How Easy Is It To Train A Shih Tzu?

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If you’ve ever wondered how easy it is to train a Shih Tzu, you’re in for a treat! These adorable little furballs are known for their playful nature and affectionate personalities, but when it comes to training, things can get a little tricky. Don’t worry though, because I’ve got all the information you need to know about training your Shih Tzu like a pro. So, let’s dive in and discover just how easy it is to teach these pint-sized pups some new tricks!

Training a Shih Tzu can be a delightful and rewarding experience, but it does require some patience and consistency. These lovable little dogs are known for their independent streak, which can make training a bit challenging at times. However, with the right approach and a sprinkle of determination, you’ll be amazed at what your Shih Tzu can achieve. Whether you’re teaching them basic commands like sit and stay, or more advanced tricks like roll over or play dead, the key is to keep the training sessions short, fun, and engaging. With their intelligence and eagerness to please, Shih Tzus have the potential to become well-behaved and obedient companions with the right guidance. So, get ready to embark on an exciting journey of training your Shih Tzu and watch them shine like the stars they are!

How Easy is It to Train a Shih Tzu?

How Easy is It to Train a Shih Tzu?

Training a Shih Tzu can be a delightful experience for both you and your furry friend. These small, affectionate dogs are known for their charming personalities and eagerness to please. However, like any other dog breed, training a Shih Tzu requires time, patience, and consistency. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of training a Shih Tzu and provide you with tips and techniques to make the process easier and more effective.

The Importance of Early Training

Training should ideally start as early as possible, preferably when your Shih Tzu is still a puppy. Puppies have a natural curiosity and eagerness to learn, making them more receptive to training. By starting early, you can establish good habits and behaviors right from the beginning. It’s also important to note that Shih Tzus have a tendency to develop small dog syndrome if not properly trained, which can lead to behavior problems such as excessive barking, possessiveness, and aggression. With consistent training and positive reinforcement, you can prevent these issues and raise a well-behaved and happy Shih Tzu.

When training a Shih Tzu puppy, it’s crucial to focus on positive reinforcement techniques. Shih Tzus respond well to rewards, praise, and treats, so use these as motivators during training sessions. Remember to be patient and consistent, as puppies have short attention spans and may take some time to grasp new commands. Keep training sessions short and frequent, and always end on a positive note. By creating a positive and enjoyable training environment, you can build a strong bond with your Shih Tzu and make training sessions something they look forward to.

Basic Training Commands

To train a Shih Tzu effectively, it’s essential to start with basic commands. These commands lay the foundation for more advanced training and help establish your role as the leader. Here are a few important commands to teach your Shih Tzu:


Teaching your Shih Tzu to sit is one of the first commands you should focus on. Start by holding a treat close to their nose and slowly move it upwards. As their head follows the treat, their bottom will naturally lower into a sitting position. Once they are in a sitting position, say “sit” and reward them with the treat. Repeat this process several times until your Shih Tzu understands the command.


The “stay” command is particularly important for a Shih Tzu, as it helps prevent them from running off or getting into dangerous situations. To teach this command, have your Shih Tzu sit and then place your hand in front of their face, palm outwards, and say “stay.” Take a step back and wait for a few seconds before rewarding them with a treat and praise. Gradually increase the duration of the stay and the distance between you and your Shih Tzu.


The “come” command is crucial for ensuring your Shih Tzu’s safety and is especially useful when they are off-leash in a controlled environment. Start by getting down to your Shih Tzu’s level and using an excited tone of voice, call their name followed by the command “come.” When they come to you, reward them with praise and treats. Practice this command in different environments to reinforce their understanding.

Leash Training

Leash training is an important aspect of training a Shih Tzu. Start by introducing your Shih Tzu to the leash in a calm and positive manner. Allow them to sniff and investigate the leash before attaching it to their collar. Begin by walking around your home or backyard, rewarding your Shih Tzu with treats and praise for walking alongside you without pulling. Gradually introduce them to new environments, such as parks or sidewalks, while reinforcing good leash manners.

Tips for Successful Training

Training a Shih Tzu can be a rewarding experience, but it requires dedication and consistency. Here are some additional tips to help make your training sessions more successful:

Be Patient and Consistent

Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs, but they can also be stubborn at times. Stay patient and consistent with your training methods, and avoid getting frustrated or resorting to punishment. Positive reinforcement and rewards will yield better results in the long run.

Keep Training Sessions Short

Shih Tzus have relatively short attention spans, so it’s important to keep training sessions short and focused. Aim for sessions that last around 10-15 minutes, and try to incorporate training into your daily routine.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is key to successful training. Reward your Shih Tzu with treats, praise, and affection whenever they exhibit desired behaviors. This will motivate them to continue learning and improve their training progress.

