If your shih tzu has issues that need to be corrected. Or, you want to establish new behaviors that are positive. Then you are in luck because there are professional training methods that have been proven to be effective. Plus, you can learn and employ many of them yourself without the need for a professional dog trainer.
There are so many training methods for your shih tzu that the biggest issue may be deciding on which ones to start. Of course, there is some disagreement in the professional dog training community about which methods are the best, but there are some proven ones out there for you to select.
Arguably the most popular and the easiest one to employ, this is based on the simple theory that a dog will repeat behavior that you have responded to with a reward. That your shih tzu will repeat that behavior to get another reward. The key is getting your shih tzu to associate good behavior with a reward, so you will to reward them with a treat and positive reinforcement right away.
You have to be consistent, quick, and you might use devices like a clicker to let the dog know when they have completed their positive behavior. Basically, you only want to reward good behavior so your shih tzu will repeat it.
A sub-set of positive reinforcement, this is basing your training on a simple clicking device. Because the clicker has a distinctive sound, the dog will recognize it quickly. This means that when you shih tzu does something good, hearing a click will let them know that. You will still need to reinforce it with a treat or other positive response.
While clicker training is great for teaching your dog new tricks, it’s not so good when trying to curb bad behavior.
Combination Positive Reinforcement & Punishment
This is a less specific approach compared to just positive reinforcement. You use this approach when trying to correct bad behavior. While based on scientific studies, there are issues with this form of training because such information changes from year to year based on what is learned from dogs. The punishment should be something the dog recognizes as a negative but does not harm them either physically or psychologically because that might create a worse situation.
This may be the most personal and is based on how well you can read your shih tzu. This means that you will have had your dog around long enough to know their basic needs. If you are observant, you can reward positive behavior and try to limit their unwanted behaviors. You can start inside the home in a quiet area. Once your shih tzu becomes responsive, you can then try it in a dog park or other area that has distractions.
What training method you decide to use should be based on what you want to accomplish with your shih tzu. Remember that positive reinforcement offers many benefits when training your dog. But with curbing bad behavior, you may want to consult with your vet or a dog trainer for the best advice.