Getting a new puppy & not sure what to do Questions

Discussion in 'Shih Tzu' started by Michelle Allen, Mar 14, 2022.

  1. Michelle Allen

    Michelle Allen New Member

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    Getting a new puppy & not sure what to do

    Hello I am new here. I will probably have a lot of questions along the way so I hope that is ok.
    Our new puppy comes to live with us on March 31.
    I am so excited and have been reading a lot of information on Shih Tzu.
    I am also a little nervous because I am not sure what to do with him as far as where he should sleep at night….do I just put him in a crate and get up with him every two hours?
    I say this because I saw a lot of videos where you don’t just put the puppy in the crate. You should start the crate slowly using treats ect before you actually close the door.

    I have had 3 mastiffs (we just lost our Bullmastiff) and a couple small dogs before but have never had one this young (he will be 8 weeks old when I get him) and it’s been a long time since I’ve had a small dog.
    I have always just started them out in the crate. Not going to them ect when they whine. But I want to make sure since he is so small and will only be 8 weeks that I do it right.

    Thanks for your help! I want to make sure I do everything right.
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  3. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Dogs are the only animal that has basically been developed to be our constant partner and companion. It is in their makeup to want to be with us. And a puppy not only has that instinct, but also has been taken away from his mom and siblings and placed in a new world all by himself. So he is going to want to be with and near you as much as possible.

    With that in mind, you first want to determine where you expect him to sleep for his life. If he will be sleeping in your bedroom, then start with him there. If he will not be allowed in the bedroom at night as an adult, then don't bring him in there as a puppy.

    If he will be in the bedroom, then you can place the crate next to your bed - so you can reach over to comfort him when needed.

    With my puppies, I never used a crate. I was fine with them sleeping on the bed, so I started them out on the bed. As I was a light sleeper, I would wake as soon as they moved around, so I could quickly take them outside to potty whenever they woke, so I didn't have them on a nighttime potty schedule - it was "if he wakes, take him outside". My Moose-dog was sleeping straight through 6 hours at 8 weeks and never had an accident - he was amazing. My other puppies would sleep between 1 and 3 hours until the were about 4-5 months.

    If you use a crate, you'll want a schedule of every 1-2 hours to start. I'd start with one hour. If at the hour mark, he is still sound asleep (if he is not in the bedroom with you, you can use a baby monitor to see if he is awake without having to get up), then wait until he wakes up and then take him right outside.

    After a couple nights, you will be able to get an idea of how long he will sleep through before he needs to potty. If he wakes up every 2 hours, then you can schedule his potty breaks for every 1 hr 50 minutes - scheduling his breaks for slightly less than he needs will reduce the chance of accidents. You can retest him every month or so to see how his needs have changed.

    If he whines during the night, you can use a hot water bottle and/or a ticking alarm clock to help him settle - they mimic the warmth/hearbeat of his mama and may help calm him.

    He should go outside to potty as soon as he wakes up in the morning and right before he goes to bed at night. During the day, he should go potty after each meal, before and after play time, and whenever he wakes from a nap. Around those times, he should go out every 30-60 minutes (depending on his individual needs). Remember, he has a very small bladder (more so as a little dog), his bladder and muscles are not strong enough to hold back the flood, and his brain-to-bladder connection is not developed. That means when he has to go, he has to go RIGHT NOW and he won't know he has to go until he's going. So it is imperative that you take him out before he needs to pee. If when you take him out, he doesn't pee, bring him in and watch him like a hawk - after 5 minutes, or as soon as he makes to pee whichever comes first, take him back outside - repeat until he pees.

    During the day, you can use baby gates to keep him in the room with you. This will prevent him from sneaking off to pee in secret. It also allows him to be with you rather than confined in a crate all day. Remember his need to be near you - don't deny that. He'll grow out of it as he grows up, but you are his security (and that is better than having a crate be his security).

    Also, little short legged dogs often do not like to potty outside. This seems to be because the grass rubs on their bellies and they don't like that feeling (especially if the grass is wet). So get him out in the grass (once he is allowed) as !uch as possible so he can get used to that feeling. Spend time playing with him in the grass. If you control the grass, keep it mowed short to reduce the contact.

    Shih tzus can also be tough to potty train, so be prepared. They can easily have a setback - if they do, go back to the beginning and start over. They WILL get it in time.

    And always praise them whenever they potty outside - you cannot overpraise them for this - ever.

