Dealing With Problem Shih Tzu Puppy Behaviors

Published: 06th December 2005
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Everyone who owns a Shih Tzu puppy or Shih Tzu dog will eventually have to deal with and correct less than desirable behaviors on the part of their companion animal. There are a number of behaviors that should be nipped in the bud, including:

Jumping up on people

This is one of those behaviors that many owners inadvertently encourage in their animals, since jumping up, wagging his tail and the like can be adorable in a young Shih Tzu puppy. When that Shih Tzu puppy is older, larger and heavier, however, this jumping up behavior ceases to be cute and begins to become annoying and even dangerous.

A large, heavy dog jumping up on people can be dangerous to young children and even to some adults, since a large, 100 pound plus dog can easily knock down a child or small adult. Since you as the owner are responsible for the behavior of your dog, it is important to nip this problem behavior in the bud. Not to worry your Shih Tzu will never 100 pounds, however, you still need to be cautious and nip this behavior in the bud before it causes you problems.

The best time to do that, of course, is when the Shih Tzu puppy is still small and easy to handle. When the Shih Tzu puppy jumps up on you or someone else, gently place the Shih Tzu puppy's feet back on the floor. When the Shih Tzu dog remains standing there, be sure to praise it extensively.

It is also important to give the Shih Tzu puppy an alternative to jumping up. Shih Tzu puppies jump up on people to express their enthusiasm, so it is important to redirect this energy in a more socially acceptable direction. Try teaching the Shih Tzu puppy to present his paw instead of jumping up.

When teaching the Shih Tzu puppy to not jump up on people, it is important to be consistent. Consistency is important in any training program, and all members of the family must understand that the Shih Tzu puppy is not permitted to jump on them.

Pulling, charging and tugging on the lead

One problem you definitely want to nip in the bud is this one. It is important that the Shih Tzu puppy learn to respect the collar and leash now, when he is still small and light enough to handle. Teaching this lesson to a 3 pound Shih Tzu puppy will be much easier than teaching the same lesson to a 12 pound Shih Tzu dog.

Using a good strong body harness or head collar can be a big help when training a Shih Tzu puppy not to pull, or to retrain a Shih Tzu dog that has already learned to pull on the leash. When first fitting a harness, it is important to allow the Shih Tzu puppy to walk around wearing it, so that he can get used to wearing it.

The first thing your Shih Tzu puppy must learn, and the basis of all subsequent training, is teaching your Shih Tzu to heel. Teaching your Shih Tzu to walk quietly at your side on a loose lead is the basis of all Shih Tzu training, and until your Shih Tzu puppy has mastered this vital skill he will be unable to move onto more advanced training.

When walking with a Shih Tzu puppy on a leash, it is important to always keep slack in the leash. If the Shih Tzu puppy begins to pull on the leash, the handler should quickly change directions. The Shih Tzu puppy will then find itself lagging behind instead of forging ahead. The leash will be loose except for the split second it takes to change directions. It is important for the handler to use a quick tug of the leash, followed by an immediate loosening, when teaching this lesson.

When teaching the Shih Tzu puppy to walk properly, it is important to never allow the Shih Tzu puppy to pull you around, or to forge ahead on the leash. Allowing the Shih Tzu puppy to pull you around will teach him exactly the wrong lesson.

Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:

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