Shih Tzu Training Commands

One of the most important things you can do for your Shih Tzu is to train them basic commands. By teaching your Shih Tzu commands, you will be able to better communicate with them and establish a stronger bond. Not to mention, it can also be a lot of fun!

It is important to be consistent when training your Shih Tzu. This means using the same words and commands each time. It is also important to be patient, as Shih Tzus can take longer to learn than humans.

If you are having trouble training your Shih Tzu, there are a number of resources available to help you, including books, websites, and professional dog trainers. With a little patience and persistence, you will be able to teach your dog all the commands they need to know.

Teaching Shih Tzu Basic Commands

There are a few basic commands that every dog should know, including sit, stay, come, down, and drop it. Once you have mastered these commands with your dog, you can move on to more advanced commands such as roll over or shake.


Training Shih Tzu Sit Command

Training Shih Tzu puppy sit command might take little long for the new puppy but is not a difficult job. You also need to show some patience, it always take time to learn something new.

Sit just may be the most useful command to teach your Shih Tzu because you can use it to stop most bad behaviors. So fortunately, teaching the Sit command is also one of the easiest cues to teach.

Here’s How To Teaching Shih Tzu to Sit On Command

Following steps given below will make your job a lot easier teaching your new puppy sit command in the right way.

  • Put your Shih Tzu in front of you, standing, and touch a small treat to his nose.
  • Slowly raise the treat up and over his head. As he follows the treat and his head goes up, his rear will go down.
  • Say “Sit” as he sits. If your Shih Tzu doesn’t sit, you can gently guide his rear down with your other hand as you say “Sit.”
  • Praise him and give him the treat. As soon as your dog sits, praise him with a “Good dog!” and give him the treat he’s been following so closely.
  • Repeat often — at least a few times each day. Your Shih Tzu will pick this cue up quickly and frequent reminders make your little guy feel good about getting this easy trick right.

You need to follow these steps for a weak or two then your little buddy will be able to understand follow “Sit’ command.

Sit can be incredibly useful. If Samson barks when the phone rings or if Lola jumps up on people when they come to visit, then teach the Sit cue. You can solve many problems with a simple Sit.


If your Shih Tzu gets away and crosses a busy street, you’ll be glad he knows the cue Stay, so he doesn’t see you and come dashing back in front of traffic.

Stay can also be an important safety command in many other situations, such as when your Shih Tzu wants to run up to greet a larger dog who may be aggressive, when you drop something on the floor that may be dangerous for your Shih Tzu to eat, and when people come to visit.

Teaching stay is harder for a Shih Tzu than Come Here or even Sit, because a Shih Tzu wants to be with you, and if Stay means staying somewhere apart from you, Shih Tzu isn’t going to like it. But that doesn’t mean they can’t learn Stay.

Here’s how to train your Shih Tzu Stay:

  • Stand in front of your Shih Tzu and say “Sit.” (see How To Tech Shih Tzu To Sit).
  • Take one step back and hold up your hand, palm facing your dog, and say, “Stay.” If your Shih Tzu gets up and comes to you, act like nothing happened, and don’t reward him. Step back in front of him and ask him to sit again. Then step back with palm up and say, “Stay.”
  • Keep repeating Steps 1 and 2 until your Shih Tzu gives up and stops coming to you. As soon as he stays put, step back to him right away and give him a treat. When first teaching this cue, reward him after just a few seconds. He’ll learn how to stay longer, later on. You always come back to your Shih Tzu to reward him with the treat and praise, so he doesn’t have to break his stay to come get the reward — otherwise, he may confuse the Stay and Come cues.
  • After your Shih Tzu reliably stays when you take one step back, try taking two steps back as you say “Stay” and continue to keep your palm out. Your Shih Tzu will figure out that the word Stay and the hand signal mean he shouldn’t move. If he stays put, step back to him and reward him.
  • Keep adding more steps backwards, just one at a time. Don’t move farther away until your Shih Tzu reliably stays at each level. If you practice this in small steps and exercise a lot of patience, your Shih Tzu can figure out this trick easily. Keep practicing Stay, for a few minutes several times each day, until you can say “Stay” and walk all the way out of the room without your Shih Tzu following you to see where you went. If he’s really mastered his lesson, he knows perfectly well that you’ll be back soon to reward him for being such a good boy.


When training your shih tzu Stay, always reward your Shih Tzu by coming back to him to give him his treat. This part is crucial. Don’t let your dog come to you when training this cue. That will be confusing for him.

If you come back to him to reward him, you reinforce that Stay means Stay, not “Stay for a minute and then come as soon as I say ‘Good dog.’” After all, “Good dog” doesn’t mean “Come Here!” (although a lot of dogs seem to think it does!).


Teaching Shih Tzu Come Here Command

If your Shih Tzu starts out an open front door toward a busy street, you can understand the power of the teaching shih tzu Come Here command.

A dog that comes back to you reliably when you call(dog trainers call this having good recall) is a much safer dog.

Recall also comes in handy in other situations like exiting the dog park when playtime is over or learning the moves required for competitive obedience training.

Teaching Shih Tzu Come Here Command.

Here’s how to do it;

  • Whenever you notice your Shih Tzu coming toward you (which they’ll want to do often because they likes to be with you), say “Come Here!” or “Come!” Or, you can whistle or make some other noise that you want to represent the Come Here command.
  • When Shih Tzu gets to you, praise him/her. Every so often, add a small treat to the praise.
  • Repeat at least several times a day, or even more. You can’t overdo it. After practicing it for two or three days, start offering the cue when he/she isn’t coming toward you. Call him/her to you, with or without name: “Marsha, come here!” or “Marsha, Come!” or just “Come!” (Or, use the whistle or other cue you’ve devised.) If he/she comes, praise him/her and give a treat. If he/she doesn’t, do nothing.
  • Practice the cue at least several times a day, every day. The more you do it, the more chances your Shih Tzu has to be successful. Then, when you really need your Shih Tzu to come, you can be sure he/she will.

