In addition, of course, must be the right chew toys. Strong rubber or ropes type toys that are specifically made for toy breed chewing are recommended. Keeping 2 separate stashes is also a good idea; one set can be left out and when a Tzu becomes bored of those, they can be swapped out for the other and on and on it goes.
It is at this time that owners must teach that chewing on a person’s clothing (or hand, or toe!) is not permitted. Yelling or other harsh discipline is never needed. If your Shih Tzu is chewing on an unapproved item, simply switch it out for an approved toy, wait 1 minute and give praise. Wait an additional minute and offer great praise and a taste of a treat. This simply training reinforces that toys are good and the sofa (or other object) is not. A puppy will learn that praise is only given when chewing on his toy and if he remains doing so, a treat is given as well.
Shih Tzu puppies left home alone should be in an enclosed gated off area. Please do not crate a Tzu for more than an hour or so, when home alone and when wide awake. Crates are fine for pre-housebroken dogs at night, when most of the time will be spent sleeping. However confinement such as this during the day will only increase stress, which increases chewing.
And this brings us to other reasons that dogs chew, since stress is one of them. Stress and boredom are the 2 top reasons for a non-teething puppy or dog to display destructive chewing behavior.
Now, of course canines have an instinct to chew. Give a dog a nice chew toy with treats inside, or a healthy edible chew, and he or she can be happy for a hour. However, ripping and shredding apart objects is an outward display of emotions. Since you can’t give your Shih Tzu a pep talk or reason with him or her, the only step that is logical is to address the environment that is triggering the behavior.
We humans can shop, watch TV, hold conversations, work, laugh, surf the web and do all sorts of things to make the day go by quickly. Your dog needs things to do as well. A Shih Tzu can most certainly become bored, thus leading to chewing problems if he or she is left to their own devices for long periods of time, and day after day.
Having a schedule can help quite a bit. Not only does it help owners make sure that everything is done, it also helps guide a dog through his day, giving him alternative times of activity and rest. This aids in good behavior, a way to release pent up energy and in turn, less destructive chewing.
It can be helpful to have set times to: Brush the coat, perform dental care, go for daily walks, take time to play outside and work on command training. There should also be set times for meals. When housebreaking, there will be plenty of schedules trips to the designated area. Add into this quiet time for independent play and family relaxing time in the evening. This can all blend together to make a Shih Tzu feel as if he or she has had a full day. There will be little time for boredom and having a routine helps a dog to sleep better at night as well.
Remember to always praise good behavior, followed by reward for lasting good behavior.
As you know, chewing behavior is a complicated issue and specific training must be implemented for specific chewing issues. To learn how you can have all of the needed chewing information, click here to see our book.