We have a five year old male shih tzu. He’s been totally housetrained since he was a puppy. We’d like to create a space for him to go to the potty inside the house. That way when the weather is really bad, or when we can’t get home to take him out at his regular time, he can go indoors. I’ve heard of people using puppy pads but since he’s a boy he needs to lift his leg when he pees. Ideally we'd like something that's as easy as possible to maintain, isn't an eyesore, and that our dog will actually want to use. Does anyone have any ideas?
We made an indoor potty area for our male Jack Russell Terrier, Jax. You have a few options but basically you’ll need something to use as a pee post and then a base to put the post on that can soak up the urine and where he can poop if he needs to.
What we used was a dog fire hydrant as a pee post and placed it on an artificial grass pad that is designed to collect the urine in a tray underneath. He typically lifts his leg and pees right on the hydrant although sometimes he just squats on the pad and pees like a female. He also has enough space to do a few circles and poop on the grass pad as well.
We placed the setup in our spare bathroom. This combo is very convenient for us and looks much better than other options, which was an important consideration (especially for my wife). Although of course you do have to dump the pee out and clean the pad every few days. We also spray the pad with an enzymatic cleaner to help break down any urine smell.
If you want could also place a hydrant on top of a pee pad and then dispose of the pad once it has been used. Another option is to actually place a hydrant inside of a litter box with kitty litter. The kitty litter will help to absorb the pee and any smell. This article might give you some more ideas: http://www.smartdogguide.com/a-dog-fire-hydrant-potty-is-your-lawns-best-friend/