How to Train Your Shih Poo: Dealing with Common Issues

Getting a new puppy is an exciting experience, but training them is a different story. Shih Poos, a mix between Shih Tzu and Poodle, are adorable and intelligent creatures, but they can also have their fair share of training issues. It can be overwhelming to know where to start and how to deal with common issues like potty training, leash training, separation anxiety, jumping, and barking. However, with the right approach and techniques, you can overcome these challenges and enjoy a well-behaved and happy Shih Poo. In this article, we will provide step-by-step guidance on how to deal with these common training issues in Shih Poos, so you can create a loving and functional bond with your furry friend.

Potty Training

Potty Training
Potty Training Your Shih Poo: Tips and Tricks

One of the most challenging aspects of dog ownership is potty training. Fortunately, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can successfully train your Shih Poo. Establishing a routine, rewarding good behavior, and handling accidents appropriately are all important steps in this process. In this section, we’ll explore some helpful tips and tricks to make potty training your Shih Poo as smooth as possible. For more information about positive training methods, check out our article on positive training for Shih Poos.

Establishing a Routine

Setting up a routine is essential in potty training your Shih Poo. It is important to establish a consistent feeding and potty schedule to avoid confusion and accidents.

Here are some steps to establish a routine:

  • Keep a record of your Shih Poo’s eating and potty schedule.
  • Feed your Shih Poo at the same time every day.
  • Take your Shih Poo outside to potty first thing in the morning, after meals, before bedtime, and after playtime.
  • Choose a specific spot in the yard for potty and lead your Shih Poo there each time.
  • Use a specific command for potty such as “go potty”.
  • Give treats and praise when your Shih Poo successfully potties outside.

A consistent routine will help your Shih Poo understand when it’s time to eat and when it’s time to potty which will make potty training more effective. Consistency is key in any type of dog training.

If you’re struggling with obedience training in addition to potty training, you may consider enrolling your Shih Poo in obedience training classes. This can also be beneficial for socialization. Another option is clicker training which can be a great way to train your Shih Poo. Additionally, crate training can also help with establishing a routine and can be read about in Benefits of Crate Training Shih Poos.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a type of training that focuses on rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. It’s important to use positive reinforcement when potty training your Shih Poo in order to encourage them to continue to exhibit the desired behavior. This method involves rewarding your pup every time they successfully go to the bathroom outside.

In order to properly use positive reinforcement, you should establish a set of rewards that your Shih Poo will receive every time they go potty outside. This could be treats, praise, or affection, but it’s important to make sure that whatever you use is something that your pup enjoys. You can keep track of good behavior in an HTML table like this:

2/1/20229:00 AMBackyardTreat
2/2/20223:00 PMFront YardPraise
2/3/202212:00 PMParkAffection

You should also make sure to give your pup immediate positive feedback when they go potty outside. This will help them associate the good behavior with the reward they receive. In time, they will begin to understand that going potty outside is a good thing and will be more likely to do it on their own.

Internal link: For more information on clicker training for Shih Poos, check out our article on clicker training.

Dealing with Accidents

Dealing with Accidents can be a frustrating part of potty training your Shih Poo, but it’s important to handle these situations with patience and positivity. Here are some tips to effectively deal with accidents:

1React calmly: Accidents are inevitable in the training process, so it’s important to react calmly and not scold or punish your Shih Poo. It’s important to remember that your pup is still learning.
2Clean the area: To eliminate any lingering odors and discourage future accidents in that spot, clean the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for pet messes.
3Reinforce proper behavior: After the area has been cleaned, take your Shih Poo to their designated potty spot and use a specific command, such as “go potty.” When they do their business in the correct area, be sure to praise and reward them.
4Reevaluate the routine: If accidents are happening frequently, it may be time to reevaluate the routine. Ensure that your Shih Poo is being taken outside frequently enough, especially after eating, drinking, sleeping, and playtime. Also, consider crate training your Shih Poo for short periods of time to prevent accidents when you can’t supervise them closely.

