There is no experience quite like bonding with a new shih tzu, so you want to get off to a good start by doing what works. What follows are 10 ways you can bond with your shih tzu the right way.
Create a Schedule
Routines are the heart of the bonding process. The more your shih tzu can anticipate what is going to happen each day, the faster they will bond with you. This means that at the same time each day you feed them, take them for walks and potty breaks, and even hit the sack at the same time. Establishing routines is a faster way of moving the bonding process along.
Positive reinforcement can really help the bonding process to move forward. You’ll want your shih tzu to engage in good behavior, so be sure to reinforce it with encouraging them when they behave correctly.
Feeding by Hand
This is a great way to build trust between you and your shih tzu. It teaches them that you are providing food and want them to enjoy it. You can start with dog food, but treats probably work better.
Get in Shape
Daily exercise is a great way to keep your shih tzu in shape and bond wit them as well. A walk around the block, some time at the dog park, or just playing indoors will help keep them in good shape.
The rules you make for your shih tzu should be clear and consistent. Plus, the entire family needs to know them so the rules can be consistently enforced. With everyone on the same page, it will make the bonding process easier.
Playing with your shih tzu moves the bonding process along pretty quickly. Becoming their play partner by engaging in simple games such as fetch, tug of war, or just giving them toys can help your shih tzu to relax.
Speaking of relaxing, you should invite your shih tzu on the couch or your chair when watching TV. Let them bond with you through cuddling. This is perfect if you do so an hour or two before bedtime.
Your shih tzu should have a little place to call their own, such as a small bed, safe area, or crate. By giving them a place to relax, you make it easier for them to adjust to you.
Teach a Few Tricks
Simple tricks like stay, lie down, or sit can help the bonding process. Both you and your shih tzu will learn a little more about each other. Plus, you will have something in common when they learn a trick or two.
Bonding in not an overnight process, it does take time. This is because every shih tzu is unique with their own personality. So, while some shih tzus may seemingly bond right away, for the most part it is going to take some time to earn their trust.
Remember that the bonding process is going to take a little time, so be patient with them. But before you know it, you will have bonded with your shih tzu.