At what age do Shih Tzu puppies calm down?
Shih Tzu puppies are full of energy. They are joyful, happy dogs with a high amount of the cuteness factor. These small dogs have a sweet personality, and adorable faces that will make you fall in love with them instantly.
However, puppies can be a lot of work.
It’s hard not to love their innocent, playful nature that can keep you entertained for hours but sometimes that energy can be a bit too much.
If a Shih Tzu could write their own profile, it would sound like this: Love running, jumping and playing as long as possible. Looking for trouble in every corner.
They’re adorable, but there has to be a better way.
Here are 13 creative ways to redirect the energy of Shih Tzu dogs while ensuring they stay happy and healthy:
1. Get Your Dog a Toy
The first thing to redirect your puppy’s energy is to give him something to play with.
Toys are a great way to keep puppies occupied and entertained. There are many different types of dog toys available on the market, so you can find one that is perfect for your pup.
For instance, you can use safe chew toys, especially for a pup developing adult teeth, to redirect its energy while having fun.
Puppies can get into trouble if they swallow small pieces of the toys. Be sure to choose safe toys made from durable materials that won’t easily tear apart, such as rubber or plastic.
If you are new to buying toys, check out customer reviews to find the best toys for your furry friend.
We love the toys found at Chewy.com (please note: the following are affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission).
2. Go for a Walk
An excellent way to wear your puppy out is to take him for a walk. Your tiny dog only needs a short walk, so don’t overdo it. Pet owners with small dog breeds are sometimes tempted to carry dog’s around.
Walks provide the perfect opportunity for puppies to burn off some of their energy. Make sure you pick an appropriate (short) route for your puppy stage and fitness level.
Sure, you’re puppy probable gets enough exercise running around indoors. However, there’s something about the fresh air and all the new smells that will wear out your little pup much sooner.
Your Shih Tzu needs two walks a day. Each walk should be about 15 minutes in length. You could do one in the morning and one at night, for example. Your new little puppy may not be able to do this amount right away. Take the time and work up to it.
3. Engage Your Puppy in Outdoor Games
Puppies are active by nature and love to run around and explore.
High energy can result in destructive behavior, which is a typical part of Shih Tzu dog adolescence stage.
There are plenty of ways to keep your puppy occupied and out of trouble while also providing some valuable exercise.
Wear him/her out with a game of fetch, rolling a ball for them to chase, tug-of-war, etc.
4. Visit The Dog Park
Your puppy may enjoy playing at the dog park. This is an excellent way for him to interact with other adult dog and puppies and burn off some energy.
Be sure to observe your pup’s behavior at the park and remove him if he becomes aggressive or overly excited.
Not all dog parks are appropriate for every pup, so be sure to do your research before taking your Shih Tzu there. Not all puppies are socialized well enough to play nicely with others, so it may be best to wait until your pup is older before taking him to the park.
5. Proper Training of Your Puppy
Basic training is important for your puppy. You can actually start from as early as 4-6 months of age or earlier.
This will help keep them happy and out of trouble. Positive reinforcement is the best way to achieve this.
There are many different training exercises you can do, including:
- basic obedience commands
- agility courses
Some specific ideas on implementing positive reinforcement techniques include playing with a puppy using a toy that dispenses treats when played with correctly. You can reward your dog with treats or petting whenever it displays calm and relaxed behavior, or if your puppy becomes overly excited or disruptive, provide a time out in its crate.
Look for a training program appropriate for your pup’s age and temperament. You might also want to take a short, inexpensive course or workshop online if you’re not sure how to train your puppy.
Be patient. It will take your puppy a little time to learn new commands. With consistent practice, he will eventually get the hang of it.
6. Crate Your Furry Friend
Although controversial to some, crate training has its place if done correctly. The crate should never be used as a punishment. It should be a safe place that your dog can go to.
Crating can provide a safe space for your puppy. Start by leaving the crate open in the living room or where your family congregates. Dogs want to be close to their owners.
Put familiar toys and bedding inside the crate to attract your Shih Tzu. When your dog finally ventures inside, praise him/her so that the dog associates the crate with positivity.
Once your Shih Tzu is comfortable enough to lie down in the crate, gently close the door for a few minutes.
Gradually increase the amount of time they are kept in the crate. The key is patience and consistency. Crate training can be a bit challenging, but it is worth it in the end.