Socialize Your Shih Tzu

Socialization is crucial for a well-rounded and well-behaved Shih Tzu. Expose your dog to different people, animals, environments, and experiences from a young age. This will help them become more confident and adaptable, reducing the likelihood of behavior issues.

Seek Professional Help if Needed

If you’re struggling with training or encountering specific behavior problems, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional dog trainer. They can provide personalized guidance and techniques to address your Shih Tzu’s specific needs.

In conclusion, training a Shih Tzu requires time, patience, and consistency. Starting early, using positive reinforcement techniques, and teaching basic commands are essential for a well-behaved and happy Shih Tzu. Remember to keep training sessions short, be patient, and seek professional help if needed. With dedication and the right approach, your Shih Tzu can become a well-trained companion for life.

Key Takeaways: How Easy is It to Train a Shih Tzu?

  • Shih Tzus are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train.
  • Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key when training a Shih Tzu.
  • Start training your Shih Tzu early to establish good habits and a strong bond.
  • Shih Tzus can be stubborn at times, so be prepared for some challenges during training.
  • Using treats and rewards can be effective in motivating and rewarding your Shih Tzu during training.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to train a Shih Tzu?

Training a Shih Tzu can vary in time depending on several factors, including the dog’s age, temperament, and previous training experience. Generally, Shih Tzus are intelligent and eager to please, which can make training easier. However, they can also be stubborn at times, requiring patience and consistency.

It is important to start training your Shih Tzu as early as possible, ideally when they are puppies. This allows you to establish good habits and teach them basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. With consistent training sessions and positive reinforcement, you can expect to see progress within a few weeks. However, it’s important to remember that training is an ongoing process and may require reinforcement and practice throughout your Shih Tzu’s life.

What training methods work best for Shih Tzus?

Positive reinforcement is often the most effective training method for Shih Tzus. This involves rewarding your dog with treats, praise, or playtime when they exhibit desired behaviors. Shih Tzus respond well to positive reinforcement as they are motivated by rewards and enjoy being praised.

Using punishment or harsh training methods can be counterproductive and may lead to fear or anxiety in your Shih Tzu. Instead, focus on providing clear instructions, using treats and praise to reward good behavior, and being consistent in your training approach. Remember to keep training sessions short and engaging to maintain your Shih Tzu’s interest and attention.

Can Shih Tzus be trained to do tricks?

Yes, Shih Tzus are capable of learning and performing tricks with proper training and patience. Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them quick learners. Start with basic commands such as sit, stay, and lie down, and gradually introduce more complex tricks like roll over or play dead.

Keep training sessions fun and engaging by using treats, toys, and positive reinforcement. Break down each trick into smaller steps and reward your Shih Tzu for successfully completing each step. Consistency and repetition are key to successfully training your Shih Tzu to perform tricks.

Are Shih Tzus difficult to potty train?

Potty training a Shih Tzu can sometimes be a challenge, as they can be stubborn and have small bladders. However, with consistency and a proper routine, you can successfully potty train your Shih Tzu.

Start by establishing a designated potty area and taking your Shih Tzu to that spot regularly, especially after meals, naps, and playtime. Use verbal cues or commands to encourage your dog to eliminate in the designated area and reward them with treats and praise when they do so. Be patient and consistent in your training, and avoid punishment or negative reinforcement.

What if my Shih Tzu is not responding to training?

If your Shih Tzu is not responding to training, it’s important to evaluate your training methods and approach. Make sure you are using positive reinforcement and providing clear instructions. Consider breaking down training tasks into smaller steps and gradually building up to more complex commands.

It may also be helpful to seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or enroll your Shih Tzu in obedience classes. Sometimes, an outside perspective and expert guidance can make a big difference in your training efforts. Remember to be patient and consistent, and don’t give up on your Shih Tzu. With time and effort, they can learn and become well-behaved companions.

How to Train Your Shih Tzu | Best Shih Tzu Puppy Training Tips

Final Summary: Is Training a Shih Tzu as Easy as Pie?

So, there you have it, folks! When it comes to training a Shih Tzu, it’s not exactly a walk in the park, but it’s definitely doable with some patience, consistency, and a sprinkle of fun. These adorable little furballs may have a stubborn streak, but they are also intelligent and eager to please. By using positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and playtime, you can motivate your Shih Tzu to learn and obey commands.

Remember, training a Shih Tzu is a journey, not a destination. It takes time for them to understand what you want from them and to develop good habits. Be prepared for some setbacks and be flexible in your approach. If one method doesn’t work, try another. And always keep the training sessions short and engaging to keep your Shih Tzu’s attention.

In conclusion, while training a Shih Tzu may require some effort on your part, the rewards are immeasurable. A well-trained Shih Tzu will not only bring joy and companionship to your life but also be a well-behaved member of your family. So, grab your treats, put on your training hat, and embark on this wonderful journey of teaching your Shih Tzu new tricks. You’ll be amazed at what they can achieve with a little love and guidance!


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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