Common Shih Tzu Leash Training Mistakes

Shih Tzus are one of the most popular dog breeds, known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. However, even the most well-behaved Shih Tzu can have issues when it comes to leash training. In this article, we will discuss some common leash training mistakes and how to avoid them.

Not Establishing Consistency

One of the most common leash training mistakes is not establishing consistency. It is important to train your Shih Tzu using the same commands and techniques every time you take them for a walk. This will help your dog understand what is expected of them and make the training process smoother.

Using a Retractable Leash

Retractable leashes can be tempting to use, but they can actually make leash training more difficult. These leashes allow your dog to have more freedom, which can make it harder for them to understand that they need to stay close to you. It is best to use a standard, fixed-length leash for leash training.

Not Providing Enough Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool when it comes to leash training. Make sure to reward your Shih Tzu with treats, praise, and affection when they follow your commands. This will help them associate good behavior with positive outcomes.

Not Using High-Value Treats

When using treats as positive reinforcement, it is important to use high-value treats that your Shih Tzu will be excited about. This will make it more likely that they will follow your commands in order to earn the treat.

Not Timing the Reward Correctly

Timing is also important when it comes to positive reinforcement. Make sure to reward your Shih Tzu immediately after they follow your command. This will help them understand the connection between their behavior and the reward.

Pulling on the Leash

Pulling on the leash is a common problem for many dog owners. It is important to address this issue as soon as possible, as it can make walks uncomfortable and even dangerous for both you and your Shih Tzu.

Not Being Proactive

One of the biggest mistakes that dog owners make when it comes to pulling on the leash is not being proactive. It is important to address this issue as soon as it starts, rather than waiting until it becomes a bigger problem.

Using a Halti or Gentle Leader

A halti or gentle leader can be a helpful tool when it comes to stopping your Shih Tzu from pulling on the leash. These devices are designed to gently redirect your dog’s head, making it more difficult for them to pull.

Using a Short Leash

Using a short leash can also help to prevent your Shih Tzu from pulling on the leash. This will give you more control and make it easier for you to guide your dog.

Not Socializing Your Shih Tzu

Socialization is an important part of leash training. Make sure to expose your Shih Tzu to a variety of different environments, people, and other dogs. This will help them to become more confident and well-behaved on the leash.

Not Starting Socialization Early Enough

It is important to start socializing your Shih Tzu as early as possible. Puppies are more receptive to new experiences, so it is best to start socializing them before they are 16 weeks old.

Not Providing Enough Opportunities for Socialization

Make sure to provide your Shih Tzu with plenty of opportunities for socialization. This can include trips to the dog park, play dates with other dogs, and visits to busy public places.

Are you struggling with Shih Tzu leash training mistakes? Make sure to also read about the importance of leash training, common exercise mistakes to avoid, a comprehensive leash training guide, useful training tips, and effective house training tips to help you and your furry friend succeed!


Leash training can be a challenging but rewarding process for both you and your Shih Tzu. By avoiding common leash training mistakes, such as not establishing consistency, using a retractable leash, not providing enough positive reinforcement, pulling on the leash, and not socializing your Shih Tzu, you can help your dog become a well-behaved and happy companion on walks. Remember to be patient, consistent, and positive, and you and your Shih Tzu will be enjoying stress-free walks in no time.

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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