Pointers for Raising a Shih Tzu

by C. Finkbeiner | July 30th, 2015 | Dogs, Pointers

shih tzu  (400x400)Everybody loves a baby! Having a toy breed dog is like raising a toddler for 13 years. The Shih Tzu is no exception. They are typical lapdogs who love to be held and carried all of the time.

Your Shih Tzu wants your attention all day long, so take advantage of the time by playing games that instill training. Fetch is easy for Shiz Tzus because you don’t have to throw the ball very far for them to get a full workout. And, they are so lightweight, there is little concern that he will knock over a lamp, or a small child. Work to improve his memory by playing hide and seek with his toys, or any game that requires repetition. Keep commands short, and encourage your Shih Tzu to communicate with you. This will teach them when it is appropriate to bark, and when not.

As a puppy, you will want to make sure that your Shih Tzu learns boundaries. They will need to know where is acceptable to jump and from which bowls to not eat at a young age. If you adopted your Shih Tzu later in life, they may already have some established behaviors, but an old dog can learn new tricks. Enforce the new routines and praise him when he learns a new good habit. To avoid jumping onto couches or other furniture, you will need to give your Shih Tzu a personal bed or area for them to become used to lounging. Shih Tzus can become territorial, so once they mark something as theirs, it pretty much is.

Shih Tzus love to feel glamorous. You will find that grooming your Shih Tzu can be bonding as well as hygienic for them. Gently brush your dog’s hair daily to avoid tangles and knots. Grooming your Shih Tzu may be a required job for you, but to your Shih Tzu it is just more time spent fussing over him, giving him affection and helping him be able to see without hair in his face. It’s a win-win.

Snappy Shih Tzus are cranky pups. This is not their usual behavior, but it does surface if they are in pain or uncomfortable in their current situation. Commonly Shih Tzus are friendly, happy and playful dogs. But when they age, begin to have chronic body pain or are otherwise injured or ill, they will manifest their discomfort by being sharp, and blunt to others (humans and animals alike) with barks and attempted nips or bites. This can also be a self-defensive reaction to perceived threating actions. If your Shih Tzu suddenly begins to behave inexplicably aggressive, visit your veterinarian.

And last but not least, as a responsible pet owner, try not to leave your Shih Tzu alone for too long of time spans. Most adult Shih Tzus can deal with a typical 40 hour a work week lifestyle, but only after they have had time to acclimate to being alone. Have babysitters on call to check on your Shih Tzu as needed.

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