Crate Training Tips for Shih Tzu Puppies

Introduction

Introduction
Starting crate training with your Shih Tzu can be a daunting task. You may be wondering how to get your furry friend to feel comfortable in a confined space, but with the right approach, it can be a positive experience for both you and your pup. One of the keys to successful crate training is using treats to encourage your Shih Tzu to enter and stay in the crate. In this article, we’ll go over the step-by-step process of using treats to make crate training easier for your Shih Tzu, so you can help your furry friend feel safe and secure in their crate.

What is Crate Training?

Crate training is a highly effective method of teaching dogs to behave properly, especially when left alone at home. It is the process of introducing a crate to be used as a comfortable space for the dog to rest and sleep, as well as a method of keeping them safe when supervision is not possible. The crate should never be used as a form of punishment, but rather as a place where the dog feels comfortable and secure.

Why crate training is beneficial for your Shih Tzu?

Crate training allows the owner to teach their Shih Tzu proper bathroom etiquette, limit access to certain areas of the house, and prevent destructive behavior from occurring. It provides the dog with a sense of comfort, security, and helps them learn how to self-soothe when feeling anxious or stressed. This is especially important for Shih Tzus who are known to suffer from separation anxiety.

How does crate training work?

The goal of the crate training process is to teach your Shih Tzu to associate their crate with positive events, like receiving treats or toys, and gradually increase the amount of time they spend inside the crate. It is important to start with short periods of time and gradually increase the length of time the dog is in the crate.

The benefits of crate training:

BenefitsDescription
Teaches bladder and bowel controlCrate training teaches your Shih Tzu to hold their bladder and bowels, which helps prevent accidents in the house and makes the house training process go more smoothly.
Provides a safe and comfortable spaceThe crate is a safe and comfortable space that your Shih Tzu can retreat to when they feel anxious, scared, or overwhelmed, providing them with a sense of security.
Prevents destructive behaviorCrate training can prevent your Shih Tzu from engaging in destructive behavior when unsupervised, such as chewing on furniture or shoes.
Helps with travel and vet visitsIf your Shih Tzu is crate-trained, it will make travel and vet visits much easier and less stressful for both you and your furry friend.

Crate training should always be done in a positive and gradual manner, and best practices should be followed to minimize any negative behavior or reactions from your Shih Tzu. If you have any questions or concerns about how to properly crate train your Shih Tzu, you can read more on Shih Tzu Crate Training: 10 Tips for Success.

Why Use Treats in Crate Training?

Using treats in crate training can be extremely effective in getting your Shih Tzu comfortable with their crate and helping them see it as a positive space. Treats play an important role in positive reinforcement training, which is the basis of crate training. The idea behind positive reinforcement training is to reward your dog for exhibiting a desired behavior, in this case, entering and staying in the crate. By giving your Shih Tzu treats during the crate training process, you are helping to establish a positive association between your dog and their crate. This will help them to feel more comfortable and at ease when they are in it.

Here are some reasons why using treats in crate training is beneficial:

  • Encourages positive behavior: By rewarding your Shih Tzu for entering and staying in their crate, you are encouraging positive behavior, which will help make the training process more effective.
  • Speeds up the training process: Using treats can help speed up the crate training process because your Shih Tzu will be more motivated to learn and will be more likely to follow your commands.
  • Creates a positive association: By providing your Shih Tzu with treats while they are in their crate, you can help create a positive association between your dog and the crate, which will make them more likely to enjoy spending time in it.
  • Prevents negative associations: Using treats can also help prevent negative associations with the crate. If your Shih Tzu is hesitant or fearful of the crate, offering treats can help to calm their nerves and ease them into it.

If you’re interested in learning more about crate training, you can check out our guide on the topic.

Choosing the Right Treats

Choosing The Right Treats
As we all know, treats are an essential part of crate training your Shih Tzu. They not only help to create a positive association with the crate, but also aid in reinforcing good behavior. However, with so many treats available in the market, choosing the right one for your furry friend can be overwhelming. It’s important to consider their nutritional requirements and the size and texture of the treat. Let’s dive deeper into how to choose the right treats for your Shih Tzu’s crate training. If you want to learn more about crate training your Shih Tzu in general, take a look at our article on crate training Shih Tzu.

