You adore your darling shih tzu because she is sweet-natured, loves to play and wants to snuggle in your lap. The shih tzu is a happy, outgoing pup, but sometimes that active nature is annoying. Shih tzu pups are difficult to housebreak, will bark often and love to chew on everything.
You can stop your shih tzu from eliminating on the floor with some consistent training. Crate training works best for shih tzus, according to Prairie View Shih Tzu Kennels. Shih tzu puppies like to keep their sleeping quarters clean, so they are unlikely to make a mess in their crate. Take them out first thing in the morning. Go out the same door and put them in the same spot in the yard. Give them five minutes. If they don't eliminate, take them inside and hold them for five minutes. Repeat the process again until your pup finally has success. Take him out after each meal, after playtime and before retiring at night. If you are training her to relieve on a pad, the same is true. Take her to the pad instead of outdoors. Keep the pad in the same place.
The shih tzu pup is a little watchdog. She likes to be the alpha dog, but she also needs your companionship. Separation anxiety is common with shih tzu pups. The shih tzu also becomes bored easily, so she barks. The first step in changing this barking habit is to find out what is making her bark. If she barks because she is bored, make sure she is getting enough exercise and has toys to entertain her. Cesar Milan suggests that you step in front of her when she begins to bark. His trademark of calm, assertive energy is meant to create an invisible wall. Cesar also suggests using a sound, a look or a light physical correction when your puppy barks. If she starts again, repeat the correction and do not return to your activity until the barking stops.
Shih tzu puppies love to chew. Teething is irritating for your pup, so she has to chew to relieve the hurt. Redirect the chewing with plenty of chew toys. Sometimes during playtime, your pup will get excited and chew on your fingers and toes. You want to stop this habit before the sharp puppy teeth come in and start to hurt. When she chews on your fingers or toes, use a consistent verbal command and stop the play. Put her in her crate. She will learn that her chewing stops her playtime.
The shih tzu puppy is stubborn and loves being the pack leader. It is your responsibility to redirect her and teach her that you are the leader. Cesar Milan states that if you are frustrated, so is your pup. He says, "Animals don't follow unbalanced leaders." Obedience classes are another option, if you find that your shih tzu has habits that you can't control. Classes are also a good place for socialization skills. You want to encourage the good habits and discourage the bad habits.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.