Tips for Training Shih Tzu Puppies
Training Shih Tzu puppies well and ensuring they are properly socialized is essential, but even more so if they are going to be spending most of their lives indoors, constantly interacting with people, which most of them do.
The Shih Tzu breed is known for companionship and loyalty, and it’s size and temperament make it an excellent choice for an inside dog.
Training Your Shih Tzu Puppy To Be Sociable
Shih Tzu puppies are born with protective instincts that include: fear of loud noises, distrust of strangers and just generally cautious natures. As such socialization is an important step in creating a trustworthy dog that responds well to others.
Teaching socialization skills to a Shih Tzu puppy from birth is optimal but this may not be an option for some individuals. In such cases, handling your puppy often and spending as much as much time with him as you can with him is essential.
Petting and praising the puppy on a consistent basis reinforces socialization, as does playing with him. One game is to run away from the puppy, stop, turn around, and then call his name as he runs back. Have a treat waiting for him. This will also prepare him well for learning later to “come” when called.
Leash Training Shih Tzu Puppies
Teaching a puppy to walk quietly on a leash offers many benefits. The first step is to fit the puppy with a collar. A properly sized collar should allow for two fingers between it and the puppy’s neck. To train a Shih Tzu puppy to lead, attach the collar to a leash and follow behind him.
After the puppy becomes accustomed to the collar and leash, you can then persuade him to move forward by gently pulling on the leash, all the while praising and encouraging your puppy.
Teaching a puppy manners is another important component in training. Training Shih Tzu puppies to respond to a stern ‘no’ requires catching them in the act. For instance, if the puppy jumps on a visitor or chews on a piece of furniture, you should immediately point and say a firm ‘no’ or ‘off”.
When the puppy responds to the command, award him with praise. Never hit your puppy as this is negative reinforcement and could make him fearful of you.
You should also teach your puppy to take food from your hand gently. Apart from it being just plain good manners, you risk being bitten if your dog snatches food out of your hand.
Have him sit and wait till he is calm and quiet. Don’t feed him till he is. Say “gentle” as you give him the treat. If he goes to snatch it say a sharp “ah” and take the food away till he is sitting quietly again. Keep repeating this till he learns what is expected of him.
Chewing Is Good For Puppies, But…
There are quite a lot of things you don’t want your puppy to be chewing. When training a Shih Tzu puppy not to chew on objects that are off-limits, give him toys or other objects to chew on instead, since puppies often need something to bite on when teething. Offer the toy to the puppy during playtime and praise him when he brings the toy.
Training Shih Tzu puppies requires continuous effort and as with training any puppy, mistakes and setbacks can occur. However, if you are consistent and dedicated, your Shih Tzu will soon become a well behaved, delightful little companion for you and your entire family.