Positive Reinforcement Techniques for Shih Tzu Obedience Training

Training a Shih Tzu can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to obedience training. However, with the right positive reinforcement techniques, such as clicker training, treat rewards, and engagement toys, you can make the process more enjoyable and effective for both you and your furry friend. In this article, we’ll show you step-by-step how to implement positive reinforcement techniques for Shih Tzu obedience training. But first, let’s dive into the basics of positive reinforcement and why it’s an essential tool in your training arsenal.

Understand the Basics of Positive Reinforcement

Understand The Basics Of Positive Reinforcement
As a Shih Tzu owner, you know that obedience training is one of the most important aspects of pet parenting. It not only establishes a healthy communication flow between you and your furry friend but also helps to set the boundaries and prevent any unwanted behavior. In this section, we will dive into the basics of positive reinforcement techniques that will help you to train your Shih Tzu effectively. Understanding these concepts is crucial before you start your training journey and will help you to develop a successful training plan.


Positive reinforcement is a technique used in Shih Tzu obedience training to encourage good behavior by rewarding positive actions. This strategy centers around the idea that dogs are more likely to repeat actions that lead to rewards and positive outcomes. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool that can create a strong bond between you and your pet. It can also make training sessions more enjoyable and productive.

Using positive reinforcement, you can teach your Shih Tzu basic commands like sit, stay, and come, as well as more complex actions like walking on a leash or performing tricks. This method relies on the use of rewards, such as treats, praise, or playtime, to reinforce good behavior.

The key components of positive reinforcement training include:

RewardA desirable item or activity given to your Shih Tzu to reinforce positive behavior. Rewards may include treats, toys, or praise.
TimingThe reward should be given immediately after your Shih Tzu performs the desired behavior to help establish the association.
ConsistencyReinforcing positive behaviors consistently throughout the training process helps your Shih Tzu learn and understand what behaviors are expected of them.
Clear communicationUsing clear and consistent cues and signals can help your Shih Tzu learn faster and reduce confusion.

By incorporating these components into your Shih Tzu’s obedience training routine, you can help them learn and retain new behaviors. It is important to note that positive reinforcement is not a quick fix and requires time and patience to be effective. Consistent and frequent training sessions will help to reinforce positive behaviors and create lasting results.

If you are new to positive reinforcement training or struggling with obedience issues in your Shih Tzu, consider seeking out professional help. There are many resources available, including obedience classes and trainers, that can help you develop a successful training plan for your pet.

To learn more about consistency in Shih Tzu obedience training, click here.


Positive reinforcement is a training method that focuses on rewarding desirable behavior rather than punishing bad ones. This principle is based on the idea that dogs will repeat actions that garner positive outcomes, making it an effective training technique for Shih Tzu obedience training. Here are some of the principles of positive reinforcement training that you should keep in mind:

1. Timing is crucial: The timing of rewards is a critical aspect of positive reinforcement training. Dogs have a short attention span, so you must reward them immediately after they perform the desired action. This helps them associate the action with the reward, making them more likely to repeat the behavior.

2. Consistency is key: To make positive reinforcement training effective, you need to be consistent with your rewards. This means rewarding your Shih Tzu every time they perform the desired behavior. If they don’t receive consistent rewards, they may become confused and less likely to repeat the action.

3. Use high-value rewards: Using high-value rewards is essential for positive reinforcement training to be effective. High-value rewards can be anything that your Shih Tzu loves, such as their favorite treat or toy.

4. Avoid punishment: Punishment can be detrimental to positive reinforcement training as it can create fear and anxiety in your Shih Tzu. Instead of punishing your fur baby, focus on rewarding desirable behaviors to encourage good habits.

By understanding the principles of positive reinforcement training, you can create a conducive environment for your Shih Tzu’s training. It is crucial to keep these principles in mind as you embark on obedience training for your Shih Tzu. Remember, consistent positive reinforcement training can make all the difference in how well your Shih Tzu behaves. If you want to learn more about Shih Tzu obedience training, check out our comprehensive guide to pro Shih Tzu obedience training.