    Start out now with getting them to potty as soon as you go outside. Don't take them for long potty walks - this just teaches them that they need to go for a walk before they potty. Instead, keep them at home to potty. Whenever you take them outside, wait to play until they pee first. Say "go pee" (or similar) when you take them out. Say "go poop" (or similar) for that. All this will teach him that potty happens when you get outside - so when it's storming, you're in a rush, etc, you aren't having to spend 30+ minutes trying to get him to go. The cue word will help him remember what he's supposed to be doing (my Tornado-dog gets caught up in the sights and sounds and will forget to poop - I say "go poop" and it will remind him and he'll rush out to take care of business). And by teaching him to potty at home, you reduce potential issues with neighbors who may not want a dog peeing/pooping in their yard - regardless of whether you pick it up.
  4. Michelle Allen

    Michelle Allen New Member

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    Wow this was really great information! Thank you for taking the time to help me!!
    I have read that they are hard to potty train.

    When do I correct him when he goes in the floor? I correct with a “No No” but when should I start that? I hate to bring him home and correct him if he still too young to understand. I also don’t want to bring him home and start scaring him right away.
  5. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    No correcting. All that does is teach him not to potty in front of you.

    Remember, pottying is natural behavior, so correcting him for it doesn't make sense. He just knows you're that scary person.

    You aren't trying to stop him from pottying, you are trying to encourage him to go in a specific place (outside). The best way to teach him that is to get him outside before he pees and praise him like he's the greatest and cleverest dog to ever exist when he goes outside.
  6. Michelle Allen

    Michelle Allen New Member

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    Oh ok. I always thought you where suppose to say No when you catch them in the act. Thanks!
  7. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    That's old and outdated. Humans finally figured out it doesn't actually teach the puppy anything except to not do that when you are in the room.

    Think of it this way. You are at work. Whenever you pick up a paperclip, your boss yells "somberatu!" at you. Do you keep picking up paperclips? Do you stop? Or do you wait until your boss is away and then do all your paperclipping? The boss' reaction to your picking up a paperclip doesn't make sense - it just causes frustration, anxiety and negative connotations for you.

    Remember that most all inappropriate dog behavior is natural behavior to a dog. Biting, nipping, chewing, barking, peeing, pooping, etc, are all normal dog behaviors. So we want to provide them with appropriate outlets for those behaviors rather than try to eliminate them completely.
  8. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Also, look at the https://www.dogdecoder.com/ app. It is really great at helping you learn dog body language. We humans are lousy at reading dogs. We misread so much and that causes frustration for both us and the dog. Learning dog body language will make things a lot easier for you.
  9. Queensland blue

    Queensland blue Member

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    I set my pup up so he could get outside during the night by himself this time around . I live in the tropics so the weather is not too cold .

    He came at 6 weeks .I put him in the garage with the roller door up a little bit , made him a pretty big fenced yard outside the door and a low walled enclosed (not see through ) pen inside the garage .
    The garage is attached to the inside of the house so I could go sit with him in there , cuddle him , play with him , feed him then he would get tired very quickly and sleep .
    He liked being put to bed at night around sundown too, if he cried I ignored him , it was relatively painless . I did not neglect him , I comforted him at times , and he would sleep quickly .
    This was the price I paid for both our sanity , I kept him feeling safe.

    he had a radio , toys , a box , things to get in , under and behind to feel safe and a chair for me , I would go for coffee with him and tap the phone looking at google etc , it was our hang out .

    had never done it this way before ,

    As I had the time , I spent fun time in there daily going in there was not punishment it was fun for him , his feeding too.

    I left the fence open to outside for him , he would like going in.

    the result was first a bit of toilet inside , as outside was only a few feet from his area he naturally figured out how to go outside by himself .

    sometimes he would do it in the doorway and not quite make it all the way out .
    I would mop with bleach to get rid of the smell , and eventually he just went out .

    It was a good feeling waking up to no crap on the floor .

    One day I took the partition wall inside down and let him integrate inside the house . He became big enough where the distance to find outside and the toilet gradually became not a problem anymore .

    the result now is he does not go inside anymore to the toilet , so it worked . We had a few regressions along the way , it was so good not to have to deal with it personally this time around so very glad .

    I realize not everyone will be in the position with a safe neighborhood (or extra guard dog ) and the garage door connected to the house situation we have .
    However its worth mentioning , I habe toilet trained quite a dew dogs over the years , its not an exact science .
    One thing that is important is patience , and manage your realistic expectations .
  10. Michelle Allen

    Michelle Allen New Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    That was s a great analogy
    that is a great analogy! I also believe you are so right about reading a dog and the troubles we have!!

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