Shih Tzu - Obedience Training For Your Shih Tzu

By: Connie Limon

Obedience training is one of the most important and most effective things any owner can do for his or her shih tzu. A properly obedience trained shih tzu is a happy, productive and safe member of the family, while a untrained shih tzu can be destructive and even dangerous.

Dogs are designed by nature to follow leaders, and to look for that leadership. As pack animals, shih tzu naturally follow the directions of their pack leader. In the absence of a strong leader, the shih tzu may assume this role itself. Shih tzu that think of themselves as the leader of their human pack can become uncooperative, destructive and even dangerous.

Proper obedience training opens up important lines of communication between handler and shih tzu. The basis of any obedience training program is to gain the cooperation and respect of the animal. This respect cannot be exerted through rough handling methods or mistreatment. It must instead be earned through leadership and proper training techniques.

Basic obedience training consists of teaching the shih tzu what to do and what not to do. When it comes to desired behaviors, it is important for the shih tzu to learn and respond to basic commands, such as heeling when walking, stopping on command, sitting when directed, coming when called and staying where the handler directs.

The list of what not to do is also important when it comes to obedience training. Some of the don’ts of obedience training include – not jumping up on people, not forging ahead when walking and, not chewing the furniture or your property, and not getting out of control when exposed to novel situations.

In essence, obedience training involves establishing the social hierarchy that is so important to shih tzu as pack animals. When your shih tzu follows your obedience commands, such as – come, stay, sit, heel, etc., he or she is showing compliance and submissiveness. This is the same type of behavior a submissive member of a wild dog pack would show to the alpha dog in that pack.

As with any type of dog training, it is important that obedience training sessions be fun and rewarding for both shih tzu and handler. A happy, healthy shih tzu will be best able to learn, and keeping the shih tzu happy during the training sessions will make life easier for both yourself and your shih tzu. Obedience training has many benefits for the shih tzu as well as the handler. For one thing, a well trained, obedient shih tzu can be permitted a larger amount of freedom than an untrained shih tzu. For instance, a shih tzu that has been properly trained to come when called can safely enjoy some off leash play time at the local park.

There is always a debate over whether it is easier to obedience train puppies or older dogs. The fact is that both shih tzu puppies and older shih tzu can be successfully trained to be willing, obedient companions. It is generally easier to train shih tzu puppies and young shih tzu than it is to retrain shih tzu that have developed behavior problems. Even problem shih tzu, however, can be successfully retrained using basic obedience training and control concepts.

When obedience training shih tzu puppies, however, it is important to remember that shih tzu puppies generally have a shorter attention span than do full grown shih tzu. It is important, therefore to keep training sessions short in the beginning. It is also important to incorporate lots of play with other shih tzu puppies, dogs and other animals, as well as lots of different people. Proper socialization is very important to creating a safe, healthy and happy companion shih tzu.

There are many obedience training classes held in all parts of the country, and new shih tzu puppy and shih tzu owners are encouraged to enroll in one of these classes. Not only do shih tzu puppy kindergarten and shih tzu obedience classes provide important structure for the shih tzu, but it provides important chances for properly socialization the shih tzu puppy as well.

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Connie Limon is a shih tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:

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