Introducing a new puppy to an older dog can be trickey! New puppies often want to play. Old dogs usually don't and may not like puppies at all. A new puppy in the house is a big change to an older dog's life. You can help your older dog adjust to the new puppy. When you begin your training, be consistent and keep repeating the same steps over and over. Shih Tzu puppies and Shih Tzu dogs learn better from consistency and repetition. Unless your shih tzu has some kind of severe behavior problem, he will learn what you expect of him and will be glad to provide you with that behavior. Shih Tzu want to please their people, but you have to show your shih tzu what types of behavior pleases you.
Puppies require a lot of attention and without you even knowing it you will be giving your new puppy a lot of attention, at least in the eyes of your older dog, it may seem this way. The older dog has no idea this new puppy just requires a lot of attention just because he is a puppy and not because this new puppy is "favored." Then when people visit, they probably pay a lot of attention to the puppy, which makes it even harder on the older dog's self esteem. Right off the bat, the older dog may feel like this new puppy is taking his place in your home, in this older dog's home.
What you can do is keep your older dog on the same schedule he has been use to. Don't change anything with the older dog. Protect the older shih tzu from the shih tzu puppy. For example, if the shih tzu puppy starts to play rough with or around the older shih tzu dog, then show protection toward the older shih tzu dog. Keep them separated if you have to. Unless of course if the older shih tzu does wants to roughhouse with the new shih tzu puppy, then in that case, don't disturb things. But if the older shih tzu shows signs of dislike to the playful antics of a new shih tzu puppy, then always protect and shield the older shih tzu from the shih tzu puppy.
Spend some time alone with the older shih tzu in another area of your home, and have someone else to bring in the new shih tzu puppy. You stay with the older shih tzu and with an accepting tone of voice to the new shih tzu puppy, greet the new shih tzu puppy and act as if this is a very pleasant thing to happen - that the new shih tzu puppy came into the room where you and the older shih tzu are having a chit-chat together. Keep petting the older shih tzu to reassure the older shih tzu that this new shih tzu puppy is not more important than he is (the older shih tzu) to you. This is a very pleasant situation to have a new shih tzu puppy in the house and is nothing for the older shih tzu to "frown" about at all. Things have not changed between you and the older shih tzu. You just both now have a new family member. Give the older shih tzu some treats.
In this exercise the goal is to try and associate a pleasant experience (you in a chit-chat, petting the older dog and giving the older dog treats) while in the presence of the new puppy. The new puppy is just in the room. The older dog is the star here. Try doing this exercise several times a day for several days until the two seem to have made an adjustment to each other.
One way to keep the shih tzu off "your" furniture is to provide the shih tzu with a comfortable bed of his own. Encourage him to use his own bed and reward him for it if this is indeed where you want your shih tzu to sleep. Shih Tzu have a way of choosing their places to sit and their places to sleep and if you are not careful, you will look around, and it will be the very chair you sit in the most or the bed you sleep in. If this is not a desirable thing for you in your house with your shih tzu, then try to find furniture that the shih tzu will enjoy lounging and sleeping upon and when you find them in the right place, praise and reward them. When you find them in the wrong place, just give a firm "No" and take them to the place that is appropriate for them to sit on and to sleep in.
Two words that are good to keep remembering when you are trying to teach your shih tzu the rules of your house: Consistency and Repetition. Don't set a rule today and then tomorrow not enforce that rule. Consistent instructions and repetitions are the keys to successful puppy training.
Written by: Connie Limon
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