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Won't 'tell' me he has to potty

July 1st, 2008, 04:09 PM
We've had a 1-yr-old male Shih Tsu for two months. He still gives no indication that he has to go potty.:wall:
He sits at the back door when I'm in that area but that doesn't mean he has to 'go'. At least one time that I'm aware of he peed in the house. I've heard him bark and whine numerous times so I know he's able to vocalize. When he does go to the bathroom outside I give him treats which he loves.

Also........he might go 2-3 times a day and that's all!:confused:

What can I do?


July 1st, 2008, 05:48 PM
congrats on the tzu!!!!

Do you know if he was supposed to be potty trained before you got him? Could he have been trained for pee pads? At one year old, he should have some idea of having to potty outside, but if he was never trained, then you will have to start over at square one.

If you have ruled out all medical problems, then you will need to treat him like a puppy.....taking him out often, watch his routine (when does he do poops?), lots of praise for the good jobs, really good clean up after he makes a mistake.

Tzus can be a little stubborn (trust me....I know this from experience :D ) Good luck with your little tzu!!

Got pictures????? :)

July 1st, 2008, 05:51 PM
now the nice weather is here....go out often , every 30mins-1hr for 20 mins at a time.

July 2nd, 2008, 02:19 PM
By giving him treats when he performs you may be inadvertently teaching him to ask to go out. He could associate the treat with going out the door. That may be why he is sitting by the door. Try just verbal praise and pets for bathroom performance. If that is indeed the message he has learned it will probably take several weeks to unlearn it.

You could up the ante by asking him for a sit or down when he is at the door. Reward with the treat. Now, does he still want to go out? This is not a sure thing but worth a try.

July 3rd, 2008, 04:00 PM
Giving my dog treats to sit or down when he is at the door will still encourage him to go to the door. I don't want to trade one habit (his associating the treat with going out the door) for another (associating the treat with sitting or going down at the door).

Got another suggestion?

July 3rd, 2008, 11:33 PM
I've hung a bell beside the door and taught my dog to ring the bell when she wants to go out. Works like a charm---99% of the time.

Once in a while she'll ring and I know she doesn't have to pee, she just wants out to see what's happening or she just wants to bark at something :)
I'll still take her out.

My last one would ring the bell because he just wanted to lay outside and watch the world go by. Sure, why not.

But once she caught on to the bell, she hasn't had an accident in the house.

July 4th, 2008, 10:17 AM
Oh sorry. Did not mean for all sit training to take place at the door, just as a guess to see if he was looking for a treat at the door or did he really need the bathroom.

I had the asking to go out problem myself with our last girl because the OH was doing as you and treating, not for the bathroom, but for coming back in the house. Smart girl, she soon learned go out, come back in, get a treat. My rule was she got a treat if I called her from the back 40 to come in but not if coming in was her idea. Once I impressed on the OH how it worked she stopped asking to go out. So my best suggestion for you is to stop the bathroom treating. If poochie really has to go his relief and your verbal praise should be sufficient reward. For a while I think I would stop training exercises outside as well, a couple of weeks at least. So no treats outside, to clear up his misconception.

July 4th, 2008, 10:49 AM
My Shih Tzu doesn't verbalize her need to go out either. You just have to be always watching, but she is only 6 1/2 months. My Daughter used the bell on the door with her dog, and he uses it all the time. Sometimes he uses it just to go sit out side and enjoy the world too,, lol,, but he does use it... hummm maybe I"ll have to get me a bell too. Good luck with it

July 10th, 2008, 03:32 PM
Well, guess I'll have to get a bell and hopefully that'll work.

Your pup is soooooo cute. Guess I need to figure out how to upload pics from my phone.

Enjoy going outside!

July 14th, 2008, 01:47 PM
Can you try associating a word with the door? When she is by the door say a word "out" maybe. And then let her out. That way she'll get used to knowing that when you say that word you'll open the door?

That may help so if she's by the door and you can't see her she may bark for you to come and say the word OUT and open the gives her a 'routine'.

July 15th, 2008, 09:30 AM
I did the bell thing, too. :thumbs up Good luck with the bell training. Some dogs catch on to it right away, others take a little time, so be prepared for a little more clean-up until your pup has his "ah-ha!" moment. ;) It's all about consistency, like all training. Every time you take him out, use his paw to ring the bell, then praise and get outside right away. Depending on the urgency of her need, Phoebe will use either her nose, her paw or her whole body to make the bell ring. I know there's something exciting going on outside when she's knocking the bell off its stand! :laughing: