How To Properly Socialize Shih Tzu Puppies

three happy shih tzu puppies

Shih Tzu puppies must get proper socialization.

Introducing Shih Tzu puppies to a new home is always an exciting and pleasurable experience. These tiny balls of fluff want to be played with, snuggled, and held by everyone. Unfortunately, most new Shih Tzu puppy owners would rather focus on playing with the latest addition than learning how to properly socialize Shih Tzu puppies. Still, a Shih Tzu owner must learn how to properly socialize Shih Tzu puppies.

There are a few reasons for the proper socialization of a Shih Tzu puppy. While it is essential to understand the importance of ensuring a dog is properly socialized, it is also important to understand what improper socialization can do regarding behavior issues and Shih Tzu’s health.

We’re only going to have these Shih Tzu puppies for a short time, and we want to ensure they end up being fantastic, healthy dogs.

Shih Tzu Puppies Are Sociable Creatures

Shih Tzus are sociable by nature; therefore, socializing a new puppy is an essential step for your tiny friend to have a lengthy, stress-free, and healthy existence.

If you don’t socialize your Shih Tzu puppy properly and don’t continue to socialize them throughout their lifetime, you risk developing unsavory behavioral problems. For example, if your dog displays violent behavior against another animal or person in any public place, he may be forced to wear a muzzle.

Many behavioral difficulties might have been prevented if the dog had been properly socialized and trained. However, concerning the adorable Shih Tzu toy breed, you run the danger of spoiling and caring for them because they are tiny and portable. Over-coddling and babying may develop an insecure or dangerous dog, lacking direction, boundaries, and limits.

Who’s the Boss?

It makes no difference what sort of dog you have; the most important thing is establishing yourself as the pack leader. Although Shih Tzu puppies are typically peaceful with everyone, they can become obstinate or rowdy at times.

For this reason, they require extensive socializing and training to develop the habit of obeying their human pack leader. Unfortunately, even this tiny and robust dog will gladly take on the responsibilities of a pack leader without proper training. Therefore, you want to avoid this circumstance since it may result in a lot of trouble, mainly if your dog bites someone.

shih tzu puppies running through the grass

Six Reasons Shih Tzu Puppies Need To Be Socialized

  1. Socializing Shih Tzu puppies will help them acquire good habits and actions that can develop in your Shih Tzu puppy, ensuring that they become decent canine citizens.
  2. Small breed dogs, such as Shih Tzus, travel everywhere with their families, some in the comfort of a purse or stroller, while others enjoy daily walks of their own power. They have to learn how to react appropriately in all settings, from riding in a vehicle to going to the dog park, wherever they go.
  3. Shih Tzu puppies that are well socialized are easier to train, and trained pups make for a more pleasant existence.
  4. Only a small percentage of well-socialized pups become adult dogs that arrive at the local shelter or rescue group.
  5. The term “Small Dog Syndrome” will not be applied to sociable Shih Tzu puppies, who don’t exhibit the following symptoms: a set of behaviors common in small dogs such as leaping upon visitors, disregarding instructions, pooping in the house, barking, and chewing. Instead, it’s a big dog’s way of demonstrating how huge it is; typically, it is a small dog who fails to learn that its size does not intimidate or threaten people early in its development.
  6. Socializing Shih Tzu puppies is critical since it helps prevent undesirable behaviors from turning into more serious behavioral issues such as dog phobia, separation anxiety, aggressiveness, and destructive behavior.

Training Socialization to New Shih Tzu Puppies

Socializing new Shih Tzu puppies is an essential component of any training program, and it’s critical to start early. Unfortunately, the window for socialization is quite limited. A four-month-old Shih Tzu who has not been adequately socialized to people, dogs, and other animals is unlikely to acquire the necessary socialization to become a well-adjusted Shih Tzu dog.

During their early puppyhood, littermates usually learn to interact with other Shih Tzu puppies. However, because most Shih Tzu puppies are removed from their mothers so soon, this littermate socialization may frequently be incomplete.

How Does Mama Shih Tzu Help Train Her Shih Tzu Puppies?

Shih Tzu puppies learn how to bite and not to bite from their littermates and the Mama Shih Tzu. Shih Tzu puppies roughhouse naturally with one another, and their thick skin protects them from most bites.

