Shih Tzu training can be easy or incredibly difficult depending on one thing – how motivated you can manage to get your Shih Tzu. Read on to learn why motivation is so important and find out whether you are doing it right.
Dogs are all different, they have varying personalities and different levels of confidence, yet one thing is for sure, every single Shih Tzu can be motivated by something. Even if it’s just a case of “if I do it will you let me go and get on the sofa?”
Motivation is vitally important because not only does it give your Shih Tzu training a boost it also caters to the exact way your Shih Tzu learns. In short, it makes learning easier for your dog alongside making it more fun.
Shih Tzu Training – Testing Motivators
Common motivators are food, toys, cuddles and playtime. Each of these will affect your own Shih Tzu in a scale that is personal to him or her. For instance some dogs may love food and try exceptionally hard for a biscuit whilst others may adore a squeaky toy and work hardest for a play with it.
So how can you tell what your Shih Tzu likes best?
Create a scale of one to ten in your mind and show your dog a series of things. Food, toys, and some playtime then mark his reaction on the scale. The thing that he gets most excited about is what will motivate him most of all.
Food for Motivation when Shih Tzu Training
Food is a special type of motivator for you can easily spoil its effectiveness if you don’t use it carefully. This can happen in two ways:
- You give the dog too much really tasty food in training sessions, leaving him unmotivated by the less tasty rewards.
- You give your dog too much (any type of) food during training sessions, leaving him bored and satisfied thus with less interest in food at all. This can be in the form of big treats and is exactly why dog trainers use tiny treats and plenty of them for training.
The best way to use food in training sessions is to use variable treat types that keep your Shih Tzu guessing. By varying the reward type your dog will stay motivated for a tiny biscuit and work just as hard, just in case the next treat is a little cube of tasty cheesy goodness.
Shih Tzu Training – Stop Before the Motivation Ends
The moment your Shih Tzu stops being motivated is the point where you have taken that particular training session too far. The best training sessions last no more than ten minutes and stop when the little dog is at the height of his motivation. If he becomes bored of the food, tired of the toy or just wants some alone time then you have lost his attention.
So always stop your Shih Tzu Training session before your dog does, because this will ensure your Shih Tzu stays motivated for a long time to come.