Shih Tzu Training – Tips And Tricks

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Shih Tzu dogs bite more because they are generally aggressive in nature. Shih Tzu training will help to reduce its biting habit. Finding out the causes behind its biting, adopting play start-play stop techniques, discouraging biting and teaching it to be sociable are important factors of this technique and may take 2 to 6 weeks to train it properly

“Ahhh, my Shih Tzu keeps on biting me!” If this is something you or one of your family members find themselves screaming out frequently then I am sure this is how you ended up reading this article! Shih Tzu biting and nipping is unfortunately common with this breed.

Shih Tzu Biting – 3 Tips To Stop Those Furious Chompers

If you want to put an end to your Shih Tzu’s wrath of biting with their furious little chompers then put these three tips into action today…

1. Find Out The Cause Behind The Biting

Often your Shih Tzu is not biting because they are angry with you or because they are mean dogs looking for vengeance. If your dog is still in the puppy cycle, then the likely cause is due to it still learning.

Chewing and biting is natural to dogs, you must remember this but doing so in an excessive or threatening way is the real problem.

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If you see wild dog puppies they are little biting and chewing machines, they often do this to their brothers and sisters in the pack as a way to display dominance.

If they don’t have the luxury of being in a pack while they are a puppy, then usually they will turn their teeth towards their owners.

At a young age, puppies will have an increase in biting and chewing as they are teething. This is something that they will grow out of as time passes.

But sometimes a puppy can be biting excessively due to pain, if this is suspected then take your Shih Tzu puppy to a vet for a check-up.

2. Use The Play Start, Play Stop Technique

Puppies love to play and if you stop abruptly after they do something wrong, eventually they will start to associate their specific behaviour with you leaving them.

To stop a puppy from biting, you can use a technique called the play start, play stop, which is based on stopping play. This also works for adult dogs.

This is done when you are playing with your dog and it’s as simple as stopping all forms of play for a period of time (10 – 30 minutes) as soon as they bite or nip.

The moment they do, command then “no” or “no bite”, then walk away and stop all play for the chosen period of time. Then come back and resume normal play.

Keep doing this until they start to learn that biting equals isolation. Then once they learn this, if they bite you again, give them the “no” command and if they pull away, instead of isolating them, reward them with a treat.

Do this consistently to see excellent results using this technique.

3. Never Encourage Biting

Many dog owners will allow a Shih Tzu to bite when they are young because it’s cute and not doing any damage. If you allow them to do this, all you’re doing is encouraging this behaviour.

And because you will likely be laughing as you do this and sticking your finger towards them to bite, they will learn that this is a behaviour that you want them to do.

You must stop this right now and make sure you enforce this rule with everybody who comes into contact with your dog, whether it be another family member or a visitor.

Shih Tzu biting problems can be stopped and by following the three tips I have revealed, you will be better armed to combat them. Just remember to always stay patient while training your dog to stop biting.

It can take weeks to see results so don’t get frustrated when results don’t appear within a couple of days.

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 its size and temperament make it an excellent choice for an inside dog.

1. 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 reinforce 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.

2. Lead Training Shih Tzu Puppies

Teaching a puppy to walk quietly on a lead 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.

3. Manners

Teaching 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”.

Shih Tzu Training 101 – Tips from Shih Tzu Owners and Experts – Ready, Set, Puppy!

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.

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3 Simple Steps For Potty Training Shih Tzu Puppies

Potty training Shih Tzu puppies can at times be a little difficult, but much seems to depend on the individual pup and/or whether the owner has had experience before with house training Shih Tzus. It’s quite understandable though why new owners get stressed and anxious about it all.

Shih Tzu House-Training Tips: Do Not Scold Your Dog

If you have heard about the reputation Shih Tzus have for being hard to house train and you are worried, rest assured that knowing what you need to do and what to expect before you get started will make the process a much easier stress-free experience.

