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Dog Training/Puppy Training a Shih tzu


I have a 3 month old male Shih Tzu. We are training him indoors with the pee pads and also outdoors.  He does both really well when we are home.  When we are away we keep him in a play yard big enough to have his pee pad on one end and his bed on the other, with lots of his favorite toys to keep him occupied.  Unfortunately when we are away he chews up the pee pad, eats it, and makes a huge mess because now he is urinating and pooping wherever because his pee pad is destroyed.  Everyday I have to come home and give him a bath, clean his play yard, and launder his bedding.  I am sure if I continue to bath him everyday he will possibly develop a skin condition !  I know he is a puppy and it takes patience but how in the world do I stop him from chewing the pads up ??  We have tried everything, a pee pad holder, taping it down, removing it all together, but nothing works.  If the pad is removed he goes to the bathroom on his bedding.  I understand he is young and has a small bladder, therefore, know he can not hold it for as long as we are at work (about 7 hours) so I feel the pads are necessary.  I worry about him eating them and the plastic getting tangled in his intestines.  Our vet is aware of it and doesn't seem all that concerned as long as he is passing it, which he is !  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated !!  Thanks

Thanks for your question, Becky. Unless you want your adult dog to use your home as his toilet, get rid of the pee pads now.

Seven hours is too long to leave a puppy alone. At his age, he should be taken out after 4 hours of being confined in a crate. Find a way to accomplish that through a pet sitter, neighbor, friend or family member if you can't make it home during the day.  

Leaving him in the pen that long is teaching him that it's OK to toilet in the house. You'll never get him housetrained that way. If he's already peeing on his bedding, then the keep the crate empty.

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
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Association of Pet Dog Trainers
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BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
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