Even a normally calm Shih Tzu can sometimes forget his manners when you take him out in public.
Disruptive dogs can be a nuisance, but with patience and practice, you can teach your feisty furry friend to behave well when you’re out and about together.
Read this guide to learn six simple tips to calm Shih Tzu in public.
Why Is My Shih Tzu Unruly In Public?
Before you can set about tackling the problem of your unruly dog, you need to understand why he behaves like that.
All dogs are curious creatures that love to enjoy new experiences. Just like kids, when you take your Shih Tzu somewhere new, his senses are assaulted by distracting smells, sights, and sounds coming from all directions.
Some outgoing dogs simply can’t contain their excitement and enthusiasm when taken away from their usual home environment, barking, jumping up at strangers, and pulling on their leash. The good news is that you can teach your Shih Tzu to behave himself, even when confronted by a new and exciting environment.
Some Shih Tzu are timid pups that become totally overwhelmed when placed in a busy, noisy, strange environment. That fear shows in different ways, depending on the dog’s personality.
Some dogs become introverted, hiding inside their portable dog crate, shivering, cowering away, and refusing to move. Others can be aggressive toward other dogs or strangers. Sometimes, that behavior results from some kind of trauma or abuse that the dog has suffered in the past. However, most fearful dogs have simply not been properly socialized as puppies.
The good news is that you can usually rehabilitate frightened, timid dogs through sympathetic, positive reinforcement training.
How Can You Calm Shih Tzu In Public?
Here are six top tips on how to calm your Shih Tzu in public.
1. Start From Day One
Socialization is essential for the balanced, healthy development of all puppies. So, if you can take your puppy out and about from four to six months of age so that he can see a wide range of sights and sounds, that should help to prevent phobias and anxiety from affecting your pet.
So, as soon as your puppy has received his full course of vaccinations, take your furry friend out and about to dog parks, pet-friendly pubs and stores, and puppy socialization classes.
Some Shih Tzu are naturally friendly, outgoing types that will readily accept strangers and new situations. Others take longer to adjust to the strange sights, sounds and smells away from their home. For more advice, contact an animal behaviorist specialist.
2. Exercise Your Shih Tzu Before Leaving Home
If your dog is bubbling over with pent-up energy, he’s much more likely to become overexcited and misbehave in public.
A tired dog is a calm dog, so take your Shih Tzu for a walk or have some playtime in your backyard before leaving home so that he’s tired and happy before you set off.
3. Fit Your Shih Tzu With A Secure Harness To Give You Maximum Control
If your dog becomes highly excited and wriggles against his collar or harness in stressful situations, there’s a danger he could escape. So, when choosing a harness or collar for your dog, ensure you pick something secure and properly fitted.
Most Shih Tzu will be happiest in a harness and leash rather than a collar. A harness distributes even pressure across the dog’s chest, unlike a collar that works on the dog’s throat. As well as being safer for your dog, a harness gives you more control if your pet jumps up. Choose a strong, four-foot leash. Avoid retractable leashes, as they allow dogs too much freedom and can fail, reducing your control over your pet.
4. Arm Yourself With Treats!
Often, dogs are easily distracted by the smell of treats!
Producing a bag of your dog’s favorite snacks can be an excellent way of keeping your dog calm and focussed in public. That can result in a more obedient, calmer dog, as if by magic!
5.Keep Calm And Carry On
Dogs are highly tuned to the vibes given off by their owners, and your Shih Tzu can read you like a book!
If you’re nervous and tense, you’ll grip the leash tightly, anticipating trouble. Your dog will sense that right off the bat and will probably respond by exhibiting the undesirable behaviors you’re trying to avoid.
So, instead, work on projecting calm, confident feelings that your dog can pick up on.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
You can’t expect your Shih Tzu to become a model member of society right away. Training and socializing your dog are hard work and take time. If you find you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a professional dog trainer or sign up your pup for socialization classes with a local dog training group.
Some dogs become very overexcited when taken to a public place away from their home environment, barking and jumping up at people, or even becoming aggressive.
However, with patience and correct training, you can teach your Shih Tzu to stay calm even in the most stressful situations, home and away.
Good luck with socializing your Shih Tzu!