Have you ever wanted to take your beloved Shih Tzu on a trip with you, but worry about their safety and comfort? Traveling with a small dog can be challenging, but crate training can make the journey much more manageable. Crate training not only helps reduce anxiety and stress for your furry friend, but also keeps them secure during the trip. In this article, we will walk you step-by-step through crate training for car or plane journeys. Discover how to choose the right crate, introduce your Shih Tzu to it, get them used to being in it, and tips for traveling by car and plane. Let’s make traveling with your Shih Tzu a fun and stress-free experience for both of you!
Why Crate Training is Important for Traveling
Crate training is an effective way to prepare your Shih Tzu for traveling, whether it be by car, plane or any other mode of transportation. While some pet owners may feel hesitant about using a crate, the truth is that crate training has many benefits, both for you and your furry friend. In this section, we will explore the reasons why crate training is so important for traveling with your Shih Tzu. We will discuss how it can help reduce anxiety and stress, as well as keep your Shih Tzu safe and secure. To learn more about crate training and its benefits, check out our guide on crate training for Shih Tzu.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Crate training your Shih Tzu before traveling can significantly reduce their anxiety and stress levels during the journey. Traveling can be stressful for Shih Tzus, especially if they are not used to being confined to a small space for extended periods. Being confined in a crate can feel strange and scary for them. However, when done properly, crate training can help reduce that stress and anxiety.
Here are some of the ways that crate training can help reduce anxiety and stress:
- Creates a Safe Space: Being in a crate creates a safe space for your Shih Tzu. This confined space provides a sense of security and helps them to feel more comfortable while traveling.
- Establishes a Routine: Crate training helps establish a routine for your Shih Tzu’s travel. They get used to the routine of being in the crate, which helps them to understand what’s expected of them during travel.
- Reduces Overstimulation: When traveling, your Shih Tzu can easily become overstimulated. By being in their crate, they can retreat to a quiet, dark space that helps reduce stimulation and calm their nerves.
Note that crate training must be done correctly to achieve these benefits. Be sure to choose the right crate size, introduce your Shih Tzu to the crate slowly and carefully, and use positive reinforcement techniques during the training process. To learn more about crate training for Shih Tzus, check out this guide on teaching your Shih Tzu to love their crate.
Keeps Your Shih Tzu Safe and Secure
Crate training is an important aspect of preparing your Shih Tzu for traveling. Not only does it reduce their anxiety and stress, but it also keeps your Shih Tzu safe and secure during the journey. Traveling can be stressful for both you and your furry friend, especially if they are not contained in a secure space. Here are some reasons why crate training is important for keeping your Shih Tzu safe:
|Prevents Injuries||During car or plane journeys, sudden movements can cause your Shih Tzu to be thrown around the vehicle. Being in a crate reduces the risk of injury.|
|Avoids Distracted Driving||If your Shih Tzu is not crate trained, they may try to jump around the car or sit on your lap while you are driving, causing distractions which can cause accidents.|
|Eases Check-in Procedures||If you are traveling by plane, most airlines require that your Shih Tzu is in a crate before they can be checked in. Being used to the crate will make this process much easier and stress-free for both you and your dog.|
|Provides Security||During travel, it’s important to ensure that your Shih Tzu doesn’t accidentally run away or get stolen. A crate provides a secure space and reduces the risk of losing your furry friend.|
You should ensure that the crate you use is the correct size for your Shih Tzu, and that there are no common mistakes made during the training process. Using positive reinforcement, like treats, and gradually introducing them to the crate can help make the process easier. If your Shih Tzu is having trouble adjusting to the crate, there are also alternative training methods that you can try.
By crate training your Shih Tzu, you are not only making their traveling experience more comfortable and less stressful, but also ensuring their safety and security during the journey.