Nutritional Requirements

When choosing treats for crate training, it is important to consider the nutritional requirements of your Shih Tzu. While treats should be used as a reward, they should not replace a well-balanced diet. Your dog’s treats should only make up less than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

Below is a table that outlines the recommended calorie intake for Shih Tzus based on their weight:

Shih Tzu WeightCalories Per Day
Up to 5 pounds200-400 calories
5 to 10 pounds400-500 calories
10 to 15 pounds500-700 calories
15 to 20 pounds700-900 calories

Additionally, it is important to choose treats that are high in protein and low in fat. Look for treats that have recognizable ingredients and avoid treats with fillers or artificial preservatives.

You can even make your own treats using ingredients like peanut butter, sweet potato, and chicken. Baking your own treats allows you to control the ingredients and ensure that they are healthy for your Shih Tzu.

Remember, just like with people, a balanced diet is essential for our furry friends. By choosing the right treats, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu is receiving the proper nutrition while also enjoying the benefits of crate training.

If you’re unsure about the best crate size for your Shih Tzu, check out our article on the best crate size for Shih Tzu for more information.

Treat Size and Texture

Treat Size and Texture

When selecting treats for crate training your Shih Tzu, it is important to consider the size and texture of the treats. You want to choose treats that are small enough for easy consumption but big enough to be satisfying. Treats that are too small may not be rewarding enough, while treats that are too big may take too long to eat and distract from the training process.

In addition to size, you’ll want to consider the texture of the treat. Soft treats may be easier for your Shih Tzu to chew and may be more palatable, but they can also be messy and crumble inside the crate. Crunchy treats can be a better option, but they may be harder to eat for some dogs, especially those with dental issues.

Use the table below as a guide to help you choose the right size and texture of treat for your Shih Tzu:

Treat TypeRecommended SizeTexture
Liver TreatsSmall piecesSoft
BiscuitsBite-sizedCrunchy
Jerky TreatsSmall stripsChewy

Remember that not all dogs have the same taste preferences, so it may take some trial and error to find the right treat that your Shih Tzu loves. However, it is essential to choose treats that are safe and beneficial for your Shih Tzu.

If you want to learn more about crate training your Shih Tzu, check out our article on common mistakes to avoid, how long to crate train, alternatives to crate training, and what to do when your Shih Tzu cries in the crate. Additionally, we have tips on crate training for travel with your furry friend.

Getting Your Shih Tzu Acquainted with the Crate

Getting Your Shih Tzu Acquainted With The Crate
Introducing your Shih Tzu to a crate can be a daunting task, especially if they have never been in one before. However, with some patience and the right approach, you can make crate training a positive experience for your furry friend. Using gradual introduction and positive reinforcement techniques, you can help your Shih Tzu feel comfortable and safe in their crate. So, let’s dive in and explore some effective methods for getting your Shih Tzu acquainted with the crate.

Introduce the Crate Gradually

Gradual Crate Introduction

When introducing your Shih Tzu to the crate, it is important to take it slow and introduce the crate gradually. This will make it easier for your furry friend to get used to their new sleeping or resting area.

To start, place the crate in a room where your Shih Tzu spends a lot of time. Leave the door to the crate open and let your pup investigate the crate on their own. Do not force your dog to enter the crate as this can create a negative association with the space.

Steps for Gradual Crate Introduction
Step 1: Place the crate in a room where your Shih Tzu spends a lot of time.
Step 2: Leave the door open and let your pup investigate the crate on their own.
Step 3: Place treats near the crate to encourage your pup to explore closer.
Step 4: Once your dog is comfortably exploring the crate, start placing treats inside the crate to encourage them to step inside.
Step 5: Gradually increase the time your dog spends inside the crate, using treats to encourage them to stay inside for longer periods of time.

It is important to give your Shih Tzu plenty of positive reinforcement during the gradual introduction process. Celebrate and reward small successes, such as your pup sniffing around the crate or placing a paw inside.

Remember, every dog is different, and some may take longer to get used to the crate than others. Be patient and consistent in your training, and soon enough, your Shih Tzu will see their crate as a safe and comfortable space.

Getting Your Shih Tzu to Enter the Crate

One of the most common challenges in crate training your Shih Tzu is getting them to enter the crate on their own. However, with a few simple steps, it is possible to overcome this challenge and make crate training a breeze.

Step 1: Create a Positive Association with the Crate
The first step in getting your Shih Tzu to enter the crate is to create a positive association with the crate. You can do this by placing treats or toys inside the crate, as well as by placing a comfortable blanket or bed inside. This will encourage your pup to explore the crate and associate it with positive experiences.

