|Barked: Tue Sep 20, '11 2:37pm PST |
|I have Shih Tzus. They're not HARDER to housebreak; they're HARDER to catch making a mistake!! They are so low to the ground the deed's done before you even know it. And 1 accident inside the house sets you back 3 days in housebreaking!! They also have MUCH smaller bladders.
Read this article: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/toybreedswordsout.htm
Do not have the puppy out in the house unless you are watching him EVERY.SINGLE.MINUTE. Do not let him out of your sight even to get up and answer the phone. Do not get distracted. Devote at LEAST 2 weeks to NEVER letting the puppy mess in the house. Yes, it is WORK. But at the end of two weeks, it should be easier. And you will be learning pup's signals that he has to 'go'.
For the first month you will HAVE to carry him outside, because his little legs just won't make it fast enough before he has to go. But take him to the same spot EVERY time, encourage him with a key phrase (Tinkle, Go Potty, Hurry Up), and take a YUMMY treat out with you. (Have them ready by the door or in your pocket at all times; you won't have time to look for one on the way out!). Once pup does his business, whoop and holler, have a 'party', praise, pet, and give treats. Pup will soon get the idea that going outside makes their person very happy and treats rain down upon them. Peeing inside just warrants and 'OoPs, No No. Outside' and no treat.
Forget what the websites/books say about how long puppy should be able to hold it. Puppies aren't reading those books. At least the pups I have had. When I take the pup out to play, brush, feed-- whatever -- we go out every 15-20 minutes at first. Better to go out too much than not enough. After the first week, you can lengthen it to 30 minutes, but you are STILL watching the pup constantly.
If pup falls asleep, you can leave him to nap, but you have to watch for him to wake up. THE MINUTE he does, rush him outside to his bathroom spot.
By 12 weeks, you should be letting the pup walk (or run) to the door with you. If he won't run fast enough, have a leash on him to encourage him to get to the door himself. The key is NOT to just put him out in the yard and expect him to know what he's there for. Smell the pretty flower, chase the butterfly, pester the cat?? Let him back inside and he suddenly remembers he has to go potty NOW. And there's the accident we're trying to avoid.
Make up your mind to be EXTREMELY diligent the first 2-4 weeks and that devotion will soon pay off. By the end of the first month home, pup should be able to hold it 45-60 minutes at a time. Just like a baby, he has to be taken care of on HIS terms, not what you 'think' he should be capable of doing!
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