Preparing for Crate Training
Preparing your Shih Tzu for crate training can seem like a daunting task, but it is an essential step in ensuring safe and comfortable travel. A properly trained Shih Tzu will not only experience less anxiety and stress during a journey but will also be more likely to comply with airline and car regulations. To help make the preparation process as smooth as possible, we’ve put together some useful tips for selecting the right crate and introducing your pup to this new environment. By following these steps, you can ensure that your furry friend is comfortable and secure during all your future travels. For more helpful tips, check out our article on 10 tips for crate training a Shih Tzu.
Choosing the Right Crate
Choosing the Right Crate: When it comes to traveling with your Shih Tzu, it is essential to choose the right crate. A crate that is too small can be uncomfortable, while a crate that is too large can be unsafe. The crate should be big enough for your Shih Tzu to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right crate for your Shih Tzu:
- Size: As mentioned earlier, the size of the crate should be just right for your Shih Tzu. You may want to measure your Shih Tzu before purchasing a crate to ensure the correct size.
- Material: Crates can be made from different materials such as plastic, metal, and fabric. Plastic and metal crates are more durable, while fabric crates are lightweight and easy to carry. Choose a material that will suit your needs.
- Ventilation: Make sure the crate has enough ventilation to keep your Shih Tzu cool and comfortable. A crate that is poorly ventilated can cause your Shih Tzu to overheat which may be harmful.
- Security: The crate should have a secure lock or latch to prevent your Shih Tzu from escaping during travel. A loose lock or latch can be dangerous, and you don’t want your Shih Tzu running around in the car or plane.
Once you have chosen the right crate, it’s time to get your Shih Tzu used to it. If you’re having trouble getting your Shih Tzu to like the crate or want to know the right time for crate training, check out our article on when it’s best to start crate training your Shih Tzu. Additionally, if your Shih Tzu cries or whines in the crate, read our article on tips for how to deal with Shih Tzu crying in the crate.
Introducing Your Shih Tzu to the Crate
Introducing Your Shih Tzu to the Crate:
The key to successful crate training is making sure your Shih Tzu is comfortable and feels safe in their crate. Here are some steps to introduce your furry friend to their new home:
- Step 1: Place the crate in a comfortable and quiet area of your home, away from high-traffic areas or noise.
- Step 2: Leave the door of the crate open and place a treat or toy inside to encourage your Shih Tzu to explore.
- Step 3: Allow your Shih Tzu to enter and exit the crate as they please. Remember, this should be a positive experience, so never force them to go inside.
- Step 4: Once your Shih Tzu is comfortable walking in and out of the crate, try closing the door for a short period of time while you are in the room with them. Gradually increase the time they spend in the crate with the door closed.
- Step 5: Always reward your Shih Tzu with treats and praise when they enter and exit the crate, and when they stay calm inside with the door closed.
- Step 6: Never use the crate as a form of punishment. Your Shih Tzu should always associate their crate with positive experiences.
Remember, crate training takes time and patience. Each Shih Tzu is unique, and some may take longer to get used to their crate than others. Be consistent with your training and always keep a positive attitude. Before you know it, your Shih Tzu will happily hop into their crate and be ready for any adventure you have planned.
Getting Your Shih Tzu Used to Being in the Crate
Getting Your Shih Tzu Used to Being in the Crate:
Once your Shih Tzu is comfortable going into the crate, it’s time to start getting them used to being in there for longer periods of time. Follow these steps to ease them into longer crate stays:
- Start with short periods: Begin by having your Shih Tzu spend just a few minutes in the crate with the door closed. Gradually increase the time they spend in the crate as they become more comfortable.
- Use treats and positive reinforcement: Give your Shih Tzu a treat or toy to play with in the crate, and give them plenty of praise when they are calm and relaxed. This will help them to associate the crate with positive experiences.
- Keep the crate in a comfortable area: Make sure that the crate is placed in a comfortable and familiar area of your home, ideally in a room where you spend a lot of time. This will help your Shih Tzu feel more secure when they are in the crate.