Step 2: Gradually Extend the Time Your Shih Tzu Spends in the Crate
Once your Shih Tzu is comfortable going in and out of the crate, start gradually extending the amount of time they spend inside. Begin by closing the door for just a few seconds, then gradually increase the time until your pup can stay inside the crate for several minutes without becoming anxious.

Step 3: Use Treats to Encourage Your Shih Tzu to Stay in the Crate
To encourage your Shih Tzu to stay in the crate, use treats as positive reinforcement. When your pup enters the crate, give them a treat and praise them for their good behavior. Gradually increase the amount of time your pup stays in the crate, and continue to reward them with treats and praise for staying inside.

Step 4: Avoid Using Force or Punishment
It’s important to avoid using force or punishment when crate training your Shih Tzu. Forcing your pup to enter the crate or punishing them for not entering will only make them more anxious and resistant to training. Instead, use positive reinforcement and patience to encourage your pup to enter the crate on their own.

By following these simple steps, you can help your Shih Tzu become comfortable with their crate and make crate training a positive experience for both you and your furry friend.

Using Treats to Encourage Your Shih Tzu to Stay in the Crate

Using Treats To Encourage Your Shih Tzu To Stay In The Crate
As you begin crate training your Shih Tzu, you may encounter difficulties in getting them to stay inside the crate. Fortunately, with the help of treats, you can make the crate a comfortable and enjoyable space for your furry friend. By using positive reinforcement techniques and offering rewards, you can encourage your Shih Tzu to stay in the crate for longer periods of time. In this section, we will explore how you can use treats to achieve this goal.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement training is an effective way to crate train your Shih Tzu while also strengthening your bond with them. This type of training involves rewarding good behavior with treats or other positive reinforcements, such as verbal praise or toys. In contrast, punishment-based training is less effective and can actually harm your dog’s behavior and well-being.

Here is an html table that outlines the steps for implementing positive reinforcement training in crate training:

StepDescription
1.Start by offering your Shih Tzu treats and praise when they enter the crate on their own.
2.Once your dog is comfortable entering the crate, start closing the door for short periods of time while they are inside, and continue to offer treats and praise.
3.If your Shih Tzu remains calm and quiet while inside the crate, offer them treats and praise. If they become agitated or start whining or barking, wait for them to calm down before offering treats and praise.
4.Gradually increase the amount of time your dog spends in the crate with the door closed, continuing to offer treats and praise for good behavior.
5.Once your dog is comfortable spending longer periods of time in the crate, start leaving the room for short periods while they are inside. Continue to offer treats and praise for good behavior.
6.Practice leaving your Shih Tzu in the crate for longer periods of time while you are away, gradually building up to the amount of time needed for your regular schedule.

Remember to be patient and consistent with positive reinforcement training. It may take some time for your Shih Tzu to get used to the crate, but with the right approach and plenty of treats and praise, they can learn to love their cozy little home.

Using Treats as a Distraction

As your Shih Tzu begins to get more comfortable with their crate, you can use treats as a distraction to help them stay calm and focused while inside. Using treats as a distraction during crate training can be especially effective if your Shih Tzu becomes anxious or restless in their crate.

One way to utilize treats as a distraction is by giving your Shih Tzu a treat puzzle toy, which will keep them occupied and entertained while inside the crate. These toys typically involve hiding treats inside of a puzzle or maze, which your Shih Tzu must solve in order to access the treats.

Another option is to give your Shih Tzu a bully stick or chew toy to gnaw on while inside the crate. These types of treats not only offer distraction, but they also provide stimulation for your dog’s jaw and teeth, which can help prevent destructive chewing in the future.

Keep in mind that while treats can be an effective distraction tool, it’s important not to use them as a crutch. Your Shih Tzu should eventually be able to stay calm and relaxed in their crate without the need for constant treats or distraction. As with all aspects of crate training, patience and consistency are key.

Here’s a table summarizing the ways treats can be used as distractions during crate training:

MethodBenefits
Treat puzzle toyKeeps dog occupied and entertained
Bully stick or chew toyOffers stimulation and prevents destructive chewing

By using treats as a distraction tool, you can help make the crate a positive and enjoyable space for your Shih Tzu.

Creating a Treat Schedule

Creating A Treat Schedule
As with any training regimen, consistency is key when using treats to crate train your Shih Tzu. In order to achieve this consistency, it’s important to create a treat schedule that complements your dog’s routine. By establishing a routine for treat distribution, you’ll help your Shih Tzu feel more secure in their training and make the process more effective overall. So, let’s dive into the details on how to create a treat schedule that works for your furry friend.

