Shih Tzu Dog- Everything you want to know
Shish Tzu dogs make excellent pets for many people while for others this dog breed can be a source of some issues and frustration. If your family is serious about bringing in a Shih Tzu in your home, be sure you know the kinds of commitment you are getting into in all aspects such as puppy training, feeding, grooming, and health care. When you are definitely sure this is the breed for you, find a reputable breeder.
This dog will be less than 12 inches in height when fully grown, though some are smaller and will weight around 9 to 16 lbs. It likes to be cuddled and plays a lot.
It is very alert and smart that even with its small size it can be a guard dog because it can learn how to bark at strangers. Without training it can be yappy, demanding, and may become a stubborn dog that runs the whole place.
Shih Tzu Training Tips
There are many good Shih Tzu training tips, what you need to know is where and how to begin. Study what your dog needs to learn, what you want from him and how to administer the training. You are in the wrong turn if you think that your Shih Tzu is that smart to understand what you want him to learn. The truth is he simply responds to your words, signs and commands because he needs to belong and wants your acceptance. Your dog will always be an animal; which might be an aggressive Shih Tzu.
Your Shih Tzu is born (in fact all dogs) with certain instincts which are similar to all those in his breed. We can simply describe animal instinct as unlearned or reactions or urges. Therefore if your dog is showing some unpleasant manners, your harsh words, screaming and strong facial expression won’t do anything good.
4 Important Shih Tzu Dog Training Tips
Here are some simple tips that every responsible dog owner should know when training your four-legged friend. Your Shih Tzu dog training process will be a lot easier if you check these important tips.
- Crate Training – The crate serves as the house of your Shih Tzu to confine him and avoid accidents in the house when you arenot around to watch over him. It is not used to punish a dog for a bad behavior. You can spend a few minutes with your Shih Tzu in the crate to get him used to it. The crate is an effective solution to anxiety and can make housebreaking a lot easier.
- Leash Training – The first thing you must know why a dog pulls on the leash is because you follow. It doesn’t matter if he gets chocked as long as he gets what he wants. That is a dog’s behavior where he gets a reward that is moving forward to where it pleases him. You can make him sit and wait until you allow him to walk again. After a few of this boring sittings he’ll learn to walk without pulling because he can associate that pulling will stop his most anticipated walk in the park.
- Obedience Training – One of the best Shih Tzu dog training tips is acquired from obedience training. The first concern here is to teach the dog owner to hold on his position as the leader of the pack (or master of the house), how to show control over the dog and give firm commands. Obedience training is applicable to a new Shih Tzu puppy or when you’re having a hard time with your older dog.
- The Alpha Position – It simply means that your dog must learn that you are the master. If your dog steals food from your hand he has no respect for you and therefore does not consider at you as the leader. It is not the problem of your Shih Tzu but it isyour task to teach your cute furry friend. If your dog doesn’t know his place in the pack it can sometimes cause aggressive behaviors. A dog who knows you are there to protect him is a happy dog.
You Need to be Consistent
If you want to build a good training foundation, you need to be consistent in giving commands. A Shih Tzu is a smart dog but generally dogs learn from repeated and consistent training methods. If you have an aggressive Shih Tzu and you only make him sit when there is a visitor, chances are, he will not follow and get confused. The more time you spend with your Shih Tzu in a leader of the pack manner the easier for him to realize that you are the boss.
Important Tips on Shih Tzu Feeding
Owning a Shih Tzu does not only mean that your lovable hairy pet needs to be subjected to obedience training for dogs but it also requires you to have a full knowledge on Shih tzu feeding.
A Shih Tzu puppy requires 4 small meals a day until it reaches 9 weeks of age. At this age you can reduce it to 3 meals a day until the 12th week but with a light snack or treats before bed at night.
Feeding your dog with table food can make them choosy and affect bowel movements that may cause gastric problems which is very messy for you and may upset your pet. For Shih tzu feeding you have to choose premium quality dry dog food which is nutritionally balanced to meet all the dietary requirements.
Dry dog food is hard for puppies that have not yet developed strong teeth, so you may soften it with hot water. If you want to change your puppy’s food it should be done gradually using 1:10 ratio during the first day; 1part new food added to 9 parts old food; 2 parts new food added to parts old food and so on…over a period of 10 days.