- Close the door gradually: Slowly get your dog used to staying in the crate with the door fully closed. Begin by closing the door for just a few seconds at a time, and gradually increase the duration over multiple training sessions.
- Practice in different environments: Once your Shih Tzu is comfortable spending longer periods of time in the crate at home, gradually introduce them to the crate in other environments, such as in a car or outdoors. This will help them to become more comfortable with the crate in different contexts.
By following these tips, your Shih Tzu will be comfortable and secure in their crate, and ready for safe and stress-free travel.
Crate Training Tips for Car Travel
Traveling with your Shih Tzu by car can be a fun and easy way to explore new destinations. However, it’s important to ensure that your furry friend is safe and comfortable during the journey. One way to do this is through crate training. Using a crate can provide a secure and familiar space for your Shih Tzu while on the go. Here are several helpful tips to consider when crate training your Shih Tzu for car travel.
Start with Short Trips
When crate training your Shih Tzu for car travel, it’s important to start with short trips. Short trips help your dog get accustomed to the crate and the movement of the car. It’s also a great opportunity to identify and address any issues that may arise during longer trips. Here are some tips to make the process go smoothly:
- Start slow: Introduce your Shih Tzu to the crate by leaving it open in a common area of your home. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by placing treats and toys inside. Gradually increase the time your dog spends in the crate, starting with just a few minutes and building up to longer periods.
- Limit distractions: During car rides, limit your dog’s access to distractions like windows or loud music. This can cause excitement or anxiety, making it harder for your Shih Tzu to settle down and relax.
- Take frequent breaks: Plan for frequent stops during longer car rides. This will give your dog the opportunity to stretch their legs, use the bathroom, and get some fresh air.
- Stay consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to crate training. Use the same commands and routines each time you put your dog in the crate. Praise and reward them for good behavior.
- Consider anti-anxiety products: If your Shih Tzu struggles with car rides, consider using anti-anxiety products like calming treats or a ThunderShirt to help them feel more relaxed and comfortable.
By starting with short trips and following these tips, your Shih Tzu will be well on their way to crate training success for car journeys. Remember to be patient and consistent, and always keep your pet’s comfort and safety in mind.
Use Treats and Positive Reinforcement
One of the most effective ways to crate train your Shih Tzu for car travel is by using treats and positive reinforcement. However, it’s important to choose treats that are healthy and safe for your dog. Here are some tips for using treats during crate training:
|1||Choose small, bite-sized treats that are easy for your Shih Tzu to consume.|
|2||Keep treats on hand during crate training, and reward your dog each time he or she enters the crate voluntarily.|
|3||Try giving your Shih Tzu a treat immediately after he or she enters the crate, and another one when he or she remains calm and quiet inside the crate for a few minutes.|
|4||Avoid using treats to lure your dog into the crate, as this can create a negative association with the crate and make it harder to train your dog to enter on his or her own.|
|5||Combine treats with verbal praise and petting to reinforce positive behavior and encourage your Shih Tzu to feel comfortable and secure in the crate.|
Remember, crate training is not an overnight process, and it may take several weeks of consistent training to achieve the desired results. Using treats and positive reinforcement can be a helpful tool, but it’s also important to be patient, calm, and consistent throughout the training process.
Make Sure the Crate is Securely Fastened
When traveling with your Shih Tzu by car, it’s important to ensure that the crate is securely fastened to prevent any accidents or injuries. Here are some tips to make sure that the crate is properly secured:
|Use a seatbelt or car harness||One of the easiest ways to secure the crate is to use a seatbelt or car harness. This will keep the crate in place during sudden stops or turns.|
|Use bungee cords or straps||If your crate doesn’t have built-in anchors for securing it in a car, you can use bungee cords or straps to secure it to the car’s seats.|
|Place the crate in the back seat||The back seat is generally the safest place for your Shih Tzu’s crate since it’s farther away from any potential impact in case of an accident.|
|Avoid placing the crate in the trunk||Placing the crate in the trunk is not recommended as it may not provide enough ventilation or protection in case of an accident.|
|Double-check the crate’s integrity||Before every trip, make sure that the crate’s door is securely latched and that there are no loose parts that could break apart during transport.|
By following these tips and properly securing the crate, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu travels safely and comfortably by car.