Be sure to choose a crate that is big enough for older dogs to stand up and turn around in, and put plenty of soft bedding inside for him to sleep on. Also, never leave your puppy unattended in his crate for an extended period, as he may become anxious or restless.
7. Consider Doggy Daycare
All new Shih Tzu puppies are adorable energy balls, but sometimes that energy needs a healthy outlet.
If you don’t have the time or energy to exercise your puppy, you may want to consider enrolling him in a doggy daycare.
Doggy daycare can provide your puppy with plenty of exercise and socialization. In addition, it can be an excellent place for your puppy to learn how to interact with other dogs in a safe and supervised setting.
By taking your puppy to doggy daycare, you can help them develop into well-adjusted and happy dogs.
Before dropping your pup off at daycare, be sure to ask about their policies and procedures. Some facilities require that all puppies be vaccinated before attending, while others prohibit aggressive behavior among the dogs.
The best idea is to ease your dog into doggy daycare. Maybe you only use it once a week. You could use the doggy daycare part-time or for a few hours.
8. Give Your Shih Tzu An Appropriate Diet
No table scraps please. By giving your dog the highest quality diet you can afford, you are eliminating the types of things that may wind him/her up. The last thing you want to feed your little dog is food with a lot of preservatives, added sugar, or food coloring.
These things may cause your dog to have an allergic reaction. The types of things humans eat are not appropriate for Shih Tzus. They could end up with tummy issues or worse.
Some of the highest quality Shih Tzu Foods on the Market Include:
Royal Canin Shih-Tzu Puppy
9. Maintain A Routine
A set schedule with specific activities will help tire your pup out and keep it from getting into mischief when you’re not around. Dogs quickly understand a routine and instinctively know when it’s time to go for a walk, for example.
By providing structure and plenty of exercises, you can help your puppy grow into a well-adjusted adult dog. Having a routine for your puppy can help you predict how much energy your pup has and plan accordingly.
10. Provide a Good Sniffing Experience
Dogs need exercise, but they also need an opportunity to experience the world through their nose. Every new thing they sniff or see stimulates their brains and teaches them something new about their surroundings.
Believe it or not, this activity actually helps alleviate pent up energy. Sometimes when walking our dogs, we just want to get from point A to point B. Find a time when you’re not in a hurry and let your dog take several stops to smell the grass, the trees, the pavement, etc.
11. Give Your Shih Tzu Some Face Time
Dogs need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Get down to your dog’s level and engage that way. Be prepared to get down on the floor and join in the fun since puppies love when humans play along. Grab a toy and play a little of tug of war (gently on the puppy teeth).
12. Engage in Mental Exercise
Games like Hide & Seek are great for dogs like Shih Tzus. For a small dog like a Shih Tzu, this is best played inside the house.
It’s as simple as distracting your dog with a toy while you find a hiding spot in the house. Have some treats on hand so that when he/she finds you, you can offer a reward for a job well done. Call out your dog’s name and wait for him to find you.
Over time, you can make the game a little harder. At first, you might hide in the same room as the dog. Later, you might choose another room in the house to hide to make it more challenging. The more enthusiastic you are about the game, the more your Shih Tzu is going to love it.
After about 20 minutes of this game, you can mark off “exercise” the Shih Tzu. He/she should be a little tired at that point.
13. Calming Scents
There’s only so many games and exercise you can offer a Shih Tzu on a daily basis. You want to exercise your dog, but you don’t want to overdo it. To help your dog settle down in the evening, try a calming spray or scent.
There are countless dog-safe products on the market these days. Veterinarians recommend Adaptil because it uses natural pheromones. The pheromones mimic their mother’s hormones and provides instant comfort and ease.
Adaptil comes in a home diffuser option for the home, and a Calm-On-The-Go Collar that can be worn every day. The collar remains “active” for about a month. After that, it should be replaced.
Adaptil calms your dog without the use of any drugs. They’re safe for any sized dog from puppy to adult.
I hope you were able to get some good ideas from this post. Shih Tzus are amazing dogs that need special care and attention. These play sessions (and exercise) help keep your puppy happy and healthy while forming a strong bond.
These ideas are sure to keep your puppy entertained and out of trouble. The best thing is that the ideas are all easy. Hopefully, you’ll have an easier time controlling your dog’s behavior, and you’ll also help it grow into well-adjusted adults in the process.