how to train a shih tzu

Mastering Obedience Like A Pro!: How To Train A Shih Tzu

Training a Shih Tzu requires patience and technique. Unravel effective tips on how to train a shih tzu.

The Shih Tzu Breed and Their Temperament

The Shih Tzu breed is a small dog breed that originated in China. They are known for their luxurious coat and expressive eyes, which make them one of the most popular toy breeds in the world. They are friendly, lively, and affectionate pets that thrive on human companionship. Their temperament is generally happy-go-lucky and outgoing. Shih Tzus are also known for being stubborn at times, which can make obedience training a challenge. However, with patience and consistent training techniques, even the most stubborn Shih Tzu can be trained to be obedient.

The Importance of Obedience Training for Shih Tzu

Obedience training is an essential part of owning a dog, regardless of their breed or size. For Shih Tzus specifically, obedience training helps keep them safe and well-behaved around people and other animals. Shih Tzus have a playful nature that can sometimes lead to inappropriate behavior such as jumping up on people or excessive barking. These behaviors can be addressed through obedience training by teaching your dog basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” In addition to controlling these unwanted behaviors, obedience training also helps build trust between you and your dog. Moreover, it has been scientifically proven that dogs who receive regular training tend to be less anxious than those who do not undergo any form of training. This means that obedience-trained dogs are more likely to enjoy better mental health than those without proper dog training. Obedience training should be considered an important aspect of owning any pet but especially small breeds like the Shih Tzu whose energy level might need some control from time to time.

Understanding Your Shih Tzu’s Personality

Shih Tzus are known for their playful and affectionate nature, and they make excellent pets for families with children. But like all dogs, they have unique personalities that can make training more or less challenging depending on the individual dog. Understanding your Shih Tzu’s personality is key to effective obedience training.

Different personality traits of Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus can have a range of personality traits that are influenced by genetics, upbringing, and environment. Some common traits include: – Playfulness: Shih Tzus love to play and have fun, making them great companions for active individuals or families. – Stubbornness: While intelligent, Shih Tzus can also be stubborn and may resist training if they don’t see the point in it. – Affectionate: These dogs thrive on human attention and love nothing more than snuggling with their owners. – Anxiety: Some Shih Tzus may be anxious or nervous around new people or in new environments. – Aggressiveness: A small percentage of these dogs may be aggressive towards strangers or other animals.

How to identify your dog’s personality type

Identifying your Shih Tzu’s personality can help you tailor training techniques to suit their needs. One way to do this is by observing their behavior in different situations. For example: – How does your dog react to meeting new people? – Does your dog get anxious during car rides or when left alone? – Is your dog easily distracted during training sessions? Another way to identify personality type is through professional assessments such as those conducted by certified canine behaviorists. These assessments can provide more detailed information about a dog’s temperament and provide guidance on how best to train them.

Tailoring training techniques based on personality type

Once you’ve identified your Shih Tzu’s personality, you can begin to tailor your training techniques to suit their needs. For example: – Playful dogs may respond well to training games that incorporate toys or other objects. – Stubborn dogs may require more patience and positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise. – Anxious dogs may need a calm, reassuring approach to training and gradual exposure to new people and environments. – Aggressive dogs require expert guidance from a professional behaviorist. By understanding your Shih Tzu’s personality traits, you can set realistic expectations for their behavior and train them effectively using techniques tailored to their individual needs.

Basic Obedience Training Techniques

Teaching Basic Commands

Training a Shih Tzu starts with teaching basic commands. The most important commands are sit, stay, come and heel. Teaching these commands is relatively easy and can be done at home with a few props like treats. The first command to teach is sit. Hold a treat above the dog’s head until they sit down. As soon as they do, give them the treat and praise them. Repeat this process several times until they understand what you want them to do. Next, teach your Shih Tzu to stay by having them sit first then slowly backing away while saying “stay.” If your dog stays in place for a few seconds, reward them with a treat and praise. The come command is used when you want your dog to come back to you. Start by calling their name followed by the command “come.” When they start approaching you, use encouraging words like “good boy” or “good girl.” Heel is an essential command used when walking your Shih Tzu on a leash. When training this command, use positive reinforcement with treats for every step taken correctly beside you.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques using Treats and Praise

Positive reinforcement techniques work best when it comes to training Shih Tzus as it ensures that the dog responds well without any sort of punishment or negative treatment from their owners. Treats are an excellent tool for positive reinforcement during training sessions as most dogs love food rewards. Use small treats so that your pet does not get too full during training sessions as well as rewarding good behavior with immediate praise such as “good boy” or “good girl.” Praise should happen immediately after good behavior is displayed by the dog and should be enough to show that their behavior was appreciated by their owner.

