and focusing on positive reinforcement, you can set your furry companion up for success. Remember to be patient, consistent, and empathetic throughout the crate training process to build a strong bond with your Shih Poo and promote their well-being and happiness.

Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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