How To Train A Shih Tzu?

If you’re wondering how to train a Shih Tzu, you’ve come to the right place! Training your furry friend can be a rewarding and fun experience for both of you. Whether you’re a proud new owner or you’ve had your Shih Tzu for a while, it’s never too late to start training. In this article, we’ll explore some effective techniques and tips to help you train your Shih Tzu to be a well-behaved and obedient companion.

When it comes to training a Shih Tzu, patience and consistency are key. These adorable little dogs have their own unique personalities and may require a gentle and positive approach. From basic commands like sit and stay to more advanced tricks, we’ll cover it all. So, grab a treat, put on your training hat, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of Shih Tzu training! But first, let’s understand the breed characteristics and why training is essential for their well-being.

How to Train a Shih Tzu?

How to Train a Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzus are adorable and affectionate dogs that make wonderful companions. However, like any other dog breed, they need proper training to ensure they are well-behaved and obedient. Training a Shih Tzu requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. In this article, we will discuss effective training techniques to help you train your Shih Tzu and establish a strong bond with your furry friend.

Understanding the Shih Tzu Breed

Shih Tzus are known for their independent nature, which can sometimes make training a bit challenging. It’s important to understand the breed characteristics before you begin training. Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs, but they can be stubborn at times. They respond well to positive reinforcement and gentle guidance. Harsh training methods or punishments can be counterproductive and may cause your Shih Tzu to become fearful or anxious.

When it comes to training, consistency is key. Establish a routine and stick to it. Keep training sessions short but frequent, as Shih Tzus have a relatively short attention span. Training should be a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. With patience and perseverance, you can successfully train your Shih Tzu to be a well-mannered and obedient companion.

Basic Training Commands

1. Sit

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

Once your Shih Tzu has mastered the command, you can gradually phase out the use of treats and rely more on verbal praise and petting as rewards. Remember to always use a calm and encouraging tone during training.

2. Stay

Teaching your Shih Tzu to stay is essential for their safety and your peace of mind. Start by commanding your dog to sit. Once they are in a sitting position, hold your hand up, palm facing towards them, and say “stay” in a firm but gentle tone. Take a step back and wait for a few seconds before returning to your dog and rewarding them with praise and a treat. Gradually increase the duration of the stay command, always rewarding your Shih Tzu for staying in place.

House Training

1. Establish a Routine

Establishing a consistent routine is crucial for successful house training. Take your Shih Tzu outside to eliminate at regular intervals, such as after meals, naps, and playtime. Choose a designated spot in your yard where you want your dog to go potty. Take them to that spot and use a verbal command, such as “go potty” or “do your business,” to associate the action with the command.

2. Reward and Reinforce

When your Shih Tzu eliminates in the designated spot, immediately reward them with praise and a treat. This positive reinforcement will help them understand that going potty in that specific area is desirable behavior. Avoid punishing your dog for accidents indoors, as this can create fear and confusion.


Socializing your Shih Tzu from an early age is crucial to ensure they are comfortable and well-behaved around people and other animals. Expose them to various environments, sounds, and experiences in a positive and controlled manner. Take them for regular walks, introduce them to new people and animals, and enroll them in puppy socialization classes.

1. Positive Experiences

During socialization, it’s important to create positive experiences for your Shih Tzu. Reward them with treats and praise when they exhibit appropriate behavior. If your dog shows signs of fear or anxiety, do not force them to confront their fears. Instead, provide gentle reassurance and gradually expose them to the situation at their own pace.

2. Training Tips

– Start training your Shih Tzu as early as possible. The earlier you begin, the easier it will be to establish good habits and behaviors.
– Use positive reinforcement, such as treats, praise, and petting, to reward desired behaviors.
– Be patient and consistent. Training takes time and effort, but the results will be worth it.
– Keep training sessions short and engaging to maintain your dog’s interest and focus.
– Seek professional help if you encounter specific challenges or behavioral issues.

By following these training techniques, you can successfully train your Shih Tzu and build a strong and harmonious relationship with your furry companion. Remember to always approach training with love, patience, and a positive attitude. With time, your Shih Tzu will become a well-behaved and obedient member of your family.

