The Shih Tzu Collection
Shih Tzu
This page is in memory of Pixie.  She is the puppy that helped me perfect the program every step of the way.  Pixie had climbed over the pen and was accidentally run over on Thanksgiving Day 11-22-12
One month before her 1st birthday & the day of my birthday. 
She is deeply missed. .
Shih Tzu

Now is the time to decide where your litter pan will be located.
* I put a second litter pan in whole room because I train several puppies at a time. I also have several pens. You can use the pan that is in the pen. Just make sure that the pen is always open. 
(Our pan is in the basement and our dogs go down there to use it.)
*About every 1/2 hour give the command, "Go to your pan". Walk to the pan and stand beside it. Your puppy  will follow. Wait until he checks out the pan. He may use it or he may not. All you want to do is remind him where it's at along with the command for association.
* I like to use the first part of whole room time to teach my puppy commands like; go to your pan, come, sit, stay, drop it, his name, and fetch. If he plays hard he will take a nap. When he wakes up we can practice again. Puppies that feel loved catch on quickly & want to please. 

STEP # 7 Whole House
* With a week of perfect behaviors go to whole house.
* I like to keep the pan in whole room. If you have more than one level you may want a pan for each.
* When you increase your puppies space always remember to walk him to his litter pan a few times. 
*Always give the command, "Go to your pan".
* Watch for signs of him needing to do his duty and give him the command.

Important: If your puppy has an accident end whole house and return him to his pen. Each time he's in whole house watch him closely so you can reward him for good behaviors. Love him lavishly for good behaviors. He's smart and when he feels loved he will catch on quickly and want to please you.

At eights weeks of age your puppy will be 3 weeks into the litter training program when you take him home. The messy part is behind you. You must be diligent until he has completed the program. You will be well rewarded for your diligence and faithfulness. You will have a wonderful puppy and you will love him the more because he's good.

I want you to be successful. Feel free to call me with any questions or problems you might have. The sooner the better because we want to establish good behaviors from the start. It is easier to establish good behaviors than it is to correct bad behaviors. Ladena Coolman cell 712-310-3066


Your puppy will do best if kept in his pen in his new environment most of his waking hours for the first week. Longer, 2 weeks, would be an advantage also. He is very familiar with his pen and feels comfortable there. The transition would be less traumatic and would help him to familiarize himself with his new surroundings while maintaining his litter training in a familiar setting. It will help him settle in and stay on target with his litter training. He really should be out only for 20-30 minutes at a time, whenever you can give him undivided attention. This 20-30 minute time is your time to bond with your puppy. He must FEEL loved in order to respect you and desire to please you. Each time he goes back to his pen and does his duty reward him with love.

I bring this to your attention because many buyers are so pleased with their new puppy doing his business in the litter pan. A few days or week or so down the road I get a call that the puppy is no longer putting it where it belongs. I feel that the transition is too much for the puppy, they have a very short attention span, things are not longer consistent. They get lazy and test the rules to see if Ladena's rules apply, your rules apply, or if he can make his own rules. He needs to have something familiar and stable from where he has come from. I feel that the pen with his bed, food & water, and pan in it will avert the problem. Consistency will be to your advantage. Always return the puppy to the pen if he breaks the rules. Remember he's still in the training process so keeping things simple and familiar will help him to succeed.

If at any point he regresses in his litter training always take him back to the step where he was successful.

You can also train your puppy to go outside when you're home and use the pan when you're gone. All of our dogs are trained to both successfully.
You can easily train your puppy to the bells too. Have two sets of jingle bells attached to a ribbon or rope. When you see your puppy needing to go, (nose to the floor and moving quickly around trying to find the scent to go on) shake the bells and give the command, "Let's go potty" or whatever command you choose just be consistent with it. Take him out and reward him when he does his duty. Hang one set of bells on the door knob. Shake them when you give the command. Eventually he will ring the bells when he needs to go out. 

One of my customers, Mary Bower, did everything correct; she gave her new puppy undivided and dedicated time. Her puppy is perfect!  The time she gave up front will reward her for the life of her puppy. I asked Mary if I could share her story and video. She graciously agreed. Here it is: 

Hi Ladena,  absolutely you can put my video on your website.  It does show true success and is definitely worth the time and devotion.  Now no matter where I am in my house she has a bell and she goes to it and rings it and she rings it just for potty outside.  
They are called GoGo Bells and are on Amazon for $24.95 for 2 bells. 

I kept Daisy in a, you might say coral cage with her kennel a bed and water/food bowls.  I hung her bell on the side of the cage and from day one started to associate potty outside and ringing the bell.  I would take her paw and ring the bell. I would watch her and make sure whenever I would see her searching we would go potty outside and ring the bell and after 4-5 days she began to do it on her own.   I now have 4 bells. 2 outside of her cage and since I have the great luck of being able to take her to work every day I have one at work also that she rings.  Just association and patience and lots of treats and praise.

Ladena, I'm sending you a picture so you can get the idea of what I'm talking about when I say cage.  I also have been sleeping on the couch downstairs since I brought her home and have only recently moved into the bedroom down there and tell her its night night time and she goes to bed at 9:30 and will start to ring her bell at 6:30 A.M.  So she is sleeping and has since I brought her home mostly every night all night.  She is awesome!!!!  She also does sit, fetches, lay down, come, and shake.  we are working on roll over now, and NO BITE!!!  This cage is like 10' wide. and fits in my kitchen perfectly, with all her "stuff" (very spoiled). 

This is the picture of Daisy ringing her bell and looking back at Mary. The style of video was not compatible with my website so I'll have to see what I can do.      The second picture is of Daisy's starter pen. 

My program is simple. You will never need to scold or reprimand your puppy. If your puppy is having accidents review the program again. Start again at the step in which he is successful. Of course, if your puppy is sick keep him in the pen until he's well. Be sure to click on the small photos, thumb prints, to view enlarged photo and text. 

I've used this program on as many as 22 puppies at a time.  It works!!  Just follow these few simple steps. Materials that I use: Dura Tray Pan, Pelletized Pine, litter screen to prevent fines from tracking.

STEP # 1 Restricted Space                                                        STEP # 2 Restrict Options

STEP # 3 Clean Bedding                                                             STEP # 4 Puppy Time

STEP # 5 Increase Pen size

STEP # 6 Whole Room
Beginner training size is a 2' x 4' pen.
I manipulate the pen size with zip ties.
 The center pen is ready for beginner training.
Place pan at the back of the pen. 
Place bed directly in front of the pan.
Place food & water to the side or to the front of the pen.
I really like a flat  24" x 18" bed the best. It fills the space better. It is very important to keep the bedding clean, I change the bed out at least twice a day and more in the beginning.
Give your puppy time with you. Let him feel your love for him. Take time to play with him,  teach him his name,  teach him tricks, most important show him you love him. A puppy that is loved wants to please you.
After 10 days of no misplaced urine or feces open pen to 2' x 6'. (The pen to the right of the middle)  Return to smaller size pen only if you find accidents outside of the litter pan.
The starter pens are on both sides. The puppies in the center are older and have earned more space.
These puppies are older and very  successful in the program so their pen is open to a 4' x 4' size...
From here they will go to whole room. I will still put them in their pens at night.