The Shih Tzu is often described as a small dog with a big personality. Known for their luxurious coats and friendly disposition, Shih Tzus makes for charming and delightful companions. However, like all young canines, a Shih Tzu Puppy can have a tendency to bite during their early months. This 1,200-word guide will provide you with comprehensive steps to prevent your Shih Tzu Puppy from biting.

1. Understanding the Reasons Why a Shih Tzu Puppy Bites

The first step in any effective training is to understand the root cause of the behavior. Your Shih Tzu Puppy could be biting for various reasons:

  1. Teething: As their new teeth come in, your Shih Tzu Puppy may find relief in biting or chewing things.
  2. Exploration: Puppies, including Shih Tzu Puppies, use their mouths to explore the world around them.
  3. Playing: Sometimes, a Shih Tzu Puppy will bite during play because they haven’t learned bite inhibition.
  4. Lack of Socialization: A Shih Tzu Puppy might bite due to insufficient exposure to other dogs or people, which hampers their social skills.

2. Immediate Steps to Stop Shih Tzu Puppy Biting

Verbal Correction and Redirection

The moment your Shih Tzu Puppy bites, offer a firm but not loud “No!” or “Ouch!”. Then, immediately redirect them to a more acceptable form of chewing, like a toy. It’s essential to mark the biting behavior as unacceptable clearly and then provide an alternative.


If the Shih Tzu Puppy doesn’t respond to redirection, consider placing them in a brief time-out. Put them in a safe, confined space for a minute or two. This helps the puppy associate biting with negative outcomes.

Positive Reinforcement

Don’t forget to celebrate good behavior. If your Shih Tzu Puppy opts for a chew toy instead of your fingers, shower them with praise or give them a small treat.

3. The Importance of Socialization

Socializing your Shih Tzu Puppy can go a long way in curbing undesirable behavior, including biting. Expose them to various environments, people, and other animals. Socialization teaches your Shih Tzu Puppy how to behave appropriately in different situations.

4. Teaching Bite Inhibition

Bite inhibition is the practice of teaching your Shih Tzu Puppy to control the force of their bite. If your Shih Tzu Puppy bites too hard during play, let out a sharp yelp to indicate that the bite was painful. Cease playing for a few moments to let this lesson sink in. Gradually, your Shih Tzu Puppy will learn to moderate their bite.

5. Maintaining Consistency

Consistency is paramount when training a Shih Tzu Puppy. Make sure all family members follow the same guidelines and use the same verbal cues. Conflicting instructions can confuse your Shih Tzu Puppy and delay the training process.

6. When to Seek Professional Help

If your Shih Tzu Puppy continues to bite despite your best efforts, it may be time to consult with a professional dog trainer or a veterinary behaviorist. A seasoned expert can provide tailored advice for your Shih Tzu Puppy.

7. Preventive Measures

Physical Exercise

While Shih Tzus are not as hyperactive as some other breeds, your Shih Tzu Puppy still needs regular exercise. A tired puppy is less likely to engage in problematic behaviors like biting.

Mental Stimulation

Incorporate puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, or even simple games like ‘hide and seek’ with your Shih Tzu Puppy. Mental stimulation keeps the brain engaged and lessens the likelihood of undesirable behavior.

Appropriate Chew Toys

Invest in quality chew toys specifically designed for teething puppies. They can provide a good outlet for your Shih Tzu Puppy’s biting tendencies.

An Online Dog Training Course Can Help Your Shih Tzu to Stop Biting

Our 2 favorite online courses are:

1. SpiritDog’s “Perfect Obedience” Course

The Perfect Dog Obedience Bundle is an online dog training program designed to help dog owners achieve well-behaved pets. The comprehensive course covers basic obedience, biting, and loose leash walking, and includes bonus mini-courses on training habits and rewards, stopping jumping, and separation anxiety solutions. With lifetime access to expert trainers for personalized feedback and a 60-day money-back guarantee, this course aims to provide effective, accessible training for a variety of dog behavior issues.

2. K9 Training Institute’s “Dog Masterclass”

More than just an obedience course, this more comprehensive training course tackles any behavior problem you might face with your dog.

In Conclusion

Stopping a Shih Tzu Puppy from biting requires a combination of immediate corrective measures, early socialization, and consistent, positive reinforcement. Remember, each Shih Tzu Puppy is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. The key to successful training is understanding your Shih Tzu Puppy’s specific needs and being consistent in your approach. With time and patience, your Shih Tzu Puppy will grow to become a well-behaved adult, bringing joy and companionship to your life for years to come.

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