When one of the Shih Tzu puppies bites too hard, other puppies or the Mama Shih Tzu will yelp, and the Shih Tzu puppy that bit too hard learns what appropriate Shih Tzu behavior is.

shih tzu puppy standing on a table

Shih Tzu Puppies Help Train Each Other To Socialize

The most effective approach to socialize your Shih Tzu puppy is to have it play with other Shih Tzu puppies. It’s also acceptable for the Shih Tzu puppy to engage in play with a few adult Shih Tzu dogs, as long as they’re nice and well-socialized.

Puppy playschool and puppy kindergarten sessions are available in many places. These courses might be a fantastic way to get any puppy acquainted with other people and dogs and learn fundamental obedience skills for the handler and Shih Tzu puppy.

When it comes to the appropriate degree of roughness in play, it’s vital not to push socializing Shih Tzus into situations where they’ll be unhappy. When force-socializing Shih Tzu puppies into places where they may become uncomfortable, you’re teaching them that being uncomfortable is tolerable.

The owners should only intervene if one Shih Tzu puppy injures another or a major fight erupts. Other than that, the owners should stand back and observe their Shih Tzu puppies.

Pack Hierarchy Helps With Puppy Socialization

As the hierarchy takes form, you’ll notice a few Shih Tzu pups who are excessively submissive and rolling on their backs and baring their throats at the tiniest signal.

Other Shih Tzu puppies will be domineering, ordering the rest of the puppies around and instructing them what to do. Therefore, it’s critical to watch the Shih Tzu puppies play and figure out what sort of personality characteristics your Shih Tzu puppy has to choose how you should continue with more advanced Shih Tzu socialization.

shih tzu puppy laying on a couch

Introducing Shih Tzu Puppies to People For Socialization

Of course, as the socialization process advances, the Shih Tzu puppy will have to be introduced to a wide range of people and Shih Tzu puppies. The puppy kindergarten session makes this simple because every puppy comes into contact with each person.

Shih Tzu puppies must meet men, women, elders, and children early on. Dogs don’t see people of other races or genders as the same. A man and a woman are two completely different species to a dog.

There are several ways to begin interacting with other people. First, make it a point to take your dog somewhere new. Even if it’s only slightly new, you have them for the first three months. This may be a brand-new area of the same park you’ve been going to, but new scents and people must be present.

Of course, when your Shih Tzu puppy is meeting kids for the first time, you’ll have to be even more cautious than usual. Children aren’t as aware of when it’s okay to tug or hit as dogs are.

Unsupervised visits with children should not be permitted. They might form fast friends, but you must proceed with caution.

How to Socialize Shih Tzu Puppies With Big Dogs

Your Shih Tzu will undoubtedly love to go out and meet other dogs at the park, provided you take them out to socialize with others. Indeed, it’s mainly essential when they’re still tiny puppies so that they don’t get scared of other dogs, new people, or unfamiliar situations as adults.

However, it would be best to handle any new encounters as soon as possible while your Shih Tzu puppy is still impressionable otherwise, such activities may have the opposite effect.

The most compelling reason to ensure your Shih Tzu is well-socialized as a puppy is to avoid allowing him to develop a fear biting response. Such animals are untrustworthy since they are scared out of their wits, and being dogs, they lead to intense situations that they cannot comprehend with their teeth. You want your Shih Tzu to become a well-socialized Shih Tzu who is comfortable in most situations, not one that will bite when you least expect it.

A Shih Tzu puppy that grows up skittish and mistrustful of the unknown may be too frightened to come out of its shell. As a result, such Shih Tzu puppies are perceived as unfriendly, turning prospective Shih Tzu owners away.

shih tzu puppy standing in the grass

So What Happens When Your Puppy First Meets A Big Dog

Some dogs which your Shih Tzu encounters may not be as protective of your little dog’s limbs as you are. As a result, you have to act as a guide for your dog’s first trip into the world.

That also doesn’t imply you should pick up your tiny dog every time a big one approaches. That is probably not the best thing you could do since it only serves to emphasize the notion that it’s all right to panic whenever a huge dog approaches.

It’s usually better to deal with the situation by asking the large dog owner if they’re friendly or not. Then, walk on the other side of the road if they aren’t. Allow them to meet and greet as dogs do if they are.

