Shih poo is a crossbreed between Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle. These adorable little puppies are a visual treat with that long and silky fur coat and are usually found in a variety of colors. These energetic, designer dogs are playful yet stubborn when it comes to training. If you had thought that this little munchkin could be easily taught how to behave, you have got yourself in for a surprise!
Since training these dogs is time-consuming, crate training has often been used to ensure quick learning and to have these animals learn how to behave outdoors as reliable pets. If you happen to own a furry little puppy, then consider the following training tips and see if your puppy learns faster than my own!
1. Don’t wait too long to begin shih poo training
The recommended drill is to start training your Shih poo as soon as you bring him home. Since these little animals can be tough to train, don’t wait too long before his stubbornness causes you more than necessary time spent training him. A shihpoo can take at least one year’s time period to be completely trained, and you definitely do not want to add a couple more months to an already long time period, now do you?
2. Start with crate training!
Crate training is considered the ideal method for training shih poos, but make sure you teach him to love the crate and not think of it as punishment. Also, make sure the crate is suitable for his size allowing him to move around freely. The ideal crate size would be 24*24 inches.
Next thing to really consider meticulously is the placement of this crate. The crate is solely for training purposes so don’t place is where the dog feels abandoned. Make sure there is ample human activity in the area and the Shih poo feels accompanied while he is in there.
3. Get your Shih poo comfortable with the training prop
This is another very important step because getting him comfortable with the crate might come across as a real challenge. Don’t ever force him inside the crate if he seems reluctant at first. Look for ways that you can lure him in. For instance, placing his favorite toys in there, placing his food bowl in there or by encouraging him to explore the insides of the crate.
You don’t necessarily have to close the door behind him as this might create a feeling of fear within him. Keep it open and only when he seems to like it in there, you can choose to begin training! This might take a little time, but you need to remain patient because unless his does not like his prop, there is no going ahead with the training anyway!
4. Focus on socializing with him
An essential part of training is to socialize with your shihpoo. These energetic and lively dogs are fond of attention and hate being ignored. So, you need to make sure you make him the center of attention, expose him to new sights, sound and experiences so that he learns to grow. This socializing activity is mandatory between the age of 8 and 16 weeks.
Have him socialize with other people, have him walk on different surfaces, take him along when you go out to run errands, take him for evening strolls, and have him experience children and other pets playing in the park. All of these experiences will have a positive impact on him. He must be introduced to new things so that he learns to adapt.
Don’t leave him unattended in the crate for too long while training, a feeling of entrapment and fear may build-up. This will stunt his social activity and interaction.
5. Teach basic commands
Teach him basics such as learning to sit, stay, heel, come, go and fetch. If you are having trouble teaching him these basic commands on your own, you can always have him enrolled in an obedience class.
Each command must be taught at a time. Don’t teach him too many things at the same time, as he would not be able to comprehend each one effectively. Once the basics have been taught adequately and he seems to demonstrate good results, you may then take him to advanced learning. But keep the process slow and steady. Allow him sufficient time to sink in whatever he has been taught.
6. Don’t prolong shih poo training sessions
These animals have short attention spans, so if your training sessions are long, you have lost their attention. Rather than keeping a longer session each day, break it up into smaller training sessions a few times during the day, when you feel he is most energetic.
Don’t prolong the session to more than 20 minutes under any circumstances. Make sure to use toys, upbeat sounds,and interactive props to conduct each training session. Anything and everything playful is likely to keep them engaged and focused during the session.
7. Use positive reinforcement
If you decide to yell at your dog while training, you are only creating fear in his mind to obey each of your commands. This is not what you are aiming to achieve! Make sure to use a friendly tone, and be as playful as you can while training these little munchkins.
Use positive reinforcement and you might even have him learning faster than you’d expect. These amicable animals are easiest to train with verbal praise and treats. Yelling will only stunt their learning and growth, and so avoid using harsh tone around them even if they are giving you a tough time. Remember, you are the sensible one amongst the two of you!
Make sure to follow these training tips when you begin training your shih poo, and remember that with patience you will have him behaving well both indoors and outdoors, and your efforts will be worth it in the end! These fluff balls can be a little tenacious to teach but who doesn’t love a challenge or two. Right?