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Shih Tzus are the ultimate family companion dog. They are a small toy breed but are full of spunk and character. They love to strut around the house, head held high and tail wagging like they own the place!
Shih Tzus thrive on the companionship of their human family and they especially enjoy being pampered and spoiled by them!
Shih Tzu training and puppy socialization should commence as soon as your puppy arrives at his/her new home (your Shih Tzu breeder needs to begin the puppy socialization process). You'll find your Shih Tzu to be an intelligent and capable student. They relish the stimulation and challenge which obedience training provides, plus it's time spent with you which is a bonus. House training a Shih Tzu (potty training) can prove to be frustrating and time consuming, but is quickly achievable if you stick to a good potty training schedule.
The Shih Tzu was developed in Tibet, they are recognized as one of the oldest dog breeds. Back then they were the breed of choice for many Chinese Emperors who appreciated the affectionate nature and keen watchdog abilities of the Shih Tzu. Today they are one of the most popular of all the toy dog breeds right around the world.
Over the years the Shih Tzu has been know as the Chinese Lion Dog (for their lion like appearance) and Chrysanthemum Dog (for the way their hair grows on the face).
They are a solid and compact little package with a short snout and big dark, expressive round eyes. Probably their most attractive and distinctive feature is their beautiful long flowing coat. It's a thick double coat which sheds very little which is great. Shih Tzu grooming (daily brushing) is required to keep the hair in good shape and free from becoming matted. If you give your Shih Tzu a haircut every couple of months their coat requires very little maintenance.
Locating reputable Shih Tzu breeders is probably the most important step involved in finding yourself a well balanced Shih Tzu puppy. Good Shih Tzu breeders are dedicated to the breed and strive to produce pups which are both physically and mentally sound - they have the best interests of the breed at heart.
With consistency, patience, repetition and positive reinforcement your Shih Tzu puppy can be easily trained in all the basic obedience training commands such as sit, down, come, stay etc...
From my experience with training our Shih Tzu puppy "Macy" I have found that some training sessions are more fruitful than others. At times she can be a little stubborn and can become easily distracted - I simply stop the training session on such occasions and start again a little later.
Many people report that house training a Shih Tzu can be a real challenge. This is probably true but as with any breed if you follow a good potty training schedule, and stick to it you will achieve the desired result.
Shih Tzus respond best to positive non violent dog training methods. Try to keep your training sessions fun, full of enthusiasm, encouragement, rewards and praise. You'll find food to be a great motivator to your Shih Tzu! Harsh "old school" training methods based on punishment or corrections are not received well by Shih Tzus - they're not necessary anyway.
If you plan to train your Shih Tzu yourself at home I would recommend you study and follow this comprehensive Shih Tzu training membership site. This is the best and most helpful community of dog lovers on the internet run by professional dog trainer, Daniel Stevens.
Some other pages you may be interested in:
How to choose a puppy out of a litter.
How to train your puppy - puppy training tips and tricks.
Puppy house training tips - works great with Shih-Tzu's!
Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.