Set Your Shih Tzu’s Priorities Straight

Set Your Shih Tzu'S Priorities Straight
It’s important to set your Shih Tzu’s priorities straight before beginning obedience training. By establishing routines, making training fun and setting expectations, you can make great strides in creating a well-behaved pup. But where to begin? Let’s dive in and explore some ways to make your dog’s training experience enjoyable and rewarding. For more tips and tricks on Shih Tzu obedience training, check out our pro guide to Shih Tzu obedience training for a comprehensive approach to teaching your furry friend good behavior.

Establish Routines

Establishing routines is crucial when it comes to Shih Tzu obedience training. It helps your pup to know what to expect and understand what’s expected of them. When your Shih Tzu knows what’s happening next, they can focus on training and feel more at ease.

Here are some key routines to establish:

  • Feeding times: Establish regular feeding times and stick to them every day. This will also help with house training as your Shih Tzu will need to go potty after meals.
  • Potty breaks: Be consistent with taking your Shih Tzu outside for potty breaks. It’s recommended to take your pup out after every meal, playtime, and nap time, as well as every two to four hours throughout the day.
  • Training sessions: Schedule regular training sessions at the same time every day. This will help your Shih Tzu understand when it’s time for training and get excited for it.
  • Bedtime: Establish a consistent bedtime routine, including potty breaks, snuggles, and sleep time. This will help your pup sleep through the night and feel more secure.

By establishing these routines, your Shih Tzu will understand what’s expected of them and feel more comfortable in their environment. This will make obedience training much easier, as they will be able to focus better and retain the training they’ve received.

For more tips on Shih Tzu obedience training, check out our guide.

Make Training A Game

One effective way to make obedience training fun for your Shih Tzu is to turn it into a game. Playing games can help your furry friend stay engaged and motivated throughout the training process. Below are some game ideas that you can try with your dog.

Table: Games for Shih Tzu Obedience Training

Hide and SeekHide yourself or an object and encourage your dog to find it. Use a command like “find” or “search” to make it a training exercise.
Tug of WarUse a toy as a tug rope to encourage your dog to “take it” and “leave it” on command, building their impulse control.
FetchThis classic game is perfect for improving your dog’s recall. Start with small distances and gradually increase the distance as your dog becomes more skilled.
Follow the LeaderShow your dog how to perform a command and then let them imitate your behavior. For example, if you raise your arms, your dog should sit. If you squat down, your dog should lay down.
Treat HuntHide treats around the room and encourage your dog to find them using a command like “sniff out” or “search”. This game can help improve your dog’s scenting abilities.

These games can help keep your Shih Tzu excited and engaged during training. Be sure to offer plenty of rewards and praise for good behavior. Remember, training should be fun for both you and your furry friend. By making training a game, you’ll be building your bond and setting your Shih Tzu up for long-term obedience success.

Training Time Per Day

When it comes to Shih Tzu obedience training, consistency is key. A key aspect of consistency is setting a regular training schedule. A recommended training time for your Shih Tzu is 15-20 minutes per session. This ensures that your pup stays engaged and doesn’t lose focus during their training sessions.

It’s also important to remember that you don’t want to overdo it with training. Too much training can lead to fatigue and frustration for both you and your furry friend. It’s best to spread out training sessions throughout the day rather than trying to cram everything into one long session.

Here’s an example schedule for your Shih Tzu’s training sessions:

Training SessionTime of Day
Session 1: Basic CommandsMorning
Session 2: Leash TrainingAfternoon
Session 3: Advanced CommandsEvening

This schedule allows your Shih Tzu to have breaks in between training sessions, which helps to prevent fatigue and burnout. Additionally, breaking training sessions into segments by time of day can help to reinforce training concepts and allow your pup to practice what they learned throughout the day.

Remember, training should be a positive experience for both you and your Shih Tzu. Taking breaks and keeping sessions short helps to ensure that training remains fun and engaging for everyone involved.


