As your puppy matures, asking to be let out when necessary will become second nature, and it is rare to encounter a Shih Tzu who is unclean in the house. A stud dog, however, can be different, for he may well want to mark his territory—and your table and chair legs may be just the places he chooses! Males in general are a little slower to train than females. Most attribute this to the male’s fixation with his private parts and the need to leave his mark on every vertical object in the world.
Simple commands are very helpful, “Potty time” being an old favorite, and it seems to work. You can choose any command you like, as long as you’re comfortable with it, remembering that you’ll be using it outdoors, perhaps around other people. Never, ever forget to give praise when the deed is done in the desired place. However, if an accident happens, you should indeed give a verbal reprimand, but this will only work if your Shih Tzu is caught in the act. If you try to reprimand him after the event, he will simply not know what he has done wrong and this will only serve to confuse.
It is essential that any mess is cleaned up immediately. If your dog has done his toilet in the wrong place, the mess must be cleaned thoroughly so as to disguise the smell or he will want to use that particular place again. Pet shops sell excellent deodorizing cleansers designed to remove pet odors from human and canine noses. When your puppy is old enough to be exercised in public places, always carry with you a pooper scoop or small plastic bag so that any droppings can be removed. Most cites and towns have laws about this, so be a clean, law-abiding dog owner. You don’t want the police blotter to say you were thrown in the slammer for not scooping!