Alas, many pets make way to rescue agencies and pounds after they fail to understand which behavior is appropriate and which isn’t. If you don’t consider such an option for your little ball of fur, you should be really committed when training your dog and always apply gentle, positive approach without harsh punishments.
Although Shih Tzu puppies are quite stubborn, housetraining of them is not that difficult. The trick is that Shih Tzu doesn’t usually litter in a place they treat for their “den”, so the main aim is to make him treat your entire house as the “den” and not only the small nesting area where he sleeps. When your puppy gets home, firstly he considers a very small area being his den and makes it larger as he earns your trust.
A dog must respect you. Instincts dictate a dog’s behavior, so you will be treated either as a senior, equal or junior member of his pack. If he doesn’t treat you as a leader, he will never obey. And yes, being a tyrant is something positive even for the sake of your dog, because you are a rational being and he is not. He doesn’t know how not tasty medications can help, why unpleasant removal of fur knots is necessary and why toilet water is undrinkable. Being a leader is a key in solving any problem, though, you need to know what exactly to do in any situation.
Advise: Gaining respect from your dog is an immense theme that lays far beyond limitations of the article. In order to fully grasp it, consider reading a book “Teach Your Dog 100 English Words” by Michele Welton. This book is applicable not only for Shih Tzu, but for other dogs of any age. Whether you have Bichon, Maltese or German shepherd, it may come in handy.
Barking When you are Away
Barking when you are away may be very annoying and it’s easy to fall for temptation to give your Shih Tzu much desired attention, but if you let him out, give him a treat or pet him immediately, this behavior will be rewarded and reinforced. Wait until he is quiet to release him. To alleviate anxieties, which make his tantrums severer, begin with short departures, and gradually prolong the time you are away.
Misbehavior During Grooming
Hold the dog’s foot for a few seconds and then give him a small treat and praise. Then hold his foot for a bit longer finishing with a treat again. Little by little do what you need to do with your dog for a longer time and make rewards rarer. Let Shih Tzu think that he fools you and juggles you out of treats. In fact, if a dog of this breed thinks of himself as a marvelous cheater, it makes him easy to manipulate. Brush and handle him regularly, and reward him for compliance. When your puppy is misbehaving, pause for a moment and whisper comforting words, then continue a bit, reward, and take a break.
As it was mentioned in the article “how to potty train your Shih Tzu”, the point is to notice signs of anxiety in time and let the dog out when he needs to. In order to make your dog eliminate on command, you should begin with saying the command after the dog starts toileting and always give a dog a treat when he is done. Later gradually say the command word earlier and earlier giving the treat alongside the command and urinating will be tightly linked in your puppy’s mind with pleasance.
So-called “time-outs”, temporary ignore of your dog, works just fine for Shih Tzu as a way of punishment, since Shih Tzu is a companion dog and yelling as well as corporal punishments just make him more stubborn. Take the little prisoner by his neck or the moustache and say in a strict, authoritative way: “No bite!”, “No growl” or whatever he’s done wrong. Immediately after that separate the dog from you, from the rest of your family members and from other dogs (if you have any). He will remember this negative reaction for sure.
Try to exposure the dog to the world gradually, one fear to fight at a time. Soon he will react to variety of sounds, sights, smells, and situations adequately. You should not inhibit fear by food; this approach only indulges in fearfulness.
How to prevent from chewing things and fight off other problems with destructive behavior
The answer is simple: this energy bar should be emptied. Play with him, provide him with lots of toys, and mark out an area in a house where he can frisk freely. In other words, amuse and busy him by what he really likes, so he will not look at a table-leg, drooling.