Shih Tzu Puppy Training

by Janice Jones     |Last Updated 06-07-2022

Shih Tzu Puppy Training is essential if you want to take a proactive stance and assure that your tiny puppy will turn out to be a happy, well-adjusted adult dog.  Many new puppy owners are not prepared for the amount of time and effort that goes into training that new bundle of joy. 

Maybe you are one of those that believe that a tiny puppy should be give lots of love, kisses and treats and let the problems surface before doing anything.  Maybe you just don’t know where to start.  Don’t be fooled by the many do-it-yourself dog training courses that promise to solve all problems and turn your dog into a perfect angel overnight.  Training doesn’t work that well and well, let’s face it, it does take time and patience.

Is it impossible?  Of course not, and Shih Tzu puppy training can be the best activity that you and your new puppy embark on to bring the two of you closer together.  So, when and where do you start?

We have numerous pages on this site that discuss aspects of Shih Tzu puppy training.  The information is based on our personal experiences, extensive reading, and yes I’ll admit I use a lot of what I was learned while completing an undergraduate degree in psychology.   

Puppy Training

When to Start Shih Tzu Puppy Training

One of the very first things that most people want to know is when should I start puppy training.  This is a good questions because years ago, experts recommended that you wait until they were “old enough” usually 6 months of age and had completed their full serious of vaccinations. 

Today, we know that puppy training needs to begin as soon as you take your dog home.  We think about puppy training as an ongoing process that includes teaching manners and social skills, basic commands and housebreaking.  Many puppies go beyond the basics, but the basics are a “must” for a happy, well-adjusted dog. 

A well trained puppy is much less likely to ever see the inside of a dog shelter or rescue and will live out his life as a devoted family member that you, the proud owner will be happy to show off to all your acquaintances.

Puppy Proofing

Puppy Proofing

You might wonder why this article is listed under puppy training, and there is a logical explanation.  A well puppy proofed home will prevent problems from arising and improve the chances your Shih Tzu puppy training efforts will be successful. 

Eliminate as many puppy temptations and you'll find you don't need to use the "No" word nearly as much.

Read more on Puppy Proofing

Housebreaking and crate training

Housebreaking and crate training are two topics on the top of every new puppy owner’s mind and well it should be. There are several options for house training a puppy and one must decide beforehand which method will work best for their own personal situation. 

Most people prefer for puppies and older dogs to find a suitable place outdoors for elimination.  Many, however, like the idea of an “indoor potty” for their new pooch.  It is mostly a personal choice, as one is not necessarily better than the other. 

More on Housebreaking.

Puppy Biting

One of the first things that owners first notice is chewing and nipping behavior, especially if the dog is young and has not obtained his/her full set of adult teeth.  While many puppies will stop nipping on their own as they mature, many others will not unless taught otherwise.  It’s important to nip the nipping in the butt before it turns into a problem. 

Many adult dogs end up in shelters because they were guilt of biting the toddler.  Some breeds are more prone to this than others, and even within a breed, there will be some individuals who border on the more aggressive side (either due to genetics or early experiences).  Never take a chance on your dog being the one that must be relinquished because he bit someone. 

More on Puppy Nipping Behaviors

Walking Nicely on a Leash

If visions of leisurely evening strolls through the neighborhood are permeating your brain, you are likely to be thinking about training your dog to walk on a leash.  Even very young dogs can master this task, but it might not be accomplished overnight.  Gentle leash training is a must and any attempts to force a puppy to walk on a leash will likely be met with resistance. 

Read More on Walking Nicely on a Leash.

Socializing Your Puppy

Socializing Your Puppy

Most new puppy owners want show off their new dog to all their friends, neighbors and loved ones.  This is great for socializing the puppy, but don’t go overboard all at once.  Puppies can get overwhelmed with all the attention.  But knowing how to socialize a new puppy is a very important skill that new dog owners can master quickly. 

Read More Socializing your New Puppy

Does the Puppy do Tricks?

Teach Your Puppy Basic Commands

What about tricks?  Does the puppy do any tricks?  Believe it or not, I do get asked this question, usually from my youngest clients.  (i.e. Children).

Puppies can be taught to do tricks, but usually basic commands such as sit and come, should also be on the training agenda.

No one needs a dog that can do a high five if they won’t come when they are called. There are some basic commands that all puppies can and should learn.  Click on the term below to read more about how to train our puppy right from the start.

Sit                Stay               Come              Down               Watch Me              Leave it

Shih Tzu Puppy Training Classes

Puppy Kindergarten

Many people want to know if they should enroll their puppy in a puppy kindergarten class.  Whether you decide to do it yourself or enlist the help of a professional trainer is a decision you will ultimately need to make.  Puppy kindergarten classes are ideal for people want to socialize their puppy and gain some expert help or advice at the same time. 

Simply being enrolled does not take the hard work of training out of your ball park.   Don’t make the mistake of thinking you won’t be involved, unless you choose to send your puppy off to be trained by professionals.  There will likely be homework assignments that you and your dog will work on until mastery.

There are many resources on the web and in books that will help you learn how to teach basic commands, (including this website) so doing it on your own is a very viable alternate, especially if finances will not permit expensive Shih Tzu Puppy Training classes. 

More on Puppy Kindergarten Classes. 

More Serious Behavioral Problems

What if your puppy or adult dog is already showing signs of behavioral problems that you would want to correct.  If they are not severe, there are things that you can do to steer your pooch onto the right path.  Some of the more common doggie problems that plague their owners include barking, howling,  chewing, begging at the table, jumping up, and separation anxiety

More on Dog Behavioral Problems.

Last Words on Shih Tzu Puppy Training

Don't let anyone tell you that Shih Tzu dogs are impossible to train.  They are very smart and sociable.  Having a strong bond with your dog is the first step.  Next patience is important along with consistency and praise. 

Positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise will improve your chances for success.  Remember too, that the Shih Tzu breed is considered to be stubborn in that they often do not obey your command if they can't see that there is anything in it for them.  With that said, before you issue a command, think about how your Shih Tzu is going to respond.  Their reward needs to convince them that it would be smarter for them to respond than to refuse and stand their ground.

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About Janice

Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.

When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and Smart-Knit-Crocheting.