When it comes to “Positive Reinforcement Techniques for Shih Tzu Obedience Training,” it’s important to establish clear commands that your furry friend can easily recognize and respond to. Here are some essential commands to start with and how to teach them with positive reinforcement techniques:

CommandDescriptionPositive Reinforcement Technique
SitA basic command to teach your Shih Tzu to sit down and wait for further instructions.Clicker training or treat rewards can help teach this command. Use a treat to lure your dog into a sitting position, say “sit,” and then give the treat. Repeat until your dog sits upon hearing the command.
StayTo teach your Shih Tzu to stay in one place for a period of time, not moving until given the command to do so.Use a combination of techniques to teach this command. Start by asking your dog to sit, then hold your hand out flat in front of them and say “stay.” Step back a few paces and then return, rewarding your dog if they’ve stayed in place. Gradually increase the distance and time that your dog has to stay until they can stay in place for several minutes.
ComeA vital command for calling your Shih Tzu back to you when they’re off-leash or in a different room.Use praise and positive attention to teach this command. Start by calling your dog’s name and saying “come” in an excited voice. When they come to you, reward them with a treat or petting. Gradually increase the distance and distractions until they come to you reliably.
Leave itTo teach your Shih Tzu to stop going after or touching something that they shouldn’t.Use an engagement toy to teach this command. Hold a toy or treat in your hand while saying “leave it.” When your dog stops trying to get the item or looks away, reward them with a treat or a game with the toy. Gradually increase the difficulty by placing the toy or treat on the floor.

Remember, when teaching a new command, it’s important to use positive reinforcement techniques so that your Shih Tzu views training as a fun and rewarding experience. Be sure to include plenty of praise, treats, and playtime to keep your furry friend happy and engaged during training sessions.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques You Can Use

Positive Reinforcement Techniques You Can Use
Now that you have established a routine and set priorities straight, it’s time to dive into the different positive reinforcement techniques that can be used to help your Shih Tzu thrive in obedience training. Positive reinforcement has been proven to be an effective way of training dogs, and with the right combination of techniques, your furry friend can learn quickly and with enthusiasm. Here are some techniques you can incorporate into your training routine.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is a positive reinforcement technique that uses a clicking sound to mark the desired behavior of your Shih Tzu. The clicker is usually a small plastic device that emits a distinct clicking sound. Here are the steps to using clicker training effectively:

  • Step 1: Start by introducing your Shih Tzu to the clicker. Click the device and immediately give your dog a treat, so they associate the sound with a reward.
  • Step 2: Once your dog understands that the clicker sound means a reward is coming, use it to mark a specific behavior you want to reinforce. For example, if you want your dog to sit, say “sit,” then click the clicker as soon as they sit down. Follow up with a treat and praise.
  • Step 3: Gradually increase the difficulty of the commands that you are training with. When training new behaviors, start with easy commands and gradually work up to more complex ones. Remember to always click at the exact moment your Shih Tzu performs the desired behavior.
  • Step 4: Be consistent. Click at the exact moment your dog performs the desired behavior every time, and reward them with a treat and praise. This consistent positive reinforcement will make your Shih Tzu eager to learn and eager to please you.

Clicker training can be a fun and effective way to train your Shih Tzu, but it does require some patience and consistency on your part. Remember to always have treats on hand and make training a positive experience for your furry friend.

Treat Rewards

One of the most effective positive reinforcement techniques for Shih Tzu obedience training is using treat rewards. Treat rewards are a way of motivating your furry friend to learn new skills and behaviors through the promise of tasty treats as a reward. Using treat rewards is a simple and practical technique that is successful with most dogs, including Shih Tzus.

Here are some tips for using treat rewards effectively in Shih Tzu obedience training:

  • Choose the Right Treats: Choose small, bite-sized treats that are easy to chew and swallow. Treats that are soft and moist are also a good choice, as they can be easily broken into smaller pieces or stuffed into interactive toys.
  • Use High-Value Treats: While it’s a good idea to use treats that your Shih Tzu likes, it’s even more effective to use high-value treats that they love. These could be freeze-dried meat, cheese, or homemade treats. High-value treats are especially important when you first start training a new behavior or when working on particularly challenging behaviors.
  • Use Rewards Sparingly: While it’s important to use rewards to keep your Shih Tzu motivated, it’s also important not to rely on them too heavily. Overusing treats can lead to weight gain or spoil your dog’s appetite for regular meals. Instead, mix up the rewards with praise, attention or toys.
  • Be Consistent: Your Shih Tzu will learn best when the reward is consistent throughout the training process. If your furry friend does something well, reward them with a treat immediately after the behavior. This helps them to associate the behavior with the reward and will encourage them to repeat it in the future.
  • Gradually Decrease Treat Rewards: Once your Shih Tzu has learned a new behavior, start to decrease the number of treats you give them. Gradually reduce the frequency of treats until they only receive a treat for performing the behavior correctly every once in a while. This will help to reinforce the behavior as a good habit instead of relying on the reward.

