shih tzu training commands

13 Vital Shih Tzu Training Commands: 2023 Guide for Behavior

Navigating shih tzu training commands? Ensuring clear communication with your pet is essential. Let’s unravel the secret commands that resonate with these cuties.

Breeding and Temperament of Shih Tzu Dogs

Shih Tzus are a popular toy breed known for their small size, friendly nature, and adorable appearance. They originated in China and were bred to be companion dogs for royalty. As a result, they have an affectionate temperament and love spending time with their owners.

Shih Tzu dogs have long, silky fur that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and tangle-free. They also have short snouts that can make breathing difficult in hot weather or during exercise.

These factors make it important to carefully monitor your Shih Tzu’s physical health as well as their mental wellbeing. One of the most endearing qualities of Shih Tzus is their loyalty to their owners.

They form strong bonds with their human companions and crave attention and affection. However, without proper training, this loyalty can turn into clinginess or separation anxiety when left alone.

The Importance of Training for Shih Tzu Dogs

Training is essential for all dogs, but particularly for breeds like the Shih Tzu that are prone to behavioral issues if left untrained. Without proper training, these dogs may become destructive or develop separation anxiety if left alone too long. Training also helps create a stronger bond between you and your dog by establishing trust and communication.

It teaches your dog acceptable behavior while reinforcing positive habits such as obedience. For Shih Tzu puppies in particular, early socialization is crucial to prevent shyness or aggression towards other people or animals later on in life.

Overview of 13 Essential Commands for Training Your Shih Tzu

To train your Shih Tzu effectively, it’s important to start with basic commands such as sit, stay, come when called (recall), down (lie down), heel (walk on leash without pulling), and leave it (prevent them from eating or picking up things). With these basic commands mastered, you can then move on to more advanced commands such as shake (giving paw), rollover, and play dead. These specialized commands not only impress your friends and family but also challenge your dog’s mental abilities.

A speak command can be trained to provide entertainment for you and your guests. Teaching this command also helps with training your Shih Tzu to bark less at inappropriate times.

Overall, training your Shih Tzu requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. With these 13 essential commands in hand, you’ll have a well-behaved companion for years to come.

Basic Commands

Sit Command: A Foundation for Training

Teaching your Shih Tzu to sit is an essential foundation for all training. You can begin teaching this command to your puppy as young as 8 weeks old.

Start by holding a treat just above their nose and slowly moving it up and back towards their tail. Their natural instinct will be to follow the treat with their nose, causing them to sit down.

As soon as they do, reward them with the treat and praise. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the amount of time they remain seated before receiving the treat.

Once they can hold the sit position for a few seconds, add in the verbal cue “sit” just before luring them into position with the treat. Teaching your Shih Tzu to sit has numerous benefits beyond basic obedience.

It can be helpful when grooming or examining your dog, as it keeps them still and cooperative. Additionally, teaching your dog to sit on command helps establish you as their leader, promoting good behavior overall.

Stay Command: Safety and Control

The stay command is crucial for keeping your Shih Tzu safe in potentially dangerous situations like crossing streets or encountering other dogs or people on walks. Begin by asking your dog to sit, then place an open hand in front of their face and say “stay.” Take one step back from them while maintaining eye contact and then immediately step forward again while saying “okay” and rewarding them with a treat. Gradually increase the amount of time you ask your dog to stay before rewarding them with a release command like “okay” or “free.” Remember that training takes time so keep practicing daily until your Shih Tzu consistently understands what is expected of them when you give the “stay” command.

In addition to safety benefits outside of home environment, teaching stay also helps to establish a sense of control over your pet. This is particularly important in situations like during vet visits where it can be difficult for them to sit still.

Come Command: Building Trust and Positive Reinforcement

Teaching the come command is essential for keeping your Shih Tzu safe if they get loose or run off. Start by calling your dog’s name followed by the “come” command and immediately reward them with a treat when they reach you. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog before giving the “come” command and rewarding them when they respond accurately.

The more practice you give, the stronger their understanding of this command will become. It’s important to always stay positive while training as dogs tend to respond better to positive reinforcement.

Teaching your dog to come on command also helps build trust between you and your pet since it establishes that they can depend on you for safety, love, and care. Mastering basic commands with Shih Tzu training lays a strong foundation for teaching more advanced commands later on.

