The best method of housetraining your Shih Tzu puppy is to start right away, right from the very first day your little bundle of joy enters your home. Keep in mind that the puppy is scared and nervous about being in a strange place, away from its littermates and mother. There is also the added stress of being around new people. Therefore, it is essential to make transitioning to the new home as stress-free as possible. In fact, these are things you should consider even before picking up the puppy.
Before bringing your Shih Tzu puppy home, take the steps needed to make sure your home is puppy-proof, ensuring that the puppy is safe as well as any of your belongings that could end up as chew toys. Try to see things from your canine companion’s perspective by getting on all-fours and looking for anything that might look like an appealing chew toy.
Getting rid of items that can be chewed or ingested will provide a safe environment for a cute, cuddly Shih Tzu puppy. Eventually, your canine companion will learn what to play with and what not to play with; when this time comes, you can place the items removed earlier back where they were. Removing all the temptations that can pique a puppy’s interest ensures a smoother transition into its new surroundings.
Housetraining your Shih Tzu Puppy: Start with The Basics
Avoid housetraining your Shih Tzu puppy during the first two or three weeks after birth. That is too early for any training because the puppy is too young to remember or retain anything you teach. Teaching concepts too early can cause the puppy to become discouraged and fearful of the owner. Most trainers agree that Shih Tzu puppies can start learning basic commands between six and nine weeks, depending on the complexity.
Start with basic commands such as come and sit, then move on once your puppy can follow them continuously. Also, keep training positive, which will make the sessions more effective and productive. Rewarding your puppy with treats is one of the ways to attain desired behaviors. All puppies, especially the Shih Tzu, want and demand your praise and attention. When they learn what makes you happy, they will be more than willing to complete all activities during training sessions.
Puppies also love and respond exceptionally well to bite-sized and small treats given at strategic times at specific points during sessions. Very young Shih Tzu puppies should only have five to ten-minute training sessions. However, older dogs can train well up to twenty to thirty minutes per session. Training should go at a pace your Shih Tzu is comfortable with. Remember, all puppies mature at different rates, so some may pick up things faster than others.
If your puppy has trouble with commands but still seems eager to complete other tasks, take a step back and slow down; you are probably starting too early. Do not punish your Shih Tzu puppy by making loud noises, sudden movements, yelling, or hitting or striking. This breed does not do well with cruel treatment, which does nothing but frighten the dog. It also threatens the emotional bond that should be forming between canine companion and owner. Shih Tzus, mistreated in any form, becomes timid, shy, nervous, or highly aggressive, totally uncharacteristic of the breed.
Housetraining Supplies you Will Need
Shih Tzu puppies trained with positive reinforcement and lots of love and attention will develop into incredibly social, responsive, and friendly companions. Getting started with housetraining your Shih Tzu puppy will take a few basic supplies like a good quality fabric dog collar.
Make sure that the collar fits snug around the puppy’s neck but needs to be adjusted to allow you to place two fingers between the collar and the back of the neck without becoming too tight on the puppy. A leash or lead, whether in a standard form or as a retractable leash, is another essential piece of equipment you will need. The retractable leads are a bit simpler to work with and can allow the puppy more or less freedom depending on the moment’s need.
The final item you will need is tasty treats that are preferably healthy, not high fat, sugary, or high in carbs. You can make tasty training treats with beef hot dogs. First, cut them into thin slices and microwave them until they dry to the consistency of chips. You can also slice them into half rounds or quarter rounds if your Shih Tzu is on the smaller side.
Remember that treats need to be given sparingly, and smaller is better. Once you have the essential supplies, you are ready to start housetraining your Shih Tzu puppy with the basic commands.