Using treat rewards correctly can help make learning new behaviors an enjoyable experience for your Shih Tzu. Just remember to choose tasty and high-value rewards, use them sparingly, be consistent, and gradually decrease them over time. With practice and patience, your Shih Tzu will be performing new tricks like a pro!

Praise and Positive Attention

When it comes to positive reinforcement techniques for Shih Tzu obedience training, one of the most effective methods is praise and positive attention. This is a simple yet effective way to encourage your furry friend to obey commands and perform desirable behaviors. Here are some tips to make sure you are effectively using praise and positive attention in your training sessions:

  • Timing: Timing is everything when it comes to praise and positive attention. Make sure you give praise at the exact moment your Shih Tzu performs the desired behavior. This will help your dog associate the behavior with the positive reinforcement, making it more likely they will repeat the behavior in the future.
  • Tone of voice: Just like with humans, the tone of voice you use can make a big difference in how your Shih Tzu receives the praise. Use a happy and encouraging tone, and make it clear that you are pleased with their behavior.
  • Physical touch: Shih Tzus thrive on physical touch, so incorporating this into your praise is important. Pet your dog, give them a hug, or simply give them a pat on the head to show your approval.
  • Consistency: Make sure you are consistent with your praise and positive attention. Always reward the desired behavior in the same way, whether it’s with a treat, a pat on the head, or verbal praise.

Remember, praise and positive attention are important parts of positive reinforcement training, but they should not be the only method used. Incorporate other techniques such as clicker training and treat rewards to keep your Shih Tzu engaged and motivated during training sessions. With time and consistency, your furry friend will become a well-behaved and obedient companion.

Engagement Toys

Engagement toys are a great way to incorporate playtime into your Shih Tzu’s obedience training routine. These toys can help your furry friend avoid boredom, prevent destructive behavior, and get much-needed exercise at the same time.

What are engagement toys?
Engagement toys are interactive toys that require your dog’s attention and participation to play. They typically require some level of problem-solving, which can help improve your Shih Tzu’s cognitive abilities.

Examples of engagement toys for Shih Tzus
There are plenty of engagement toys available for Shih Tzus in the market. Here are some examples:

Toy TypeDescription
Puzzle toysThese toys require the dog to solve a puzzle to get to a treat or toy inside. They are great for keeping your Shih Tzu mentally stimulated.
Rope toysRope toys provide a fun and interactive way for your Shih Tzu to play tug-of-war. They are also perfect for teething puppies as they help clean their teeth and massage their gums.
Kong toysKong toys are great for filling with treats, which keep the Shih Tzu engaged for a long time. These toys are also extremely durable, making them ideal for persistent chewers.
Interactive ballsInteractive balls are great for playing fetch with your Shih Tzu. They come in various sizes and colors, and some even light up or make noise when bounced.

Why are engagement toys important for Shih Tzu Obedience Training?
Engagement toys can be excellent tools for Shih Tzu obedience training as they help teach the dog to focus and follow commands. When used correctly, these toys can also increase the bond between you and your dog by providing positive reinforcement for good behavior.

By using engagement toys, you can make your Shih Tzu Obedience Training sessions more fun and engaging, ensuring that your furry friend remains interested and motivated to learn new things.

Combination of Techniques

It is important to remember that every Shih Tzu has their own specific needs and learning style when it comes to obedience training. Some dogs may respond better to certain techniques than others. A combination of positive reinforcement techniques can be used to achieve the best results for your furry friend.

Clicker Training is a great way to provide immediate feedback to your dog. By using a clicker, you can mark the behavior you want and reward your Shih Tzu with a treat.

Treat Rewards are a classic and highly effective way to reinforce positive behavior. You can use treats during clicker training or as standalone rewards for good behavior.

Praise and Positive Attention should always accompany treat rewards. Your Shih Tzu craves your attention and affection, and by praising good behavior, you can keep your pup motivated to continue learning.

