How To Train A Shih Tzu
Knowing how to train a Shih Tzu is imperative to making sure that your little lap dog is confident, happy and secure in your home. Since this dog breed is so small, training a Shih Tzu presents a few physical problems, like how to protect your back when leaning over to treat, pat or otherwise reward you dog.
- Start your training routine by finding the best, high-value treat for your particular dog. Every dog will have a different treat that she just can't live without. Finding that treat will go a long way toward coaxing the behavior you hope to build from your dog. Some Shih Tzus will prefer a smelly liver treat or a small pinch of cheese, but, if you're lucky, your dog just may go crazy for carrots or a squeaky toy.
- Shih Tzus, by their very nature, may be timid and leery of new experiences so work on strengthening your dog's confidence. Enrolling your Shih Tzu in beginner obedience classes will go a long way toward getting her acclimated to other dogs and people. Do not coddle your dog when you perceive that she is unsure of herself, even though you might want to. You'll only reinforce the quaking, barking or other signals that your dog is uncomfortable. Instead, ignore the dog but get her out of the immediate situation which is causing her alarm. Simply moving away from that towering German Shepherd in class may be enough to calm her down.
- Enrolling in an agility class is another great way to train a Shih Tzu. These small dogs are high in energy, and what better way to burn off the excess than zooming through an agility course? Agility obedience lessons give your Shih Tzu a chance to work at overcoming obstacles, such as small jumps or the A-frame. The benefit will be that your lap dog will strut with new confidence.
When training any dog, it's vitally important to train the human first. This is typically the hardest part of a dog's obedience lessons. The hardest thing to train a human to do is issue every command just once. Do not say, "sit, sit, sit!" Instead, say "sit" quietly and, if the dog doesn't do the command, make her. Reach down and place her in a sit and reward her with a "good sit!" End every single obedience lesson on a good note. Always end with a treat, a pat and a "good dog."