Consistency in Training

Consistency in training is critical for the success of any obedience training program. Shih Tzus, like all dogs, respond well when their owners stick to a consistent routine. Make sure that everyone in your household is using the same training techniques and commands. This will ensure that your dog doesn’t get confused and will help achieve your goals faster. Training should be carried out on a regular basis every day, but keep sessions short so that your pet does not get bored or tired. Consistent praise and positive reinforcement techniques work wonders with this breed as they respond well to love and attention from their owners.

Conclusion: Basic Obedience Training Techniques

Teaching basic commands to a Shih Tzu takes time, patience, and consistency. By using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise, you can make the training process enjoyable for both you and your pet. Make sure to be consistent with your training routine so that your dog learns commands quickly and efficiently. By teaching basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come and heel early on in life, you can establish a strong foundation for more advanced training later on. Remember to always keep the sessions short but frequent while using methods that promote trust between you and your furry friend. In the next section of this article, we will discuss advanced obedience training techniques that you can incorporate into your Shih Tzu’s daily routine.

Advanced Obedience Training Techniques

Teaching Advanced Commands

Once your Shih Tzu has mastered the basic obedience commands, it’s time to move on to more advanced tricks such as roll over, play dead, and shake hands. These tricks not only impress your friends and family but also stimulate your dog’s mind and keep them mentally engaged. To teach these commands, you should use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats or praise. Start by using a treat or toy to lure your dog into the desired position. For example, with roll over, start by getting the dog to lie down on their side and then slowly move the treat in a circular motion around their head until they roll onto their back. Once your dog successfully performs the trick, reward them with praise and treats.

Using Clicker Training

Clicker training is a great method for teaching complex tasks that require precise timing or movements from your Shih Tzu. This method involves using a clicker device that produces a distinct sound when pressed as a signal for good behavior. Start by associating the clicker sound with rewards such as treats or praise so that when your dog hears the clicker sound, they know they have done something right. Then begin teaching more complex tasks using this method by clicking at precise moments during training sessions to mark specific behaviors. For example, if you are trying to teach your Shih Tzu how to spin in a circle on command, use the clicker device to mark every time they make any movement towards spinning in a circle until they fully perform the maneuver. Remember always to reward them for completing the task correctly.

Incorporating Distractions

Incorporating distractions into training sessions is essential because it helps prepare dogs for real-world situations where there will be other dogs or humans present. Use positive reinforcement as a way to keep your dog focused and motivated even when there are distractions. Start by slowly introducing distractions such as other dogs or people during training sessions. When your dog is focused on the task at hand, introduce the distraction from a distance, and then gradually bring it closer until your Shih Tzu can perform the trick or command without being distracted. It is important to reward your dog with praise and treats whenever they successfully complete a task even when distractions are present. This reinforces good behavior and prepares them for real-world situations where distractions are inevitable. Advanced obedience training techniques require patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement methods. Teaching your Shih Tzu these complex tasks will not only impress others but also stimulate their minds and keep them mentally engaged. By incorporating clicker training and introducing distractions into training sessions, you can help your Shih Tzu achieve their full potential in obedience training.

House Training Your Shih Tzu

House training a Shih Tzu can be a challenging task, but it is an essential part of obedience training. It is important to understand that every dog has its own pace of learning and patience is the key when it comes to house training. The following section will cover some effective house training techniques for your Shih Tzu.

Crate Training Techniques

Crate training is one of the most effective ways to house train a Shih Tzu. Dogs typically do not like to soil where they sleep, making the crate an ideal tool for house training. Start by selecting an appropriately sized crate that allows your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably. Introduce your dog to the crate gradually by placing treats inside and allowing them to explore the space on their own. Once your dog feels comfortable in the crate, begin using it as a potty-training tool. Keep your dog in the crate for short periods during the day and take them outside immediately after being released from their confinement. Gradually increase the amount of time spent in the crate over several weeks, until they are comfortable being inside for extended periods.

Establishing a Routine for Potty Breaks

Establishing a consistent routine for potty breaks is essential when house training any dog breed. Take your Shih Tzu outside first thing in the morning and after meals or playtime. Always use a designated area outdoors as this will help with potty training consistency. If possible, take your Shih Tzu out every hour or two during waking hours until they are fully trained. Remember to reward good behavior with praise or treats as this will reinforce positive behavior while also developing trust between you and your furry friend.

