Advanced Agility Training Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate and friendly nature, making them wonderful companions for families and individuals alike. These small dogs may have a reputation for being lap dogs, but they are also surprisingly agile and intelligent. In this blog post, we will explore advanced agility training for Shih Tzus, highlighting the benefits of incorporating agility exercises into your furry friend’s routine.

Understanding Agility Training

Agility training is a popular canine sport that involves navigating through a series of obstacles such as jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and more. It not only provides physical exercise but also mental stimulation for your Shih Tzu. Advanced agility training takes the basic skills learned in beginner courses to a higher level, challenging both the dog and the handler.

Benefits of Agility Training for Shih Tzus

Physical Exercise

One of the primary benefits of agility training for Shih Tzus is the physical exercise it provides. These small dogs are prone to obesity, so engaging them in regular agility sessions can help them maintain a healthy weight and improve their overall fitness level. Agility training also helps build muscle strength, endurance, and coordination in your furry friend.

Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical benefits, agility training offers valuable mental stimulation for Shih Tzus. The problem-solving aspect of navigating obstacles and following cues engages their minds and keeps them mentally sharp. This can prevent boredom and destructive behaviors that may arise from lack of mental stimulation.

Preparing for Advanced Agility Training

Before diving into advanced agility training with your Shih Tzu, it’s essential to ensure that your furry friend has mastered the basic agility skills such as jumping, weaving, and tunnel running. Building a strong foundation in these fundamental skills will set the stage for successful advanced training. It’s also crucial to consult with a professional trainer to assess your dog’s readiness for advanced agility exercises.

Equipment Needed

To set up a proper agility course for your Shih Tzu, you will need various pieces of equipment such as jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and contact obstacles like A-frames and dog walks. These items can be purchased or built at home using household materials. Safety should always be a top priority when designing and setting up your agility course.

Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Just like any physical activity, agility training requires a proper warm-up and cool-down routine to prevent injuries and ensure your Shih Tzu’s well-being. Before starting the agility session, engage your dog in some light exercises and stretches to prepare their muscles for the activity. After the training, allow for a cooldown period to help your furry friend relax and recover.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is key to successful agility training with Shih Tzus. Use treats, praise, and playtime as rewards for your dog’s accomplishments during the training sessions. This will motivate them to perform well and make the training experience enjoyable for both you and your furry companion.

Advanced Agility Exercises for Shih Tzus

Combination Obstacle Courses

Advanced agility training for Shih Tzus often involves complex combination obstacle courses that require quick thinking and precise execution. These courses may include sequences of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and contact obstacles that challenge your dog’s agility and problem-solving skills. Start with simple combinations and gradually increase the difficulty as your Shih Tzu improves.

Speed and Accuracy Drills

Speed and accuracy are crucial aspects of advanced agility training. Set up drills that focus on improving your Shih Tzu’s speed through the course while maintaining precision in executing each obstacle. Use timers to track your dog’s progress and work on enhancing their agility and responsiveness to your cues.

Distance Handling

Distance handling is another advanced skill that requires the handler to guide the dog through the course from a distance without physical assistance. This challenges both the Shih Tzu’s ability to follow commands from a distance and the handler’s communication skills. Practice distance handling exercises to strengthen your bond with your furry friend and improve teamwork.

Contact Obstacle Training

Contact obstacles like A-frames and dog walks require the Shih Tzu to make direct contact with specific areas while navigating through the course. Advanced training in contact obstacles focuses on teaching your dog to confidently and accurately perform these obstacles, enhancing their overall agility and coordination.

Challenges and Tips for Success

Overcoming Fear and Anxiety

Some Shih Tzus may exhibit fear or anxiety when faced with new or challenging agility obstacles. It’s essential to approach training with patience and positive reinforcement to help build your dog’s confidence gradually. Start with easy tasks and gradually introduce more complex obstacles to desensitize your furry friend to their fears.

Consistency and Practice

Consistency is key to success in advanced agility training for Shih Tzus. Regular practice sessions not only help improve your dog’s agility skills but also strengthen the bond between you and your furry companion. Make training sessions fun and engaging to keep your Shih Tzu motivated and eager to learn.

Seek Professional Guidance

If you encounter difficulties or feel unsure about certain aspects of advanced agility training, don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance from experienced trainers. They can provide valuable insights, tips, and techniques to help you and your Shih Tzu overcome obstacles and excel in agility training.

Health and Well-Being

Always prioritize your Shih Tzu’s health and well-being during agility training. Monitor their physical condition, provide adequate rest periods, and ensure they stay hydrated throughout the training sessions. If you notice any signs of fatigue or discomfort, stop the training immediately and consult with a veterinarian if necessary.

Looking to take your Shih Tzu’s training to the next level? Explore our articles on agility training for Shih Tzus, agility equipment for Shih Tzus, positive reinforcement leash training for Shih Tzus, obedience training for Shih Tzus, and professional obedience training for Shih Tzus to enhance your furry friend’s skills and abilities!


In conclusion, advanced agility training can be a rewarding and enriching experience for Shih Tzus, offering physical exercise, mental stimulation, and opportunities for bonding with their owners. By incorporating advanced agility exercises into your furry friend’s routine and following a structured training approach, you can help them reach their full potential and enjoy the many benefits that agility training has to offer. Remember to approach training with patience, positivity, and a focus on your Shih Tzu’s well-being to make the journey enjoyable for both you and your beloved companion.

Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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