Crate Training Tips for Air Travel
If you’re planning to take your Shih Tzu on an airplane, it’s crucial to make sure they are comfortable with their crate. Air travel can be stressful for both humans and animals, but with proper training and preparation, you can make the experience smoother for your furry friend. In this section, we’ll provide you with important tips and tricks to crate train your Shih Tzu for air travel so that both you and your furry companion can feel calm and confident throughout the journey.
Check the Airline’s Regulations
Before you embark on any journey with your Shih Tzu, it’s important to check the airline’s regulations on traveling with pets. Different airlines have varying rules and requirements, so it’s crucial that you do your research beforehand to avoid any issues on the day of travel.
Checklist of things to consider when reviewing an airline’s regulations:
|Factor||What to Check|
|Pet Size & Weight||Find out the maximum weight and size limits for pets allowed in the cabin or cargo hold of the plane. Some airlines may require a health certificate or other documents for larger pets.|
|Restrictions by Breed||Check if the airline has any breed-specific rules on transporting pets. Some breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, may be restricted due to their breathing difficulties in high altitudes.|
|Type of Crate Allowed||Make sure that the crate you plan to use for your Shih Tzu meets the airline’s requirements. Some airlines may only accept crates made of certain materials or with specific dimensions.|
|Cost and Reservations||Check if the airline charges an additional fee for traveling with a pet and if you need to make a reservation for your furry friend. Some airlines have limited space for pets, so early booking is recommended.|
It’s also a good idea to call the airline’s customer service to ask any specific questions you have regarding traveling with your Shih Tzu. Make sure to clarify any doubts you may have to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey for both you and your furry companion.
Familiarize Your Shih Tzu with the Crate and Airline Environment
When it comes to air travel with your Shih Tzu, familiarization is key. This means introducing your furry friend to the crate and the airline environment beforehand to help reduce stress and anxiety. Here are some tips to help familiarize your Shih Tzu with the crate and airline environment:
1. Set up the Crate at Home: Before the trip, set up the crate at home and allow your Shih Tzu to explore it. You can place treats or a favorite toy in the crate to encourage them to enter it voluntarily.
2. Practice Crate Training: Once your Shih Tzu is comfortable with the crate, practice crate training them for longer periods. This can be done by gradually increasing the amount of time that your Shih Tzu spends in the crate.
3. Make Crate Time Comfortable: Give your Shih Tzu the comforts they need, such as a soft blanket or pillow, to make the crate feel like a cozy den.
4. Introduce Airline Sounds: Expose your Shih Tzu to sounds similar to those in an airline environment such as the sound of an airplane engine or loudspeaker announcements. You can play these sounds at a low volume at home to help your Shih Tzu become more familiar with them.
5. Visit the Airport: If possible, take your Shih Tzu to the airport a few times before the trip. Walk them around the airport terminal and let them get used to the different smells and noise levels.
6. Meet Airline Staff: Take the opportunity to meet airline staff and let them interact with your Shih Tzu. This meeting can help your Shih Tzu become more accustomed to strangers and new people.
By familiarizing your Shih Tzu with the crate and airline environment, you can help them feel more at ease and comfortable during the flight. Remember to approach this process with patience and positivity to ensure a successful outcome.
Keep Your Shih Tzu Calm and Comfortable During the Flight
When traveling with your Shih Tzu by air, it is essential to keep them calm and comfortable during the flight. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:
- Provide familiar items: Bring some of your Shih Tzu’s favorite toys, blankets, or bedding to help them feel more at ease. The familiar smells and textures can be comforting and reassuring to them.
