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First Shih Tzu puppy

Discussion in 'Dogs - small breeds (toy) specific' started by mamacooke, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. mamacooke

    mamacooke New Member

    Hi, I just brought home a 9 week old Shih Tzu. I love him terribly and he's doing great. We're working on house training, which is going well. However, I'm also crate training, making it a happy home but I find that he eliminates in it while I'm gone. I thought it was b/c his bladder is so small but as I'm researching crate training I keep hearing that they will not eliminate where their "home" is unless something is wrong.

    He's a happy pup and I'm giving him nothing but positive praise and positive disipline. Am I doing something wrong? Please help!! I want to do this right.
  2. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    A puppy will go when it needs to ,crate or no crate ,they can't hold it that long .I don't like crates ,but that is just me .Others that have used crates may can help you more .Glad your positive with him ...PICTURES PLEASE !!!
  3. Steffi

    Steffi New Member

    Congratulations on your new puppy!! My family is planning on getting one this summer, so I don't have one right now. Of course I've been doing tons of research, and I've read that it could be that your crate is big enough for the pup that it can easily walk around freely in it. Because of that they might soil somewhere in the corner. If not, then I'm not too sure...have fun with your new pup!
  4. mamacooke

    mamacooke New Member

    Just curious, what other method do you use house training your dog other than the crate? I work during the day but am able to come home during lunch to feed, play and take him out for an hour. I thought crate training was my only option for at least a year. Once he's house broken I will give let him have the house. For now, it's too messy.

    I'll post a picture as soon as I figure out how to do it. This is the first time I've ever joined a forum of any kind.

    Thanks for replying...
  5. MyBabyShihPoo

    MyBabyShihPoo New Member

    Hi and WELCOME to the board mamacooke (and congrats on your shih-tzu)! :eek:

    Since I didn't crate train my pups I am afraid I won't be of much help to you. But, something to consider is how long you are keeping him in his crate. Most small breed dogs, when that young, simply CAN'T hold it for long. Now I am not sure how long he is in his crate for, but the time issue is definitley something to consider in trying to find out why he might be eliminating in his crate.

    Hopefully someone else will have some other ideas for you!!!

    Have a great day! :D
  6. mamacooke

    mamacooke New Member

    Thanks Steffi. You're right, the crate is the size he'll need when he's full grown. Too big for him right now. I'll try a smaller one. Healthwise, will it hurt him to hold it for 4 hours at such a young age?
  7. karma

    karma New Member

    Somewhere there is a formula for figuring how long a pup can hold it before he needs to relieve himself. I'm not positive, but I'm thinking for a 9 week old, something in the vicinity of 2 hours? Maybe someone else can help elaborate. I do think that 4 hours sounds like too long, though. I don't think he'll hold it long enough to hurt himself,- as you're seeing, he'll probably just go. But it does help his housetraining in the long run if you can avoid him going in the crate at all- no chance to establish poor habits, you know?

    And yes, ditto on the crate size- try a smaller one for now. Best of luck!
  8. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    He should not be in a crate over 2 hours ,they can't hold it and it is cruel to leave them without water and food ,in my opinion .I would use one room ...kitchen ,lots of toys ,food ,water ,puppy pads and puppy litter .He will hit and miss ..but he is a baby ,then when you get home ,you can supervise the making sure he uses it outside or on the pads and litter .Just my thoughts ..
  9. PooGirl13

    PooGirl13 New Member

    Hi & welcome to the boards!!!

    I don't have my puppies yet (soon!), so I can't offer any 'hands on' advice, only what I've read. Since the crate is too big, you can always try to add a divider instead of buying a smaller one. I've read that some come with dividers and I think you can buy them.. that way as the pup gets older you can take the divider out.

    Good luck ~ I wish I could offer real advice.. I just haven't been there yet :)
  10. MyBabyShihPoo

    MyBabyShihPoo New Member

    I believe at 9 wks. old that is too long for your baby to be able to hold it. When my two shih-poos were 10 wks. old, I was lucky if they were able to hold it for just 1 hr. Your shih-tzus ability to hold it for longer periods of time will increase as he gets older.

