Shih Tzu - Introducing A New Shih Tzu Puppy

Published: 14th November 2005
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Bringing home a new shih tzu puppy is always an exciting time for the entire family. Getting that new shih tzu puppy off the right start with proper training is very important to making that shih tzu puppy a valued member of his human family. There are a number of talents that every new shih tzu puppy must master, including going up and down the stairs, and how to accept a new collar as if she's worn it her entire life.

It is best to introduce a new shih tzu puppy to the household when everyone in the family is present, and when the household is as calm as possible. That is why animal care experts discourage parents from giving shih tzu puppies and kittens as holiday presents. The holiday season is typically much too busy, with far too many distractions, for a young shih tzu puppy or kitten to get the attention it needs. It is best to wait until the holidays have passed before introducing the new family member.

Once the shih tzu puppy is part of the household, there are some things he or she will need to learn. One of the first challenges of a multi-story home will be learning to climb up and down the stair. Many shih tzu puppies are afraid of stairs, and that usually means that they do not know how to climb them properly. It is important for the shih tzu puppy's owner to slowly build the confidence of the dog, starting off at the bottom of the stairs. In general, a wide stairway will probably be less frightening to the shih tzu puppy.

To build confidence, the owner should go up the first step, then encourage the shih tzu puppy to join them, using their voice, treats or a toy. After the shih tzu puppy has joined you on the first stair, go back down and repeat the process until the shih tzu puppy will go up that step on his own. It is important to build confidence slowly and not rush the process. Taking a one step at a time approach is the best way to teach the shih tzu puppy to not be afraid of stairs.

Another thing every new shih tzu puppy must learn is how to accept the collar. Learning to wear a collar is important to every shih tzu dog, but many shih tzu puppies are baffled, frightened and bewildered by this new piece of equipment. Many shih tzu puppies constantly try to remove their new collar by pawing and pulling at it.

Fit is important when choosing a collar for your new shih tzu puppy. A properly fitted collar, chosen for your shih tzu puppy's size, is more likely to be comfortable and accepted. While choke collars, slip collars and training collars can be good training aids, they should never be used as a substitute for a sturdy buckle type collar. And of course that collar should have an identification tag and license attached. This identification will be vital in having your shih tzu puppy returned if she becomes separated from you.

The best way to introduce the shih tzu puppy to the collar is to simply put the collar on and allow her to squirm, jump, roll and paw at the color to her heart's content. It is important to not encourage this behavior by trying to soothe the shih tzu puppy, but it is just as important not to punish or reprimand the shih tzu puppy. The best strategy is to simply ignore the shih tzu puppy and let her work through her issues with the collar on her own. Introducing distractions, such as food, toys or playing, is a good way to get the shih tzu puppy used to the collar. Getting the shih tzu puppy to play, eat and drink while wearing the collar is a great way to get her used to it. After a few days, most shih tzu puppies will not even know they are wearing a collar.

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

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