How To Leash Train A Shih Tzu Puppy?

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How to leash train your Shih Tzu puppy?

Shih Tzus are generally tiny dogs, and it is easy to manage their behavior. Your little puppy might also be docile on a leash; however, leash training will increase his chances of remaining safe.

You will have a lifetime of worry-free leash walks when your dog is trained successfully. If you can accomplish leash training your Shih Tzu at an appropriate age, you can relieve stress about his well-being and protection.

Dogs are inherently strong, and even small dogs can injure themselves if they pull on their leash too hard. If your delicate Shih Tzu resists being on the leash and pulls too hard, there is a chance he might hurt his larynx and throat.

Leash training is important for the welfare and comfort of your Shih Tzu puppy. There are also certain societal and behavioral benefits to leash training your dog.

Their overall behavior improves substantially when your dog learns how to behave on a leash.

Furthermore, being able to put your dog on a leash means you have extensive opportunities for exercise and socialization.

Your adorable Shih Tzu will not pull on the leash and tug your arm when he becomes used to walking on a leash and has learned leash manners with you.

It will help circumvent any possibility of injuring his neck or having the little guy run after dogs, rabbits, or even butterflies.

Shih Tzus have such an alluring personality, and we don’t want to lose his spunk. It should also be evident in his behavior on a leash rather than having him misbehave when on a leash.

How To Choose The Right Equipment?

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In order to assist your little guy in learning how to enjoy his walks, you will require some basic types of equipment. There are three main supplies you will require to begin leash-training your Shih Tzu:

It is entirely your preference if you want to use a collar or a harness.

The recommendation is to avoid any choker or prong collar as they can be uncomfortable for your Shih Tzu.

Having both harnesses and collars is a great idea. Harnesses have proven to be safer for small-breed dogs. You also have the fun option of choosing from multiple collar types.

Collar choices involve the following:

Harness options include:

  • Front-clip
  • Back-clip

Selecting the right leash is important as it will determine the force you must use to keep your doggy in control.

Furthermore, the leash’s strength will also ensure your dog does not get hurt in case he pulls too hard. Lightweight leashes are a perfect choice; either a 4 or 6-foot leash will do the job.

Leash options compromise of

  • Fabric
  • Leather
  • Retractable

Why Should You Have A Variety Of Treats When Leash Training?

Taking into account the size and age of your Shih Tzu puppy is essential when selecting equipment. Whether to go for a lightweight leash or have multiple treatment options of buying a collar or a harness depends entirely on your doggy’s size and age.

If you intend to train for more than a few minutes, you should arm your pockets with several treats that are ready for use. Generally, for young dogs of about 3 months, 5 -10 minutes is enough.

While for puppies 4 months and older, you can go up to 15 minutes.

The reason for having many treat selections is that puppies tend to get tired of the monotony of a single type of treatment. They only work if they are offered something more enticing.

Treats must be soft so that your Shih Tzu can swallow them easily without difficulty. Also, these treats must be small in size so your little guy should not have to spend too much time chewing on the food.

Small treats will save time as you will not have to stop to let your Shih Tzu chew. To step your game up a notch, collect several different treats that you are sure your dog will want to eat.

Preparing For Leash Training

Shih Tzus are so tiny that their owners often overlook inappropriate leash behavior.

Although, dogs are most at ease when they can behave on a leash.

Although puppies are generally very easy to train as they are quick learners. Your Shih Tzu’s eagerness to please you will make this an enjoyable journey.

Initially, you should begin by familiarising your Shih Tzu with your chosen equipment. Show it to them and let your dog smell the leash or collar.

Have him taste some of the treats, so they know what to look forward to if they follow your commands.

Before putting the leash on him and going out for your first walk, slowly attach the leash to his collar and soothe your Shih Tzu. This way, they will not become wary of the leash and feel as if they are being punished.

Also, when you embark on this task, train in a safe and controlled environment, such as a fenced yard or indoor area. This way your Shih Tzu will be comfortable in familiar surroundings, as well as there will be no unnecessary distractions.

How To Leash Train A Shih Tzu Puppy? The Basics!

Begin by holding a treat in your hand, which will keep your dog’s attention wards you.

Give your Shih Tzu a treat after every few minutes have passed of them walking in close vicinity to you. If your tiny puppy starts to pull at the leash, stop walking.

It will show then that the pulling action will slow down the walk.

Establishing a consistent walking pace is important as this is how you both will get the most out of the experience.

