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How to Hold a Shih Tzu (and How Do You Transport It)

Correctly pick up a Shih Tzu by fully supporting its body and back. Ensure that you’re holding it securely and not letting it slip out of your hands. Use the proper technique each time you cuddle your dog to avoid injuries or falls.
How to Hold a Shih Tzu

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You can put your Shih Tzu in a carrier while driving. It will help your dog to sit still. Another method is through a leash that can be buckled to the seatbelt. Under twenty pounds (9 kg) in weight, you can take them with you in an airplane carrier. Keep them under your seat during your flight.

How to Pick Up a Shih Tzu

As a responsible pet owner, you must learn how to pick up your fur baby safely. Being a toy breed, your Shih Tzu is small and fragile. Poor handling can cause serious injuries, such as falls, fractures, and spine problems. Read the steps on how to lift your Shih Tzu properly:

  1. Bend next to your canine and pull it gently towards you. Hold it close to your side. You may hold its collar with your other hand, but don’t tug it. This is the correct position for picking it up.
  2. Put your arm over the top of your dog and insert your hand under its chest, behind its front legs. Rest your arm gently on top of your dog’s back.
  3. Slightly pin your dog to your side. Now you can lift it. By doing this, you support its body weight evenly as you also have control of its movements. Remember not to hold too tightly as your pet may become uncomfortable.
  4. You may adjust your position while lifting your dog but maintain a gentle but firm grip. You want to ensure that you support its entire weight and length the whole time.
  5. If your dog struggles or shows discomfort, put it down. Keep a firm grip as you put it down. You may release it and remove your hands when its feet touch the ground. Don’t risk dropping it if your pet continues to wiggle while you’re carrying it.
  6. Never let it jump to the ground. If it does for more than a few inches, it might cause injury.
  7. Educate others on how to handle your Shih Tzu. Ensure that you have instructed them beforehand. Avoid letting very young children pick up your dog.

How to Pick a Shih Tzu Puppy

Since Shih Tzu puppies are small, they are more delicate. Take extra care when picking them up. Insert one hand between the front legs from the front of the body. Slip your other hand between the rear legs from behind. Lift them as a unit while making sure that their spine is straight.

Another way is to slide your strong arm under your dog’s chest between the front paws. Then, wrap your other hand around the belly on the rear end. Your puppy is then supported between your arm and body.

If your puppy is new, it is ideal to make it aware before picking it up. Introduce a command right before you lift it. This way, it won’t be surprised or scared at the sudden change in height. Say your command before picking your puppy up.

Another common mistake pet owners make is picking up their dogs far too often. It can be as simple as a wet floor or a frightening situation such as large dogs up ahead. Whatever the circumstance is, give your dog a chance to walk and handle itself.

It would help if you taught your fur pal how to deal with these scenarios. Reserve carrying your small dog up for extremely dangerous situations.

How to Carry a Shih Tzu With Back Problems

If your Shih Tzu has back problems, you must keep its spine aligned. Gently lift while supporting their chest and hind end with your two hands. This way, their spine is kept straight. Never pull on your dog by its collar or legs.

How Do You Not Pick Up a Shih Tzu?

It would help if you always pick your Shih Tzu up carefully. Never do the following:

  • Don’t Pick Your Shih Tzu Up by Their Collar: Doing so may cut off your fur baby’s air supply. This can also damage its trachea. In case of rescuing it from drowning in the water, use an appropriate harness.
  • Never Lift Them by Their Scruff: You might think it’s okay since their mother does it. But bitches know how much pressure to use. They only carry their youngsters until a certain age.
  • It Is Not a Good Idea to Pick Your Dog by the Tail: Most dogs are uncomfortable when their tail is grabbed or held. Don’t try picking them up by their tail.
  • Avoid Lifting Your Shih Tzu by Their Underarms: Lifting them by their arms or underarms can put a strain on their muscles and ligaments. It also increases the risk of dropping them when they slip away.

Do Shih Tzu Like to Be Held?

Bred to be a companion dog, your Shih Tzu is highly affectionate. Except for a few, they always like to cuddle and enjoy being held by their owners.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Yelp When Picked Up?

Yelping usually indicates pain and alarm. If your Shih Tzu yelps when you pick it up, it might mean pain. It can radiate from the neck, abdomen, or spine issues.

Joint and muscle problems can also be the culprit. Certain conditions might cause your pup to yelp when you move them. Examples are arthritis and other degenerative diseases. Visit your veterinarian to write up a pain management plan for your pup.