Try teaching Shih Tzu to Come here with the whole family.

Try this fun game:

  • Have everyone in your family hide a treat behind his or her back, and sit in a circle.
  • Put the Shih Tzu in the middle. Your Shih Tzu may start by going to someone, but don’t make eye contact. Everyone should have a treat hidden behind their backs.
  •  Take turns calling the dog: “Come Here, Samson!” Don’t everybody yell at once — one at a time, please. The person can repeat the phrase and use gestures and an animated face when calling the dog. Anything to get the dog to come! When the dog comes to the person who called him, that person praises the dog and gives him the treat. If he comes to someone who didn’t call him, that person must ignore him (no matter how hard that is).
  • Keep going around the circle, only rewarding Samson when he comes to the person who called. It only works if the people who aren’t calling truly ignore the dog, and the person who is calling rewards the dog when he comes. Shih Tzu are smart — they’ll soon figure out the score.
  • After the Shih Tzu masters the game, change your voice’s inflection.

This game teaches shih tzu to come to anyone, not just the person who feeds him. It also links the words “Come Here” to the reward of actually coming, no matter who says the cue and no matter what inflection they use.


Teaching Shih Tzu Down Cue

Down is incredibly useful when you need your Shih Tzu to stop bothering people, stop jumping on people, or when you just need them to settle down a little and chill out.

Down means lie down. Your dog sits, belly on the ground, elbows and paws on the ground, but with his head up to look at you. Or, they can rest his little chin on his paws.

Dogs can hold Down longer than Sit because it’s more comfortable and takes more effort to get back up. Sit is for short periods, but a well-trained dog can stay in a Down position throughout an entire family dinner, television program, or visit with friends.

The best method to teach a Shih Tzu Down is usually the lure-and-reward method.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand or sit in front of your Shih Tzu holding a yummy treat.
  • Touch the treat to his nose.
  • Move the treat forward and down in a long diagonal line away from your dog, toward the floor. Some dogs sink into a down position to follow the treat. If yours does, say “Down” and reward her with the treat.

If your Shih Tzu just creeps along after the treat, take the treat away (put it behind your back) and start over.

This time, guide the treat down while gently guiding him/her rear end down, and then her front legs down. If she goes easily into the down position, say “Down” and reward your Shih Tzu!


If your Shih Tzu resists going into Down, that’s okay. Keep working on this cue, but also keep a sharp eye out. That active little puppy is bound to lie down eventually. As soon as she does, say “Down” and reward her profusely. Catching this behavior enough times makes her see exactly what you mean when you say “Down.”

Down is harder for younger dogs than for older dogs because they have so much energy and they want to stay up. However, practicing this cue early comes in handy later because Down is the basis for many tricks and lessons you may want to teach your Shih Tzu.

A Long Down or Down-Stay (teaching your Shih Tzu to hold the down position for an extended period of time) can also be great when you have company over or you’re having dinner and you need your dog to calm down and behave herself.

Drop It

Shih Tzu got your shoe? Your sandwich? If so, you’ll be glad he knows Drop It! The trick to teaching a Shih Tzu to drop something is to convince him that something else — a toy, a treat, or more attention — is better if he drops what’s in his teeth.

The best way to teach shih tzu Drop It isn’t to wait until your Shih Tzu gets something he isn’t supposed to have, but to teach Drop It ahead of time.

Set up your Shih Tzu on purpose to practice this cue. Enough practice and he’ll know exactly what the word means when he has something you really need him to drop.

To Teach Shih Tzu Drop It, follow these steps:

  1. Before you call your dog, collect three different items. Pick one item that your Shih Tzu likes, one he loves, and one he really loves. These items may be toys or chew sticks or bones or whatever. Don’t use food.
  2. Hold out the object toward the dog and try to get him to take it in his mouth. If he doesn’t take it, find something else he’ll take (or try again later when he’s in a more receptive mood).
  3. When your Shih Tzu has the item in his mouth, immediately show him the next best item.
  4. When your Shih Tzu drops the item to get the better item, say “Drop It” exactly as he’s dropping the item.
  5. Immediately give him the better item and praise him. If he doesn’t drop the item, try taking it away (gently). If he relinquishes the item, say “Drop It” and then give him the treat and praise him.
  6. Trade up again, offering your Shih Tzu the very best item. As he drops the item, say “Drop It,” and then immediately give him the upgrade and praise him.


Most dogs drop any item for an item they like better. Doing so makes dropping it easy and nonthreatening. Instead of thinking you’re taking something from him, the dog understands that giving up the object means getting something better.

Some dogs do these steps right away, but training is always easier if you know your Shih Tzu wants the item you have in your hand more than the item he has in his mouth — getting your Shih Tzu to trade up willingly. Practice these steps a few times each day, always saying “Drop It” as he drops the item.

As your Shih Tzu gets better, try using different items. After he gets the idea, you can give him a favorite toy and get him to drop it for a treat. Keep trying different ways to get your Shih Tzu to give up the goods, but always say “Drop It” the second he does, and reward him immediately with something better. After much practice (some dogs master this cue faster than others), you’ll be ready when your Shih Tzu runs off with your new shoe.

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