Shih Tzus are not difficult to train. They want to please, that is in their breeding. But importantly with Shih Tzus, they should always be treated with understanding and respect. Also in their genetic make-up is a degree of stubborness which is likely to come to the fore if treated harshly.

Shih Tzu training should always be fun. It should be reward-based and not punishment-based. Punishing your Shih Tzu will undoubtedly have a negative effect, in fact exactly the opposite to the effect you are trying to achieve. They are an intelligent breed, keen to learn and willing to please. But they need to be made aware of their role in your life. That is important, particularly with an aristocratic and proud breed like the Shih Tzu. Your dog should never be the leader of the pack. That is your role and your Shih Tzu should never be in any doubt about that.

Remember that you and your family are the only ones who can ever teach your Shih Tzu what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. It does not know and will never know if you don’t teach it. And don’t think that training your Shih Tzu can wait until it is older. It cannot. Teaching your Shih Tzu right from wrong and good from bad has to begin from day one. But remember, reward your Shih Tzu for good behaviour – don’t punish him for bad behaviour!

If you need help with training your Shih Tzu, there are bound to be dog training classes in your area. There are also many excellent books available on the subject. One we can highly recommend is Training Your Shih Tzu by Joan Walker.