Remember, potty training is a process and accidents will happen. Keep a positive attitude and continue reinforcing proper behavior to eventually achieve success. For additional help with your Shih Poo’s training needs, consider attending training classes or seeking professional help. Don’t forget to socialize your Shih Poo with other dogs at a young age to prevent behavior issues down the road. Check out our article on shih poo socialization for more information.

Leash Training

Leash Training
When it comes to taking your Shih-Poo for walks, leash training is a crucial task to ensure their safety and the safety of others around you. However, the process of leash training can often be frustrating and challenging, both for you and your furry friend. But fear not! With the right tools, techniques, and mindset, you can successfully train your Shih-Poo to become a well-behaved walking companion. In the following section, we will explore some tips and tricks for effective leash training. And if you’re interested in teaching your Shih-Poo some cool tricks, be sure to check out our article on Teaching Shih-Poo Tricks.

Choosing the Right Leash and Collar

When it comes to leash training your Shih Poo, choosing the right leash and collar is crucial for success. The right equipment will ensure that your Shih Poo is comfortable and secure, which will make learning much easier. Here are some factors to consider when choosing your leash and collar:

Type of LeashThere are many types of leashes available, including standard, retractable, and martingale. Choose one that suits your needs and preferences. For Shih Poos, a standard leash is often the best choice, as it gives you more control and allows you to keep your dog close.
Length of LeashThe length of the leash should match the environment where you will be training. For example, a shorter leash is better for working on heel training, while a longer leash is better for recall training. Aim for a length that is easy to manage and won’t get tangled.
Type of CollarThere are many types of collars available, including flat collars, martingale collars, and choke collars. For Shih Poos, a flat collar that fits well is usually the best choice. Padded collars may be more comfortable for your dog.
Size and FitIt’s essential to choose a leash and collar that fits your Shih Poo properly. The equipment should be snug but not too tight, and you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. Loose equipment can be dangerous and make training more difficult.

Remember, the right equipment is just the first step in leash training your Shih Poo. Consistent practice and positive reinforcement are also necessary for success. For more tips on dealing with common training issues in Shih Poos, check out our article on stopping barking in Shih Poos.

Start Small and Build Up

One important aspect of leash training for Shih Poos is starting small and gradually building up the amount of time and distance your furry friend spends on the leash. This gradual approach can help your pet become more comfortable and confident with the leash.

To begin, consider using a shorter leash and letting your pup wander around a safe and secure area such as your backyard or a quiet park. Allow your pet to get familiar with the feel of the leash and the sensation of being led around.

Once your Shih Poo is comfortable with short periods of leash time, it’s time to gradually build up to longer sessions. Make sure that your pet is engaged and comfortable with the process before increasing the length of time or distance.

As you work on leash training, don’t forget to reward your furry friend for good behavior. Praise and treats can go a long way in helping your pet feel positively about the process.

Here’s a table to summarize the “Start Small and Build Up” approach for leash training:

Step 1Start with a short leash and a secure area.
Step 2Gradually increase time and distance on the leash.
Step 3Reward good behavior with praise and treats.

By taking a gradual approach to leash training with your Shih Poo, you can help your pet feel more comfortable and confident in the process. And always remember to reward your furry friend for their progress and hard work!

Ignoring Bad Behavior and Rewarding Good Behavior

When training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash, it is important to reinforce good behavior and ignore bad behavior. This means that when your dog is walking calmly and staying by your side, you should reward them with treats or praise. But when they start pulling or getting distracted, you should simply ignore the behavior and keep walking.

Why Ignoring Bad Behavior is Important

Ignoring bad behavior may seem counterintuitive, but it can be an effective technique for leash training. When you react to your dog’s bad behavior, you are giving them attention, which is essentially a reward. This can inadvertently reinforce their bad behavior, making it more likely to happen again in the future.

By ignoring bad behavior, you are withholding attention and, therefore, not reinforcing the behavior. Over time, your dog will learn that their bad behavior does not get them what they want (i.e. attention), and they will be more likely to exhibit good behavior.

