11 Most Common Shih Tzu Behavior Problems & Solutions

Most owners are struggling with Shih Tzu behavior problems, and in this article, we will outline and discuss the most common Shih Tzu behavior problems to expect.

We will also discuss ways to control most of the Shih Tzu behavior problems we will mention in this post, so sit tight and ready through.

If you’ve been thinking about adding a Shih Tzu to your family, but are worried about the potential for behavioral problems, you’re not alone.

Whether it be from genetics or the environment, Shih Tzus can have a number of behavior problems.

Common Shih Tzu Behavior Problems

Shih Tzus are adorable, but they have a couple of behavior problems.

Their stubbornness might be the toughest to deal with. They can also be high-strung and excitable.

They are sensitive to change and need routine. This means that it’s important to start training your Shih Tzu as soon as possible, so it’ll be easier later on.

You should also find out if the dog is prone to any health problems, so you can take care of any symptoms early on before they become bigger issues.

Here are some common Shih Tzu behavior problems you should know:

Shih Tzus are prone to separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is typical in Shih Tzus, as well as many other little breeds.

This is because Shih Tzus were selectively bred to be human companions.

They become frightened and agitated if they do not attain their goal of being around their owners.

Help your pup overcome separation anxiety as soon as possible to keep them happy.

Symptoms of separation anxiety in Shih Tzus

Here are some common signs you should look out for in Shih Tzus;

  • Excessive vocalization
  • Destructive chewing
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Inappropriate defecation
  • Following owner up and down
  • Excessive shedding
  • Excessive pawing
  • Excessive growling
  • Unnecessary freezing
  • Unnecessary nipping
  • Unnecessary biting, etc

How to solve separation anxiety in Shih Tzus

Here are some tips to help you solve separation anxiety in Shih Tzus:

  • As soon as possible, you should bring in a second pet.
  • Make sure there are lots of new food and fun toys to keep the pup entertained.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to unwind or exercise.
  • Begin a new, appropriate crate training program for your dog.
  • Make an appointment with a behaviorist for your pet.
  • Consider hiring a dog sitter.
  • Teach them to leave you alone and not follow you about when you’re at home.

Read more about anxiety in Shih Tzus!!!

Shih Tzus are prone to excessive barking

Because the Shih Tzu is a particularly loud breed, resolving this issue might be difficult.

Other dogs or guests to the house might be triggers, but some Shih Tzu bark at seemingly little things.

Because it is disruptive and irritating, excessive barking, also known as nuisance barking, is considered a behavior problem.

Before you can stop the dog from barking, you must first figure out why it is doing it.

There are a few things you may do to teach your puppy or dog to be quiet.

Causes of excessive barking in Shih Tzus

Here are some common reasons why Shih Tzus are involved in excessive barking:

  • Fear
  • Discomfort
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Seeking attention
  • Alerting the owner of strangers
  • Loud noises
  • Movements at night
  • Bigger dogs
  • Fireworks
  • Playfulness/Excitement
  • Thunder
  • Darkness
  • Boredom
  • Gunshots, etc.

How to solve excessive barking in Shih Tzus

Here are some common ways to keep your Shih Tzus from barking excessively:

  • Provide exercises and mental stimulation for your Shih Tzus
  • Introduce your Shih Tzu to its object of fear
  • Provide early and proper socialization for your Shih Tzus
  • Maintain the same daily routine for your Shih Tzus
  • Get a second companion pet for your Shih Tzus
  • Ignore your Shih Tzus unnecessary barking
  • Remove all sources and causes of fear
  • Remain calm whenever your Shih Tzus bark

Read more about reasons why Shih Tzus bark a lot.

Shih Tzus are difficult to house train

A Shih Tzu’s tenacity is one of its most distinguishing characteristics.

At first, it appears to be amusing or cute, until they begin to disobey you.

Part of it has to do with how difficult it is to house train them. Work with their obstinacy to get their support.

Tips for house training Shih Tzu

Here are some tips to help in house training any Shih Tzu:

  • Be patient
  • Don’t shout at your Shih Tzus for it’s mistake
  • Be consistent
  • Maintain a working routine
  • Reward good behaviors
  • Start crate training as soon as possible.
  • Repeat each step of your house training until you are satisfied.
  • Associate good house training with good behaviors.
  • Always use positive reinforcement not negative reinforcement.

Shih Tzus are prone to begging

Shih Tzus have irresistible looks on their face that can be difficult to ignore as the owner, which encourages begging.

Begging is a horrible behavior, but sadly, many dog owners encourage it by giving their pups food when they are eating.

