How often does your Shih Tzu training incorporate wolf pack dynamics? Read on to learn how and why it is vitally important during Shih Tzu training to leave behind the idea of pack leadership and what a difference it can make to the end result.
The amount of times I hear people give Shih Tzu training advice which involves being the boss, being an alpha or showing that you are the pack leader is shocking. So shocking because it is that far removed from how Shih Tzu think that it creates a massive communication gap between the Shih Tzu and his human.
Every time I hear someone say something that associates dogs with wolves I shudder and my heart sinks. I try to tell them that with this particular Shih Tzu training approach there is absolutely no way that they will ever truly understand their dog. Worse still they take away much of the dog’s individuality and all of his choice, why would we do that?
At best, when we follow this kind of advice, our Shih Tzu can decipher some of what we are looking for from our mistaken attempts at irrelevant communication. This is usually something that sweet natured dogs with few issues teach themselves, so it looks like the methods are working. When really it’s just the dog’s ability to understand our misguided communication during odd Shih Tzu training that’s working.
At worst the Shih Tzu training methods cause serious problems. This is usually the case when the dog is worried, anxious or stressed and we respond to it in a certain way. When we use pack leader Shih Tzu training methods our behavior towards the dog is affected by assuming that the dog is trying to establish dominance or some equally ridiculous idea.
Think of it this way, if you were scared and surrounded by people that you couldn’t understand (maybe because they are speaking a different language) then they respond to you by trying to dominate you how would you feel? I suspect your fear would accelerate and you would try to run away, maybe even get aggressive? This is exactly how pack leadership type Shih Tzu training will affect your beloved dog.
So forget about the smarmy TV trainers, the books, the theories that dogs are fluffy little wolves with big ideas and work towards truly, truly understanding your Shih Tzu. See your best friend for what he is, an individual animal with lots of love to give. A sweet personality that may prefer some things and be scared of others.
Your Shih Tzu is a dog like no other. He evolved away from the wolf well over 20000 years ago and towards being a wonderful human companion. He may be a bit cheeky but is not naughty and certainly doesn’t want to rule your roost. He may act up but he is likely worried about something or has learned that acting up is beneficial to him.
You Shih Tzu is an individual personality that loves you, he will respond to kindness and mutual communication during your Shih Tzu training sessions, so please don’t treat him like a wolf, you are much better of learning how he actually communicates and using your knowledge to become the very best of friends.