How to Reward Good Behavior

When your Shih Poo is walking nicely on the leash, it is important to let them know that they are doing a good job. This can be done through verbal praise, such as saying “good boy” or “good girl,” or through treats or other rewards.

Here is a table summarizing the ways you can reward good behavior:

Reward TypeDescription
TreatsSmall pieces of food, such as chicken or cheese, that your dog enjoys
ToysFavorite toys or new toys can be given as a special reward
Verbal PraiseWords of encouragement, such as “Good job!” or “Well done!”
Physical AffectionPets, scratches, and cuddles can be used to show your dog that they are doing well


Ignoring bad behavior and rewarding good behavior are important techniques for leash training your Shih Poo. By withholding attention when your dog misbehaves and rewarding them when they exhibit good behavior, you can help them learn what is expected of them on walks. Remember to be consistent and patient – leash training takes time and practice, but with the right approach, your Shih Poo can become a well-behaved walking companion.

Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety
Leaving your Shih Poo alone can be a difficult experience for both you and your furry companion. However, it’s a natural part of life that you both must learn to cope with. Unfortunately, many Shih Poos suffer from separation anxiety, which can cause destructive behavior and excessive barking. As a responsible pet parent, it’s important to address this issue with patience, empathy, and consistent training techniques. In the following sections, we will explore some effective methods for helping your Shih Poo overcome separation anxiety and feel more comfortable when left alone.

Gradual Alone Time

Separation anxiety is a common issue that many Shih Poo owners face. Gradual alone time can help your Shih Poo be more comfortable when you’re not around. Here are some tips for gradually increasing the time your pup is alone:

  • Start small: Begin by leaving your Shih Poo alone for just a few minutes at a time. Gradually increase the length of time you leave them alone over several days or weeks until they are comfortable being on their own for longer periods.
  • Create a safe space: Make sure your Shih Poo has a comfortable and safe space to be in when you are not around. This can be a crate, a designated room or area, or a cozy bed with some of their favorite toys and treats.
  • Practice leaving and returning: Before leaving your Shih Poo alone, make sure you give them a proper goodbye and then leave quietly without any fanfare. When you return, greet them calmly and reward them for staying calm while you were away.
  • Don’t punish bad behavior: If your Shih Poo exhibits bad behavior when left alone such as chewing on furniture or howling, avoid punishing them. Instead, try to understand what might be causing the behavior and address it directly.
  • Consult with a professional: If your Shih Poo is experiencing severe separation anxiety, consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can help you develop a personalized plan for addressing this issue.

By gradually increasing the time your Shih Poo is alone, you can help them feel more comfortable and confident while you’re away. Remember to be patient and consistent, and before you know it, your pup will be a pro at being on their own!

Interactive Toys and Comfort Items

When it comes to dealing with separation anxiety in Shih Poos, interactive toys and comfort items can be a big help. Providing your dog with something to occupy themselves can help distract them from the fact that you are gone. Here are some options to consider:

KongA classic choice, Kongs can be filled with treats or peanut butter to keep your dog busy for a while. They also have a unique shape that bounces unpredictably, adding to the fun.
Puzzle ToysThere are many different types of puzzle toys available, from treat-dispensing balls to complex board games. These toys require your dog to figure out how to get to the treat, keeping their mind occupied.
Comfort ItemSometimes, something as simple as a familiar blanket or shirt can provide comfort to a dog when their owner is away. Make sure the item smells like you, as your scent can be very comforting to your pup.
Interactive Dog CameraIf you want to take it one step further, consider an interactive camera like the Furbo. This camera allows you to check on your dog and even dispense treats to them remotely.

Of course, it’s important to note that these items should not be used as a substitute for spending time with your dog. They are merely helpful tools to assist in gradually building up to longer periods of alone time. It’s also important to supervise your dog when they are using any toys or items, to ensure their safety.

