Shih Tzu Charlie and the Come command

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Shih Tzu is a breed of active, alert toy dogs originating in Tibet centuries ago. They stand from 8 to 11 in. (20.3-27.9 cm) high at the shoulder and weigh from 9 to 18 lb (4.1-8.2 kg). Their double coat consists of a soft, woolly under layer and a long, dense, luxurious topcoat that may be any color. A probable descendant of the Lhasa Apso, the Shih Tzu was sent as a gift by the Tibetan Dali Lamas to the Chinese emperors as early as the 16th century. In China it was crossed with the Pekingese, both breeds being referred to there as “lion dogs.” In its relatively short history in the United States, the Shih Tzu is gaining in popularity as a house pet and watchdog.

Charlie is about 2 years old. One moth ago he was adopted for the third time. After one month his new owners decided to start obedience training with Charlie because he had started trying to rule the new home and to show some attitude towards new parents – probably why he was abandoned by his other owners.

charlie Shih Tzu Charlie and the Come command


Charlie is a very bright, active, playful and well socialized but dominant little dog.

Lack of obedience training was making his situation even worse. No one was in control of him. Very fortunately his new owners, although tempted giving up on him, decided instead to start training with Charlie to learn how to control him.

Charlie started coming regular for training and his parents practice with him a lot at home.

He is making big progress and has already learnt a lot.

At first Charlie didn’t respond to the ‘Come’ command at all – but now he is an expert!

Coming When Called

Start by teaching the recall on a long line, in a place where there are not many distractions -  for example the garden.  To start with, keep hold of the long line.  Once he gets the idea you can start to trail the lead and only pick it up and reel him in when he doesn’t respond.  Until you are confident of your dog’s response, keep him on the long line on all walks and gradually remove the lead when there are fewer distractions

charlie2 Shih Tzu Charlie and the Come command

Charlie learning the 'come' command

Touching the collar prevents a dog from developing the annoying habit of playing “catch” (coming towards you and after taking the treat running away)

Here are two mistakes owners make with the COME command:

  1. They yell “Come” to their dogs when the dogs are running away.  Some owners yell “Come” in a very angry voice, which causes the dog to slink back in a submissive gesture.  When the dog does get to the owner, he or she spanks it and yells “You bad dog!  You come when I call you.”
  2. They teach their dog to ignore your commands by calling him when he is unlikely to respond, e.g. playing with another dog.  Gain his attention first and then recall.  One command is sufficient. Otherwise your dog will associate the word ‘come’ with the act of going away.

Shih Tzu Lucy

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Lucy is a 3 month old Shih Tzu puppy

 Shih Tzu Lucy


Lucy is an adorable, playful, puppy. It’s fun to train her. She already knows sit-stay, down-stay, is very good at the come command, and she has learnt to ring the bell.

 Shih Tzu Lucy

Training Lucy

Shih Tzu is a product of crossing a Lhasa Apso with a Pekingese. Shih Tzu means lion dogs. They are lively, very active, independent and the most outgoing of all Asian breeds.

 Shih Tzu Lucy

Lucy - down command

Developed as companions, lapdogs, and watchdogs, they may be rather vocal.
Training and mental exercises to prevent boredom may help with excessive barking.