By Janice A. Jones |Last updated 07-06-2021
Is Shih Tzu puppy socialization necessary for your new Puppy?
The answer is a resounding YES!
You now have that wonderful bundle of furry joy, thought about her physical needs, but now it is time for a little socialization.
How are your new puppy’s social skills?
Shih Tzu puppy socialization begins at birth, and if you have acquired your puppy from a reputable professional breeder, you can be sure that he or she has been hard at work, interacting, touching, holding and exposing your pup to a variety of sights, sounds, smells, and routine household occurrences.
If the breeder raised the puppies in her home, your new puppy will already have heard and experienced the vacuum cleaner and other household appliances at work, the sounds of cats and other dogs, and felt and played on a variety of textures from wood and carpeting to tile, brick and stone. Please click on the link to learn more about puppy development.
Depending on the season, your pup will already have experienced the rustle of leaves, water from a wading pool, the clap of thunder, or the rain pounding on the windows or the thrill of running through new fallen snow.
The puppy will have already had had some encounters with a wide variety of people, children, teens and adults, men and women, people that wear boots and hat and carry umbrellas.
Some of those people will be tall, some overweight, and some that talk very loud. This is how your puppy's breeder is helping in the Shih Tzu puppy socialization process.
The breeder turns over the task of socializing to you the minute you take your new puppy home.
Socializing your tiny breed dog is not difficult and for most, the process of socialization is merely a matter of exposing your puppy to as many new situations as possible, taking note which situations may be troubling to your puppy, and working to eliminate any problems.
Socialization goes hand in hand with training so the wise owner will want to make sure his little puppy learns right from wrong from a very early age. Sounds easy?
Well it can be and should be FUN.
As you begin your life with your new puppy, you will naturally want to show him
off to friends, family and the community at large. Use our check-off list to expose your puppy to many new sights and sounds.
Think about all the different places you can take your dog. Think about the people you know who will love to meet your new dog. The first few months of a dog’s life are critical for socializing, but Shih Tzu puppy socialization and training should be a life time project that strengthens the bond between the two of you.
Don’t “baby” your puppy or teach him to
fear something such as a thunderstorm, loud noises, air horns, or other large
The best approach you can take when you perceive your puppy’s fear is to approach them as any good canine mom would—matter-of-fact. Do not cuddle, coo over, or hold your pet as you might a frightened child. Simply say, “Oh, that is thunder,” and go about your business. Your puppy will get the idea.
Do Shih Tzu dogs need to be socialized around other dogs? Other animals? Some owners say no and the reasons they give are numerous.
These may be noble “plans” but situations change; people change, and our beloved pets must also adjust in response to our life changes.
Socializing a puppy to other dogs is much easier when the dog is young rather than hoping for the best if your life situation changes and you must push your adult dog to change too.
One of life’s greatest gifts is the bond and love that develops between a human and their pets. Shih Tzu puppy socialization is one way to develop that bond and assure that the love will stretch into the next 15 plus years.
In 2002, Margaret Hughes from Positive Paws Dog Training, adapted Pat Schaap’s Rule of 7’s to expand it to 12 weeks of age.
She recommended that by 12-weeks old, puppies should have had these 12 experiences by the time the puppy is 12 weeks old.
If you are just picking up your puppy at 12 weeks of age, continue this routine for several more weeks. When making plans to socialize your dog, do take into consideration the puppy's personality. A very outgoing Shih Tzu puppy is likely to thrive in an environment where there are plenty of new sounds, sights and smells. Shy puppies may find all of this too overwhelming.
Best Takeaway: Puppies need socialization and these skills will last a lifetime. However, the first few precious months of a puppy's life should not be overwhelming stimulation after stimulation.
Consider the Goldilocks Principle: Not too much, not too little, but just the right amount of socialization.