What is paper training?
It is simply a technique whereby you teach your dog to use newspapers placed at strategic areas inside your home as a toilet area.
Advantages of paper training
Shih Tzu dogs stay indoors most of the time. It therefore goes without saying that it is much preferable for your dog to use newspapers instead of your expensive couch as a toilet area.
Disadvantages of paper training
Paper training can prolong the house breaking process. The problem with paper training is that it sends conflicting information to your dog. On the one hand you allow the dog to urinate and defecate on newspapers in the house and on the other hand you instruct your dog to go outside when he wants to do his thing.
How to do paper training
- Choose a room with a floor area that is easy to clean. The bathroom is a good start, as the floor has been designed to tolerate wetness from showers and baths very well, but any room with tiles will do.
- Place newspapers in the one corner of the room. Make sure you place enough newspaper on the floor to absorb about 100 ml of water without the water seeping through.
- Place a bowl of food and a bowl of water on the opposite side of the room. The reason you want to place it in the other side of the room is because dogs have a very strong natural instinct not to use their feeding or sleeping area as a toilet.
- When it is about time for your puppy to urinate take the puppy to the room. Encourage the puppy to eat and drink water.
Stay with the puppy until you see signs that your puppy want to do his thing. This includes squatting, sniffing the floor and walking in circles.
- If your puppy is not on the newspaper area, gently lift the pup and place him on the newspaper area. At the same time use words to encourage the pup to do his thing like “Wee wee” or “use potty”
- Make a big fuss of it when your puppy uses the right area. By doing this your puppy will quickly learn to associate using the correct area with praise. On the other hand if you catch the puppy using the wrong area simply clean it without too much fuss. He will quickly forget about the incident.
- When your Shih Tzu puppy uses only the newspapers to relieve himself, you can gradually reduce the size of the newspapers.
It is also a good idea to place newspapers in other areas in your home to test whether your puppy really associates the newspapers with his potty area.
But remember: Paper training is a useful technique, but only that. Your ultimate goal should be to train your dog to go outdoors when he wants to relieve himself. Once your dog is used to peeing inside it is not easy to train him to go outside, but one way to achieve this is to reward your dog so handsomely when he goes outside that he want to go outside the whole time.
Also see shih tzu house training – the amazing crate.