Bringing home a new Shih Tzu puppy is always an exciting time. Introducing the new Shih Tzu puppy to the family should be fun for both yourself and your Shih Tzu puppy. One of the first challenges, however, to the excitement of the new Shih Tzu puppy, is curbing inappropriate Shih Tzu puppy behaviors.
Preventing biting and mouthing Biting and mouthing is a common activity for many young puppies and dogs. Puppies naturally bite and mouth each other when playing with siblings, and they extend this behavior to their human companions. While other puppies have thick skin, however, humans do not, so it is important to teach your Shih Tzu puppy what is appropriate, and what is not, when it comes to using those sharp teeth.
The first part of training the Shih Tzu puppy is to inhibit the biting reflex. Biting might be cute and harmless with a 5 pound Shih Tzu puppy, but it is neither cute nor harmless when that dog has grown to adulthood. Therefore, Shih Tzu puppies should be taught to control their bite before they reach the age of four months. Shih Tzu puppies normally learn to inhibit their bite from their mothers and their littermates, but since they are taken away from their mothers so young, many never learn this important lesson. It is therefore up to the humans in the Shih Tzu puppy's life to teach this lesson.
One great way to inhibit the biting reflex is to allow the Shih Tzu puppy to play and socialize with other Shih Tzu puppies and socialized older Shih Tzu dogs. Shih Tzu puppies love to tumble, roll and play with each other, and when Shih Tzu puppies play they bite each other constantly. This is the best way for Shih Tzu puppies to learn to control themselves when they bite. If one Shih Tzu puppy becomes too rough when playing, the rest of the group will punish him for that inappropriate behavior. Through this type of socialization, the Shih Tzu puppy will learn to control his biting reflex.
Proper socialization has other benefits as well, including teaching the Shih Tzu dog to not be fearful of other dogs, and to work off their excess energy. Shih Tzu puppies that are allowed to play with other Shih Tzu puppies learn important socialization skills generally learn to become better members of their human family. Shih Tzu puppies that get less socialization can be more destructive, more hyperactive and exhibit other problem behaviors.
In addition, lack of socialization in Shih Tzu puppies often causes fearful and aggressive behaviors to develop. Dogs often react aggressively to new situations, especially if they are not properly socialized. In order for a Shih Tzu dog to become a member of the community as well as the household, it should be socialized to other people, especially children. Dogs make a distinction between their owners and other people, and between children and adults. It is important, therefore, to introduce the Shih Tzu puppy to both children and adults.
The best time to socialize a Shih Tzu puppy to young children is when it is still very young, generally when it is four months old or younger. One reason for this is that mothers of young children may be understandably reluctant to allow their children to approach large dogs or older puppies. This is especially true with large breed dogs, or with breeds of dogs that have a reputation for aggressive behavior.
Using trust to prevent biting Teaching your Shih Tzu puppy to trust and respect you is a very effective way to prevent biting. Gaining the trust and respect of your Shih Tzu dog is the basis for all dog training, and for correcting problem behaviors.
It is important to never hit or slap the puppy, either during training or any other time. Physical punishment is the surest way to erode the trust and respect that must form the basis of an effective training program. Reprimanding a dog will not stop him from biting - it will simply scare and confuse him.
Training a Shih Tzu puppy not to bite is a vital part of any puppy training program. Biting behaviors that are not corrected will only get worse, and what seemed like harmless behavior in a Shih Tzu puppy can quickly escalate to dangerous, destructive behavior in an adult dog.
Training Your Shih Tzu Not To Bite
by Connie Limon
Connie Limon, breeder of the Shih Tzu Austin, Indiana Stain Glass Shih Tzus www.stainglassshihtzus.com.