The Lhasa Apso has a bit of a reputation in the canine world for being difficult to train. This doesn’t make training impossible, so don’t lose heart! It just means you’ll need to be persistent. To help you, here are some important golden rules.
Never use physical punishment
The Lhasa Apso doesn’t react well to any form of punishment. In fact, punishment is more likely to set you back in terms of training rather than lead to any useful results. Lhasas can be quick to retaliate if they feel threatened or unsafe. They might become fearful or aggressive if subjected to punishment which is going to make them even more of a problem to train. Aside from this, shouting at or hitting your little dog is just plain cruel.
Ignore bad behaviour
Instead of reacting to bad behaviour, you will need to completely ignore it in order to get the best results. This sends a clear message to your dog that his actions are completely ineffective, and are therefore not worth repeating. So, the next time your Lhasa disobeys you, simply turn your head away, turn your back on him or walk away. He’ll get the message fairly quickly!
Reward good behaviour
In contrast to ignoring bad behaviour, you also need to reward good behaviour. If your Lhasa responds positively to any form of command, or if he manages to pee outside rather than in the house, you will need to let him know this type if behaviour is a good action to repeat. Use healthy treats, verbal praise and physical affection wherever possible.
Stick to your guns and maintain any sort of rules you have set for your dog. If you let him on the couch the odd evening, he is always going to want to be there. If you feed him scraps from the table, he will always come to expect them. So be firm! Make sure everyone in the house knows that the rules are set in stone and are not to be broken. Otherwise, in a moment of weakness you could accidentally undo all your hard work.
Behave like an alpha pack member
Lhasas have a stubborn streak, and they can be quite dominant creatures if they sense they are stronger willed than their owners. So, the key to successfully training your Lhasa Apso is to be confident, assertive and firm. Your little dog needs to have healthy respect for you and realize that you are his master. This means you decide when meal times are, when games begin and end, and when he should be let off the lead. Once he understands this basic principle (which should happen easily if there are no mixed signals) then he should be a lot easier to train. Good luck!