What Size Cage Does a Shih Tzu Need?

A cage, dog crate, or indoor kennel is a safe area where your Shih Tzu can stay for short periods. Purchase the correct size depending on how you’re utilizing the cage.

For crate training, get a size where your fur companion can stand up, lie down, and turn around without bumping the sides. Ensure that there is room for its head when it sits. The recommended crate size for your toy breed is 24 inches by 18 inches by 19 inches (60.96 cm × 45.72 cm × 48.26 cm).

For travel, get one that is big enough to be comfortable. It should be small enough that your canine won’t shake around while in motion. In a flight, ensure that it is airline-approved and meets the regulations.

Get one that is big enough for your pup to stretch and move around for containment. If your fur pal is fully housebroken, pick a roomy rather than a tiny one. Your pet will appreciate the space, especially if it’s going to be in it for several hours.

What Size Crate Should I Get for a Shih Tzu?

The recommended size for a Shih Tzu crate is 24 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 19 inches high (60.96 cm × 45.72 cm × 48.26 cm). It should be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

You may purchase one with a movable divider for your puppy. The partition makes a smaller space appropriate for your young dog. Remove it when your canine friend grows large enough to occupy the entire area.

How Do You Crate Train a Shih Tzu?

Crate training is the quickest and most effective way to promote good potty habits in your new pet. It is effective even in older puppies and adult dogs. Here’s how to get it done:

  1. Introduce the crate to your dog as soon as you bring it home. Put nutritious and meaty treats inside the crate. This will lure your Shih Tzu to step inside. Generously provide as many rewards as possible.
  2. Make your Shih Tzu understand that the crate is an excellent place to be. Your dog might hesitate to go all the way inside. Let them progress at their own pace. Do not force them to go inside. It will only prolong the process.
  3. Wait until your pet is comfortable stepping in and moving around inside the crate. Give rewards when they go in. Withhold the rewards when they step out. Doing this gives them the freedom to choose to stay inside relaxed.
  4. Your fur pal will likely prefer being inside the crate. Now, the challenge is to have it stay and sit comfortably inside. If it does, you can also start practicing stepping out of the container by calling it and drumming on the floor.
  5. Since your dog is confident being inside the crate, further the training by trying to close the crate door. Then, give your pup plenty of rewards in rapid secession before opening the gate again. Give more if it doesn’t attempt to bust out as soon as the crate door opens. Repeat this process several times.
  6. If you think your pet is ready, try walking away for a few minutes after closing the gate. Close the door, give treats, walk away, and then return at once to reinforce your dog again. Stay on this step until you are confident about your pup’s low-stress levels. Aim to put your pup below its stress threshold.
  7. Every dog will progress at a different rate. Wait until your Shih Tzu tolerates being inside the crate for long without the rewards. Then you can start potty training. Keep it safely inside except during potty breaks.
  8. Use a consistent word or phrase to go into the crate. Assign another word or command for eliminating. Eventually, you would not need to throw a treat to make your pet follow you.
  9. Dogs are denning animals. They like it dark and cozy. Allow your canine companion to take naps in the crate. Even at bedtime, let them sleep inside. Take them out to relieve themselves once or twice through the night.
  10. Take your Shih Tzu from the crate while saying your command. It can be “potty time” or “let’s go.” Walk to the spot where it can go potty. Whether it does its business or not, reward it for trying. You can say “crate time” or “let’s go back” as a command. You can have a bit of playtime before returning to the crate.
  11. Leave your dog in the crate for three to four hours before going out again. Should your puppy need to go, it will cry or whimper; then, you can let it out.
  12. Your Shih Tzu’s crate training is completed when it can seek out the place you taught it to do its business. Also, they will likely let you know when they want to go. Keep the crate aside when you need it for travel or other purposes.

How Long Does It Take to Crate Train a Shih Tzu?

Most Shih Tzu is thoroughly crate trained within six months. Similar to other training you will give your dog, you must be patient, persistent, and positive. It will be worth the effort when you are confident that you can leave your dog at home knowing it is happy and safe.

How Long Can a Shih Tzu Stay in a Crate?

Older Shih Tzu appreciates and recognizes the comforts of their crate. They can stay inside through the night without a potty break. Make sure to take them out for potty upon waking up.

During the day, you can leave them inside for four hours at most. However, at the start of your crate training, they can stay for two to three hours before you let them out for a potty break.