The sit, stay, and come commands are essential skills that all dogs should learn as early as possible. With consistent practice using positive reinforcement methods, these basic commands will not only enhance obedience but also build trust between owner and pet.

Advanced Commands

Training your Shih Tzu basic commands like “sit” and “stay” is important but teaching them advanced commands can take their training to a whole new level. With consistent practice and patience, the Shih Tzus can learn complex commands such as “heel”, “down”, and “leave it”.

Down Command

Teaching your dog to lie down on command is an excellent way to reinforce obedience. Here’s how to teach your Shih Tzu the down command: 1. Start with the sit command: Begin by commanding your dog to sit.

Use positive reinforcement with treats or verbal praise. 2. Move your hand toward the ground: While holding a treat in your hand, move it toward the ground so that the dog follows it.

3. Use a verbal cue: As you move the treat towards the ground, say “down” clearly and firmly. 4. Reward and repeat: Once your dog lies down, reward him immediately with treats or praise.

The benefits of teaching this command are numerous. You can use this command in situations when you need your Shih Tzu to stay calm or when you want them to settle down after getting too excited.

Heel Command

A well-trained Shih Tzu should walk beside its handler without pulling on the leash or running off during walks. Teaching them how to heel makes walking more enjoyable for both you and your pet. To teach this command:

1. Use positive reinforcement techniques: Start by using rewards such as treats or toys for good behavior. 2. Short leash: Keep a short leash while walking together so that he stays close by.

3. Practice often: Practice walking together regularly until he learns what is expected of him during walks. The benefits of teaching this include safer walks since there’s less chance that they will run away from you or pull on the leash.

Leave It Command

Shih Tzus are curious dogs, and they tend to explore things by putting them in their mouths. Teaching them the “leave it” command is essential for their safety. To teach this command:

1. Offer your dog something he shouldn’t have: Start by offering your pet something that is off-limits but harmless, like a toy or a piece of paper. 2. Use a verbal cue: As he moves toward the object, say “leave it” and use positive reinforcement when he steps away from it.

3. Reward and repeat: Once your dog moves away from the item, reward him immediately with treats or praise This command can be used in various situations where you want your Shih Tzu not to eat or pick up dangerous objects or food on walks.

Advanced commands can help improve your Shih Tzu’s obedience and enhance their behavior during walks and playtime. With patience and consistency, training these commands will help build a stronger relationship between you and your furry friend while ensuring their safety in different situations.

Specialized Commands

The Speak Command: A Fun Trick to Teach Your Shih Tzu

Teaching your Shih Tzu to speak on command can be a fun way to bond with your pet and show off their intelligence to your friends and family. To teach the speak command, start by waiting until your dog barks naturally.

When this happens, say “speak” in an encouraging tone of voice and immediately give them a treat. Repeat this process several times until your dog begins to associate the word “speak” with barking.

Once your dog is consistently barking when you say “speak,” it’s time to add a hand signal or other visual cue, such as pointing at them or opening and closing your mouth. Eventually, you can phase out the verbal command altogether and only use the visual cue.

The Benefits of Teaching Speak Command

While teaching your Shih Tzu to speak on command may seem like just a fun trick, there are actually some practical benefits. For example, if your dog ever gets lost or trapped somewhere, they may be able to bark for help if they know how to bark on cue.

Additionally, teaching this command can help build trust between you and your pet by reinforcing positive communication. Overall, while it may take some patience and practice to teach the speak command, it’s ultimately a low-stress way for you and your Shih Tzu to have fun together.


Training any dog takes time and dedication but training a Shih Tzu requires even more patience because of their stubborn nature. However hard it might seem at first glance though training is critical for all dogs but more so for Shihtzus because without proper training they could become aggressive towards other animals or people. By working with positive reinforcement techniques such as treats or praise after good behavior, owners can build trust and strengthen the bond with their Shih Tzu.

Training sessions should be kept short and fun to keep your furry friend engaged. By using the 13 essential commands outlined in this article, you can help your Shih Tzu become a better-behaved pet.

It is important to remain consistent with training and follow through with commands every time to achieve good results. With patience, practice, and love, you can turn your Shih Tzu into a well-trained companion for life.

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