    PooGirl is right, buying dividers is a cheaper option if you don't want to spend the money on a new crate.

    Since I am not exactly fond of crate training, I used a different method. (Please do note that I am NOT saying crate training is wrong/bad, for it is not if used appropriately...I just chose not to crate train. It all comes down to personal preference.)

    Since I chose not to crate train my pups, I just put them in the VERY WELL PUPPY-PROOFED and gated kitchen when I was not home, or couldn't keep a real close eye on the two of them. In one corner of the kitchen they have a huge cage (big enough to fit a retriever) that I put toys, bedding, blankets, and chews in. The cage door is always open in case they want to go in there. I also put two dog beds outside of their cage in case they didn't want to sleep inside of the cage. In addition, they also had their food bowls and water bowls in the kitchen as well. Mickey & Tigger (my shih-poos) rarely had accidents in there, and both of them were housebroken rather quickly!!! So, needless to say, I am very happy with this method, and if I had to do it all over again, I would do the same!!! :idea:

    However, I should mention that I would put Mickey & Tigger in a crate (a small one for their size) every once and awhile so they would get used to it in case they ever needed to be in one for whatever reason. Luckily, they had no problems with it (probably b/c their breeder used one for them) so I didn't need to put them in one very often.

    Just some ideas for you!

    Best of luck to you and your new pup, :D
  11. Alabamamom1

    Alabamamom1 New Member

    :) I just want to say hello mamacooke and welcome to the board. I did not crate train Romeo either. What I did was when I was going to be gone for a while I would put him in the bathroom (ours is pretty large and has no carpet). I would leave out his food and water and turn on some music for him, I left his crate in the room but open so he could go in and out. We used puppy pads so I had his pad in there. Oh yeah and plenty of toys. This worked well for us, I know everyone is different.
    Since I didn't crate Romeo when we were home as to not let him have the run of the house I kept him in a childs playpen where he had his bed area, toys, pad, etc.
    I think crate training is good. I planned on doing it, but it was not what worked for me. I hope you have good luck doing it, I just wanted to explain what worked for me so that you could know the alternatives. :idea:
  12. sandangel

    sandangel New Member

    When crate training , the crate should only be big enogh to stand up and turn around in. . Your best bet is to buy a divider if you have a crate that is too large. At this age your pup will probably want to go out every couple of hours, if not then accidents will happen. You also should be getting up during the night with him to train him to not go in crate during the night. It's hard but usually every 2 hours then stretch it by an hour each time evry few daysand soon he will be making it through the night. Also no water or food after about 7 should make the night go easier.

    If you let your pup have free roam of the house too soon then the housebreaking will take longer. You also should hang a set of bells off your doorknob. Each time you take the pup hour ring the bells with the dogs paw. This will teach the pup to ring the bell itself in the future when it needs to go out. Some dogs can pick up this trick in just a few days!!!!!! Just make sure the bells reach long enogh to the floor for the pup to reach!

    Don't forget to place a cover over crate when it is bedtime. This will help to relax your pup.
  13. Jensmom

    Jensmom New Member

    Hi there...we have a shih tzu puppy also...she's now 3 1/2 months old...when we first brought her home we had her in a playpen with water and blanket on one side and her papers on the other...as she got older we bought a play/exercise pen at Petsmart for her which gave her a lot more room...we also got a large dog litter box and put papers in it instead of litter...she jumps in and does her business when she has to go. It works well for us and she seems really happy...she has room to romp and play and always has water and her bed in there. Good luck! Shih Tzu's are wonderful dogs and we couln't be happier with ours.
  14. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    Shihpoo and Alabamamom are right in my opinion .A neat place with lots of play room and lots of things they love ,bed ,water ,food ,puppy pads and/or litter or even newspaper in a box ,a radio playing to keep them company helps .A crate with the door open so they can go inside is okay ,but alot of puppies don't want to be left with standing room only and if left for long periods of time ,they have to do their business and if no other choice is given ,they will lay in it .They can't just stand there all day ...usually a puppy goes from 12 to 20 times a day ,toy dogs cannot hold it ,it hurts and if they have no other choice ,they do what they have to do .Sorry ,I just can't see crates as anything other than maybe a place to put them to take them to the vet ,to protect them from when you are using harsh cleaners to clean the floors or when company comes over and you need to put them up for awhile ,those type things but not as a home all day or for hours on end ...I just can't see it ...My heart would break to have to see a puppy that way .
  15. raindigger

