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Shih Tzus, with their distinctive appearance and charming personalities, make delightful companions. However, many Shih Tzu parents find themselves faced with a unique challenge – the breed’s reputation for stubbornness- especially when it comes to the walk and them taking their sweet time. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind Shih Tzu stubbornness and offer creative solutions to foster a cooperative and enjoyable relationship between you and your furry friend.

Understanding Shih Tzu Stubbornness:

  1. Independent Nature: Shih Tzus, originally bred as companion dogs for Chinese royalty, possess a certain level of independence. This trait, while endearing, can sometimes be misconstrued as stubbornness.
  2. Territorial Instincts: Shih Tzus can be protective of their territory, which may include your home, yard, or even specific pieces of furniture. This territorial nature can lead to resistance when asked to move or obey commands.
  3. Sensitivity to Training Methods: Shih Tzus may not respond well to harsh or forceful training methods. Their sensitive nature requires a gentle and patient approach, as they may become uncooperative if they feel overwhelmed or stressed.

Creative Solutions to Address Shih Tzu Stubbornness:

  1. Positive Reinforcement: Shih Tzus thrive on positive reinforcement. Instead of scolding, use treats, praise, and affection to reward good behavior. This approach encourages cooperation and builds a strong bond between you and your Shih Tzu.
  2. Interactive Training Games: Incorporate interactive training games into your routine. Shih Tzus enjoy mental stimulation, and games that challenge their intelligence can redirect their focus and energy in a positive way.
  3. Consistency in Commands: Be consistent in your commands and expectations. Shih Tzus respond well to routine, and a consistent approach to training helps them understand what is expected of them.
  4. Short Training Sessions: Keep training sessions short and engaging. Shih Tzus may lose interest if sessions are too long or monotonous. By keeping it fun and dynamic, you can capture their attention and cooperation.
  5. Variety in Training Locations: Change the training environment occasionally. Shih Tzus can become stubborn in familiar surroundings, so introducing new locations adds an element of novelty that can make training more interesting for them.
  6. Respect Their Independence: Acknowledge and respect your Shih Tzu’s independent nature. While training is essential, allow them some freedom within boundaries. This can help prevent resistance born out of a desire for autonomy.
  7. Socialization Opportunities: Provide regular opportunities for socialization. Exposing your Shih Tzu to new people, environments, and other pets can contribute to a more adaptable and less stubborn demeanor.
  8. Appealing Toys and Treats: Use enticing toys and treats during training sessions. Shih Tzus are more likely to cooperate when they associate training with positive experiences and rewards.
  9. Patience and Understanding: Practice patience and understanding. Shih Tzus may take more time to learn commands, and forcing compliance can lead to stubbornness. Approach training with a calm and patient demeanor.
  10. Professional Training Assistance: If stubborn behavior persists or proves challenging to address, consider seeking the help of a professional dog trainer. They can provide personalized guidance and techniques tailored to your Shih Tzu’s unique personality.


Shih Tzu stubbornness is a characteristic that can be managed with patience, creativity, and a positive approach to training. By understanding the breed’s nature and employing these creative solutions, you can foster a cooperative relationship with your Shih Tzu and enjoy the companionship of this charming and lovable breed. Remember that every dog is an individual, and finding the right balance of techniques that work for your Shih Tzu may require some experimentation and adaptation.

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