Shih Tzu Training
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Introduction: Understanding the Shih Tzu breed and their training needs

Agility training can help keep your Shih Tzu physically and mentally active.
Agility training can help keep your Shih Tzu physically and mentally active.

As one of the oldest dog breeds, the Shih Tzu is known for its charming personality, cute looks, and playful nature. They are tiny but mighty, and if you’re considering getting a Shih Tzu, it’s essential to understand the importance of training for this breed.

Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs, but they can be stubborn and difficult to train if you don’t know what you’re doing. This article will provide you with tips, techniques, and frequently asked questions about Shih Tzu training to help you raise a well-behaved and happy pup.

It’s important to set realistic expectations when it comes to training a Shih Tzu. Every dog is different, and some may require more time and patience than others. However, with consistent training and positive reinforcement, you can teach your Shih Tzu to be obedient, well-socialized, and a joy to be around.

Basic Training for Shih Tzus

Positive reinforcement is key to successful Shih Tzu training.
Positive reinforcement is key to successful Shih Tzu training.

Shih Tzus, like all dogs, require basic training to live with humans comfortably. Basic training includes housebreaking and potty training, crate training, teaching basic commands, leash training, and socialization. Here’s what you need to know about each of these training techniques:

Housebreaking and Potty Training

Housebreaking and potty training should be the first training techniques you teach your Shih Tzu. Use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior when your pup goes potty outside. If you catch your dog in the act of going potty inside, interrupt them and take them outside immediately. Consistency is key to successful potty training.

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Crate Training

Crate training is an essential part of Shih Tzu training. It provides a safe and comfortable space for your pup and helps with potty training. Introduce the crate gradually, and make sure it’s the right size for your dog. Never use the crate as a form of punishment.

Teaching Basic Commands

Teaching basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and leave it are essential for Shih Tzu training. Use positive reinforcement and repetition to teach your pup these commands. It’s important to be patient and consistent with your training.

Leash Training

Leash training is essential for taking your Shih Tzu on walks. Start by introducing your pup to the leash gradually and using positive reinforcement. Practice walking your dog on a leash in a safe and controlled environment before taking them out in public.


Socialization is crucial for Shih Tzus to learn how to interact with other dogs and humans. Introduce your pup to different people, dogs, and environments gradually and positively. Socialization should start as early as possible and continue throughout your dog’s life.

Advanced Training Techniques for Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs and thrive on mental stimulation. Once you have established a solid foundation of basic training, you can move on to advanced training techniques that will challenge your pup mentally and physically.

Agility Training

Agility training is a great way to keep your Shih Tzu active and engaged. It involves navigating an obstacle course, including jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and more. This training is not only fun for your pup, but it also helps build confidence and improves their agility and coordination.

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Obedience Training

Obedience training is an essential part of advanced training for any dog breed, including Shih Tzus. It involves teaching your dog to obey commands, even in distracting situations. It’s important to start with basic obedience commands and gradually move on to more advanced ones, such as “heel” and “stay.”

Tricks Training

Tricks training is another advanced training technique that can be a lot of fun for both you and your Shih Tzu. It involves teaching your dog fun and entertaining tricks, such as shaking hands, rolling over, or playing dead. This training helps strengthen the bond between you and your pup and keeps them mentally stimulated.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is a form of positive reinforcement training that involves using a clicker and treats to reward your Shih Tzu for good behavior. It’s a popular training technique among dog owners and is highly effective for teaching new behaviors or reinforcing existing ones.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement training is a training technique that involves rewarding your Shih Tzu for good behavior, such as following commands or behaving appropriately in social situations. This approach is highly effective and focuses on rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. It helps build trust between you and your pup and creates a positive training experience.

Training Your Shih Tzu for Specific Purposes

Shih Tzus are versatile dogs that can be trained for a variety of purposes beyond basic obedience. Here are some examples of specialized training you can consider for your Shih Tzu:

Therapy dog training

If your Shih Tzu is friendly, calm, and enjoys being around people, they may make an excellent therapy dog. Therapy dogs provide comfort and emotional support to people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other settings. To become a therapy dog, your Shih Tzu will need to pass a temperament test and complete training to learn how to interact with people in a therapeutic way.

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Search and rescue training

Shih Tzus may not be the first breed that comes to mind for search and rescue work, but their small size and agility can be an advantage in certain situations. With proper training, your Shih Tzu can learn to track scents, navigate obstacles, and assist in search and rescue missions.

Service dog training

Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities, such as retrieving items, opening doors, or alerting their owners to potential dangers. While Shih Tzus may not be suitable for all types of service work, they can excel in certain roles, such as providing emotional support or assisting people with mobility impairments.

Guard dog training

While Shih Tzus are not typically considered guard dogs, they can be trained to alert you to potential threats and deter intruders with their loud bark. However, it’s essential to remember that Shih Tzus are not large or aggressive dogs and may not be suitable for guarding large properties or businesses.

Conclusion: Train Your Shih Tzu for a Happy Life

Training your Shih Tzu is crucial for their physical and mental well-being. As we’ve discussed in this article, there are various techniques and tips for training your Shih Tzu, whether it’s basic obedience, advanced skills, or specialized training.

Remember to set realistic expectations for your pup, be patient, and use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. Consistency is key, so make sure to incorporate training into your daily routine.

By investing time and effort into training your Shih Tzu, you can ensure that they grow up to be well-behaved, happy, and healthy. Don’t forget to address any challenges or concerns you may have, such as separation anxiety or potty training regression.


At Critter Kingdom, we’re passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care for their furry friends. We hope this article has provided you with valuable information about Shih Tzu training and that you can use these tips to help your pup live their best life.

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.