Your Shih Tzu dog food should contain all the components necessary in a dog food like the following:
Protein: This is an important part of a Shih tzu’s daily diet because it helps in growth and development. Make sure there are high quality proteins in the food you serve to your Shih Tzu. Protein contains amino acids needed by your dog.
Carbohydrates: This is the major source of energy for Shih tzu. Animals get carbohydrates from dog food and other foods they eat. Some dog foods are of better quality than others. The better ones use corn, wheat, rice, millet, barley and oats. The cheapest dog foods use by-products of grains such as hulls and peanut shells.
Fatty acids: Fatty acids must contain in Shih tzu feeding. Omega 3 and omega 6 will provide your dog with energy and make dog’s coat and skin healthy.
Vitamins and minerals: If your dog is not getting enough vitamins and minerals it can mean some problems in health and development. For Shih tzu feeding must consider Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Choline and Riboflavin from its food.
Choose your Shih Tzu dog food carefully; it is important to avoid food with a lot of fillers. It makes the food less expensive but without enough nutrition. If the list of ingredients in your dog food wrap includes grains such as corn, beets and other carbohydrates then it contains a lot of fillers.
Feeding your Shih Tzu depends upon your personal preference. While there are lots of high quality dog foods in the market it is your duty as a responsible dog owner to choose the best because having a healthy Shih Tzu goes hand in hand with having a good and easy obedience training for dogs.
Important Tips on ShihTzu Hygiene
The Shih Tzu dogs’ long hair definitely requires regular grooming. You need to brush it every day to remove tangles and knots. They need bathing, their eyes and ears should always be clean. They need dental care to prevent tooth loss. Hygiene comes as part of your dog training tips because like human they have a life and that life depends on you as a responsible dog owner.
• Bathing- You must bathe your Shih Tzu every 3 to 8 weeks. It greatly depends on your environment and the length of its coat on how frequent your dog should get a bath. A long-haired one and one that spends lots of time outdoor needs more frequent bathing. An oatmeal shampoo is usually recommended. Use a cream rinse or hair conditioner as the dog’s coat grows thick.
You can towel-dry the coat normally but it is good to use a pet dryer; be careful not to leave your dog alone inside a pet dryer cage because it can cause its life when overheated if the device malfunctions. It is when blow drying the coat that combing should be done. Be sure to get flea protection from your vet or local pet store to be applied each month or after baths.
• Eye care – Be sure that when bathing the shampoo doesn’t get into the eyes because they are extremely sensitive. There are ointments available from your vet or pet store to protect the dog’s eyes when bathing. Get the habit to check the dog’s eyes and ears for swellings or red spots to see if there are infections. Your dog’s eyes should be free from irritations and foreign particles.
• Dental care- Use the toothpaste and toothbrush exclusively designed for dogs. Your dog needs good dental hygiene to prevent plaque and gum diseases due to poor oral hygiene. It is not advisable to use human toothpaste because dogs do not have the ability to rinse their mouth. Make sure that you use a soft toothbrush prescribed by your vet.
You would want to take your pet to the vet and put it under professional teeth cleaning where it is sedated while the teeth is checked and cleaned. Prevent your Shih Tzu from chewing hard bones like that of the cow as this may cause damage to the teeth. Instead give it soft chew toys that can help during teething. Give your dog hard and dry dog food which is better than soft and canned food for healthier teeth.
Taking care of a Shih Tzu requires time and dedication. If your lifestyle does not allow giving your dog the proper hygiene and grooming, a Shih Tzu may not be the right dog for you. The good side of it is when you follow dog training tips, spare time and money for your dog, it will be time and money well spent. A Shih Tzu is loyal, beautiful and adorable enough to be a family member.
This is the most exciting part of having a Shih Tzu. You can make different styles with its long and straight coat but its coat needs a great deal of maintenance and care. You have to give it a bath at least once a month and brush the coat every day. Get the right dog shampoo and conditioner for your dog. Be sure to take care of the eyes when bathing because it may cause eyes issues. Get the special drops from your vet to keep the eyes clean.
More brushing is needed depending on how active it has been or if it has been playing outside. There are dog grooming parlors or salons where you can make appointments to maintain a neat and trimmed coat if you do not want it very long. You may be too busy to comb and make different styles out of its coat. The coat sheds a little but it is no big deal to clean.
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