How often does your Shih Tzu training offer your dog a choice? Perhaps you are under the impression that choice is overrated and that your Shih Tzu should do exactly as you tell him? Read on to learn how beneficial the aspect of choice is, during dog training.
Shih Tzu are individuals, they may have breed traits that are the same, just as you may have things in common with your family members, yet just as you are each dog is unique. Shih Tzu personality is predominantly nice, he is a companion dog by nature and genetic influence, yet he also deserves respect for the individual that he is, hence your Shih Tzu training should always incorporate choice.
The second reason to bring choice into your Shih Tzu training is that it will have the best effect on Shih Tzu learning. Think of it this way, how was school for you? Were you pushed from lesson to lesson whilst people told you what to do, what to learn and how to learn it? How did that make you feel?
For many people that lack of choice during school years resulted in very poor learning experiences. I certainly did not retain much information from my school years. Shih Tzu training is much the same as this, we can’t throw commands at our dogs and expect them to enjoy and respond when we are forcing the issue without choice or motivation.
When we force behavior to be displayed, during Shih Tzu training sessions, this has the following effect:
- The dog is not getting the chance to learn properly because he has no time to think things through.
- The lack of choice takes away your dog’s ability to be an individual. This is unfair because your Shih Tzu is indeed an individual.
- Your Shih Tzu can easily become confused by the fact that you are forcing the issue, leading to frustration and upset within your relationship.
Incorporating choice into Shih Tzu training and behavior is actually quite easy when we use positive dog training. It’s simply a case of offering the dog something good if he makes the right choice, whilst also giving him the extra space to choose. For instance, waiting for him to sit for his toy rather than forcing the issue. Or allowing your Shih Tzu to decide whether he would prefer to pull on the leash or take a treat for keeping a slack leash on walks.
Adding choice to Shih Tzu training is easy and takes about 30 seconds of extra waiting time. Simply wait and observe your dog in a situation that you would normally tell him what to do, then reward when he makes the right choice.
Shih Tzu training with choice is an amazing dog training tool because it strengthens everything from your dog’s good behaviors to the communication and the relationship that you share as a dog and human partnership.
So, if you are ever tempted to force the issue when teaching your dog something new, or rectifying that persistent behavior, take a step back and award your Shih Tzu the choice. Then reward the right choice, or ignore the wrong one and your Shih Tzu training will improve overnight!