Shih Tzu - Socializing And Introducing A New Shih Tzu Puppy

Published: 27th November 2005
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Bringing a new shih tzu puppy into the household is always an exciting and fun time. Everyone wants to play with, cuddle and hold the little ball of fur. The last thing on the minds of most new shih tzu puppy owners is training the new addition, but it is important that shih tzu puppy training and socialization begin as early as possible.

Socializing a new shih tzu puppy is a vital part of any training program, and it is important for socialization to begin early. The window for socialization is very short, and a shih tzu puppy that is not properly socialized to people, dogs and other animals by the time he or she is four months old often never develops the socialization he or she needs to become a good canine citizen.

Learning how to interact with other shih tzu is something that normally would occur between littermates. However, since most shih tzu are removed from their mothers so soon, this littermate socialization often does not finish properly.

One vital lesson shih tzu puppies learn from their littermates and from the mother shih tzu is how to bite, and how not to bite. Shih tzu puppies naturally roughhouse with each other, and their thick skin protects them from most bites. However, when one shih tzu puppy bites too hard, the other shih tzu puppies, or the mother shih tzu, will quickly reprimand him, often by holding him by the scruff of his neck until he submits.

The best way to socialize your shih tzu puppy is to have it play with lots of other shih tzu puppies. It is also fine for the shih tzu puppy to play with a few adult shih tzu dogs, as long as they are friendly and well socialized. Many communities have puppy playschool and puppy kindergarten classes. These classes can be a great way to socialize any puppy, and for handler and shih tzu puppy alike to learn some basic obedience skills.

When socializing shih tzu puppies, it is best to let them play on their own and work out their own issues when it comes to appropriate roughness of play. The only time the owners should step in is if one shih tzu puppy is hurting another, or if a serious fight breaks out. Other than that the owners should simply stand back and watch their shih tzu puppies interact.

While this socialization is taking place, the pack hierarchy should quickly become apparent. There will be some shih tzu puppies who are ultra submissive, rolling on their backs and baring their throats at the slightest provocation. Other shih tzu puppies in the class will be dominant, ordering the other shih tzu puppies around and telling them what to do. Watching the shih tzu puppies play, and determining what type of personality traits your shih tzu puppy has, will be very valuable in determining the best way to proceed with more advanced training.

As the socialization process proceeds, of course, it will be necessary to introduce the shih tzu puppy to all sorts of humans as well as all sorts of shih tzu puppies. Fortunately, the puppy kindergarten class makes this process quite easy, since every puppy gets to interact with every human. It is important that the shih tzu puppy be exposed to men, and women, old people and children, black people and white people. Dogs do not see every human as the same. To a dog, a man and a woman are completely different animals.

It is also important to introduce the shih tzu puppy to a variety of other animals, especially in a multi pet household. Introducing the shih tzu puppy to friendly cats is important, as are introductions to other animals the shih tzu puppy may encounter, such as rabbits, guinea pigs and the like. If your household contains a more exotic creature, it is important to introduce the shih tzu puppy to it as early as possible, but to do it in a way that is safe for both animals.

It is often best to start by introducing the shih tzu puppy to the smell of the other animal. This can be easily accomplished by placing a piece of the animals bedding, like a towel or bed liner, near where the shih tzu puppy sleeps. Once the shih tzu puppy is accustomed to the smell of the other creature, he or she is much more likely to accept the animal as just another member o the family.

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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