Training can be a difficult task for a breed as charming as the Shih Tzu. A simple look from them is enough to melt your heart. But that is both the joy and frustration of choosing a Shih Tzu for a pet: you want to discipline them but it would be a challenge to do so. Then again, if you want to raise a dog that won’t give you trouble when they get older, it’s important for you not to succumb to their charms. That said, here are the important things to remember when bringing a young Shih Tzu home for the first time:
Don’t give in to their demands for attention
This sounds rather harsh and it is indeed a harsh thing to do to a small creature. A puppy becomes distressed when they are separated from their litter which is exactly what happens when you take them home. This may result in constant barking to which you would normally tell them to be quiet or be tempted to pet them. However, doing this is actually telling them they have done a good job for being noisy.
What should you do instead?
Not reacting to that behavior is certainly one way to go about it but this can irritate your neighbors or those you live with. Another tactic you can try is doing something out of their sight so the barking would be interrupted like making noises with the use of different objects.
You may also be tempted to let them out if they are being noisy, but this is seen as rewarding behavior as well. Instead, wait until the puppy has calmed itself down before letting them out.
But what happens when you have to go out or leave for work?
You can start by leaving them for short periods then gradually increase that.
Do crate train your puppy or allocate a small space for them
You can train your puppy to stay in the crate when you go out or leave for work. You can even add toys and other comforts so your dog will find it comfortable. You can even turn on the radio or TV so your dog won’t be that lonely when you’re gone. That said, you must also train the dog to not eliminate waste inside their crate. This can be done by letting them eliminate before putting them inside the crate. This, however, causes problems if you are gone for long periods at a time.
What can be done instead?
You can allocate a small space for your Shih Tzu puppy to rest and play around in. You can designate one area for elimination while the rest is for play.
Do use “time outs” as a form of punishment
Shih Tzu’s crave human attention and distancing yourself from it is better than punishing them physically. When they do something bad, let them know about it then separate yourself from the dog. This way, they will learn that what they did was wrong.
A Shih Tzu makes a lovely pet but training is so important for this breed in order for it to turn out well-mannered and not a hassle for the rest of its life.