This might lead to weight gain as well as digestive issues or even chronic diarrhea.

The most straightforward approach to avoid this aggravating behavior is to never encourage it in the first place.

How to control begging in Shih Tzus

Here are some tips to help control and stop your Shih Tzus from begging:

  • Do not look at the dog when his begging
  • Do not talk to the dog when his begging
  • Twist and turn your back to him if he tries to jump on you.
  • Feed your dog at the same time you sit down for dinner.
  • Train your pup to do something other than begging for food at the table.
  • Put your dog in his crate while you eat.
  • Put your dog in another room while you eat.
  • You can place the bowl near the table, so your dog will think he is eating with you during mealtime.

Here are some things to consider before letting your Shih Tzu be with your kids.

Shih Tzus are prone to jumping on people

Shih Tzus are well-known for leaping and jumping on their owners as they rush to greet you and express their delight at your homecoming.

While leaping is amusing, it is not always suitable, this can become a serious problem over time.

Shih Tzu dogs are notorious for leaping up and down to greet their owners and anybody else that walks through the door.

One of the simple tricks you can use to stop a Shih Tzus from jumping on you or another person is to teach your Shih Tzus to control excitement.

How to control Shih Tzus from jumping

Here are some common tips to help stop Shih Tzus from jumping excessively:

  • Have someone approach your dog when he or she is on a leash.
  • Toss a few goodies on the floor before the person approaches your dog.
  • Have the individual pet and welcome your dog while he or she is eating from the floor.
  • Have the individual back away from your dog before he or she finishes eating.
  • After a few repetitions, repeat the procedures above, but this time lengthen the welcome by tossing goodies on the floor throughout.
  • Allow your dog to greet the person once all four feet are on the ground, then place the first treat on the ground.
  • You may provide less and fewer goodies as your dog learns the rules, until the greeting is the only reward.

Find out more on how to stop dogs from jumping on people.

Shih Tzus are prone to biting and nipping

Shih Tzus Bite and nip for a number of reasons, including instinct and a sense of belonging to a pack.

Puppies bite and nip at other dogs and people as a method of exploring their environment and learning their place in the pack.

Puppies bite a lot while they are teething. Owners can teach bite inhibition to their puppies to educate them that mouthing and biting are not acceptable actions.

Why Shih Tzus bite and nip

Here are some common reasons why Shih Tzus bite and nip:

  • Over excitement
  • A teething process
  • Play aggression
  • Sickness
  • Fear
  • Pain
  • Dominance assertion
  • Defensiveness

How to stop Shih Tzus from biting and nipping

Here are some tips to stop Shih Tzus from unnecessary biting and nipping:

  • Have lots of toys and chews available for puppy to use.
  • Do not wave your fingers or hands in front of the pup when he’s excited.
  • Avoid unnecessary hitting the dog
  • Avoid unnecessary shaking the dog
  • Avoid unnecessary holding his mouth shut and shouting stop biting.
  • Avoid unnecessary screaming and yelling at the dog
  • Avoid unnecessary holding the dog down when trying to pick up your Shih Tzu.
  • When playing with the puppy, play with a toy, not your hands.
  • Teach your kids to pet gently, but never in such a manner that the puppy misinterprets their hands as chew toys.

Shih Tzus are prone to growling and howling

Growling might be a symptom of fear or aggression in small breeds of dogs like Shih Tzus.

A Shih Tzu is likely to display indications of both, which will cause them to snarl at anybody in their vicinity.

Reduce their growling to make them friendlier, more approachable, and less prone to hurt others.

It is not a good idea to encourage dogs to howl.

It may appear charming or amusing at first, especially with little dogs like Shih Tzus, but it can irritate neighbors and cause problems.

You’ll want to keep an eye on your dog to make sure he stays as quiet as possible.

Causes of Shih Tzus growling and howling

Here are some common causes of Shih Tzus growling and howling:

  • Fear
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Hunger
  • Poor socialization
  • Pain
  • Sickness

How to handle growling and howling in Shih Tzus

Here are some common ways to help your Shih Tzu with growling and howling:

  • Early and proper socialization.
  • Maintaining daily routine.
  • Remove all sources of fear.
  • Let your pup be when they want to be alone.
  • Don’t abuse your Shih Tzu.
  • Provide more mental stimulation.
  • Talk your Shih Tzu for medical check-ups.

Shih Tzus are prone to destructive chewing

Chewing is a natural activity for all dogs, but if the dog chews on items that aren’t meant to be eaten, such as shoes, furniture, or electrical wires, chewing may rapidly become a behavior problem.