Dealing with Accidents

Accidents are a natural part of the house training process, particularly when first starting out. When they occur, it is important not to punish your dog. Instead, clean up any soiled areas thoroughly using an appropriate cleaning solution to remove any odor that may attract your dog back to the same spot. Firmly say “No” if you catch them in the act and take them outside immediately. Keep in mind that accidents can happen even after a Shih Tzu is fully trained. This can be due to health issues or changes in their routine or environment. Always monitor your dog’s behavior for signs of stress or discomfort and seek professional advice if necessary.

Socialization Techniques for Your Shih Tzu

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Socialization Techniques for Your Shih Tzu

Importance of Socialization for a Shih Tzu

Socialization is crucial for all dogs, but it is especially important for a breed like the Shih Tzu. Due to their small size and cute appearance, many owners may be tempted to carry them everywhere they go or keep them confined in their homes. However, this can lead to fear and anxiety when your dog is exposed to new people, places, and experiences. Socialization is the process of exposing your Shih Tzu to as many different stimuli as possible in a safe and controlled environment. This includes introducing them to new people, animals, sounds, smells, and environments. The goal of socialization is not just to help your dog become more comfortable with these things but also to help prevent behavioral issues such as aggression or fear biting.

Introducing Your Dog to New People, Animals and Environments

The first step in socializing your Shih Tzu is exposing them to new people. Start with familiar faces such as friends and family members before moving on to strangers. Encourage these individuals to offer treats or toys as a way of building positive associations with people outside of the family. When it comes to introducing your dog to other animals, start with dogs that you know are friendly and well-behaved. Keep interactions short at first and gradually increase the length over time. Always supervise these interactions closely so that you can intervene if necessary. Introducing your dog to new environments can be challenging but it’s important for their development. Start by taking them on short trips around the neighborhood before progressing into busier areas like parks or downtown areas. Reward good behavior throughout these outings with treats or praise.

Encouraging Positive Interactions With Other Dogs

One key aspect of socialization is encouraging positive interactions with other dogs. This can help prevent aggression and fear-based behaviors towards other dogs in the future. To do this, start with short, supervised play sessions with well-behaved dogs. Reward your dog for exhibiting friendly behavior and intervene immediately if things start to escalate. It’s also important to be mindful of your own behavior during these interactions. Make sure that you are calm and relaxed and avoid transmitting any negative feelings towards other dogs or their owners. Socialization is one of the most important aspects of training your Shih Tzu. By exposing them to new people, animals, and environments in a safe and controlled manner, you can help prevent behavioral issues down the road while also ensuring that they are well-adjusted members of society.

Addressing Behavioral Issues in Your Shih Tzu

Common behavioral problems in the breed

Shih Tzus are a generally well-behaved and even-tempered breed, but like any other dog, they can develop behavioral issues that require attention. One common issue is separation anxiety, which can cause your Shih Tzu to become destructive or anxious when left alone. Another common issue is excessive barking, which can be a nuisance to both you and your neighbors. Aggression towards other dogs or humans may also occur if your Shih Tzu is not socialized properly at an early age. If you notice any of these behaviors in your Shih Tzu, it’s important to address them as soon as possible. Ignoring them will only make the problem worse over time. With patience and consistent training techniques, many behavioral issues can be corrected.

Techniques for correcting behavior problems

To correct behavioral issues in your Shih Tzu, it’s important to start by identifying the root cause of the behavior. If separation anxiety is the problem, gradually increasing the amount of time you spend away from your dog while providing toys or treats for distraction may help. For excessive barking, positive reinforcement techniques such as rewarding quiet behavior may be effective. Aggressive behavior should be addressed by consulting with a professional trainer or behaviorist who specializes in working with small breeds like Shih Tzus. They can provide guidance on how to retrain and socialize your dog safely. Regardless of the specific issue you’re dealing with, consistency is key when training a Shih Tzu out of bad habits. By using consistent commands and rewards along with clear boundaries for acceptable behavior vs unacceptable behavior, you can help retrain your dog and improve their overall temperament.


Obedience training is an essential part of raising a happy and healthy Shih Tzu. By understanding your dog’s personality, using positive reinforcement techniques, and addressing any behavioral issues that arise, you can help your Shih Tzu become a well-behaved companion who fits perfectly into your family. Remember to be patient and consistent in your training efforts, as these small dogs require gentle guidance to develop good habits over time. With the right approach, you can help your Shih Tzu thrive and enjoy a long, happy life with you as their loyal companion.

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