Jumping and Barking

Jumping And Barking
As much as we love our little Shih Poos, their tendency to jump and bark excessively can cause frustration and embarrassment in public. If you’re struggling with this common training issue, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Jumping and barking are behaviors that can be modified with patience, consistency, and the right training techniques. In this section, we’ll explore some effective methods for curbing these unwanted behaviors and promoting more polite and controlled behavior in your furry friend. So grab your favorite training treats and let’s dive in.

Consistency in Correction

Consistency in correction is crucial when dealing with jumping and barking issues in Shih Poos. To effectively correct their behavior, it’s important to establish rules and boundaries and stick with them.

One way to maintain consistency is through the use of positive reinforcement. This involves rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, or attention. Conversely, bad behavior should be corrected with a firm “no” or “stop” command, followed by redirection to a more appropriate behavior.

To further ensure consistency, create a chart or table to track the behavior and training progress of your Shih Poo. This will allow you to keep track of which behaviors are improving, which ones still need work, and which techniques are proving to be the most effective.

In the table, include columns for the date, behavior being corrected, technique used, and the outcome. This will provide a clear visual representation of your Shih Poo’s progress, and help you identify any areas that require additional attention.

It’s important to remember that consistency in correction goes beyond just using the same techniques. You should also ensure that all members of your household are consistent in their methods, to avoid confusion for your Shih Poo. By maintaining consistency in your training methods and expectations, your Shih Poo will be more likely to respond and show improvement over time.

Teaching Alternative Behaviors

When it comes to dealing with common training issues in Shih Poos, teaching alternative behaviors is an effective strategy to replace unwanted behaviors. Here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Sit: Teaching your Shih Poo to sit can redirect their jumping behavior. Every time they start to jump, instruct them to sit instead. Reward them with positive reinforcement when they choose sitting over jumping.
  • Trade-off: If your Shih Poo has a habit of chewing on things they shouldn’t, redirect their attention to something they’re allowed to chew on. Offer a toy or treat in exchange for the forbidden item. Over time, they will learn to go for the appropriate toys and leave the rest alone.
  • Focus: When your Shih Poo barks excessively, have them focus on something else. Use a cue word like “focus” and have them look at you instead of whatever caused the barking. Reward them when they can maintain focus without barking.
  • Leave it: If your Shih Poo has a tendency to grab and hold onto things, teach them to “leave it.” Start with a treat on the ground and instruct them to leave it. Reward them when they comply. Gradually work up to more tempting items like food on a table, and repeat the process of leaving it.

By teaching alternative behaviors, you can redirect your Shih Poo’s negative actions into something acceptable. With consistency and positive reinforcement, they will learn the new behaviors and replace the problematic ones.

Avoiding Reinforcement of Bad Behavior

When dealing with common training issues in Shih Poos, it’s important to be mindful of how our actions may reinforce bad behavior. Reinforcement is any consequence that increases the likelihood of a behavior being repeated, so we want to make sure that we’re reinforcing the behaviors we want to see and not reinforcing the ones we don’t.

One way to avoid reinforcing bad behavior is to use a negative punishment technique. This involves taking away something the dog enjoys as a consequence of bad behavior. For example, if your Shih Poo jumps up on you to get attention, turn your back and ignore them until they calm down. This removes the attention they were seeking and reinforces that jumping up on you won’t get them what they want.

Another technique is to redirect bad behavior into a more appropriate behavior. For example, if your Shih Poo starts chewing on the furniture, redirect them to a chew toy instead. This reinforces the appropriate behavior of chewing on a toy instead of the inappropriate behavior of chewing on furniture.

It’s also important to avoid inadvertently reinforcing bad behavior through inconsistent behavior. If you scold your Shih Poo for jumping on the couch but then allow them to jump on the bed, they may become confused and continue the behavior. Consistency in correction is key.

Here’s a summary of how to avoid reinforcing bad behavior:

Negative punishmentTake away something the dog enjoys as a consequence of bad behavior
RedirectGuide the dog towards a more appropriate behavior
ConsistencyBe consistent in correcting bad behavior

By being mindful and consistent in our training techniques, we can help our Shih Poos learn the behaviors we want to see and avoid reinforcing the ones we don’t.