In truth, letting them make a lot of noise and sort out the issues is the greatest approach to meeting other dogs. When it comes to dog size, dominance has nothing to do with it. Though Shih Tzu puppies are usually not dominant, males occasionally have authority over subordinate dogs of all sizes.

It’s typical for dogs to establish a hierarchy, and regardless of where they go in the pecking order, there will be an awful racket. Try not to be alarmed; it’s just how dogs organize themselves.

Introducing Shih Tzu Puppies to Other Animals

It’s also vital to expose Shih Tzu puppies to a wide range of animals, particularly in a multi-pet home. Introducing the Shih Tzu pup to friendly cats is essential, as it exposes him to other species the Shih Tzu pup may encounter, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and the like.

If you have a more unusual pet in your house, introduce the Shih Tzu puppy to it as soon as possible but safely for both animals.

It’s usually best to start by exposing the Shih Tzu puppy to the other animal’s odor, putting a little bit of the other creature’s bedding, such as a towel or bed liner, near where the Shih Tzu puppy sleeps. Once the Shih Tzu puppy is used to the scent of another animal, it’s time to let the Shih Tzu puppy meet.

Don’t force Shih Tzu puppies into meeting or playing with other creatures in any way. It can be very easy for Shih Tzu puppies to get riled up and attack the other animal, which could cause problems for both animals.

shih tzu puppy sitting on a step

Using Sports To Socialize Shih Tzu Puppies

The Shih Tzu is a sociable breed that may excel in various sports. Most individuals picture lapdogs when they think of the Shih Tzu; however, the breed may perform well in multiple sports and activities as long as it has enough time with you.

Yes! This dog is a true lap dog, just as any of their bigger canine friends.

Keep in mind that your Shih Tzu’s short muzzle might limit their breathing when training and socializing them. As a result, use caution while instructing them. Do not walk them for too long; however, don’t be fooled by their size: they can still keep up with you.

Socializing Shih Tzu Puppies at the Dog Park

Dog parks are becoming increasingly popular among dog owners who wish to socialize and exercise their pets, with today’s dog owners having such hectic lives. While this is wonderful for most dogs and their owners, not every canine can handle it.

The Shih Tzu is a small breed that must be socialized with dogs of similar size and energy levels, or it might become scared of other dogs, particularly those larger than itself, which can lead to ‘dog aggression.’

Some high-energy big dogs have little or no consideration for quiet or cautious dogs, and they’ll do anything to show that they’re in command of the park.

If your dog isn’t into this kind of rough and tumble or has been traumatized by it, you may have a problem the next time you try to go to the park.

The best technique to avoid it is to check if your dog park provides an alternative for size and personality, away from rowdy dogs. If that isn’t an option, try going during off-peak hours and practicing controlling your dog before he runs off to play.

shih tzu puppy standing in the grass

Playing Games To Socialize Shih Tzu Puppies

You must be cautious about the games you play with your Shih Tzu because you are dealing with a dog that may easily pick up what you’re teaching it to do. A game in which you chase your dog, for example, is not a good game to play since it only encourages him to grab something and run like his own shoe, a game that’s not fun for him or you.

Tug of War is acceptable, as long as your dog isn’t fixated on the ball and refuses to stop playing when asked. Hide-and-seek is also a fantastic game. Consider hiding food, toys, or a tennis ball and then enticing your dog to find them in these games. As your Shih Tzu pup is searching for the hidden object, you’ll be teaching him to use his brain to solve problems.

Hide and Seek is best played with another family member or friend to help you. Begin by hiding the toy where your dog sees you, then repeat over and over, such as ‘Go find it!’”

Begin by hiding the object where your dog can see you, and then practice saying, “Find or Seek,” which are excellent commands for this task.

Reward your dog lavishly when he finds the toy. These games are lots of fun and offer your dog mental challenges that will tire them out, just like a walk. They’re much superior to those types of games that encourage excessive enthusiasm or possessiveness in your dog’s toys.


So, there you have it! Finally, the Shih Tzu puppies are ready to start their new lives with their forever families. But, remember, socialization is vital for them to become well-adjusted and friendly dogs. So, be sure to keep up with the recommended socialization schedule so that your pup can grow into a confident adult dog.

It’s a lot of work, but the benefits are worth it. Just be patient and consistent with your training, and soon enough, your pup will be well-adjusted and eager for whatever life throws their way!

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