Start Shih Tzu Obedience Training

Shih Tzus are known for their adorable appearance and charming personalities. These small dogs make wonderful companions, but like all dogs, they require proper training to ensure they are well-behaved members of the family. Obedience training is essential for Shih Tzus to learn basic commands, manners, and boundaries. In this blog post, we will explore how to start obedience training for your Shih Tzu to help you build a strong bond and create a harmonious relationship with your furry friend.

Understanding Your Shih Tzu

Before starting obedience training with your Shih Tzu, it’s important to understand their temperament and characteristics. Shih Tzus are known for being intelligent, but they can also be independent and stubborn at times. However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, these traits can be overcome.

Setting Training Goals

Establishing a Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to training your Shih Tzu. Set a training schedule that includes short, frequent sessions to keep your dog engaged and focused. Make sure to choose a quiet and distraction-free environment for training to maximize learning.

Defining Commands

Decide on the basic commands you want your Shih Tzu to learn, such as sit, stay, come, and heel. Use clear and consistent verbal cues along with hand signals to communicate effectively with your dog. Start with one command at a time and gradually introduce more as your Shih Tzu progresses.

Positive Reinforcement

Reward-Based Training

Shih Tzus respond well to positive reinforcement, such as treats, praise, and playtime. Reward your dog immediately after they perform the desired behavior to reinforce good habits. Avoid using punishment or harsh corrections as they can have a negative impact on your Shih Tzu’s willingness to learn.

Clicker Training

Consider incorporating clicker training into your obedience training routine. The clicker serves as a distinct sound marker to signal to your Shih Tzu that they have done the right thing, followed by a reward. This method helps to create a clear association between the desired behavior and the reward.


Consistency is crucial in obedience training. Make sure all family members are on the same page when it comes to commands and expectations for your Shih Tzu. Avoid sending mixed signals, as it can confuse your dog and hinder their progress.

Training Techniques

Leash Training

Proper leash training is essential for your Shih Tzu’s safety and well-being. Start by getting your dog comfortable with wearing a collar and leash indoors before moving to outdoor walks. Use positive reinforcement to reward your Shih Tzu for walking nicely on the leash without pulling.

Crate Training

Introduce your Shih Tzu to crate training as a safe and comfortable space for them to rest and relax. Make the crate inviting by placing bedding and toys inside, and gradually increase the time your dog spends in the crate. Use treats and praise to create a positive association with the crate.

Potty Training

Consistent potty training is crucial for a harmonious living environment with your Shih Tzu. Take your dog outside regularly, especially after meals and naps, and praise them for going potty in the designated area. Clean up accidents indoors without scolding your Shih Tzu to avoid creating fear or anxiety.


Expose your Shih Tzu to various people, animals, and environments to help them develop social skills and confidence. Arrange playdates with other dogs, visit dog-friendly places, and enroll your dog in obedience classes to promote positive interactions and prevent behavior issues.

Challenges and Solutions

Handling Distractions

Shih Tzus can easily get distracted, especially in new or stimulating environments. To address this challenge, gradually increase distractions during training sessions and use high-value treats to keep your dog focused. Practice patience and be prepared to redirect your Shih Tzu’s attention when needed.

Dealing with Barking

Shih Tzus are known for their vocal nature and may bark excessively if not properly trained. To manage barking behavior, teach your dog the “quiet” command and reward them for being calm and quiet. Address the underlying reasons for barking, such as boredom or anxiety, to prevent excessive vocalization.

Overcoming Stubbornness

If your Shih Tzu displays stubborn behavior during training, avoid engaging in power struggles or using force. Instead, stay calm and patient, and try breaking down commands into smaller steps to make learning more manageable. Celebrate small victories and gradually build your dog’s confidence and willingness to cooperate.

Consolidating Training

Maintaining Training

Reinforcing Positive Behavior

Looking to start Shih Tzu obedience training? Explore our articles on professional Shih Tzu obedience training, potty training for Shih Tzus, the importance of leash training for Shih Tzus, and socialization training for Shih Tzus to give your furry friend the best training experience!


Obedience training is a rewarding journey that strengthens the bond between you and your Shih Tzu. By understanding your dog’s needs, setting clear goals, using positive reinforcement, and applying effective training techniques, you can help your Shih Tzu become a well-behaved and obedient companion. Remember that patience, consistency, and love are key ingredients in successful obedience training. Start training your Shih Tzu today and enjoy the benefits of a harmonious relationship built on trust and mutual respect.

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.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Dog Care Hacks