Engagement Toys can help keep your Shih Tzu focused and engaged during training sessions. Toys like puzzle treat dispensers can help improve problem-solving skills while providing a positive experience.

Using a combination of techniques can help keep training sessions interesting and prevent your Shih Tzu from getting bored or frustrated. For example, you can use clicker training with treats and praise, or you can use engagement toys with treats and praise. By mixing and matching techniques, you can tailor your training approach to your dog’s learning style and preferences.

To make things easier, here is a table summarizing these techniques:

Clicker TrainingUsing a clicker to mark desired behavior and reward with a treat.
Treat RewardsReinforcing positive behavior with a treat.
Praise and Positive AttentionProviding verbal praise and affection to reinforce positive behavior.
Engagement ToysUsing toys to keep your Shih Tzu focused and engaged during training.

Remember, a combination of positive reinforcement techniques can help your Shih Tzu reach their full potential in obedience training while also strengthening the bond between you and your furry best friend.


Ensuring that your Shih Tzu masters the art of obedience training can be challenging, but with patience and consistency, it can be accomplished. However, even with the best of intentions, roadblocks can arise, and progress may stall. When this happens, it’s essential to identify the root of the issue and look for a solution. In this segment, we’ll explore some of the common roadblocks that pet parents encounter and share tips on how to tackle them head-on. So let’s dive in and troubleshoot any issues you may be facing in your Shih Tzu’s obedience training journey.

Time and Consistency

One of the most important aspects of positive reinforcement training for Shih Tzus is time and consistency. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Establish a routine: Dogs thrive on routine, so make sure you set aside time every day for training. It’s best to do it at the same time each day, so your dog knows what to expect.
  • Keep training sessions short and sweet: Shih Tzus have a short attention span, so it’s important to break up your training into short sessions. Aim for 10-15 minutes at a time, a couple of times a day.
  • Be consistent: In order for your Shih Tzu to learn, you need to be consistent with your training. Use the same commands, and reward good behavior every time. If you’re inconsistent, your dog won’t know what to expect and won’t learn as quickly.
  • Use positive reinforcement consistently: When your Shih Tzu behaves well, you need to reward him every time. If you’re inconsistent with rewards, your dog won’t know what behavior is expected of him.

Remember, positive reinforcement training takes time and patience. Stick with it, and you’ll see results.

Training Equipment

When it comes to Shih Tzu obedience training, having the right training equipment is important. Proper equipment can make a significant difference in the ease and effectiveness of positive reinforcement training. Below is a table of recommended training equipment for positive reinforcement training.

EquipmentRecommended ForWhy It’s Helpful
ClickerAll Shih Tzu obedience trainingA clicker allows for precise marking of behavior, which can speed up the learning process.
TreatsAll Shih Tzu obedience trainingTreats are a powerful motivator for most dogs, and can help make training a positive experience.
Training collar or harnessLeash trainingA collar or harness can give the owner greater control during leash training and prevent injury to the dog’s neck.
Long-line leashRecall trainingA long-line leash can allow for more freedom of movement during recall training, while also giving the owner greater control if needed.
Engagement toysTraining for more independent breedsEngagement toys can help keep independent breeds motivated and focused during training.

It’s important to keep in mind that different training equipment may be more effective with different Shih Tzu personalities. For example, some Shih Tzu may not respond well to a traditional collar, and may require a harness instead. Similarly, some Shih Tzu may be more motivated by playtime and may respond better to engagement toys than treats. It’s important to experiment and find what works best for your individual Shih Tzu. Incorporating the right training equipment into positive reinforcement training can lead to faster and more effective results, while also creating a more positive experience for both you and your furry friend.

Recognizing Signs of Frustration

When it comes to positive-reinforcement training for your Shih Tzu, recognizing signs of frustration is an important aspect to keep in mind. Training can be challenging at times, and it’s understandable that your dog may become frustrated or overwhelmed. However, it’s important to recognize these signs and take action to alleviate the frustration before it hinders progress.

