Archive for April, 2010

Housebreaking a Shih Tzu

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Shih Tzu PuppiesThe task of housebreaking a dog is not for the impatient, or for those that are easily frustrated. It is hard work and requires perseverance, time, lots of patience, and above all, a genuine love and commitment to your pet. Among dog breeds, Shih Tzus, despite their fun and loveable personalities, are some of the hardest puppies to housebreak. They have lots of energy with which to cause trouble; short attention spans, which makes it hard for them to learn desired behaviors, and a friendly and adorable demeanor, which often makes it difficult to owners to discipline them. Add to this the fact that they’re notorious for having a desire to do whatever they please without considering the feelings of their owners, and you have a pretty big housebreaking problem on your hands.Don’t panic just yet, though. While a bit more difficult than most, the Shih Tzu puppy is not impossible to housebreak, and if you know how to go about it, it can be relatively pain free. Here are a few simple and essential Shih Tzu housebreaking guidelines that should help make your task a little easier.

Take Your Shih Tzu Puppy Outside Every 2 hours

Shih Tzus learn better through praise than through punishment. For this reason, you must begin your housebreaking task by catching your Shih Tzu doing the right thing first (i.e. eliminating outside). Take him out every 2 hours to increase your chances of catching him in the act of going potty in the right place. If you’re persistent, your every-2-hours potty breaks will pay off. When you finally catch your Shih Tzu going potty where you want him to, be sure to give him lots of praise.

Verbal Conditioning

When you catch your Shih Tzu urinating outside, say the word “potty” out loud. Continue doing this each time your puppy goes potty outside. The idea here is to begin associating the word with the action. It will take many repetitions, but if you do this early on, after a few months, whenever you say the word “potty” your Shih Tzu will understand the association, and be more inclined to go potty.

Praise Your Shih Tzu Verbally and With Physical Affection

If there’s one thing Shih Tzu puppies crave, it is love and affection. Lots of it. So when your Shih Tzu pup does something you want it to do, praise him with your voice and your touch. Give him a lot of hugs and kind words and he’ll be eager to please you again next time by performing the action that led to your coddling him, i.e. urinating outside instead of on your Persian rug.

Watch for Warning Signs

If your Shih Tzu pup is circling an area or sniffing at it, it could be a sign that it’s about to eliminate there. When your Shih Tzu is indoors, be sure to keep an extremely close watch on him or her. Identifying warning signs before it’s too late will make your job that much easier. Your Shih Tzu will obviously have no clue at first where the “right” place to eliminate is, so you’ll have to keep an eye on him or her for the first few months if you want to avoid having to clean your carpet or hardwood floor every day.

Cut Back on Outdoor Visits Gradually

Continue the routine described in the above steps for a good six weeks or until your Shih Tzu has no more accidents inside. You can then start cutting back on the frequency of outdoor visits. If you’ve done your job right, your Shih Tzu will start letting you know when it needs to go potty by standing next to the patio door and whimpering.

Accessories

Many people use synthetic grass as a way of encouraging familiarity with the appropriate places to eliminate, while others believe that puppy pads do the trick. Synthetic grass is generally a terrible idea because it creates more of a mess, with wet and stinky paws to clean, as well. While you can certainly lie things such as puppy pads down as protection, these accessories do not normally aid in the housebreaking and training procedure.

Remember That Punishment is Not as Effective as Praise

Punishment is definitely NOT something you want to use when housebreaking a dog, and especially not when housebreaking a Shih Tzu pup. Shih Tzus don’t react well to punishment. As was mentioned before, they have short attention spans. They won’t be able to remember why they were being punished. And if anything, they’ll just hide it from you next time they potty inside. Praise is a much more effective and (in the long run) a much easier method.

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Tips for Housebreaking Yorkies

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Yorkshire terriers are notoriously hard to housebreak. Any yorkie owner will tell you that training a yorkie not to pee in the house is the hardest hurdle to jump. However, as you’re working to housebreak your yorkie, it’s good to keep in mind that your dog is not trying to purposefully infuriate you, even if their misbehavior seems insistent or stubborn. With the right training, most yorkies will catch on, even if it takes a while. The trick here is to have patience and to give your Yorkshire Terrier lots of love and care. Here are some helpful tips that should make it easier for you to get your yorkie to do what you want it to.

Be Consistent with Outside Potty Times

The first thing you need to do is to set up a consistent schedule of potty times for your dog. If you are only taking your yorkie out to relieve himself 2 or 3 times a day, don’t expect him/her to stop peeing inside. Take your yorkie out as soon as it wakes up and right before it goes to bed. Throughout the day, you should try to take him/her out every two hours. Hire a dog sitter if you have to during this initial training period. Again, you must be consistent with this in order for it to work. Soon, your yorkie will start catching on to the schedule. Once you see him/her going out on their own, it means s/he’s used to the routine. At this point, you can start gradually increasing the time intervals.

Give Him Praise for Good Behavior

If you are outside with your yorkie terrier, either in the backyard playing fetch or on a walk, remember to praise and show affection to your dog when s/he relieves him/herself in an appropriate place. You might want to give him/her a treat as a kind of reward that s/he can associate with their good behavior. This is all part of the process that will train him/her to pee and poop outside. It will let him/her know that outside is the place to go.

Chastising Your Yorkshire Terrier

If you’re inside and you catch your yorkie doing his business on your floor or furniture, say “NO!” firmly and loudly, pick him/her up, and take him/her outside immediately. Do not chastise him/her for mistakes unless you catch him/her in the act, otherwise s/he will not make the connection between his/her actions and your anger.

Crate Training

Crate training your Yorkshire Terrier can help in the process of housebreaking a puppy. The crate will become your yorkie’s private den, and will keep him/her from running rampant around your house while you’re gone or not looking. If a yorkie gets used to the crate, it will help alleviate their anxiety and make the whole housebreaking process easier on both of you.

Don’t Rub Your Dog’s Nose in the Mess

This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make while they’re trying to housebreak dogs. DO NOT rub your yorkie’s nose in the mess when they make one, even if it’s on your favorite Italian leather couch. This kind of abuse has absolutely no positive effects for your efforts. It will only increase your dog’s anxiety and make the whole process of housebreaking him/her much more difficult.

Clean the Mess Thoroughly When it Happens

If your yorkie keeps urinating or defecating in the same spot of your house, it could be because there is still some smell remaining from a previous time. Dogs are attracted to the smell of the same spot where they did their business before. Removing all traces of odor will make it so that they don’t have a particular spot indoors for their business.

Consult with Your Veterinarian

If the training methods you’re using are just simply not working, it could be that your yorkie has some kind of medical condition that makes it hard for him/her to control their bowels or urinary tract. If you’re housebreaking training isn’t doing the trick, try taking your dog to the vet and see what the doctor has to say.Above all, make sure that you are loving and attentive. Stay consistent in your housebreaking methods and be patient. Yorkies are intelligent and loving animals, and even though it can be difficult to deal with their initial training, anyone can do it provided they stick to the plan.

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