  • Before You Begin

Be realistic about the time frame you set for house training. Generally, you should expect it to take about two weeks, but puppies that have already established bad habits may require training upwards of six weeks.

You need to be prepared to show a high level of commitment; so be sure you can dedicate the time to making this work. Additionally, take your new puppy to your veterinarian to rule out any health problems that need to be addressed before house training begins.

Step 1. Be Specific and Consistent

Make sure to designate a toilet area and be specific about it so you don’t confuse your puppy. Whether it will be the entire back yard or a small area in a corner of a room or the front yard, if you are not consistent about where you want your puppy to go potty your Shih Tzu will not be either.

The attitude you have about the entire process is the most important component of house training a new puppy. Always be patient and willing to accept that the occasional accident is going to happen.

If your puppy makes a mistake say a firm “no”, but don’t yell at him. It’s more important, and you will get better results in the end, if you praise him every time he does the right thing.

Tell him he’s a good boy, but always wait until you are sure he is finished. You don’t want to distract him while he’s in the middle of doing his business.

Simply put, praise and affection shown as a reward are perfect, and a simple “no” to show displeasure will help your Shih Tzu understand what you want and expect.

Step 2. Stick To A Schedule

Create and maintain a realistic schedule that you will be able to maintain. If you stick to the schedule so will your new puppy.

Also set your Shih Tzu’s feeding, bed and wake up times and stick to them as much as you possibly can to ensure success. Generally, within a few days, many puppies will be able to hold on to their bladders throughout the night.

Not all puppies are the same though, and a lot depends on how old they are as well, so don’t get cross or anxious if your puppy takes longer than this.

Step 3. Keep A Close Eye On Your Puppy

Supervise your Shih Tzu and know where he is at all times. This step will help you learn your new puppy’s toileting times and habits which will help to avoid accidents. If you find that you will be unable to supervise him for an extended period, section off a confined area for your puppy to go potty, and line it with papers.

Potty training Shih Tzu puppies can, if you’re lucky, be quite easy, but be prepared as most owners do find it challenging. You will see results though if you are patient, and consistent, stick to your schedule and watch over your puppy as much as possible.

How To Stop Your Shih Tzu Barking Excessively

Is your Shih Tzu barking too much? If so, there’s probably a good reason for it.

Shih Tzus are less inclined to be yappy in comparison to most other small breeds of dogs, so if your Shih Tzu has just recently started barking a lot, or if he has had a barking problem for some time, you should take it seriously.

There’s probably a very good reason for it.

Read through the following to learn the most common reasons for excessive barking in Shih Tzus and find out what steps you can take to put a stop to it, for good!

There are important characteristics to understand about your Shih Tzu’s personality and nature. They have been bred as companion dogs for centuries so companionship is this breed’s highest desire.

Leaving a Shih Tzu outside and alone all day is just not an option. Of course, many dog owners have no choice but to leave their pets alone for many hours every day, but providing your Shih Tzu with a safe and cosy space inside your home is a better alternative.

If you do this your Shih Tzu will feel more secure, and his or her barking should decrease as a result. You also have to keep in mind that Shih Tzu’s are sensitive to extreme temperatures and have a hard time staying outside for long periods in very hot or cold weather.

This alone would be enough to make a Shih Tzu complain, and quite understandably so too.

Pent up energy has to be released somehow, and often barking is the only way. Walk your dog every day for at least half an hour, twice a day is even better.

If you don’t have time, hiring a dog walker could be a solution. If you are away from home all day, arrange with the dog walker to take your dog out in the middle of the day.

This will break up the day beautifully for your Shih Tzu, give him the exercise he needs, and help if his barking is due to loneliness. Many owners put their dogs in doggy daycare facilities during the week.

You simply drop your dog off in the morning and pick it up after work. Your Shih Tzu will be very tired, but happy, and not at all interested in barking when he gets home.

