Who runs the training in your home? Is it you or that cute little dog that calls the shots during those Shih Tzu training sessions?
How often do you give in to those big eyes and that cute snub nose?
Read on to see whether you are doing a great job of training your Shih Tzu or showing him exactly how easy it is for him to train you.
The Shih Tzu is a bright little button. He likes to receive attention from you along with any other type of reward, including food of course. As an innovative little dog the Shih Tzu will soon learn to repeat anything that he does which makes you do something that benefits him.
How Does This Work in Shih Tzu Training Sessions?
If your Shih Tzu sits in a training session and is given a reward, such as a tiny treat, he is going to associate the sit with the treat very quickly. Now if the little dog jumps up and you ask him to sit again, then reward him again, your dog has learned something great.
He has learned that if he sits once he gets one treat yet if he jumps up quickly enough he gets one, followed by another one. Your clever Shih Tzu is training you to give him an extra treat!
To counteract this type of inventiveness you can teach your Shih Tzu that he is released very quickly after he sits by telling him that you’re ready for him to move. This way he doesn’t move on his own terms but yours. The power has been taken back and your Shih Tzu is no longer training you.
Shih Tzu Training in Everyday Life
Another example of this type of Shih Tzu behavior is happening in front of me right now. My little dog is used to me throwing a ball for him in the garden, for a few minutes at the end of each day.
I have only done this for a few days but he remembers it and is currently sitting in front of me, whimpering and whining with his ball. When I look away from his he changes position and puts himself back in my line of vision. This dog is training me, in no uncertain terms, to continue doing something that I have only done for a few days.
Now that you are aware of the Shih Tzu and his capacity to claim any one of your responses as his reward do you think you are really in control?
Take a moment to observe your dog and watch him try and prompt a reward from you with an inventive action. Then decide whether you are actually training your little dog or is your Shih Tzu is training you? We would love to know what you think, get in touch!