Training Classes and Professional Help

At times, dealing with common training issues in Shih Poos can be overwhelming for pet owners. This is especially true when the dog is unresponsive to training or exhibits stubborn behavior. In such cases, it is essential to seek professional help.

Training classes are a fantastic way to socialize puppies and help them learn basic obedience commands. Shih Poos are intelligent, and with the right teacher, they can learn all sorts of fantastic tricks. Most classes will also teach you basic training techniques and tools, such as clicker training, positive reinforcement, and leash handling. Look around your local community for dog training facilities and classes. You’ll find many varieties, including group classes that meet weekly to professional one-on-one trainers who will come to your home.

If your pet has unique problems, you may need to consider hiring a professional dog trainer. A trainer will work with you and your dog to determine what issues need to be addressed and develop a customized approach to address them. In some cases, behaviorist’s intervention might be necessary if there’s a deeper underlying behavioral issue.

Another option is to reach out to your local veterinarian behavior specialist. Together, you and the behavior specialist can come up with a plan that is specifically designed for you and your Shih Poo. A behavior specialist can recommend alternative methods if one approach does not work.

Please keep in mind that while professional help is always a great option, it is essential to continue working with your Shih Poo at home. It takes time and effort to establish good habits and behaviors in your dog, and consistency is key in the training process. Reward your dog for good behavior, and be patient with them as they learn. With time and effort, you and your adorable Shih Poo will be on the path to success!


In conclusion, training your Shih Poo can seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and techniques, it can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. Remember to establish a routine for potty training, use positive reinforcement, and be patient during the process.

When it comes to leash training, choose the right equipment and start small, gradually building up to more challenging situations. Reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior, while also being consistent in your corrections.

Separation anxiety can also be a common issue in Shih Poos, but there are ways to alleviate this stress. Gradually introduce alone time and provide interactive toys and comfort items to keep your dog occupied.

To address jumping and barking, consistency in correction is key. Teach alternative behaviors and avoid reinforcing bad behavior, such as giving attention when your dog jumps up on you.

Remember, training classes and professional help are also available for extra support. With dedication and patience, you can successfully train your Shih Poo and establish a strong bond with your furry companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to potty train a Shih Poo?

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to potty train a Shih Poo. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key factors in success.

Can a Shih Poo be trained to walk on a leash?

Yes, a Shih Poo can be trained to walk on a leash. Starting with a proper leash and collar, as well as positive reinforcement and small steps, can make the process easier.

What is the best way to deal with separation anxiety in a Shih Poo?

Gradually increasing alone time and providing interactive toys and comfort items can help alleviate separation anxiety in a Shih Poo.

How can I stop my Shih Poo from jumping on people?

Consistent correction and teaching alternative behaviors, such as sitting or staying, can help stop a Shih Poo from jumping on people.

Is professional training necessary for a Shih Poo?

While professional training is not always necessary, it can be helpful in addressing specific issues and providing structured training sessions.

Can a Shih Poo be trained to perform tricks?

Yes, a Shih Poo can be trained to perform tricks. Positive reinforcement and consistency can help teach basic commands and more advanced tricks.

What is the best way to house train a Shih Poo?

Establishing a routine, consistent positive reinforcement, and handling accidents calmly can all help in house training a Shih Poo.

Is it possible to train a Shih Poo that is older than a puppy?

Yes, it is possible to train a Shih Poo that is older than a puppy. While it may take longer, consistency and positive reinforcement can still be effective in training an older Shih Poo.

Can a Shih Poo be trained to not bark excessively?

Yes, a Shih Poo can be trained to not bark excessively. Consistent correction and teaching alternative behaviors, such as sitting or remaining quiet, can help in reducing excessive barking.

What is the best way to socialize a Shih Poo?

Gradually exposing a Shih Poo to different people and environments, as well as positive reinforcement and remaining calm, can aid in socializing a Shih Poo.


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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