Crate Training My Shih Tzu Puppy

So you are thinking of crate training your Shih Tzu pup or maybe you already have a crate but need some help. Well, my friend, you have come to the right place.

I am currently crate training my pup, Toby (little guy to the left). That was him at 2 months old. He is currently 4 months old. And honestly, I wish I had considered crate training before. especially with my other Shih tzu Sasha (the Diva).

Crate training a shih tzu

If you own a Shih tzu, you know how difficult potty training them can be. And boy was Sasha difficult and yes, still can be at times but we still love her. I call her the diva of the house. He he

I was given Sasha at 6 months old as a surprised gift. I remember opening the door and a big ball of fur running (more like hopping) towards me. Instant connection.

The only problem, Sasha was never properly potty trained. It took MANY months and lots of No’s to get her finally potty trained. So I knew that this time I needed to find a more effective and easier way to train the new pup. And that’s when I considered crate-training my new pup.

Signs of Communication

Are you trying to tell me something puppy?
If you are a dog owner, I’m pretty sure you will agree on me on this when I say that your dogs will try to communicate with you in their own way. You just need to pay really close attention.

My dog Sasha will bark once, in a calm matter, when she wants me to do something for her. Whether it be for me to move the broom away from her bowl so she can eat comfortably or when she needs for me to open the front door for her. Another thing she will do is sit in front of me and just stare. My daughter and I call her creepy when she does this lol It’s very funny but that’s another way of Sasha letting us know that she needs to go outside. Sasha will only bark continuously and or aggressively when someone is at the front door or a cat is passing by.

Now Toby, on the other hand, will bark continuously and stand in his dog crate when he needs to relieve himself. And no matter how many times I “shush” him, he will continue to do this. And the more he does this, the more likely he will potty in his crate if I don’t hurry up and take him outside.

Another reason Toby may start to bark is when he wants food or water. If I have taken him outside and he is still barking, then I’m almost positive that he is hungry or thirsty.

**Always pay attention to signs.

Questions and Answers

How often do I take Toby outside?

Ok, you may or may no know this but puppy’s cannot control their bladder as long as older dogs can. Which means that you have to take your Shih Tzu puppies out quite often, that is, until he learns to control his bladder and not relieve himself in his crate.

I began taking Toby outside about every 2 hours. Sometimes even every 1 and 1/2 hours. But if Toby has been playing or eating, I would take him our IMMEDIATELY. This is very important. Puppy’s usually have to use the bathroom after eating (just like a lot of us do). A good sign that Toby has to go potty after eating is when he keeps sitting down and getting up in a rapid matter, almost as though he is trying to control himself from going to the bathroom.

How long do I keep Toby inside his crate?

Not that long! The only time Toby is in his crate for more than 3 hours is during his bedtime (at night). I try not to keep Toby for long periods of time in his crate. How will he know what he can or can’t do if he is in his crate all dog. Also, dogs need plenty of exercise and play time.

There will be days when I do have to keep Toby in crate for more than 3 hours. Those are the days when I cannot keep an eye on him because I am really busy. You should always keep an eye on your puppy. Like baby’s, puppy’s will put anything they find in their mouth.

What about work?

Well, before I head to work (or anywhere that I know I will be out for more than 2 or 3 hours), I leave him at my mom’s house where he also has a crate. But he spends a lot of time running in the yard with my mom’s dog. She does not keep him in his crate too long either.

Portable dog crates

Portable dog crates can be very convenient when are going on vacation on don’t feel like lugging around those large, hard shell dog crates. It saves space and they are super easy to set up.

Be sure to read the specs before you buy a portable crate. You want to make sure the size of the crate you buy will fit your particular pet.

Below you will find some of the best portable pet creates on the market. Read the reviews and decide for yourself which is the best portable dog crate for you and your best bud.

Indoor/Outdoor Pet Crate

Sof-Krate Indoor Outdoor Pet Home
This portable pet crate will allow you to your best pal on vacation with you and just about anywhere else you want to go. This portable crate is able to be set up or broken down easily because of the push button tabs on the unit. Clean up for this portable create is no problem because of its water resistant base. Just wash it down and let it air dry. If you need a little more cleaning you can remove cover and throw it in the washing machine.

Pet Gear Generation II Deluxe Portable Soft Crate

Pet Gear Generation II Deluxe Portable Soft Crate

This Pet Gear Soft Crate is portable and very durable. It is very spacious and can also fold flat for easy storage and its pretty light so it travels well. The dog crate will accomodate dogs pets up to approximately 90 lbs. The unit measures 42″ x 28″ x 31″ so there is plenty of room for your pet. It comes with a removable fleece pad for easy cleaning as well as a waterproof mat. There is also plenty of storage for your dogs toys, doggy accessories, etc.

Firstrax Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home

Firstrax Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor Outdoor Pet Home
Here is another great portable dog crate that has a bunch of great reviews, 200+ reviews. This pet crate works out well for pets up to approximately 70 lbs.

This is a great alternative to the bulky wire, hard shell crates.

There are no tools needed to set up and break down the crate. Its dimensions are 36″ x 25″ x 25″.

ABO Gear Dog Digs Pet Crate

ABO Gear Dog Digs Pet Crate
If you have a dog that is a little larger, this might be a good portable dog crate for you. This crate will hold pets up to about 100 lbs. There is easy access in and out of the crate because of the wide entrance. There were some complaints that dogs have chewed there way through the mesh exterior of the crate. If your dog is not properly crate trained, you can expect that this will happen with just about any fabric crate.

Single-Door Pet Crate
Crate Training My Shih Tzu Puppy

This is the crate that Toby is currently using. I am really happy with it. I like the fact that it has a removable tray, for those little accidents that can occur. The crate has two openings. It can also be folded and carried away. It’s always a good idea not to let your puppy bite the metal bars. It’s something I do allow Toby to do.


Rebecca simply adores her Shih Tzu, and has spent years raising and breeding them.

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2 Responses

  1. Maria says:

    I have one question, on that subject then. I have been waiting to buy a few expensive things until I know how big she will get. A new crate and a big comfy cute cute pillow. So, when do they stop growing or taper off at least. Elsie is 6 months. She is still tiny @4lbs. She is in between sizes for the things I have picked out. I just know as soon as I buy those she have a huge growth spurt. Is 6 months a good time or is a year better? OR depends from pup to pup?
    Again, thanks to everyone. You guys know everything about Shih Tzu’s!!!!! I love this site!

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Maria, most crates (metal wire) come with a divider so that they can be adjusted as the pup grows. I have 2 different size crates. All of mine have a crate that is 24×18 and 20″ tall. It suits each of them, ranging in sizes from 22lbs down to 6lbs. I also have a very small crate that measures 22×13 and is 16″ tall. Kyli is 6 lbs and prefers this crate over the larger one. I use the crate pads as beds and just slip a pillow case over them to make them cooler to lay on. I use the pads that only take up half of the crate floor. These crate pads are great because they are easily machine washable. Some of the larger, puffier beds are difficult to wash.

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