To keep your dog occupied, provide plenty of toys and chews to encourage appropriate chewing.

You may either remove objects you don’t want to be chewed or spray them with a product like Bitter Apple that leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

Shih Tzus are fantastic at chewing when they are bored or lonely.

Causes of destructive chewing in Shih Tzus

Here are some common causes of destructive chewing in Shih Tzus:

  • Teething
  • Loneliness
  • Boredom
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Excess Energy
  • Trauma
  • Hunger
  • Frustration
  • Curiosity

How to control destructive chewing in Shih Tzus

Here are some ways to control destructive chewing in Shih Tzus:

  • Invest in lots of chewing toys.
  • Spray your furniture.
  • Provide more mental stimulation.
  • Provide more exercise for your Shih Tzu.
  • Puppy proofing your home.

Shih Tzus are prone to eating issues

Some Shih Tzu pups have a good idea of what they like to eat, but they won’t tell you because they can’t speak.

Revolving taste buds are a frequent problem that can cause Shih Tzus to take only a few bites or refuse to eat at all.

This can be a big concern to most owners, yet it is a behavior that can be addressed.

A Shih Tzu may be able to detect a shortage of protein in a meal.

Shih Tzus may be picky eaters since they are aware that eating may result in discomfort shortly afterward.

How to fix things when a Shih Tzu is a picky eater

Here are some common ways to help a Shih Tzu that is a picky eater:

  • Any meal that is working should be continued.
  • If necessary, make the meal more attractive.
  • Reconsider the meals you’re serving.
  • Stick to a schedule that works for you.
  • Consider a grain-free alternative.
  • Stick to the serving sizes that are effective.
  • If you have any medical concerns, see your veterinarian.
  • Stop trying too many types food at a time.

Shih Tzus are prone to play aggression

This is the most common and popular type of Shih Tzu behavior problems owners face.

Play aggression in Shih Tzus can lead to growling, snarling, showing teeth, lunging, and biting.

It is common in Shih Tzus because owners always allow it or encourage it as they think is the right way to go.

Play aggression in Shih Tzus starts bit by bit and if not properly controlled can put you in a deep mess with your kids and your pup.

How to control play aggression in Shih Tzus

Here are some ways you can control play aggression in Shih Tzus:

  • Begin by gently playing with your dog.
  • Early socialization is important for your dog.
  • Plan play dates with other pups and well-behaved adult dogs who can teach your puppy good manners.
  • Reduce hormone-driven aggressiveness by neutering or spaying your dog.
  • Praise your dog when he or she engages in friendly play.
  • Incorporate a toy into the equation.
  • Always When a line is crossed, stop your dog from playing.
  • With a rambunctious Shih Tzu dog, stay off the floor.
  • Encourage people not to seek attention in an aggressive manner.
  • Teach tricks and demands of compliance.
  • Only use positive reinforcements.

Read more about why Shih Tzus bark at night and possible solutions.

Shih Tzus are prone to chasing after people

Chasing other animals, humans, and automobiles, or chasing moving objects, is just a demonstration of excitement instinct in Shih Tzus.

If you allow your Shih Tzu to become engaged in chasing humans, birds, or other dogs, all of these things can result in hazardous and catastrophic consequences.

Because the Shih Tzu dog was never developed with a predatory drive, chasing is rarely an issue if properly trained.

Shih Tzu dogs love a good game of tag with another Shih Tzu, and this is typically a harmless activity until the pursuit takes place along a busy road, in which case it can become one of those dangerous dog behaviors.

While you may not be able to prevent your Shih Tzus from chasing, you may take precautions to avoid any catastrophe.

How to control a Shih Tzu from chasing distraction

Here are some ways to stop your Shih Tzus from chasing distractions:

  • To keep your dog from chasing after distractions, keep them on a leash or in a fenced-in yard.
  • When you go for a stroll, don’t let your dog off the leash.
  • Train your dog to come to you when you call, and work on impulse control with them.
  • Early and proper socialization helps.
  • Train your Shih Tzu to be calm around other dogs, cats or pets.
  • Seek the assistance of a dog behaviorist.

Wrap up on Shih Tzu behavior problems

All Shih Tzu behavior problems can be controlled by its owner, but most owners let things get out of hand before acting.

Early and proper socialization, as well as proper training, helps to eradicate most of Shih Tzu behavior problems.

So I strongly recommend you invest time in early socialization and training, again try to control your Shih Tzu not your Shih Tzus control you.

Read more about what makes shih tzus happy!!!