While this is a more expensive option, Shih Tzu’s social and gentle natures make them excellent candidates for doggie daycare. Even taking your pet once a week can help improve problem barking due to lack of exercise, but you will still need to walk your Shih Tzu on the days he doesn’t go to daycare.

Barking From Sheer Boredom

A Shih Tzu that barks excessively may also be bored. Make sure you are walking your pet every day or providing some form of exercise on a regular basis.

Since this is a small breed, a ball can even be thrown indoors for exercise. This is an easy way to exercise your dog while doing another activity, like watching television.

How to Stop Your Shih Tzu from Barking at Other Dogs

There are also special dog toys you can buy that are made of hard plastic and have holes in them that can be stuffed with treats. If you buy several of these and place them around your home, your Shih Tzu will be kept busy seeking them out, and once he does it will take him ages to get the treat out of the hole.

Are You Reinforcing Your Shih Tzu’s Excessive Barking?

Avoid falling into the trap of paying attention to your dog only when he is misbehaving! This is a common mistake that many pet owners make.

Your Shih Tzu may be getting “rewarded” for the bad behaviour of barking if that is the only time he has your attention. If your dog is sitting quietly, reward him with some extra love and attention, and a small treat also goes a long way in reinforcing good behaviour.

A Shih Tzu barking excessively is saying that something is wrong in his world. All you have to do is find out what that is and make the necessary changes.

Your Shih Tzu will be happier and healthier for it and will no longer have any reason to complain.

Our guide for why does my dog bark at me? should help train any breed of dog

Shih Tzu Problems – How To Deal With Them

The Shih Tzu is considered to be one of the least demanding of the toy breeds. They can be proud, arrogant, and happy all at the same time.

Shih Tzu problems are not extensive. Even though they can be a little bit on the stubborn side, the Shih Tzu doesn’t generally get into much trouble and is easy to train if you are consistent and offer praise and reward with treats.

In all their greatness this breed still may not be the perfect match for you. Within this article, I have outlined a few of the common problems some owners may face.

  • Grooming

If you don’t consistently brush and comb your Shih Tzu their coats tend to become a mess. If you are a person that can not commit to a regular brushing or clipping schedule to ensure their coat is kept in good condition or short this breed may not be for you.

The Shih Tzu has a double coat and unfortunately, both of them shed. Just like humans every strand of a dog’s hair will eventually die and fall. There are easy solutions for this, but you must be prepared to groom your Shih Tzu regularly or have him clipped two or three times a year.

If you want to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat short you should consider buying a good pair of electric dog clippers and doing it yourself. It will save you a lot of money in the long run.

  • Potential Health Problems

Due to their short faces, this breed can potentially have respiratory problems. Their respiratory systems may be compromised so a sincere willingness not to smoke around your Shih Tzu must be a priority.

Also, short-faced dogs have a higher risk for heatstroke so on extremely hot and humid days you should limit their outdoor activity and keep them in an air-conditioned environment.

  • Housebreaking

Housebreaking Shih Tzus, or any breed of dog for that matter, requires patience. Like most small breeds the Shih Tzu has a small bladder so house training can prove to be a little difficult.

They can also be a bit stubborn, but with the right advice and guidance, you will be able to house-train your Shih Tzu without too much difficulty.

  • Temperament

Though the Shih Tzu is considered to be a gentle and mild-mannered dog they can be a little bit stubborn. You must learn how to show your Shih Tzu that you are in charge and that you are the alpha dog.

To avoid many problems and any inherited health or temperament issues buy your puppy from a good registered breeder. If the whole litter is available look at choosing the most confident and outgoing puppy.

The Shih Tzu problems mentioned here are issues that are often associated with many other breeds. So, if you are still convinced that this is the breed for you, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.


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Gaurav Mongia
Gaurav Mongia
Gaurav Mongia is a seasoned author and a marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience in the field. Gaurav is known for his expertise in digital marketing, branding, and market research, and is highly respected by his colleagues and clients alike.