- Stay calm: Your Shih Tzu can pick up on your emotions, so it’s important to remain calm and composed throughout the flight. Speak to your pup in a soothing tone and offer them plenty of reassurance.
- Gentle movements: During turbulence or other unsettling moments, try to keep your Shih Tzu calm and secure by making gentle movements like hugging them close or stroking their head.
- Airline staff communication: Let the cabin crew know that you are traveling with a Shih Tzu and ask if there is anything they can do to make the flight more comfortable for your pup. Some airlines may provide a water bowl, additional blankets or even arrange to have your furry friend taken to a quiet area to have a break.
- Medication: It’s important to speak with your vet about any sedatives or anti-anxiety medications that may help your Shih Tzu cope with long-haul flights. There are also natural supplements that can help to soothe and calm your pup’s nerves.
By keeping your Shih Tzu calm and comfortable during air travel, you can ensure that your furry friend has a pleasant and stress-free journey. Remember that it’s essential to continue crate training even after your flight, so your Shih Tzu can associate their crate with positive experiences both on the ground and in the air.
After following these steps and tips, your Shih Tzu should be all set for traveling in their crate, whether it be by car or plane. Remember that crate training is important for reducing anxiety and stress, as well as keeping your furry friend safe and secure during their journey.
When choosing a crate, make sure it is the right size for your Shih Tzu and meets airline regulations if you plan to fly. Introducing your Shih Tzu to the crate slowly and using positive reinforcement is key to getting them used to it.
For car travel, start with short trips and make sure the crate is securely fastened. Using treats and positive reinforcement can make the experience more enjoyable for your Shih Tzu.
If you plan to fly with your Shih Tzu, check the airline’s regulations ahead of time and make sure they are familiar with the crate and airline environment before the flight. Keeping them calm and comfortable during the journey can help reduce stress and anxiety.
By following these crate training steps and tips, your Shih Tzu can enjoy safe and stress-free travel with you. Happy travels!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best size of crate for a Shih Tzu?
The ideal size for your Shih Tzu’s crate is one where they can comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down. Remember, the crate should be spacious enough to reduce your dog’s anxiety.
How long should I leave my Shih Tzu in the crate during travel?
You shouldn’t keep your Shih Tzu in the crate for longer than four hours on a plane or two hours on a car journey. This prevents the dog from feeling stressed, and it will also help alleviate the need to relieve themselves.
When should I start crate training my Shih Tzu?
You should start crate training your Shih Tzu as early as possible, this will help them get used to the crate and reduce resistance. However, it could be beneficial to train them in stages so as to not make the dog feel overwhelmed.
How long does crate training take?
Crate training can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The duration will depend on your dog’s temperament and the level of training your dog received before starting crate training.
What should I feed my Shih Tzu during travel?
You can feed your Shih Tzu a light meal at least two hours before travel to prevent motion sickness. It is also important to carry water to keep them hydrated.
What are the benefits of crate training for a Shih Tzu?
Crate training reduces your Shih Tzu’s anxiety and keeps them feeling safe and secure. It can also help with house training, reduce destructive behavior and protect your furry companion while traveling.
Should I put a blanket in the crate with my Shih Tzu?
Yes, you should place a soft and comfortable blanket in the crate to make your Shih Tzu feel cozy during travel.
Can I give my Shih Tzu medication to keep them calm during travel?
You should not medicate your Shih Tzu without consulting with your vet. They will choose the best solution for your furry friend if necessary.
What should I do if my Shih Tzu cries or barks while in the crate?
If your Shih Tzu cries or barks while in the crate, it could be a sign of anxiety or exhaustion. Calmly reassure your furry friend and offer them treats to associate the crate with positive experiences.
Is it necessary to use a crate during travel?
Although it isn’t mandatory to use a crate during travel, it’s highly recommended for your Shih Tzu’s safety and comfort. It is a sensible investment for safeguarding your furry companion during travel.