Help your new Shih Tzu puppy to develop good habits right from day one in your home. The earlier your Shih Tzu puppy becomes accustomed to his surroundings and belongings the more secure he will be in a new environment. Consider the following tips:

• Create a space for your Shih Tzu puppy before he or she arrives
• Invest in a comfortable bed
• Baby gates may be appropriate for your particular situation
• A collar and leash for your Shih Tzu puppy should be waiting in his space
• 3 or 4 chew toys and a Nylabone
• Plan out a regular schedule of eating, potty times, playing, exercising and confinement

At first you will want to confine your Shih Tzu puppy to a designated area in your home. This is for the safety of the Shih Tzu puppy when you are not around to supervise and also to keep him away from your personal belongings. It has been said by many dog trainers that giving puppies too much freedom too soon is a major cause for puppies developing bad habits. Instead of giving a new Shih Tzu puppy full run of your house, give him access only to the objects you provide for him such as his personal toys chews, food and water dish, bed, etc., in a small confined space, which is “his own personal pad.”

Choose the Shih Tzu puppy’s space wisely. If you choose a place pleasant, giving the puppy plenty of room to move about freely, but not a huge area of space, you can use it for his “room” far into the future. If you get the Shih Tzu puppy used to this one space right from day one, it will be easier on you and him to leave him in that space anytime you need to leave or wish to do something that does not involve the Shih Tzu. You will come home to a Shih Tzu who has been comfortable and content even though you were away.

Even though you designate a particular space for the new Shih Tzu puppy, you can still have him or her out and about with you and the family as much as you desire and even sleep in the same room with whomever you desire at nighttime. His or her space does not mean the Shih Tzu puppy has to remain there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is only a spot you want to get him use to for times you cannot play with him, or supervise him, to keep him out of trouble and to keep your belongings out of his reach.

I believe for the Shih Tzu, to follow the above advice, helps to make him or her an integral part of the family.

The space you choose is entirely up to you. A lot of people like to use a kitchen, utility room or bathroom. You do want to choose a space that will “always” belong just to the Shih Tzu.

Kitchens are a good place to section off a space for your Shih Tzu puppy as kitchens seem to be a place where the family gathers and where the pet should be also. A space such as this helps to keep the Shih Tzu puppy a constant part of the family.

Confinement for hours at a time, even when the Shih Tzu is older, is always better in a space or a room where he can move about, stretch his legs, or lie on his side with his legs straight out if he wants instead of confinement to a crate or cage. Crates and cages are great for housebreaking techniques, but not for the “total space” you want to give your Shih Tzu in your home as his own space.

A good idea is to block in the Shih Tzu puppy with baby gates so he can see outside his space. Shih Tzu loves nothing more than feeling a part of whatever is going on with their people. Never, ever lock your Shih Tzu puppy in a room all by himself with the lights out.


If your breeder has already trained the Shih Tzu puppy to use a crate, place the crate inside his space with the door open.

Consistent use of a crate is an excellent way to housebreak “some” dogs and “some” Shih Tzu. Not all Shih Tzu are created alike. Not all dogs are created alike. I have had some Shih Tzu I could use the crate for housebreaking, others I could not.

A cage is not a good place to keep a Shih Tzu or Shih Tzu puppy for long periods of time or for the times of the rest of your life when you are away. A cage is a good tool to use for housebreaking and to create a cozy den area with nice, soft, plush blankets inside and the door open for the Shih Tzu to go in and out as he so desires. It should be a “refuge” place for your Shih Tzu once housebreaking is over.

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© 2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved

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Written by: Connie Limon. Visit us at and sign up for our FREE newsletters. We provide Shih Tzu puppies for pet or show with health guarantee.