You can’t wait to start training your shih tzu, but you may get off to the wrong start if you do not use the right methods. What follows are eight common mistakes that many owners make when trying to train their shih tzus. Avoiding these mistakes will help you train them the right way.
A clicker is a great training tool but using it too much can confuse your shih tzu. A click should only be associated with a reward, so refrain from clicking until your shih tzu responds the right way and then click. Be sure to provide a reward during the training session.
Lack of Practice
No matter how fast your shih tzu learns new tricks, they will need to be repeated from time to time for the lessons to stick. This means that you should have some short refresher sessions every so often to ensure that your shih tzu still remembers the tricks.
Not Customizing Your Training
Shih Tzus are not like other dogs in more ways than just their size and appearance. This means that you should adjust their training to suit their personality, behavior, and the traits that are associated with shih tzus.
Repeating Commands Too Many Times
This can be a tough one because there is the tendency to repeat commands to ensure you are communicating effectively. If you give a command and the shih tzu does not respond. Take them to another location and try again.
Too Many Treats
It’s no longer a treat when they get tired of it. So, do not rely too much on treats during your training sessions. Instead, use praise and positive reinforcement to mix in with the treats, so your shih tzu will learn to appreciate both.
Too Much Training
Despite their energy, shih tzus can tire and become bored with training. Once you see some positive results, stop and take a break. Your shih tzu will appreciate it and you can pick it up again once they are rested and ready.
Training Inside Too Much
In other words, all that great training you did inside the home goes out the window once you are outside with all the distractions. Mix your training to include both inside and outside sessions so your shih tzu will still pay attention.
Using Negative Reinforcement
Sometimes called corrective behavior, this can be quite confusing for your shih tzu. Punishing behavior can cause your shih tzu anxiety and stress because they do not fully understand what they are doing wrong. Instead, when you see them starting to do something you do not want, distract them and when they do a correct behavior, reward them.
It takes time, patience, and repetitiveness to ensure that your shih tzu learns correct behavior. But you and your shih tzu will be rewarded if you follow the right course of action. Remember to reinforce what they have learned regularly, such as once a month or every two weeks and they will appreciate the attention you give them for the rest of their lives.