Here are some signs of frustration to look out for:

Signs of frustration:What it looks like:
Tail tuckingA tucked tail indicates stress, anxiety or fear.
WhiningHigh-pitched vocalization that may indicate discomfort or stress.
PantingExcessive panting may indicate stress or fear.
Avoidance behaviorThe dog may turn its head, show its back or walk away from the training session.
Lip lickingLicking the lips or nose can be a stress signal.
PacingThe dog may walk back and forth, indicating restlessness or anxiety.

If you notice any of these signs during a training session, it’s important to reassess the situation and determine the cause of your dog’s frustration. Are you asking too much of your dog too quickly? Is the environment too distracting? Is the training equipment uncomfortable?

Here are some steps to alleviate your dog’s frustration:

Step:What to do:
Take a breakTake a short break from training to give your dog a chance to calm down and refocus.
Reduce difficulty levelMake the task easier for your dog. Break the training task down into smaller steps and slowly build up to the desired behavior.
Change the environmentIf the environment is too distracting, move to a quieter location with fewer distractions. Turn off the TV, remove toys, and reduce noise level.
Use different training equipmentIf your dog is uncomfortable with the training equipment, try using a different type of equipment that may be more comfortable for them.

If you continue to notice signs of frustration after trying to alleviate the problem, it may be time to seek professional help. A professional dog trainer or behaviorist can help determine the root cause of your dog’s frustration and offer personalized solutions to help your Shih Tzu achieve its training goals. Remember, positive reinforcement training should be a positive experience for both you and your dog, and by recognizing signs of frustration and taking steps to alleviate it, you can keep training fun and effective for your furry friend.

Ask for Professional Help

There may be situations where you may feel stuck or unsure about how to proceed with your Shih Tzu’s obedience training. In such cases, it’s always better to reach out for professional help and guidance. Qualified dog trainers who specialize in positive reinforcement techniques can help you assess your pet’s needs and come up with targeted training programs that cater to their specific requirements.

Here are some indications that it’s time to seek out professional help:

  • If your Shih Tzu shows signs of aggression or fear-based behavior during training sessions
  • If you find it challenging to handle your pet’s training on your own
  • If your dog’s training is not producing desired results
  • If your pet has some unique behavioral or health issues that may require specialized training
  • If your Shih Tzu is a rescue dog with a history of abuse or neglect that could interfere with their training

Professional trainers can not only help you design customized training regimens that are safe, effective, and appropriate for your Shih Tzu’s individual temperament and learning style but can also teach you how to handle challenging situations during training sessions. Additionally, hiring a professional can help you stay consistent, motivated, and accountable, which is vital for getting the best results from your positive reinforcement training efforts.

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help, and it shows your dedication and commitment to your pet’s happiness and well-being. With the right guidance and support, you can train your Shih Tzu to be an obedient, happy, and well-adjusted member of your family.

Tips for Successful Positive Reinforcement Training

As you embrace positive reinforcement techniques for your Shih Tzu’s obedience training, it’s important to keep in mind some tips to ensure success. With patience and consistency, you can effectively train your furry friend while nurturing a strong bond between you two. In this section, we’ll dive into some helpful tips that can help you achieve your training goals. So, grab some treats and get ready to give your pup some well-deserved praise!

Be Patient

Effective positive reinforcement training takes time and patience. It is important to remember that your Shih Tzu is learning new behaviors and it may take several training sessions before they are fully trained. Here are some tips to help you stay patient during the training process:

  • Remember that progress takes time: Patience is key when it comes to positive reinforcement training. Do not become frustrated if your Shih Tzu does not learn the behavior right away.
  • Break down the behavior into smaller parts: If your Shih Tzu is struggling with a particular behavior, break it down into smaller parts. For example, if you are trying to teach your Shih Tzu to sit, start by rewarding them for lifting their front paws off the ground.
  • Don’t expect perfection: Remember that your Shih Tzu is learning, just like a young child. Do not expect perfection right away and celebrate small victories as they come.
  • Keep training sessions short and frequent: Long training sessions can be overwhelming for your Shih Tzu. It is better to have short, frequent training sessions than one long session. This will also prevent your Shih Tzu from becoming bored or frustrated with the training process.
  • Stay positive: Your Shih Tzu will look to you for guidance and encouragement during training. It is important to stay positive and avoid becoming frustrated or angry.

