Crate Training Shih Tzu Potty: A Complete Guide for Housebreaking Your Shih Tzu

Crate training is a popular method used by dog owners to help with housebreaking their pets. Shih Tzus, with their small size and adorable appearance, are a beloved breed that can benefit from crate training when it comes to potty training. Crate training not only aids in potty training but also provides a safe space for your Shih Tzu to retreat to when they need some alone time or a place to rest. In this blog post, we will delve into the ins and outs of crate training a Shih Tzu for potty training purposes.

Understanding Crate Training

Before diving into how to crate train your Shih Tzu for potty training, it’s essential to understand the concept of crate training itself. A crate serves as a den-like space for your dog, mimicking the natural denning instincts they have inherited from their wild ancestors. When used correctly, a crate can become a safe haven for your Shih Tzu, a place where they feel secure and comfortable.

Choosing the Right Crate

When it comes to crate training your Shih Tzu for potty training, selecting the right crate is crucial. The crate should be large enough for your Shih Tzu to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably but not too spacious that they can designate a spot for potty purposes. Opt for a crate made of sturdy material and with proper ventilation to ensure your Shih Tzu’s comfort.

Introducing the Crate

Once you have chosen the right crate for your Shih Tzu, it’s time to introduce them to their new space. Place the crate in a quiet area of your home where your Shih Tzu can still feel connected to the family. Make the crate inviting by adding a soft blanket or bedding, a few toys, and some treats to encourage your Shih Tzu to explore the crate on their own terms.

Positive Association

To help your Shih Tzu develop a positive association with the crate, start by feeding them their meals near the crate and gradually move the food inside the crate. You can also toss treats inside the crate for your Shih Tzu to retrieve, making it a rewarding experience for them. Avoid forcing your Shih Tzu into the crate or using it as a form of punishment to prevent any negative associations.

Establishing a Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to crate training your Shih Tzu for potty training. Establishing a routine can help your Shih Tzu understand when it’s time to go potty and when it’s time to rest in their crate. Take your Shih Tzu outside to potty first thing in the morning, after meals, before bedtime, and any time they wake up from a nap. Use a specific command like “go potty” to reinforce the behavior.

Crate Time

Incorporate crate time into your Shih Tzu’s daily routine to help them get accustomed to spending time in their crate. Start with short intervals, gradually increasing the duration as your Shih Tzu becomes more comfortable. Use verbal cues like “crate time” or “go to bed” to signal to your Shih Tzu that it’s time to enter their crate. Remember to praise and reward your Shih Tzu for entering the crate willingly.

Potty Breaks

When crate training your Shih Tzu for potty training, it’s essential to provide them with frequent potty breaks to avoid accidents inside the crate. Take your Shih Tzu outside immediately after they have been in the crate for an extended period, after meals, and before bedtime. Supervise your Shih Tzu closely during potty breaks and reward them for going potty in the designated spot.

Accidents Happen

Despite your best efforts, accidents are bound to happen during the potty training process. If your Shih Tzu has an accident inside the crate, remain calm, and clean up the mess promptly. Avoid scolding or punishing your Shih Tzu as it can create a negative association with the crate. Instead, reinforce positive behavior by praising your Shih Tzu when they go potty in the right place.

Patience and Persistence

Crate training a Shih Tzu for potty training requires patience and persistence on your part. Every dog learns at their own pace, so it’s essential to remain consistent with your training efforts. Celebrate small victories along the way, whether it’s your Shih Tzu willingly entering the crate or successfully going potty outside. With time and dedication, your Shih Tzu will master potty training with the help of crate training.

Creating a Bond

Crate training your Shih Tzu for potty training is not just about teaching them where to go potty but also about fostering a strong bond between you and your furry companion. Through crate training, you can build trust and communication with your Shih Tzu, creating a harmonious relationship based on mutual understanding and respect.

Looking for more tips on Shih Tzu training? Check out our articles on potty training Shih Tzu, Shih Tzu potty training tips, treat crate training for Shih Tzu, and Shih Tzu potty schedule for helpful guidance on raising a well-trained pup!


In conclusion, crate training your Shih Tzu for potty training can be a rewarding experience for both you and your pet. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this blog post, you can successfully potty train your Shih Tzu using a crate while strengthening your bond with them. Remember to be patient, consistent, and positive throughout the training process, and soon enough, your Shih Tzu will master the art of potty training with flying colors.

Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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