How Do You Train A Shih Tzu Puppy?

Ah, the adorable Shih Tzu puppy! If you’re lucky enough to have one of these little furballs in your life, you might be wondering, “How do you train a Shih Tzu puppy?” Well, fear not, because I’m here to guide you through the wonderful world of Shih Tzu puppy training!

Training a Shih Tzu puppy can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it does require patience and consistency. These tiny bundles of fluff are known for their playful and sometimes stubborn nature, so it’s important to approach their training with a gentle yet firm hand. Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or a first-time puppy parent, this article will provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to successfully train your Shih Tzu puppy.

Now, let’s embark on this exciting journey together and discover the secrets to training a happy and well-behaved Shih Tzu puppy. Get ready to unleash the paw-some potential of your furry friend! But before we dive into the specifics, let’s explore the basics of Shih Tzu training and set you up for success. So, grab a treat, get comfortable, and let’s get started!

How Do You Train a Shih Tzu Puppy?

How Do You Train a Shih Tzu Puppy?

Shih Tzu puppies are adorable and lovable, but like all puppies, they require proper training to become well-behaved and obedient dogs. Training a Shih Tzu puppy may seem like a daunting task, but with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can successfully train your furry friend. In this article, we will explore effective training techniques for Shih Tzu puppies that will help you build a strong bond with your pet and ensure they grow up to be a well-mannered companion.

Understanding Shih Tzu Puppies

Before diving into training techniques, it’s important to understand the characteristics and needs of Shih Tzu puppies. Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, but they can also be stubborn at times. They thrive on attention and love to please their owners, making them highly trainable. However, they have a relatively short attention span, so training sessions should be kept short and engaging.

When training a Shih Tzu puppy, it’s essential to establish yourself as the pack leader. This means setting boundaries and rules, while also providing positive reinforcement and rewards for good behavior. Shih Tzu puppies respond well to praise, treats, and playtime, so incorporating these into your training sessions will help motivate and encourage your puppy to learn.

Basic Training Commands


Teaching your Shih Tzu puppy to sit is one of the first commands you should introduce. Start by holding a treat close to your puppy’s nose, then slowly move it upwards. As their head follows the treat, their bottom will naturally lower into a sitting position. As soon as they sit, say “sit” and give them the treat. Repeat this process several times until your puppy understands the command.

Once your Shih Tzu puppy has mastered sitting on command, you can start gradually phasing out the treats and relying more on verbal praise and physical affection. It’s important to be consistent with your commands and rewards to reinforce the behavior.


Training your Shih Tzu puppy to stay is an essential command that will ensure their safety and prevent them from running off in potentially dangerous situations. Start by commanding your puppy to sit, then hold your hand up in a stop sign gesture and say “stay.” Take a step back, and if your puppy remains in the sitting position, reward them with praise and a treat. Gradually increase the distance and duration of the stay command as your puppy becomes more comfortable.

It’s important to remember that Shih Tzu puppies have a naturally curious nature, so it may take some time for them to grasp the concept of staying in one place. Patience and consistency are key during this training process.

Potty Training

Create a Routine

Potty training is a crucial aspect of training a Shih Tzu puppy. Establishing a routine will help your puppy understand when and where they should eliminate. Take your puppy outside to their designated potty area first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime. Use a consistent command, such as “go potty,” to associate the action with the command.

When your Shih Tzu puppy successfully eliminates in the designated area, reward them with praise and a treat. Accidents may happen during the training process, but it’s important to remain patient and avoid punishment. Clean up any accidents promptly and continue with the training routine.

Crate Training

Crate training can be a useful tool in potty training your Shih Tzu puppy. Dogs have an innate instinct to keep their living area clean, so providing them with a crate that is just big enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably can help prevent accidents inside the house.

Introduce your puppy to the crate gradually, making it a positive and comfortable space. Use treats and toys to encourage them to enter the crate and associate it with positive experiences. Never use the crate as a form of punishment, as this can create negative associations.


Exposure to Different Environments

Socialization is a crucial aspect of training for all puppies, including Shih Tzus. Exposing your Shih Tzu puppy to different environments, people, and animals from a young age will help them develop into well-adjusted and confident dogs.

Take your puppy on walks in different neighborhoods, visit friends and family, and introduce them to other friendly dogs. Positive experiences during socialization will help your Shih Tzu puppy become more comfortable and less anxious in new situations.

Positive Reinforcement

During socialization, it’s important to reward your Shih Tzu puppy for good behavior. Use treats and praise to reinforce positive interactions with people and animals. This will help your puppy associate positive experiences with new environments and build their confidence.

Remember to always supervise interactions and ensure the safety of your puppy. Gradually increase the level of exposure as your puppy becomes more comfortable and confident.