By remaining patient, breaking down behaviors into smaller parts, avoiding perfectionism, keeping sessions short, and staying positive, you will be able to effectively train your Shih Tzu using positive reinforcement techniques. Remember that building trust and positive relationships with your pet will be worth the effort in the long run.

Make It A Positive Experience

When it comes to positive reinforcement training for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to make the experience as positive as possible. This means setting up an environment that promotes success, rewards good behavior, and avoids any negative associations.

Here are some tips to make training a positive experience for your furry friend:

Use Treats WiselyWhen offering treats, make sure they are given at the right moment (i.e., when your dog behaves correctly). This will help your dog associate good behavior with rewards, rather than just getting treats anytime.
Show Praise and AffectionDogs thrive on positive attention, so don’t be afraid to show it! Offer lots of praise and pats after good behavior or when your dog learns a new command. This will help reinforce their good actions.
Be PatientTraining takes time, and some dogs learn quicker than others. Don’t rush your dog or lose your temper if mistakes are made. Stay positive, and remember that consistency is key.
Make Training Short and SweetDogs have short attention spans, so keep training sessions to around 10 minutes or less. If your dog seems to lose focus, take a break and try again later.
Don’t Use PunishmentNegative reinforcement (punishment) can have adverse effects and may cause your dog to become fearful, anxious or stressed. Punishment only creates negative associations, which may lead to uncooperative behavior.
Use Engaging ToysEngaging toys that feature treats or have unique sounds can help keep your dog’s focus during training sessions. These can be especially useful when teaching new or complex commands.

By following these guidelines, you can create a positive and enjoyable training experience for your Shih Tzu. Remember to be patient, consistent, and always reward good behavior. Before you know it, your furry friend will be an obedient, well-trained companion.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to training your Shih Tzu using positive reinforcement techniques. It’s important to establish a routine and stick to it as closely as possible. This means training your dog at the same time each day and using the same commands and rewards. By doing so, you create a predictable environment for your Shih Tzu, which can lead to faster and more successful training outcomes.

To help you stay consistent, consider creating a chart or using a training app to track your progress. You can record the date and time of each training session, along with the specific skills or behaviors you worked on. This will not only help you track your progress but also make it easier to identify areas where your Shih Tzu may need additional attention.

Another key aspect of consistency is using the same positive reinforcement techniques throughout the training process. Stick to the methods that have been successful and avoid switching things up too frequently. Your Shih Tzu needs to understand what is expected of them and how they will be rewarded for good behavior.

In addition to using consistent training methods and routines, it’s also important to remain patient and avoid getting frustrated if progress is slow. Remember that each dog is unique and learns at their own pace. By staying positive and committed to the process, you can help ensure a successful outcome.

Here is a table summarizing the key points of staying consistent in positive reinforcement training for your Shih Tzu:

Key PointsDetails
Establish a routineTrain at the same time each day, use the same commands and rewards
Create a chartTrack progress, identify areas for improvement
Use consistent techniquesAvoid switching things up too frequently
Stay patientProgress may be slow, but it’s important to remain positive and committed

Train In a Distraction-Free Environment

When it comes to training your Shih Tzu using positive reinforcement techniques, one of the most important factors to consider is the environment in which you conduct the training sessions. The ideal setting is a calm and distraction-free environment that allows your dog to focus solely on the training.

To help you create the perfect training environment for your Shih Tzu, here are some considerations and tips:

LocationChoose a quiet and enclosed area, such as a room in your home or a fenced backyard. This will remove any distractions from your dog’s line of sight and keep them from getting distracted by passersby.
Time of DayTraining sessions should be conducted at a time when your dog is relaxed and not easily distracted. For many dogs, this may mean in the morning or after a nap.
Elimination NeedsMake sure your dog has gone to the bathroom before starting a training session. This will help ensure that they are comfortable and not focused on their bodily needs during the training.
Remove DistractionsEliminate distractions such as other pets, toys, and food within the training area. This will help your dog stay focused on you and the training.

Training your Shih Tzu in a distraction-free environment will also help you monitor your dog’s body language and ensure that they are not getting frustrated or overwhelmed during the training. By creating a positive and controlled environment, you are setting your dog up for success and giving them the best chance to learn and respond to positive reinforcement techniques. Remember to be patient and consistent and always end the session on a positive note.

