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How to Train a Shih Tzu


Want to learn how to transform your Shih Tzu’s behavior? Click here to find out how.

How to Train a Shih TzuThe Shih Tzu, also called the Chrysanthemum Dog, is a toy breed that originated in Tibet and was originally used for guarding temples. This breed most likely developed from crossing the Pekingese with the Tibetan Mountain Dog. They are a small dog that only stands between 8 and 11 inches tall and that weighs between 8 and 15 pounds. They have a long and silky coat including a long mustache and beard. They come in a variety of color variations and combinations. The Shih Tzu is a gentle and loyal pet that works well for families with kids as well as people living on their own. They do require extra effort to keep their coat in shape so make sure to give them regular brushings and groomings.

The Shih Tzu is a smart dog and can take quickly to training. They do need a lot of supervision when young, however, as many Shih Tzus that are left with too much free time in the house can develop house training issues by sneaking away to use your carpet as their bathroom. Spend a lot of time ‘showing’ your dog what is expected before moving on to more advanced obedience behaviors.

Be patient and consistent and you will have no problem training your Shih Tzu.

Shih Tzus are small dogs with spunky personalities. They are great family dogs; fun and playful. Shih Tzus are extremely smart but they always seeking attention and companionship.

Shih Tzus were originally bred in Tibet. They are one of the oldest breeds of dog and they were heavily favored by ancient Asian royalty. Maybe it
is because of the Shit Tzus’ royalty origins that they tend to behave like spoiled little princesses.

Shih Tzus seem to be aware of how adorable they are. They seem to know that they can get away with unpleasant behavior just by looking pretty and cute. They’ll just wag their tails to appease your frustrations.

Though they may seem independent minded, in reality, Shih Tzus craves human companionship. They always need attention and may tend to develop separation anxiety if left alone for a long time. Shih Tzus cope with this by chewing almost anything they can get their little paws on.

Normally, they have a penchant for chewing footwear. Don’t leave your shoes within the reach of Shih Tzus if you still want to use them. It is always a good idea to give them chew toys especially when you want to leave them alone.

One common trait of this breed is they expect people to always appreciate their presence. They believe that everybody should always make a fuss over them, even from people they are not yet familiar with. They are amusingly conceited little creatures.

Shih Tzus adapt well to obedience training. They can learn tricks quite easily. The best way to train them is by using positive reinforcement. Try to keep the training sessions short, a few minutes at a time. But always be consistently patient, do not lose your cool and suddenly shout.

Notoriously, Shih Tzus are extremely difficult to house train. One factor is that they have small bladders and bowel, especially when still young. Never give Shih Tzus complete freedom inside your house if they are not thoroughly house trained

The best way to house train a Shih Tzu is to have a strict schedule for its elimination. Follow the schedule consistently and they will eventually begin to follow it.

One of the best ways to implement in training the breed is through crate training. Make them stay inside the crate for a short time duration at first gradually increasing it until they become comfortable with the crate. Remember to give positive reinforcement in every effort.

Shih Tzus love cold weather. They adjust well to it. On the other hand, they don’t like hot temperatures and they overheat easily. Always hydrate them when the weather is hot. Having a constant source of fresh water is imperative.

Shih Tzus needs constant grooming. Brush their coats regularly to keep them tidy. Don’t worry too much about shedding. They don’t shed that much even with their dense, long coats. Also, there is a need for periodic toenail clipping, teeth brushing and cleaning of the eyes.

Shih Tzus are lovable dogs. They are small and spunky. They always draw attention because of their innate beauty. House training is maybe the only challenging task in dealing with them. Additionally, Shih Tzus are very alert dogs. They are very good little guard dogs to your household.

Want to learn how to transform your Shih Tzu’s behavior? Click here to find out how.


  • Marla
    March 16, 2015

    I have two 6 month old shih tzu’s ( brothers) who are both neutered. One is timid and layed back and the other very active and outgoing. Both are doggy pad trained and now are potting outside a lot. How do I train them–together or separately. Both know to sit, down, and stay but one is better at it then the other. I usually walk them separately but eventually would like to walk them together. However, they are not 100 percent leash trained. Also, play fighting is getting more aggressive. Any advise is welcomed. They do sleep in separate crates but are together the rest of the time.

    • admin
      March 25, 2015

      In your case I would focus on getting them highly reliable in an individual manner and then work on getting them to work together.

  • January 2, 2017

    I have a 2 yr old Shih Tzu and a 7 mo old shih tzu. They are both housebroken in the tiled kitchen which is a pretty big area maybe 24ft X 12ft. My older shih tzu kind of tricked me into thinking she was housebroken for a while but started extremely randomly and only once in a while, once a week or so having accidents. She peed on our bed, pooped on my son’s bed, pooped in our office, etc. all over randomly. She is extremely regularly walked 4 times/day and I let her out if she stands by the door which she does regularly, we also have a bell which the baby uses perfectly. Brought the baby into our living room right after he did his business outside and right next to me he stood there and peed on the couch. I couldn’t believe my eyes at first, I thought he can’t be peeing. He was and a pretty decent amount too. I am so exasperated. I love them in the kitchen. Should I just resign myself to them being kitchen dogs because I really don’t like them when I expand them by even one single room? I was considering the umbilical approach until tonight’s incident on the coach, a tether would’nt have helped. Do people do this, have dogs that stay in the kitchen?

  • January 17, 2017

    Hi, I’m surprised to see your site. You did a great job on this site. I love all dogs. And Thank you for sharing this information. View new look our website

  • March 23, 2017

    I have a 5yr old shih tzu and she’s so loyal to me but my sister recently got an australian sheppard and my shih tzu didnt adapt too well… she doesnt seem to be as happy now and is really stubborn and doesnt listen. I recently moved out and would like to bring her to my new home but the owner im renting a room from has German Short Hair and my shih tzu is nothing but mean and growls. I want to be able to train her to be more excepting of new dogs and get her to the point where she can be let out with no leash and still listen rather than acting out. any tips would be much appreciated!!

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