In conclusion, training a Shih Tzu puppy requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Understanding their needs and characteristics will help you tailor your training techniques to their personality. By establishing yourself as the pack leader, teaching basic commands, potty training, and socializing your puppy, you will be on your way to raising a well-behaved and obedient Shih Tzu companion. Remember to keep training sessions fun and engaging, and always provide plenty of love and attention to your furry friend.

Key Takeaways: How Do You Train a Shih Tzu Puppy?

  • Start training your Shih Tzu puppy at a young age to establish good habits.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to motivate your puppy during training.
  • Be patient and consistent with your training sessions, keeping them short and frequent for better results.
  • Teach basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come” using simple and repetitive training methods.
  • Socialize your Shih Tzu puppy by exposing them to different people, animals, and environments to prevent behavioral issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about training Shih Tzu puppies:

1. When should I start training my Shih Tzu puppy?

It’s best to start training your Shih Tzu puppy as early as possible, ideally around 8 to 10 weeks old. This is when they are most receptive to learning and can begin to understand basic commands. However, it’s important to keep training sessions short and positive, as young puppies have short attention spans.

Consistency is key when training your Shih Tzu puppy. Establish a routine and set clear expectations for behavior. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to reward good behavior. Remember to be patient and understanding, as it may take time for your puppy to fully grasp commands.

2. What are some important commands to teach a Shih Tzu puppy?

There are several important commands to teach your Shih Tzu puppy, including:

– Sit: Teach your puppy to sit on command, which can help with impulse control and manners.

– Stay: Teaching your puppy to stay in one place until released is important for their safety and can prevent them from running off.

– Come: Teaching your puppy to come to you when called is crucial for their safety and allows for off-leash freedom in appropriate settings.

– Leave it: This command teaches your puppy to ignore or drop something they shouldn’t have in their mouth, helping to prevent accidents or ingestion of harmful items.

Consistency and positive reinforcement are key when teaching these commands. Break down each command into small steps and reward your puppy for each successful attempt.

3. How do I potty train my Shih Tzu puppy?

Potty training a Shih Tzu puppy requires patience and consistency. Start by establishing a designated potty area outside and take your puppy to that spot consistently after meals, naps, and playtime. Reward your puppy with treats and praise when they eliminate in the designated area.

Additionally, establish a regular feeding and walking schedule to help regulate your puppy’s bathroom habits. Supervise your puppy closely indoors and watch for signs that they need to go potty, such as sniffing or circling. If you catch your puppy in the act of eliminating indoors, quickly redirect them to the designated outdoor area.

Accidents are bound to happen during the potty training process. When accidents occur, clean the area thoroughly to remove any scent, as lingering smells may attract your puppy to use the same spot again. Avoid punishment and instead focus on positive reinforcement for desired behavior.

4. How do I socialize my Shih Tzu puppy?

Socializing your Shih Tzu puppy is crucial for their overall development and behavior. Begin socialization early by exposing your puppy to a variety of people, animals, and environments. Take them on walks in different locations, introduce them to friendly dogs, and invite friends and family members to interact with your puppy.

Positive experiences during socialization are important, so ensure that interactions are calm and pleasant. Gradually expose your puppy to new experiences and environments, taking cues from their comfort level. Reward your puppy for calm and appropriate behavior during socialization outings.

5. How can I prevent behavioral problems in my Shih Tzu puppy?

Preventing behavioral problems in your Shih Tzu puppy starts with providing a structured and positive environment. Establish consistent rules and boundaries, and ensure that your puppy receives regular exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction.

Positive reinforcement training techniques, such as reward-based training, can help prevent behavioral issues. Avoid using punishment or harsh training methods, as these can lead to fear and anxiety in your puppy.

If you notice any concerning behaviors, such as aggression or excessive chewing, seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide personalized advice and help address any underlying issues.

Final Thoughts on Training a Shih Tzu Puppy

Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of training a Shih Tzu puppy, you’re well-equipped to embark on this exciting journey. Remember, training is not just about teaching your pup basic commands; it’s about building a strong bond and fostering a positive relationship. So, let’s summarize the key takeaways from this guide.

First and foremost, consistency is key. Whether it’s potty training or teaching tricks, make sure to establish a routine and stick to it. Be patient and understanding, as puppies take time to learn and adjust. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and playtime, to motivate and reward your furry friend. And don’t forget to socialize your Shih Tzu puppy from an early age, exposing them to various people, animals, and environments.

In conclusion, training a Shih Tzu puppy requires time, effort, and a whole lot of love. But with the right approach and a dash of patience, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your little companion learns and grows. So, get ready to embark on this wonderful journey together, and remember to enjoy every step of the way!


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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