Realistic Expectations

When it comes to positive reinforcement training for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to have realistic expectations. While every dog is different, and some may pick up on training faster than others, it’s important to not expect your dog to be a “perfect” obedient pup overnight.

Setting unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration, both for you and your dog. It’s important to remember that training takes time, patience, and consistency. This means that you should expect your dog to make mistakes and have setbacks along the way.

To help manage your expectations, it can be useful to set achievable goals for each training session. For example, instead of expecting your dog to master a complex command in one session, focus on smaller, achievable goals such as getting them to respond consistently to their name.

It’s also important to remember that training is an ongoing process. Even once your dog has mastered a command, it’s important to continue practicing and reinforcing it regularly to prevent them from forgetting or regressing.

Here are some realistic expectations to keep in mind when it comes to positive reinforcement training for your Shih Tzu:

Immediate resultsTraining takes time and consistency
PerfectionExpect mistakes and setbacks along the way
Mastering complex commands quicklyStart with small, achievable goals
Training is a one-time eventTraining is an ongoing process

Keeping these realistic expectations in mind can help you stay patient and persistent throughout the training process, and ultimately achieve success with positive reinforcement techniques for your Shih Tzu.


In conclusion, positive reinforcement is a highly effective technique for obedience training in Shih Tzus. By focusing on rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior, we can create a positive learning environment that encourages our furry friends to perform at their best.

When implementing positive reinforcement, it’s important to understand the basics of the technique and set up a routine that involves short, frequent training sessions. This can be made fun and engaging for your Shih Tzu with the use of games, treats, and toys.

One of the most popular techniques for positive reinforcement in dog training is clicker training. This can be enhanced with the use of treat rewards, praise, and engaging toys, as well as a combination of these techniques.

However, it’s important to recognize that positive reinforcement requires consistency and patience. Troubleshooting should involve recognizing signs of frustration and using appropriate training equipment, as well as seeking professional help when needed.

In addition, successful positive reinforcement training involves creating a positive experience for your Shih Tzu, being consistent, and setting realistic expectations. Training in a distraction-free environment can also help your furry friend focus and learn more efficiently.

By utilizing these positive reinforcement techniques and tips, you can strengthen the bond between you and your Shih Tzu while also instilling good behavior and obedience. With time and effort, patience and consistency, you’ll be sure to see positive results in your furry friend’s behavior and overall happiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to train a Shih Tzu using positive reinforcement techniques?

Training time can vary depending on your dog’s personality and willingness to learn, but with consistent training, you can see progress in a few weeks.

Can positive reinforcement be used for Shih Tzus of all ages?

Yes, positive reinforcement can be used for Shih Tzus at any age. It is never too late to start training.

Can I use treats as the only form of positive reinforcement?

While treats can be a powerful motivator, it is recommended to use a combination of techniques to maximize effectiveness and prevent boredom.

Is clicker training suitable for Shih Tzus?

Yes, clicker training is a highly effective technique for Shih Tzus. It helps them understand specific behaviors and reinforces positive actions.

What are some common mistakes to avoid during positive reinforcement training?

Avoid using punishment or negative reinforcement, being inconsistent with rewards, and not being patient with your dog.

Can Shih Tzus be trained to use a potty patch using positive reinforcement?

Yes, with patience and consistency, Shih Tzus can be trained to use a potty patch using positive reinforcement techniques.

Will training my Shih Tzu with positive reinforcement techniques change their personality?

No, training with positive reinforcement techniques will not change your dog’s personality. It will simply reinforce positive behaviors and improve their obedience.

Do I have to go to a professional trainer to train my Shih Tzu?

No, you can train your Shih Tzu using positive reinforcement techniques at home, but it can be helpful to seek professional advice if you encounter any difficulties.

Can positive reinforcement be used to correct bad behaviors in Shih Tzus?

Yes, positive reinforcement can be used to redirect bad behaviors and encourage positive ones. Consistency, patience, and rewards are essential to successfully correcting behaviors.

Is it possible to over-treat or overpraise while using positive reinforcement with my Shih Tzu?

Yes, over-treating or overpraising can cause your dog to become overly-enthusiastic and distract them from further progress. Use rewards and praise in moderation to optimize training results.


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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