Teaching your puppy to walk on a leash involves a series of steps.

The primary method to adopt during leash training is to connect the leash to the collar and make your puppy sit on the side. If he sits peacefully, then reward give with a treat.

Your dog must learn to respond to commands first, such as “sit” or “stay,” through positive reinforcement. Follow this by saying “let’s go” as an invitation to start walking. Select the words that feel right for you but also keep in mind that you have to use the same words consistently.

As you move forward a few steps, tug on the leash lightly. It will normally result in 3 scenarios:

  • Your Shih Tzu might run out in front of you, pulling on the leash
  • Your Shih Tzu may combat and grind his heels in denial to move or
  • Your Shih Tzu starts to walk by your side

Make sure you use a calm, motivating voice as a verbal reward for proper walking behavior. Be enthusiastic and offer the Shih Tzu a treat.

Be aware of the distractions in the area and avoid other animals or loud noises when you begin leash training as this might hinder your dog’s learning pace.

Advanced Leash Training Techniques


To teach your dog to walk close to your side, you must hold a treat in front of the Shih Tzu’s nose and verbally say “heel .”Use a commanding tone of voice and then step forward. The treat will be the guide for the little guy to follow.

For each couple of steps that your Shih Tzu walks alongside, reward him with a click or a treat, or a compliment.

It will reinforce the behavior, and your Shih Tzu will understand what you want. Keep practicing with your dog every day. Start small and make him walk by your side in the backyard then move to bigger areas.

Off-Leash Recall

It includes teaching your dog to return to you when called. When you begin off-leash recall, you must return to treat rewards each time.

Praise your Shih Tzu when he comes back to you. This transition to off-leash training is sensitive and should take place slowly and only when your Shih Tzu’s recall is solid on the leash.

If your dog pulls on the leash, you must take firm action. Dealing with pulling or resistance on the leash can be tricky.

You do not want to make your Shih Tzu scared of being on the leash, but you want to put your foot down. When your dog pulls, stop and reverse your direction.

Wait for your pup to calm down, and then start over. Tell him to walk with you and continue in one direction. When he starts to follow you, stop and reward him with a treat as a mark of a well-done job.

Tips For Successful Leash Training

Tips For Successful Leash Training

Shih Tzus are amazing partners. They adore being around other humans, so it shouldn’t be too challenging having them walk next to you on a leash.

Shih Tzus are quite smart dogs, so you should use positive reinforcement to support good behavior. Using treats or toys has proven to be an effective way of showing your little puppy what appropriate behavior is.

Whenever your dog doesn’t pull on the leash, it allows you to attach it easily, or heels when you ask him to, make sure to reward him. Verbal praise is equally effective when it comes to positive reinforcement.

Speak in a high-pitched voice and let your Shih Tzu know what a good boy he is for following your commands. Relax and have fun when you are leash-training your puppy.

Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs that will catch on quicker than you expected. Stay patient and be consistent in your training sessions.

When you follow similar steps each day, your Shih Tzu will eventually understand how he must behave on a leash.

Make a schedule and gradually increase the duration and complexity of training sessions. Over time you will notice how your puppy progresses, and you can adjust accordingly. Try not to overburden the little Shih Tzu and let him learn at his own pace.

Conclusion: Living With A Leash-Trained Shih Tzu

As a pet owner, you must ensure that your dog has undertaken training for proper behavior. Leash training is essential to this endeavor, and you are accountable for your Shih Tzu behavior.

It is possible to become frustrated with the entire process of leash training your tiny puppy. However, with some patience and consistency, you can leash train your Shih Tzu successfully. After that, you have a lifetime to enjoy with our loyal companion by your side every step of the way.

Without your dog pulling at your arm every second, you can go for peaceful walks with him and have a wonderful evening.

One of the advantages of having a well-mannered pet is that your Shih Tzu pup will become more outgoing and friendlier to the people he interacts with.

Additionally, when your dog is leash trained, you will have to fret less about whether or not he is getting the right exercise.

Once leash trained, he will only give you a little trouble with walks. You can take him outside on a leash to the park without worrying about him running off.

Shih Tzus can be playful companions who are there to support you. When you start walking your Shih Tzu on a leash, he will have a chance to portray his best self and show off the great traits he was born with.

You can achieve this without his being rude or tugging at his leash rashly. Let your bond become stronger by teaching the little guy how to deal with a leash properly.


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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