Potty Pads Vs Shih Tzu Outside: Which is the Best Option?

Shih Tzus are one of the most popular dog breeds, known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. However, when it comes to potty training, they can be a bit of a challenge. Some owners opt to use potty pads, while others prefer to train their Shih Tzu to go outside. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both methods to help you make an informed decision.

Potty Pads: The Pros

Potty pads are a convenient option for busy owners who may not have the time to take their Shih Tzu outside every few hours. They’re also a good choice for apartment dwellers who may not have easy access to an outdoor space. Here are some of the main advantages of using potty pads:


Potty pads can be placed anywhere in your home, making it easy for your Shih Tzu to do their business. This can be especially helpful for owners who work long hours or have busy schedules.


By using potty pads, you have more control over where your Shih Tzu goes to the bathroom. This can be helpful for preventing accidents on carpets or furniture.

Training Tool

Potty pads can be a useful training tool for Shih Tzus who are just starting to learn how to potty train. They provide a clear and consistent location for your Shih Tzu to go to the bathroom, making it easier for them to understand what is expected.

Potty Pads: The Cons

While potty pads can be convenient, there are also some downsides to using them. Here are a few things to consider:


If you rely too heavily on potty pads, your Shih Tzu may become dependent on them and refuse to go outside. This can make it difficult to transition them to going outside permanently.


Potty pads can be expensive, especially if you’re using them frequently. Over time, the cost can add up.


Potty pads can be messy and unpleasant to clean up. They can also create odors in your home if not disposed of properly.

Shih Tzu Outside: The Pros

Training your Shih Tzu to go outside can be a bit more challenging than using potty pads, but it has its own set of benefits. Here are some of the main advantages:

Fresh Air

Taking your Shih Tzu outside gives them the opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise. This can be beneficial for their physical and mental health.

When you take your Shih Tzu outside, they have the opportunity to interact with other dogs and people. This can help them become more socialized and well-rounded.


By training your Shih Tzu to go outside, you’re helping them become more independent. They’ll learn to hold their bladder and bowels until they can go outside, which can be a valuable life skill.

Shih Tzu Outside: The Cons

Of course, there are also some downsides to training your Shih Tzu to go outside:

Weather Dependent

When you train your Shih Tzu to go outside, you’re at the mercy of the weather. If it’s raining or snowing, you may have to bundle up and brave the elements.

Time Consuming

Training your Shih Tzu to go outside can be time-consuming. You’ll need to take them outside frequently, especially when they’re first learning.

Limited Control

When your Shih Tzu is outside, you have limited control over where they go to the bathroom. This can be a problem if they develop a habit of going in inappropriate places.

How to Transition Your Shih Tzu from Potty Pads to Outside

If you’ve been using potty pads but want to transition your Shih Tzu to going outside, here are some tips to help make the process smoother:

Start Slowly

Don’t expect your Shih Tzu to transition overnight. Start by taking them outside more frequently and rewarding them for going in the appropriate place.

Use a Command

Teach your Shih Tzu a command, such as “go potty,” to use when you want them to go outside. This can help them understand what you’re expecting.

Be Patient

Transitions can take time, so be patient and consistent. With time and effort, your Shih Tzu will learn to go outside.

Are you a Shih Tzu parent looking for grooming tips and tricks? Check out our articles on nail trimming alternatives, common nail trimming errors, brushing dos and don’ts for Shih Poos, as well as tips for ear cleaning in Shih Tzu puppies and general ear cleaning tips to keep your furry friend healthy and happy!


When it comes to potty training your Shih Tzu, both potty pads and training them to go outside have their own set of pros and cons. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preference and lifestyle. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of both methods, you can make an informed decision that works best for you and your furry friend.

Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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