Because they are small and can be picked up and handled easily, some owners, unfortunately, neglect obedience training their Shih Tzu pups. Don't make the same mistake--not only is obedience training important for your dog's safety, as he may not always be in reach when you need to direct him, obedience training is good for keeping his mind active, focused on you, and developing your role as his pack leader. You don’t want to be that dog owner at the dog park or doggy playground repeatedly yelling commands at your Shih Tzu with no response! Even house dogs should have a good grasp on obedience command, as they are a stepping stone to other behaviors and tricks and can give you important control when you need it.
You will need treats, toys, patience, and consistency to motivate and guide your Shih Tzu to perform obedience commands. Remember that your attention-loving Shih Tzu may be happy to work for affection. Teach your Shih Tzu “good boy” or “good girl” and associate this with a reward so that your Shih Tzu recognizes when he or she has pleased you. You can use these verbal rewards during obedience training.
I have a 13 year old chihuahua also and Doxie is constantly chasing and biting him. I have to put Doxie into a separate room to keep her from annoying him. I use the ‘leave it’ command and provide a treat if Doxie responds properly but many times she is too engaged or leaves it and then resumes after the treat. What do you suggest?
Hello Paula, Continue working on Leave It and sending her somewhere away from your older dog when she gets too excited until she calms down, like you are already doing. Also, work on teaching an "Out" command. In addition to the above, it is also a matter of age. If you are consistent, as she matures things should improve. She will gradually learn the rules if you keep enforcing them as her impulse control, capacity to calm herself, and other maturity factors improve. With puppies it is often a lot of repeating the same things over and over as they grow, until it seems to 'click' eventually when their impulse control is better. The training does pay off but it can take a while to see results in many cases. Stay consistent, knowing that it will be worth it. Check out the article linked below and especially read the sections: "How to Teach a Dog The Out Command" "How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness" There is also a section with tips on bringing a puppy home that may be useful in your case. "How to Use 'Out' to Help Dogs Get Along" "Out" article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My puppy refuses to train. I can get about 30 seconds to 2 minutes of training in before he just walks away with his tail between his legs. I am patient, use treats, say good boy and pet him. My kids and husband have been holding him and hugging him since he came home about 1.5 weeks ago. I am thinking that he does not feel like he has to listen to me. I have had a Shih tzu before and I do not remember him being this stubborn. What can I do? I will never train a dog with 30-60 seconds to train and then him acting afraid of me at the end. And it is only me since as soon as another family member walks in he is suddenly happy and full of energy.
Hello Cynthia, You may want to change which method of training you are using. Most things can be taught multiple ways. For example, check out the article linked below on teaching Sit. Notice that Sit can be taught in three different ways. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-yorkshire-terrier-to-sit Many puppies do well with lure training, where you use a treat or toy to show them how to move into a certain position. Some stubborn or unmotivated puppies need the Pressure method to physically show them how to do a behavior (most 9 week old puppies are not actually stubborn though - especially if acting afraid). Many dogs need the Capture method, where you simply train throughout the day in little bits. If you are uncertain how to train, find a trainer you feel you can trust and watch their videos that demonstrate how to train a certain thing. Your dog might need different handling than past dogs to motivate him. Zach George and Ian Dunbar on YouTube both have several good puppy videos. I suggest trying lure training first. If you are not successful with that or have already tried that, then I suggest trying the Capture method next. At this age, I suggest incorporating the training into your day in little bits also. For example, before you feed him, use a piece of his food to lure him into a sit, then reward him with the piece of food when his bottom touches the floor, then tell him "Okay!" to let him eat. If you are home during the day, you can also feed him his entire meal this way - as little rewards for dozens of 1 minute commands. Before you take him on a walk, work on Watch Me, where he has to look at you for a second before exiting the door. When you are watching TV at night, practice down by rewarding him for automatically laying down and staying down for longer. At nine weeks he is really still learning how to learn so keep working on it but also recognize that he might just need a little time to mature, but the more you practice in little bits, the better his capacity for learning in general should get, so that you can then have longer, full training sessions. Dogs are different than each other, so his focus might be different at this age then your previous dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi there, this is our first time with a puppy and he is very energetic. We provide many chewing options but he eventually only wants to bite our feet and hands (and hard! ). Sometimes he persists until he is really wound up and starts to lunge and even bark or growl. We have tried "time outs" in his crate but as soon as we let him out he goes right back to the behavior. It is exhausting! Is there another discipline method we can use to get him to stop? We've also tried praising him everytime he uses the chew toy but, again, he will go right back to lunging at our hands and fingers. Help! We want a nice dog that can be playful and yet calm!
Hello Bradi, Check out the article linked below and use the Leave It method. It will take a bit for him to learn the Leave It command so you can also use the Bite Inhibition method to help the puppy biting while he learns Leave It also - but your end goal is leave it. Once he knows Leave It and is older, you can use the Pressure method if he disobeys your Leave It command, but you need to teach Leave It well first or he will probably only think you are roughhousing when you use the Pressure method - instead of understanding that he should stop biting. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, work on teaching the Out command and use Out when he gets too wound up - out means leave the area. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Continue the time outs with food stuffed chew toys - not as a discipline to help him learn (that's what the other methods are for), but because when many puppies this age get really wound up it is actually a sign that they are overstimulated and need to rest (or be exercised if cooped up all day), and they need help calming back down by being put somewhere calm with something relaxing to do - like chew a food stuffed chew toy. Stuffing the hollow toys with his dog food will help peak his interest. I also suggest looking for a puppy kindergarten class in your area that has time for off-leash puppy play that is moderated by the trainer and owners so that puppies are given a break when one starts to get too rough or another overwhelmed. Playing with puppies can help puppies learn to be softer when they bite - this is called learning bite inhibition, and it is very important for puppies to learn it while young to make them safer as adults. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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