By Everything Shih Tzu Updated January 5, 2023
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Training a Shih Tzu puppy can be a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience and a great way to bond with your pet.
Taking the time to teach your puppy obedience commands and proper behavior not only helps you form a better bond with them but also lays the foundation for an obedient and well-behaved pet that’s safe to take in public places.
Here you will learn the basic dog training commands such as:
These 6 basic commands are the foundation for successful training, as well as positive reinforcement techniques like praise and treats, which will help encourage good behavior.
Finally, we'll cover common mistakes to avoid while training so that you can ensure successful results.
Get your dog, and some treats and keep reading to learn how to do each of the basic commands.
Training your dog is important because it helps to create a strong bond between you and your pet, while also establishing boundaries that help keep them safe.
Not only this but teaching your dog to listen to your commands can also help to prevent unwanted behaviors from developing, such as excessive barking or jumping.
There are six main commands to teach them: sit, stay, come, leave it, down, and heel.
These six commands will help your pup know what to do in different situations.
Let's start with the "sit" command.
The sit command is often one of the first to teach your Shih Tzu. This teaches them that they can’t just go off and do whatever they want.
Once your dog has mastered the sit command in the privacy and comfort of your home, go out into a more public area, where there is lots of commotion, and work with your dog through the many distractions you'll come across. Be sure to always keep them on a leash while training in public.
Remember, his focus should always be on you, even when there is a silly squirrel bouncing around him to tempt his curiosity.
Once you have a good foundation with this command, take it to the next level by not giving a treat every single time he does what you ask.
Treats are used to encourage good behavior, but you don't want your dog to become dependent on them for a job well done.
The ultimate goal is he must understand that he should always listen to you whether he gets a yummy treat or not.
In the beginning use treats 100% of the time, then gradually reduce the using the treat when your dog responds to your cues nearly every time.
You can use other form of rewards too, like a little scratch under his chin, or a simple voice reward as positive reinforcement on the times he doesn't get a treat.
When you can get your dog to sit, even though he may or may not get a treat, you'll know he's mastered the "sit." Good boy!
Congratulations! It's time to teach him how to stay put when told.
The stay command is also important in your Shih Tzu training.
This will help your puppy learn to wait for permission before moving from one place to another.
When your dog is consistently responding to duration and distance, you can start adding distractions, such as tossing a tennis ball or being in new environments.
Just remember that when you add in distractions, reduce the distance and duration of your stay to set your puppy up for success.
Before getting into how to implement this command, here are some noteworthy tips to help train your Shih Tzu to come to you:
Training your Shih Tzu to come to you can be challenging but absolutely essential, as it could keep them from potential danger if they ever get away from you.
It's also important to be aware that all dogs learn differently, so the steps outlined here may not work for every puppy.
That being said, there are certain techniques that are known to be effective in teaching your dog to come when called.
Remember that positive reinforcement is key when it comes to training your pup. If they are not responding correctly to the “come” command, try rewarding them with verbal praise instead of treats.
And if things don’t seem to be going as planned, take a break and come back to it another day.
With patience and consistency, your dog will eventually learn the command “come.”
Using the "leave it" command is important when training a dog to pay attention and respect boundaries.
This command can help prevent a dog from ingesting potentially dangerous items, such as spoiled food or hazardous materials.
It also teaches the dog impulse control, which can be useful in many situations, such as when there are strangers around or during walks.
Additionally, this command helps them to understand that they must wait for permission before taking something they want.
Thus, teaching the "leave it" command is essential if you want your dog to maintain good behavior and stay safe in any environment.
Start with two different types of rewards, something low value for the leave it commands and your regular training reward.
Your low-value item can even be plain kibble to start out.
The most important thing to remember is that your dog should never get the 'Leave It' item.
Learning how to use the “leave it” command is essential for
successful Shih Tzu training.
It can help your dog understand boundaries, prevent them from getting into risky situations and encourage them to wait for permission before taking something.
Above all, it reinforces your role as the leader in their life and helps them to understand that you are in charge.
Using the “off” or “down” command is imperative when you want your Shih Tzu to be well-behaved in society.
It teaches dogs to stop jumping on people or furniture when they get excited and to stay off countertops or other objects they shouldn't be on.
Additionally, teaching your dog the "off" command can help them understand that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they need to stay down.
By following the steps outlined below, you can successfully teach your pup the "off" command in just a few sessions.
Remember to remain consistent with your training and always provide positive reinforcement for good behavior. With patience and dedication, you’ll have a well-trained pup in no time!
The heel command is an important tool for Shih Tzu owners since it teaches them to stay in a specific position relative to the owner, and not pull on their leash
For example, when walking your dog, it is essential that they remain at your side and not ahead of you or lag behind.
Teaching them to heel allows you to maintain control over the situation and keep your pet safe.
Positive reinforcement is essential for successful training.
It’s important to give your dog praise or a treat whenever they do something correctly. This will help them understand that they’ve done the right thing and encourage them to repeat it in the future.
You can also use treats to reward good behavior during training sessions, such as sitting when asked or staying still for a certain amount of time.
It’s necessary to remember that the treats should be given sparingly and not every single time they do something correctly.
The goal is to create a positive, rewarding environment rather than one where they are expecting a treat every time.
Training a dog can often be a challenge, but there are some common mistakes that can make the process even more difficult.
Here’s what you should avoid when training your pup:
By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure successful results when training your pup.
Dog training builds upon itself, and once you've mastered these key commands, you can use these skills for a variety of
tricks and advanced training.
Training your Shih Tzu is equal parts training and persistence.
Once you’ve mastered the basic dog training commands and have found the way to work with him instead of against him, there’s an endless world of training possibilities.