Shih Tzu - Tips On Eliminating Bad Habits

Published: 17th November 2005
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Anyone who owns a shih tzu dog or shih tzu puppy will eventually run into the need to eliminate unwanted habits. While most shih tzu dogs are eager to please their owners and smart enough to do what is asked of them, it is important for the owner to properly communicate just what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.



Each type of unacceptable behavior requires its own specific cures, and in most cases the cures will need to be tailored to fit the specific personality of the shih tzu dog. Every breed of dog has its own unique personality characteristics, and every individual within that breed has his or her own unique personality.



Whining, howling and excessive barking:

Let's start with one of the most frequently encountered problem behaviors in both dogs and puppies. While some barking and other vocalizing is perfectly normal, in many cases barking, howling and whining can become problematic. This is particularly important for those living in apartment buildings, or in closely spaced homes. Fielding complaints about barking is not the best way for you and your dog to meet the neighbors.



Some tips of dealing with excessive whining, barking and howling include:



If your shih tzu puppy or shih tzu dog is howling or whining while confined to its crate, immediately take it to its toilet area. Most shih tzu puppies and shih tzu dogs will whine when they need to do their business.



It is important to teach a shih tzu dog or a shih tzu puppy to accept being alone. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety, and these stressed dogs can exhibit all sorts of destructive and annoying behaviors. It is important to accustom the shih tzu puppy to being left on its own, even when the owner is at home.



Always strive to make the shih tzu puppy or shih tzu dog as comfortable as possible. Always attend to the physical and psychological needs of the dog by providing food, water and toys.



If the shih tzu dog is whining, check for obvious reasons first. Is the water dish empty? Is the shih tzu dog showing signs of illness? Has his or her favorite toy rolled under the furniture? Is the temperature of the room too hot or too cold?



Do not reward the shih tzu puppy or shih tzu dog for whining. If the shih tzu dog whines when left alone, for instance, it would be a mistake to go to the shih tzu dog every time it whines.



After you have ensured that the shih tzu's physical needs are being met, and that discomfort is not responsible for the whining, do not hesitate to reprimand the shih tzu dog for inappropriate behavior.



Problem Chewing

Puppies naturally chew, and they tend to explore their world using their mouths and teeth. While chewing may be normal, however, it is not acceptable, and it is important to nip any chewing problems in the bud to prevent the chewing shih tzu puppy from growing into a chewing shih tzu dog.



Providing a variety of chew toys is important when teaching a shih tzu puppy what is appropriate to chew and what is not. Providing a variety of attractive chew toys is a good way to keep the shih tzu puppy entertained and to keep his teeth and gums exercised. Scented or flavored toys are great choices for most puppies.



The shih tzu puppy should be encouraged to play with these chosen toys, and the shih tzu puppy should be effusively praised every time he or she plays with or chews these toys.



Another great strategy is to encourage the shih tzu puppy to get a toy every time he or she greets you. Every time the shih tzu puppy greets you or a member of your family, teach him to get one of his toys.



It is also important to exercise good housekeeping techniques when training a shih tzu puppy not to chew on inappropriate items. Keeping the area to which the shih tzu puppy has access free and clean is important. Keeping items out of reach of the shih tzu puppy will go a long way toward discouraging inappropriate chewing. Try to keep the shih tzu puppy's area free of shoes, trash, and other items, and always make sure that the area has been properly puppy proofed.



If the shih tzu puppy does pick up an inappropriate item like a shoe, distract the shih tzu puppy and quickly replace the item with one of its toys. After the shih tzu puppy has taken the toy, praise it for playing with and chewing that toy.



Try booby trapping items the shih tzu dog should avoid by spraying them with bitter apple, Tabasco sauce or other nasty but non-toxic items.



Connie Limon is 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: http://www.stainglassshihtzus.com



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