Key Takeaways: How to Train a Shih Tzu?

  • Consistency is key when training a Shih Tzu.
  • Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise.
  • Keep training sessions short and fun to hold their attention.
  • Start with basic commands like sit, stay, and come.
  • Patience and persistence are crucial for successful training.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about training a Shih Tzu:

1. What are the basic commands I should teach my Shih Tzu?

When training a Shih Tzu, it’s important to start with the basic commands. These commands include “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “down.” Teaching your Shih Tzu these commands will help establish a foundation for more advanced training in the future.

To teach your Shih Tzu to sit, hold a treat above their head and slowly move it back, causing them to naturally sit down. Once they’re in a sitting position, give them the treat and praise them. Repeat this process until they learn the command.

2. How do I potty train my Shih Tzu?

Potty training a Shih Tzu requires patience and consistency. Start by establishing a designated potty area outside and take your Shih Tzu there regularly, especially after meals and naps. Use a command like “go potty” to signal that it’s time to eliminate.

If accidents happen indoors, clean them up without scolding your Shih Tzu. Punishing them may cause fear and hinder their progress. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement by rewarding them with treats and praise when they successfully go potty outside.

3. How can I prevent my Shih Tzu from biting or nipping?

Biting or nipping is a common behavior in puppies, including Shih Tzus. To discourage this behavior, start by redirecting their attention to a chew toy or bone whenever they try to bite. This will teach them that biting on appropriate items is acceptable.

If your Shih Tzu bites or nips during playtime, let out a yelp or say “ouch” loudly to simulate the reaction of a littermate. This will help them understand that their bite was too hard. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key in preventing biting behavior.

4. How do I teach my Shih Tzu to walk on a leash?

Leash training is important for the safety of your Shih Tzu. Start by introducing them to the leash and collar in a positive way, allowing them to sniff and explore the equipment. Once they’re comfortable, attach the leash and let them walk around indoors.

When your Shih Tzu is ready for outdoor walks, start in a quiet and familiar area. Use treats and praise to encourage them to walk beside you. If they pull on the leash, stop walking and wait for them to calm down before continuing. With consistency and patience, your Shih Tzu will learn to walk on a leash.

5. How can I socialize my Shih Tzu?

Socialization is important to help your Shih Tzu become comfortable around other people and animals. Start by exposing them to different environments, sounds, and sights at a young age. Gradually introduce them to new people and animals, always using positive reinforcement to reward calm behavior.

Consider enrolling your Shih Tzu in puppy socialization classes or arranging playdates with well-behaved dogs. This will provide opportunities for positive interactions and help your Shih Tzu develop good social skills. Remember to take things at your Shih Tzu’s pace and never force them into uncomfortable situations.

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

Final Summary: How to Train a Shih Tzu?

So, there you have it, folks! Training a Shih Tzu can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend. By following the right techniques and being consistent, patient, and positive, you can mold your Shih Tzu into a well-behaved and obedient companion.

Remember, the key to successful training is to keep it fun and engaging. Use treats, praise, and playtime as rewards to motivate your Shih Tzu and reinforce good behavior. Break the training sessions into short, frequent sessions to prevent your pup from getting bored or overwhelmed.

Additionally, make sure to tailor your training approach to your Shih Tzu’s individual personality and temperament. Some pups may respond better to food rewards, while others may prefer verbal praise or toys. Be flexible and adapt your methods accordingly.

In conclusion, training a Shih Tzu requires time, effort, and consistency, but the results are worth it. With the right approach and a little patience, you can teach your Shih Tzu to be a well-mannered and well-adjusted member of your family. So, grab those treats, put on your enthusiastic training hat, and embark on this exciting journey with your lovable Shih Tzu companion!

Remember, a well-trained Shih Tzu is a happy Shih Tzu, and a happy Shih Tzu is a happy owner! So, get started on training your Shih Tzu today and enjoy a lifetime of love, loyalty, and joyful moments together. Happy training!


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!

Recent Posts