Pro Shih Tzu Obedience Training

Shih Tzus are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. However, like any other dog breed, Shih Tzus require proper training to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved and obedient family pets. In this blog post, we will discuss the ins and outs of Shih Tzu obedience training, providing you with all the information you need to successfully train your furry friend.

Understanding Shih Tzu Behavior

Before we dive into the specifics of Shih Tzu obedience training, it’s important to understand the unique behavior and temperament of this breed. Shih Tzus are intelligent, curious, and independent dogs that can sometimes be stubborn. They are also highly sociable and thrive on attention, making them prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. Understanding these behaviors will help you better tailor your training approach to your Shih Tzu’s individual needs.

Starting Obedience Training

The best time to start obedience training with your Shih Tzu is when they are still a puppy, around 8-10 weeks old. At this age, they are eager to please and their minds are like sponges, soaking up everything you teach them. Start with basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “come”, and be consistent with your training. Practice these commands daily, using positive reinforcement such as treats and praise to encourage good behavior.

Consistency is Key

Consistency is crucial when it comes to obedience training. Make sure all family members are using the same commands and reinforcing the same behaviors. This will help your Shih Tzu understand what is expected of them and make training much more effective.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful training tool for Shih Tzus. Reward your dog for good behavior with treats, praise, and affection. This will not only help them associate good behavior with positive outcomes, but it will also strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.

Advanced Obedience Training

Once your Shih Tzu has mastered basic commands, it’s time to move on to more advanced obedience training. This can include leash training, teaching your dog to heel, and training them to perform tricks. Again, consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful advanced obedience training.

Leash Training

Leash training is an important part of obedience training for Shih Tzus. Start by getting your dog used to wearing a collar and leash indoors. Encourage them to follow you around the house, rewarding them with treats and praise for good behavior. Gradually move the training outside, starting in a quiet, distraction-free area and gradually increasing the level of distraction.

Teaching Your Dog to Heel

Teaching your Shih Tzu to heel is another important part of obedience training. Start by holding a treat close to your dog’s nose and leading them around in a circle. As they follow you, give the command “heel” and reward them with the treat. Gradually increase the distance you walk while giving the command and rewarding your dog for good behavior.

Training Your Dog to Perform Tricks

Training your Shih Tzu to perform tricks is a fun way to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Start with simple tricks such as “spin” or “shake”, and gradually move on to more complex tricks as your dog becomes more confident. Again, consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful trick training.

Dealing with Behavioral Issues

Shih Tzus can sometimes develop behavioral issues, such as barking, digging, and chewing. These behaviors can be frustrating, but with the right training approach, they can be corrected.


Barking is a natural behavior for dogs, but excessive barking can be a problem. If your Shih Tzu is barking excessively, try to determine the cause. Are they bored, anxious, or in pain? Once you have identified the cause, you can take steps to address it. This may include providing more mental and physical stimulation, reducing anxiety, or visiting the vet to rule out any medical issues.


Digging is another natural behavior for dogs, but it can be a problem if your Shih Tzu is digging up your yard or flower beds. To discourage digging, provide your dog with their own designated digging area, such as a sand pit. Encourage them to dig in this area by burying treats or toys for them to find. If they start digging in an unauthorized area, redirect their attention to their designated digging area.


Chewing is a common behavior in puppies, but it can also be a problem in adult Shih Tzus. To discourage chewing, provide your dog with plenty of appropriate chew toys. If they start chewing on something they shouldn’t, redirect their attention to a chew toy. Make sure to keep any items you don’t want chewed out of reach.

Maintaining Obedience Training

Obedience training is an ongoing process, and it’s important to continue training your Shih Tzu even after they have mastered basic commands. Regular training sessions will help keep your dog mentally stimulated and reinforce good behavior.

Looking to enhance your Shih Tzu’s obedience skills? Explore our articles on starting Shih Tzu obedience training, agility training for Shih Tzus, positive reinforcement in Shih Tzu obedience, and potty training tips for Shih Tzus for a comprehensive guide to taking your pup’s training to the next level!


Shih Tzu obedience training can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. By understanding your Shih Tzu’s unique behavior and temperament, starting training early, using consistency and positive reinforcement, and addressing any behavioral issues, you can help your Shih Tzu grow up to be a well-behaved and obedient family pet. Remember, obedience training is an ongoing process, so continue training your Shih Tzu regularly to maintain good behavior. With patience, consistency, and love, you can have a happy, healthy, and obedient Shih Tzu.

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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