Establishing a Routine

Once you have chosen the right treats to use in your crate training routine, it’s important to establish a routine to effectively use them. A routine will help your Shih Tzu understand what is expected of them, and when they can expect to be rewarded with a treat. Here are some tips for establishing a routine with your Shih Tzu:

  • Consistency: Consistency is key in establishing a routine. Set a specific time for your Shih Tzu’s crate training and treat sessions and stick to it, whether it’s once a day or multiple times a day.
  • Timing: Timing is also important. Make sure to give your Shih Tzu their treat immediately after they have done something positive, such as entering the crate or staying in it calmly.
  • Predictability: Predictability is essential in creating a routine as it will help your Shih Tzu understand what to expect. Use the same words and tone of voice when cueing your Shih Tzu to enter the crate, and always follow up with a treat.
  • Gradual increase: Gradually increase the amount of time that your Shih Tzu spends in the crate, and the amount of treats they receive. This will help them to associate the crate with positive experiences and make it more likely that they will choose to enter it on their own.

By establishing a routine with your Shih Tzu and using treats consistently and predictably, you can make crate training a positive experience for both you and your furry friend.

Training Without Treats

While treats are an effective tool for crate training your Shih Tzu, it’s important to not rely on them too heavily. You don’t want your dog to only go into the crate if there’s a treat involved. It’s important to establish a routine and room for training without treats.

Alternative Rewards

If you want to wean your Shih Tzu off treats, you can look for other ways to provide positive reinforcement. Praise and affection, such as petting and verbal reassurance, can be just as effective as treats. Remember to always reward your dog when they enter the crate on their own, even if there’s no treat involved. Consistency is key in reinforcing good behavior.

Training Goals

As you start to rely less on treats, make sure that you have clear training goals in mind. Focus on the end goal of having a comfortable and well-trained dog that can stay in the crate for an extended period of time. Remember that crate training is a gradual process and will take time and patience.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Without the use of treats, you can focus on other positive reinforcement techniques such as verbal cues and clicker training. Be patient when using these techniques, as it may take some time for your Shih Tzu to understand the association between the command and the reward.

Training Progression

As you move towards training without treats, make sure to adjust your training plan accordingly. Increase the amount of time your Shih Tzu spends in the crate, and continue to reinforce good behavior with positive reinforcement.

Use the table below to keep track of your Shih Tzu’s progress as you move towards training without treats:

Training GoalProgress
Length of Time in CrateIncreasing over time
Frequency of Treat UseDecreasing over time
Use of Alternative RewardsIncreasing over time

By monitoring your Shih Tzu’s progress, you can ensure that they are comfortable in the crate and that you are not relying too heavily on treats for their training. Remember to praise and reward good behavior consistently, and your Shih Tzu will soon become a crate training pro.

Troubleshooting

As much as you may try, sometimes crate training your Shih Tzu can come with a few bumps along the way. Don’t get discouraged! While some common issues may arise, they can be easily overcome with the right approach. In this section, we’ll cover some of the most common roadblocks you may encounter, and give you the tools and techniques to help you troubleshoot and overcome them. Let’s get started with some effective solutions to crate training challenges.

Excessive Barking or Whining

Excessive barking or whining is a common occurrence when crate training a Shih Tzu. This behavior can be a sign of stress or anxiety, and it is essential to address it as soon as possible to prevent potential long-term negative effects on your dog’s mental health.

Identifying the Cause:
The first step in addressing excessive barking or whining is to identify the underlying cause. Is your Shih Tzu whining because they need to go outside? Are they barking because they are hungry or thirsty? Or are they simply experiencing separation anxiety or discomfort inside the crate?

To determine the cause, observe your dog and analyze their behavior. Are they barking or whining at specific times of the day or night? Are they exhibiting other signs of stress or anxiety, such as pacing, panting or drooling? Once you have identified the cause, you can take appropriate measures to address the behavior.

Addressing the Behavior:
If your Shih Tzu is whining or barking because they need to go outside, establish a regular potty schedule and take them out at the same time each day. If they are barking or whining because they are hungry or thirsty, ensure that they have access to food and water at all times.

If the cause of the behavior is separation anxiety or discomfort inside the crate, using treats can be an effective way to address the behavior. Gradually increase the amount of time your Shih Tzu spends inside the crate and provide treats for good behavior.

