Shih Tzu Training


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If you plan on bringing a Shih Tzu home or already have one, you might be wondering how you can train it. As a pet owner, the right type of training brings you and your canine closer.

It also keeps the bond between both of you strong. Remember, when your Shih Tzu notices you’re happy, it experiences the same emotions as you.

Shih Tzu Training

Shih Tzu Training Problems


Before jumping into the topic of Shih Tzu training, you should know about the challenges you will face. This dog breed is known to be stubborn, which can be a problem during every session.

Due to this characteristic, you will be spending a large portion of your time teaching your canine basic tricks and commands.

Another Shih Tzu training problem you will face is separation anxiety. These breeds of dogs are well-known to be social animals. As a result, if you want to practice leaving it alone at home, you will face considerable challenges.

These types of Shih Tzu training problems are quite common. Remember to be patient and avoid shouting or punishing your canine. After all, you must practice positive reinforcement when training your dog.

How do you train a Shih Tzu?


House training


House training is crucial as you can stop your furry friend from urinating or defecating inside your property. Choose a location, either inside or outside your house as the designated toilet for your canine.

The next step is to start observing your furry friend for signs indicating it wants to answer nature’s call.

This can be squatting, going around in circles, or sniffing the ground constantly. 

When you observe this behavior, you should take your canine out for a walk immediately.

Take it to the designated toilet spot, to allow your furry friend to relieve itself. Due to the size of this breed’s bladder, you have to go for a toilet break, at least once in two hours.

Every time your dog urinates or defecates outside, you should reward it immediately. You can praise it for its efforts and provide a small treat.

Overcoming separation anxiety


As your Shih Tzu loves being around you, it will experience separation anxiety when you want to leave it along. Although you may want to take your canine with you everywhere you go, this may not always be possible.

One of the best ways you can tackle this problem while training a Shih Tzu is to use a crate. Despite being social animals, they also love having a personal space.

By keeping this in mind, you should create a space that your Shih Tzu can call as its home. Focus on making this place as comfortable as possible.

Layer the crate with bedding, to encourage your Shih Tzu to spend time in this part of your household. If your canine has favorite toys, leave it inside the crate.

The goal is to create a positive connection between the crate and your furry friend.

During the Shih Tzu training process, avoid forcing your canine to use the crate. Allow it to explore the crate naturally.

You can encourage your furry friend to check out this object by leaving its door open.

At first, you should start small, by leaving your Shih Tzu alone inside the crate for a couple of minutes. Observe how your canine reacts, to understand how it behaves in the future.

Initially, your furry friend will be whining as you aren’t around. Avoid entering the crate until the specified time is over.

Once your canine gets used to this routine, increase the duration of how long you leave it. Over time, you will be able to leave your Shih Tzu alone for hours, without any issue.

Going for walks

As part of training a Shih Tzu, you must teach it how to go for a walk every day. This is not only good for its physical and mental health, but it also won’t have excess energy in your house.

Always go on walk with your Shih Tzu with a leash. This makes it easy to control your canine when you go outside.

When you remove the collar for the first time, your furry friend will be overjoyed to know it's going for a walk. Due to the excitement, it may start jumping or barking at you.

In this situation, you should wait for your canine to calm down. Once it is in this zone, you can put the leash on your dog.

While you go for a walk, there will be times when your furry friend pulls, to direct you in a different direction. Most pet owners will try to stop their canines from pulling, by pulling back.

However, this doesn’t work when it comes to how to train a Shih Tzu. Avoid shouting as your canine won’t understand your message. When it pulls the leash, stop walking immediately.

You are letting your furry friend know you don’t want to go for a walk if it pulls. Over time, it will become mindful of its behaviors and stop this activity completely.


Now that you have an answer to how do you train a Shih Tzu, you should try it on your canine. After every Shih Tzu training session, you must reward your dog for its efforts.

The hard work you put in today will bear fruit in the future. Always stick with positive reinforcement over punishments, as the latter is ineffective.

With the tips highlighted above, you should be able to make sure your canine is well-behaved inside and outside your household.

Rather than working on multiple Shih Tzu training commands, try to focus on one goal. Once you achieve this, you can move on to another part of what you want to teach.

The bond you create with your canine during the Shih Tzu training session is one that will continue to grow stronger forever!

about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.

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