Common Shih Tzu Potty Mistakes to Avoid

Shih Tzus are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. However, like all dogs, they can make potty mistakes. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the reasons why Shih Tzus may have accidents in the house, and what you can do to help prevent them.

Understanding Potty Mistakes

The first thing to understand is that accidents happen. Even the most well-trained Shih Tzu can have an occasional potty mistake. However, if your Shih Tzu is consistently having accidents in the house, it’s important to figure out why.

Medical Issues

One possible reason for potty mistakes is a medical issue. If your Shih Tzu is having trouble controlling their bladder or bowels, they may have a urinary tract infection, bladder infection, or other medical condition. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your Shih Tzu’s potty habits.

Behavioral Issues

Another possible reason for potty mistakes is behavioral issues. Shih Tzus may have accidents in the house if they’re not getting enough exercise, are anxious or stressed, or are not being properly housetrained. It’s important to address any underlying behavioral issues to help prevent potty mistakes.

Preventing Potty Mistakes

Here are some tips for preventing potty mistakes in Shih Tzus:

Establish a Routine

Shih Tzus thrive on routine, so it’s important to establish a consistent potty schedule. Take your Shih Tzu outside to potty first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime. You should also take them outside every few hours during the day, especially after playtime or naps.

Use a Crate

Crate training can be a helpful tool for preventing potty mistakes. Shih Tzus are less likely to have accidents in their crate because they don’t want to soil their sleeping area. When you’re unable to supervise your Shih Tzu, place them in their crate to prevent accidents.

Clean Up Accidents Thoroughly

If your Shih Tzu does have an accident in the house, it’s important to clean it up thoroughly. Use an enzymatic cleaner to remove any odors that may encourage your Shih Tzu to potty in the same spot again.

Provide Plenty of Exercise

Shih Tzus need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Make sure your Shih Tzu is getting enough physical activity to prevent boredom and anxiety, which can lead to potty mistakes.

Consult with a Professional

If you’re having trouble housetraining your Shih Tzu or if they’re consistently having accidents in the house, consider consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can help you identify any underlying issues and provide you with personalized training strategies.

Common Potty Mistakes

Here are some common potty mistakes that Shih Tzus make, and how to address them:

Submissive Urination

Submissive urination is a common issue in Shih Tzus, especially when they’re greeting people or being scolded. To address submissive urination, avoid physical punishment and instead use positive reinforcement training. Encourage your Shih Tzu to approach people on their own terms, and reward them with treats and praise for calm behavior.

Excitement Urination

Excitement urination is similar to submissive urination, but it occurs when your Shih Tzu is overly excited or aroused. To prevent excitement urination, try to keep your Shih Tzu calm and relaxed in exciting situations. You can also try teaching your Shih Tzu to “sit” or “stay” before greeting people or during playtime.

Marking Territory

Shih Tzus may mark their territory by urinating on vertical surfaces, such as walls or furniture. To prevent marking behavior, make sure your Shih Tzu is neutered or spayed, and provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied. If your Shih Tzu continues to mark their territory, consider consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Are you a Shih Tzu owner looking to avoid common mistakes? Check out our articles on Shih Tzu agility mistakes, Shih Tzu socialization mistakes, and Shih Tzu exercise mistakes for helpful tips and advice. And if you need guidance specifically on potty training your Shih Tzu, we’ve got you covered!


Potty mistakes are a common issue in Shih Tzus, but with patience and consistency, they can be prevented. By understanding the underlying reasons for potty mistakes, establishing a routine, using a crate, cleaning up accidents thoroughly, providing plenty of exercise, and consulting with a professional if necessary, you can help your Shih Tzu become a well-trained and happy member of your family.

Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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