Whether you have an adult or a Shih Tzu puppy, training them to relieve themselves outside the house is very important. However, if your Shih Tzu puppy is not yet vaccinated, we recommend not taking them outside yet but you can introduce the routine to them using the things that you can find inside the house.

Shih Tzus are generally clean, they tend to keep their area spotless so that potential predators won’t be able to detect them. You can take advantage of their natural instincts to teach them to keep their area clean, rewarding them each time they do it well. We don’t recommend punishing them though because it can traumatize them and can produce the opposite effect of what you wanted to achieve.


Potty training your Shih Tzu and teaching them to recognize the designated spot for pooing and peeing requires repetition, rewards, and time for them to get used to it.

The first thing you should do is choose a designated place, keep in mind that this place should never change. It’s important to get them used to a single place so that you won’t find any feces or urine lying on the other areas inside or outside the house.

The place you choose should be separate from where your Shih Tzu plays, rests, or eats; it should never be near their bowl or bed.


To potty train your Shih Tzu, you need to have them on a leash so that you can guide them to the designated location and begin training them. Also, make sure you have the right amount of treats to reward them for their correct behaviours. With these things in place and the designated place defined, you are ready to potty train your Shih Tzu.

If you are training a Shih Tzu puppy, the process can take up to six weeks. In the case of adopted Shih Tzus or house change, the process can take longer and more patience is required before your Shih Tzu can master the habit.



Mark the Spot

For this step, you’ll need some poop or pee from your Shih Tzu. You will need this to mark the spot of their designated bathroom by leaving some of their smell on it. Just a small amount is enough for them to familiarize this designated place.

Introducing Them to the Designated Space

Put your Shih Tzu on a leash and take them to the designated space for pooing and peeing. Once they are in place, let them smell and investigate the area. Accompany this process with phrases such as “bathroom”, “poop”, or “pee”, this will serve as their signal to do their business in that area. When they first smell the area, caress them or give them some treats. When they finally poop and pee, give them another positive reinforcement to reward them for the good work.

No Playing

While you are showing your Shih Tzu to their designated area, don’t let them play with anything around them so they can focus on either pooing or peeing in that area,

Retain the Habit

Until your Shih Tzu gets into the habit of going to their designated area to poop or pee, make sure to keep a small amount of their stool and urinating to put on that place. Make sure that the other areas of your house are clean and free from the smell of stool and urine. If left in other places, eliminate the smell by using a solution of vinegar and water; this will neutralize the smell so that your Shih Tzu won’t go back to poo or pee to that place anymore.


Practice the habit at least three times a day, ideally after you feed your Shih Tzu because that’s usually the time when they have the strong urge to poop or pee. Repeat this until you notice that they already get into the habit of going to that designated area by themselves or when you give them the order to do so.


Everytime your Shih Tzu poops or pees in the designated area, give them treats, tell them that they did good, pat them, but make sure to not do these things excessively. If your Shih Tzu does not succeed and still does it in the wrong place, do not punish them, just keep training them until this habit gets instilled to them.

Pay Close Attention

Keep an eye on your Shih Tzu after meals, after waking up, and after playing. Make sure to take them to their bathroom several times a day, especially during the beginning of the training so that they can get themselves familiarized to it.

Remember that training is based on repetition until the desired behaviour is achieved. Of course, positive reinforcement is important as well.



This method consists of placing a newspaper in the area where you want your Shih Tzu puppy to relieve themselves. Make sure to put the newspaper away from where they sleep and where they eat. Always be on alert, especially in the morning or about 10-20 minutes after your Shih Tzu puppy eats because these are the usual times when your Shih Tzu have the urge to poop or pee. If you see your Shih Tzu puppy sniffing around, they are probably finding a place to do their business. When this happens, distract or stop them and quickly take them to where the newspapers are.

If your Shih Tzu puppy has already initially chosen a place to poop or pee, start by placing newspapers there. When you get them to poop or pee on those newspapers, you can then move it a few inches until you reach the place that you want to make as the designated area for pooping and urinating.

When will my Shih Tzu puppy be able to poop or pee outside?

Once your Shih Tzu puppy has finished all their vaccinations, then you can take them outside. Do it about 10 minutes after eating and if they poop or pee outside, give them a reward. During the first few days of training, take them out about six times daily, gradually reducing it to two or three times.

If your Shih Tzu goes out without pooing or peeing and instead does it inside the house, make sure to do something to modify the behaviour. One way is to take them outside and after a while, take them near the door as if you’re already letting them in. Then, turn around and lead them outside again. Repeat this until your Shih Tzu puppy won’t be able to hold it any longer and poop or pee outside.


There are a number of times or reasons when your Shih Tzu urinates. Some of them include the following:

  • Marking. This is common in male Shih Tzus, especially if there is a female dog at home. They will just urinate a small amount and usually, distracting them and cleaning the spot where they did it can do the trick.
  • Submission. When the owner enters the house, some Shih Tzus urinate as part of their greeting. You must counter condition this by teaching them to sit when you arrive and not to lie down since it usually indicates that they are submitting and will most of the time result to them urinating.
  • Excitement. Being excited about something can cause your Shih Tzu to urinate. The solution is almost the same as submission, but your Shih Tzu can stay in a lied down position.
  • Fear. Sometimes urinating can be associated with a phobia resulting from traumatic experiences or punishments. Never punish your Shih Tzu because it worsens the problem and can even lead to them suffering from health problems.


If your Shih Tzu has been with you ever since puppyhood and started to poop or pee inside the house, it may become a problem later on so you need to address it properly by doing the necessary training mentioned above to alter the behaviour.

If you just adopted your Shih Tzu or just brought them home, start them out with a routine of frequently going out. Once they poop or pee outside, praise them, give them a reward, and reinforce this habit. Leave them out for a while so that they have the time to enjoy being outdoors and will be satisfied when they go back in again.

Shih Tzus or dogs in general often poop or pee in the morning, after eating, or after playing. Keep in mind to take them out during those times.