The Shih Tzu dog breed is well known for its stubbornness, but with a few tips, basic obedience training can be achieved by your strong-willed adult or puppy Shih Tzu.
If you wish to ensure that your puppy will grow up to be a happy, well-adjusted adult dog, Shih Tzu puppy training should be the first step you take. It is very common that many new puppy owners are not prepared for the amount of effort and time that it takes to train their newly acquired pets.
Perhaps you believe that a puppy should be shown lots of love, kisses, and treats until problems have emerged before any action is taken. However, perhaps you are just not sure where to begin. It is a myth that you can turn your dog into an angel in one day by following do-it-yourself puppy training programs. Training does not always work and, to be honest, some training takes time and patience.
Let’s take a look at why Shih Tzus need obedience training, when is the right time to train them, and what are basic training exercises, to begin with.
Why do Shih Tzus Need Training?
In comparison to other small dog breeds, Shih Tzus are friendly, social lap dogs who do not tend to bark excessively. In addition, Shih Tzus are known for their stubbornness and difficulty housebreaking. Consistency, gentleness, and a thorough understanding of Shih Tzu behavior are essential ingredients in proper Shih Tzu training.
Furthermore, these dogs require constant attention and may experience separation anxiety when separated from their owners. When properly trained, and preferably at an early age, your Shih Tzu will grow up to be a calm, nice, well-behaved companion.
Learn more about Shih Tzus and their different breeds.
When to Start Shih Tzus Obedience Training?
One of the very first questions a majority of people ask is when should I begin training my puppy. Years ago, experts advised waiting until newborns were “old enough”, usually 6 months old, and had completed their full series of vaccinations before bringing them home.
Our current knowledge is that puppy training should begin as soon as you bring your dog home from the shelter. Puppies undergo regular training that includes social skills and manners, as well as basic commands and housebreaking. It is true that many puppies go beyond basic training, but the basics are fundamental for a well-adjusted and happy companion.
You will be delighted to show off your well-trained puppy to your friends and family. If he lives out his life as a devoted family member, you will not have to worry about him ending up in a shelter or rescue.
Getting Started with the Training
Try to break the session up into shorter sessions rather than a long one at the speed of your Shih Tzu dog. A puppy may become bored, confused, or frustrated if multiple short sessions are not taken. Be sure to take a break between sessions and conclude with a positive message.
In general, when your Shih Tzu repeats a command 8 to 10 times, he has mastered it and is prepared for what is next. You should not put pressure on your dog if he feels like he has only followed the instructions a few times. You have to continue training your Shih Tzu until he has understood the concept and has become prepared to move on to the next step in training. It is crucial that you do not overwhelm the dog with too much information.
Let’s take a look at the basic training, to begin with.
- Training in-house
Shih Tzu owners often experience difficulty housebreaking their dogs due to their small bladders and tendency to become anxious. As soon as your puppy arrives at your home, you should begin house training it. Ensure that they are taking frequent walks outside after eating, after napping, and after playing.
It is imperative that you take your dog outside immediately after an accident occurs to help them learn the associated behavior of going outside to use the bathroom. Remove urine odors following an accident to discourage recurrences.
If your dog goes outside every day, treat him or her and praise him or her. Until your dog has been properly trained, crate your dog when you are unable to supervise them. It’s crucial to reduce accidents to prevent house training problems since every accident teaches your dog going inside is OK. Do not yell at your dog after an accident; this will only increase anxiety and will teach them that going inside brings attention, which is the thing Shih Tzus crave.
Read in detail about different methods and strategies regarding the in-house training of a dog.
In spite of the fact that Shih Tzus are naturally social, if unacquainted with a variety of people and canine companions, they may develop an increasingly skittish attitude. Ideally, a puppy should be socialized between the ages of eight and sixteen weeks. Take your dog to many locations, and provide them with treats and praise for each new experience.
The socialization of older dogs may be more challenging. As your dog’s comfort level increases, begin by exposing him to new stimuli in friendly and non-threatening environments and slowly progress as necessary.
- Leash Training
Due to their small size, Shih Tzus tend to pull excessively when on a leash. Leashes make exercise more enjoyable for both dogs and their owners, as dogs behave better if they’re on a leash. When your dog begins to walk toward you, hold a treat in your hand and reward him with a treat every few minutes. If your dog begins to pull, you should immediately stop. In this manner, you will teach your dog that pulling slows down the walking process.
- Reward-Based Training
It is not uncommon for Shih Tzus to misbehave if they are frightened. They are very sensitive to punishment and yelling. Consequently, reward-based training is the most effective. You can instruct your dog in commands such as “Sit” and “Stay” by using a training clicker and food treats. Click the clicker as soon as your dog exhibits the appropriate behavior and then reward him/her with food.
You should practice your dog’s new commands several times every day and continue to do so throughout his or her life as Shih Tzus can be stubborn. When your dog is learning a new command, placing him or her on a leash may help keep their attention on you.
Conclusion for Training a Shih Tzu Puppy
We’ve covered all that you need to know about why Shih Tzus need proper training, how to train a Shih Tzu and when to start training.
As Shih Tzu puppies are extremely stubborn, you will have to put in quite a bit of effort and time to train them correctly. Do not forget that the Shih Tzu is a dog breed that thrives on praise and affection, so use this strategy as the primary means for training your dog.