Bringing a Shih Tzu into your home can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Known for their affectionate nature and adorable appearance, these small dogs make wonderful companions. However, like any other breed, Shih Tzus require proper training to ensure they become well-behaved and happy members of your family. In this article, we will discuss the top 3 training mistakes that Shih Tzu owners often make and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Expecting Too Much Too Soon

One common mistake that many Shih Tzu owners make is expecting their new furry friend to learn everything right away. It’s important to remember that training takes time and patience, especially with a small breed like the Shih Tzu. Trying to rush the process can lead to frustration for both you and your dog.


Break down training into small, manageable steps and reward your Shih Tzu for each success. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to helping your dog learn and retain commands. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a well-trained Shih Tzu.

Using Harsh Training Methods

Another common mistake is using harsh or punitive training methods with your Shih Tzu. These dogs are sensitive and respond much better to positive reinforcement than to punishment. Yelling, hitting, or using aversive training techniques can damage the bond between you and your pet and may even lead to behavioral issues.


Instead of focusing on what your dog does wrong, concentrate on what they do right. Use treats, praise, and affection to reward good behavior and ignore or redirect unwanted behavior. This will create a positive learning environment and strengthen the bond between you and your Shih Tzu.

Skipping Socialization

Socialization is a crucial aspect of training for any dog breed, including Shih Tzus. Failing to properly socialize your Shih Tzu can lead to fearfulness, aggression, and other behavioral problems later on. Some owners make the mistake of keeping their Shih Tzu isolated or only exposing them to a limited range of experiences.


Expose your Shih Tzu to a variety of people, animals, environments, and situations from a young age. This will help them become confident, well-adjusted dogs who are comfortable in different settings. Enroll your Shih Tzu in puppy classes, take them for walks in different neighborhoods, and invite guests over to interact with your pet.

Overlooking Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to training a Shih Tzu. Many owners make the mistake of being inconsistent with their commands, rules, and boundaries, which can confuse their dogs and make training less effective. If you allow your Shih Tzu to jump on the couch one day but scold them for it the next, they won’t understand what is expected of them.


Set clear rules and boundaries for your Shih Tzu and stick to them. Use the same commands consistently and enforce them each time. Make sure that all family members are on the same page when it comes to training so that your Shih Tzu receives a consistent message.


Create a routine for your Shih Tzu that includes regular feeding times, walks, playtime, and training sessions. Dogs thrive on consistency, and having a predictable schedule can help them feel secure and well-behaved.

Ignoring Basic Training

Some owners make the mistake of skipping basic training with their Shih Tzu, assuming that it’s not necessary for such a small and cute breed. However, basic obedience training is essential for all dogs, regardless of size or appearance. Without a solid foundation of training, your Shih Tzu may develop bad habits or exhibit undesirable behaviors.

Struggling with Shih Tzu training? Avoid common mistakes by checking out our articles on crate training tips for Shih Tzu, leash training mistakes to avoid, and house training tips for Shih Tzu. Learn how to train your furry friend effectively and build a strong bond!


Training a Shih Tzu requires time, patience, and a positive approach. By avoiding these top 3 training mistakes and following the tips provided, you can set your Shih Tzu up for success and strengthen your bond with your furry companion. Remember, every dog is unique, so be patient and understanding as you work together to build a happy and well-behaved relationship.

Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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