The Shih Tzu breed, known for its charming and friendly temperament, makes them a popular choice for many pet lovers. Nonetheless, a common issue that many Shih Tzu owners face is their dog’s tendency to jump on people. Although it may seem cute given their petite size, this behavior can be problematic, especially when they jump on children or elderly individuals. Here are five effective tips to teach your Shih Tzu not to jump on people.
⚠️ Note: While the tips below should get you started, it’s important to realize that for best results, you should take your German Shepherd through a more complete dog training course. Consider looking into an online training course that specifically addresses jumping (we like SpiritDog’s “Focus” course or K9 Institute’s Dog Masterclass)
1. Start Training Early
The best time to begin training your Shih Tzu is when they are young. Puppies are typically more open to learning and adapting to new behaviors. However, if you have an adult Shih Tzu who loves to jump on people, don’t worry. It’s never too late to train your dog; it just requires consistency, patience, and a bit of extra effort. Regardless of your dog’s age, remember that consistency is key, so ensure everyone in the household follows the same rules.
2. Ignore Unwanted Behavior
Dogs crave attention, and they often don’t distinguish between positive and negative attention. When your Shih Tzu jumps on you, resist the urge to push them down or scold them, as this could inadvertently reinforce the behavior. Instead, ignore them completely. Turn your back, avoid eye contact, and don’t speak to them until all four paws are back on the ground. Once they are, reward them with your attention and affection. This will help your Shih Tzu understand that jumping leads to being ignored, while staying on the ground gets them the attention they desire.
3. Reinforce Positive Behavior
While ignoring the jumping is essential, it’s equally important to reward your Shih Tzu when they exhibit the desired behavior. The moment your dog greets you or others without jumping, shower them with praise and give them a treat. By consistently doing this, your dog will associate not jumping with receiving rewards.
4. Use Commands and Teach Alternatives
Train your Shih Tzu to follow commands like “Sit” or “Stay.” This not only promotes good behavior but also provides an alternative to jumping. If your dog is sitting, they can’t be jumping at the same time. Practice these commands regularly and reward your dog for obeying them. Over time, your Shih Tzu will learn that they receive praise and treats for sitting or staying calm, rather than jumping up.
5. Consider an Online Dog Training Course
If you’re struggling to get your Shih Tzu to stop jumping, you might find it beneficial to try an online dog training course. These courses provide comprehensive training guidelines, techniques, and tips to address a variety of behavioral issues, including jumping. What makes these online courses handy is their flexibility; you can learn at your pace, in your own time, and in the comfort of your home. When selecting a course, opt for one that employs positive reinforcement techniques for the best results.
Our 2 favorite courses that address dogs jumping on people are:
The “Focus in Public – Out and About” course by SpiritDog Training, led by expert trainer Steffi Trott, is designed to help dog owners improve their pets’ behavior in public. The course includes 21 lessons covering topics such as achieving full dog engagement, training perfect heels, teaching dogs to settle on a mat anywhere, and playing fun games in public places. The course has lifetime access and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
More than just a course that teaches your dog not to jump, this more comprehensive training class tackles any behavior problem you might face with your dog.
Training your Shih Tzu not to jump on people can be a challenging process, but with patience, consistency, and the right techniques, it’s entirely achievable. Remember, every dog is unique and might not respond to the same training methods. What works for one might not work for another, so it’s important to try different approaches until you find one that works for you and your pet. By following these tips and possibly incorporating an online training course, you’re sure to see a positive change in your Shih Tzu behavior.