Do you want to know the secret to raising a confident Shih Tzu puppy?
Studies have shown that puppies that come from breeders that expose them to a variety of stimuli when young including tactile surfaces are more likely to be confident adults. Do any of you own a Shih Tzu that is fearful of random surfaces? For example, is your Shih Tzu afraid to walk on the hard wood floor? Does your Shih Tzu panic anytime you go on a walk and try to walk through a sandy area? What if I tell you that this phenomenon could be avoided in puppies through a developmentally appropriate puppy curriculum.
So if you’re thinking about purchasing a Shih Tzu puppy you may want to work with a Shih Tzu breeder that understands the significance of puppy socialization. Also, look into your breeders credentials. Anyone can say that they socialize the puppies. But this can mean different things to different Shih Tzu breeders.
Proper socialization is essential because a breeder may actually create fear in the puppies if he or she isn’t working the puppies during the proper developmental periods. Puppies go through fear periods. A responsible breeder will take things easy during fear periods.
When you’re interviewing Shih Tzu breeders ask them what breeder education classes they have taken to date as well. If you want to be more specific, find out if they have taken any specific classes on puppy socialization protocols. I list all of the breeder education courses that I have taken on my website for clients to view.
Introducing puppies to different surfaces helps create confident and resilient Shih Tzu puppies that learn that the world is a safe place. Puppies learn to not fear different tactile experiences through repetitive exposure during the appropriate developmental time period. Not all surfaces feel the same to a puppy. A ceramic floor feels different than carpet. Rocks don’t feel the same as grass. Shih Tzu breeders have the opportunity to instill confidence in these little ones by providing them with socialization opportunities that create confidence.
Some of the surfaces that I expose all of my Shih Tzu puppies to include:
- Artificial Turf
- Tactile squares with different bumpy surfaces
- A ball pit
- Plastic grates
Puppy exposure activities should begin early in life in order to teach puppies to adapt to new surroundings with minimal anxiety. If your Shih Tzu breeder has begun the socialization process make sure to ask what you can do to continue socializing your puppy once you get home. Most responsible Shih Tzu breeders will be happy to give you suggestions.
A Shih Tzu puppy’s critical period of development starts the third week of life and goes all the way through week 12. It would be ideal if all Shih Tzu puppies stay with their breeder, mom and siblings during this crucial stage of development. Shih Tzu Puppies learn so many irreplaceable skills during this time period. If you happen to bring your puppy home before this time period is over be sure to talk to your breeder about what Socialization opportunities you should implement once home.
Remember to keep all at home socialization experiences positive for your Shih Tzu puppy. Whenever your puppy works up the courage to try out something new use the marker word, “Yes!” Treat based rewards help create a positive association as well. Never force your puppy to try something new. But, simply remember to always be your puppy’s biggest fan by encouraging engagement with new things. For example, if your puppy has never spent time on a wooden deck bring some fun toys on to the deck. Encourage your puppy to join in on the fun. Once he or she does praise and treat to make the occasion special.
To sum things up, please do your homework before searching for Shih Tzu Puppies for sale. It is super easy to find available Shih Tzu puppies but more complex to find Shih Tzu puppies that have had an upbringing that will help maximize their full potential. Ask a lot of questions and get to know your Shih Tzu breeder on a personal level. After all, you’re about to purchase a Shih Tzu puppy that will be spending the next 10 plus years living beside you. If you choose a Shih Tzu Breeder that works hard to instill confidence in the puppies you’re much more likely to have a well-rounded companion animal by your side.