    raindigger New Member

    I totally agree! A pup that young should not be expected to hold their bladder . Please allow the pup to have a papered bathroom with toys, food, water and a crate opened up for sleeping in. In time you can keep him crated for longer periods, but not yet.
  16. mamacooke

    mamacooke New Member

    Thanks all of you for your advise. You can't imagine (or maybe you can) how helpful it is for me. Things get better every day (except for my breaking heart). I can't stand to see him the least bit upset. At night I keep him in a soft carrier (just his size) and I lay it beside me in my bed. I take him out every time he makes a whimper b/c I know that means he has to go out to piddle. Each night he wakes up less and less. I don't particularly want him to stay in a crate overnight b/c I want him to sleep with ME. The crate during the day is just a temporary training method until he's house broken. He's actually doing better with the crate. I don't just throw him in there and leave him. I put toys, blankets, beds all sorts of fun stuff in there and I even lay my head in there to play with him. He freely walks into it now without getting as upset. When I'm home with him after work I don't use the crate at all. I spend lots of time with him playing, potty training--all the good stuff. It's during the day (with the exception of my lunch hour) that he's confined. Ususally when I come home he's ok, happy and waking from a nap.

    I may change over and put him in my bathroom. It's fairly large but I thought the crate would also help training when I have visitors. Unfortunatly, not everyone likes it when a dog jumps on their lap and licks them to death. I'm just thinking ahead.

    I'm just glad to know that nothing is wrong with him. I read something somewhere the even 9 week old pups should be able to hold it for 8 hours (not that it was recommended) but they said something might be wrong it they couldn't. It just worried me.

    I'm going to try the dividers for the crate. If I'm or he isn't satisfied I'll start using the bathroom.

    Thanks again! You guys are great!!! Keep the advise going, I need it!
  17. PooGirl13

    PooGirl13 New Member

    So, I wonder what the pros/cons are to having your pup go to the bathroom inside or out?

    Is training your puppy to go outside better, or having papers or a dog litter box inside?
  18. Alabamamom1

    Alabamamom1 New Member

    :-# hmmm.... I don't know about which is better, I use both. Romeo was taught to use the training pads and go outside. I like this method because he could use the training pads when home alone or in the night if he needed to, but while I am home we do go outside too. I don't know about everyone else, actually I tried a few things and this is what worked best for my dog. I'm sure they are all different and really just do what they are taught to. Depending on the preference of the owner.

    I am glad to hear that your training is doing better. It probably just took the little pup some time to get used to things. :)

    :D I just read over my post and thought that I would add that while Romeo was using the pads frequently when he was small and could not hold it all night, now he RARELY uses them at all. I still keep one out in the same place it has always been, just in case. Sometimes when the weather is bad he doesn't like to go outside and prefers the pads.
  19. PooGirl13

    PooGirl13 New Member

    Thanks Alabamamom ~ I thought doing too many things would confuse the dog, but as you said all dogs are different.

    I would LOVE to do it the way you do it.. it would be nice to not have to get up at 2:00am to take the pup out to go potty :)

    Hmmm... something for me to think about...
  20. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    If you put in a bathroom make sure the toliet lid is secure ,could get in and not back out and drown easily ...just a thought there ..
    Glad he is doing better ! And I do not think they can hold that long (8 ) hours , unless they sleep that long ...larger dogs maybe ,but not toys ...espically puppies .

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