Additional Tips:
In addition to using treats, there are a few additional tips that can help address excessive barking or whining during crate training. These include:

  • Ensuring that the crate is the appropriate size and provides adequate ventilation and visibility
  • Making sure that your Shih Tzu gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day
  • Providing a comfortable and familiar bed or blanket inside the crate

Conclusion:
Excessive barking or whining during crate training is a common issue that can be addressed with patience, consistency, and the use of treats. By identifying the underlying cause and taking appropriate measures to address the behavior, you can help make the crate training process easier and more enjoyable for both you and your Shih Tzu.

Refusal to Enter the Crate

It can be frustrating when your Shih Tzu refuses to enter their crate, but it’s important to stay patient and calm in these situations. Here are some steps you can take to encourage your pup to enter the crate:

  • Make sure the crate is the right size: If the crate is too small or too big, your Shih Tzu may feel uncomfortable and refuse to enter it. The crate should be big enough for your pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
  • Use treats: Treats can be a powerful motivator for getting your Shih Tzu into the crate. Try placing some treats inside the crate and leaving the door open. Encourage your pup to go inside and explore the crate on their own.
  • Associate positive experiences with the crate: It’s important to make sure that your Shih Tzu associates positive experiences with the crate. For example, you could feed your pup inside the crate or place their favorite toys inside. They’ll start to see the crate as a safe and comforting space.
  • Be patient: It’s important to be patient and not force your Shih Tzu into the crate. They may need some time to get used to the idea of being inside the crate. Try not to get frustrated or angry if they refuse to enter the crate – this will only make them more anxious and resistant.

Remember that every Shih Tzu is different and may require a unique approach to crate training. If you’re still struggling with getting your pup to enter the crate, consider consulting a professional dog trainer for additional guidance and support. With patience and consistency, you and your Shih Tzu can work together to make crate training a positive and enjoyable experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, crate training can be a useful tool for Shih Tzu owners to help with potty training, minimizing destructive behavior, and providing a safe space for their furry friend. By using treats properly, crate training can become a positive experience for both you and your Shih Tzu.

Remember to choose the right treats that meet your dog’s nutritional requirements and are the right size and texture. Getting your Shih Tzu comfortable with the crate can take time, so introducing it gradually and using positive reinforcement training is key.

Using treats as a distraction can also be helpful in keeping your Shih Tzu in the crate for longer periods of time. Establishing a treat schedule and routine can also aid in the success of crate training your Shih Tzu.

However, if you encounter any issues such as excessive barking or refusal to enter the crate, there are troubleshooting steps that can be taken.

Overall, crate training with treats can make the process easier and more enjoyable for both you and your furry companion. With patience and consistency, your Shih Tzu can become comfortable and content in their crate, providing them with a peaceful retreat to call their own.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to crate train a Shih Tzu?

The length of time it takes to crate train a Shih Tzu varies depending on the individual dog, but it typically takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

What size crate should I get for my Shih Tzu?

It is recommended to get a crate that is just big enough for your Shih Tzu to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Should I leave food and water in the crate with my Shih Tzu?

No, it is not recommended to leave food and water in the crate with your Shih Tzu as it can lead to accidents and digestive issues. Instead, provide them with water and food outside of the crate but well before crate time.

Can I use any type of treat to train my Shih Tzu?

While you can use any type of treat to train your Shih Tzu, it’s important to choose treats that are small and high in value to your dog. For instance, treats with real meat, cheese or other flavors will work better.

How often should I give my Shih Tzu treats during crate training?

You should give your Shih Tzu treats during crate training as often as necessary to encourage positive behavior, but avoid over-treating as it can cause obesity.

Can I crate train an adult Shih Tzu?

Yes, adult Shih Tzus can be crate trained, but it may take longer as they may be set in their ways.

Can I crate train my Shih Tzu while I’m away at work?

It is not recommended to crate train your Shih Tzu while you are away at work for extended periods of time, as it can cause physical and mental distress. Find someone to let them out for a walk and some interaction during the day.

What should I do if my Shih Tzu whines or barks in the crate?

Avoid giving in and letting your Shih Tzu out of the crate if they whine or bark, wait until they are calm so you don’t reinforce the bad behavior. If the problem persists, seek out the help of a professional dog trainer.

Is it okay to use a crate for punishment?

No, a crate should never be used for punishment as it can make your Shih Tzu feel scared or anxious about the crate and cause difficulties with long-term training.

Can I stop crate training my Shih Tzu once they are fully trained?

Once your Shih Tzu is fully crate trained, you can stop using the crate or continue to use it as a safe and comfortable space for your dog to rest or travel. However, keep up with positive reinforcement training for other behaviors to keep them from unlearning the benefits of crating.

References

Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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