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Shih Tzu Behavior Problems

by Pawsome Tips
Shih Tzu Behavior Problems

As a devoted pet owner, you may have some challenges with your Shih Tzu behavior problems. Shih Tzus are adored for their affectionate nature and adorable looks, but like any other dog breed, they can display unique behavior problems.

From excessive barking and aggression to separation anxiety and stubbornness, these issues can disrupt the harmony of your home environment.

But fear not! This comprehensive guide will unravel the mysteries of Shih Tzu behavior problems and provide expert tips to raise a happier and better-behaved pet. Whether you’re a seasoned Shih Tzu owner or a new one, these insights will equip you to tackle expected behavior issues effectively and strengthen the bond with your four-legged companion.

Understanding Shih Tzu Behavior Problems

Shih Tzus are renowned for their friendly and affectionate disposition, but they, too, have their share of behavior challenges. Let’s delve into some ordinary behavior problems Shih Tzu owners face. Excessive barking is typical among Shih Tzus, as they use their voice to communicate various needs or emotions. However, excessive barking can become bothersome and might hint at underlying issues.

Another concern is aggression, where your otherwise friendly Shih Tzu might display aggressive tendencies towards other dogs or humans when feeling threatened or scared. Separation anxiety is also a significant behavior issue among Shih Tzus due to their strong attachment to their human companions. Additionally, house training problems and stubbornness can present further challenges. Understanding these issues is the first step towards creating a harmonious living environment for you and your furry friend.

Shih Tzu Aggression

Causes and Solutions Aggression in Shih Tzus can be concerning, but understanding its reasons is crucial for finding appropriate solutions. Fear and anxiety are common triggers for aggression, as Shih Tzus may resort to aggressive behavior as a defense mechanism. Possessiveness or resource guarding is another cause of charge, where they might act protectively over their belongings or territory. Proper socialization during their early life plays a vital role in preventing aggression. To manage aggression, ensure a safe environment and controlled exposure to new experiences and people. Positive reinforcement training techniques can be beneficial, rewarding good behavior and redirecting negative behaviors. Consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who handles aggression is highly recommended for severe attacks.

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Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus thrive on human companionship, making them susceptible to separation anxiety when left alone. Gradually desensitizing them to your absence is critical. Start with short periods of separation and slowly increase the duration, providing interactive toys or puzzles to keep their minds occupied. Creating a safe and comfortable space for them, like a crate or designated area, can help alleviate their anxiety. Counter-conditioning techniques can create positive associations with your absence. For severe separation anxiety cases, seeking guidance from a professional dog behaviorist is highly recommended.

Tips for Successful House Training in Shih Tzus 

House training a Shih Tzu requires patience and consistency. Establishing a routine is essential, with regular outdoor trips for bathroom breaks. Positive reinforcement is vital during house training, using treats and praise to reward them for eliminating in the appropriate spot. Close supervision is necessary to prevent accidents, especially during the initial stages—clean accidents thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any lingering scent, discouraging repeat incidents.

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Addressing Excessive Barking in Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are known for their vocal nature, but excessive barking can become an issue. Identifying the root cause of the barking is essential. Addressing boredom, anxiety, or attention-seeking behaviors can help reduce excessive barking. Mental and physical stimulation, regular exercise, and training can keep them occupied and minimize barking. Teaching the “quiet” command and rewarding calm behavior can also be effective in curbing excessive barking.

Socialization Tips for a Well-Behaved Shih Tzu 

Socialization is crucial for shaping a Shih Tzu’s behavior and preventing problems. Early exposure to various people, animals, and environments helps them develop good social skills. Positive reinforcement for friendly and calm behavior during interactions can strengthen their social behavior. Regular playdates with well-behaved dogs can also aid in creating positive social interactions. Always supervise their interactions and provide a safe environment.

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Training Your Shih Tzu

Obedience and Commands Training are vital to shaping your Shih Tzu’s behavior and ensuring they are well-mannered. Start training early using positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise. Keep training sessions short and consistent, focusing on one command at a time. Patience and persistence are essential; seeking professional help for more advanced training needs is a great option.

Professional Help for Shih Tzu Behavior Problems

Finding a Trainer or Behaviorist If you encounter persistent behavior problems with your Shih Tzu, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Look for a reputable dog trainer or behaviorist experienced with small breeds like Shih Tzus. Recommendations from other Shih Tzu owners or your veterinarian can be valuable resources. A professional can assess your Shih Tzu’s behavior, provide personalized guidance, and develop a tailored training plan.


A Happy and Well-Behaved Shih Tzu With the expert tips in this guide, you can confidently address Shih Tzu behavior problems and foster a harmonious relationship with your furry companion. Embrace the challenge, invest time and effort, and enjoy the rewards of a well-behaved and contented Shih Tzu by your side. Remember, small changes in your approach can significantly impact your Shih Tzu’s behavior and enhance your bond. Now, go forth and create a happy and well-behaved Shih Tzu!


How do I stop my Shih Tzu from excessive barking?

Excessive barking in Shih Tzus can be addressed through various approaches. Identify the underlying cause of the barking, such as boredom, anxiety, or attention-seeking behavior. Provide mental and physical stimulation with interactive toys, regular exercise, and training. Teaching the “quiet” command and rewarding a calm demeanor can also help curb excessive barking.

My Shih Tzu displays aggression towards other dogs. What should I do? 

Aggression in Shih Tzus towards other dogs can be managed through proper socialization and training. Gradually expose your Shih Tzu to well-behaved dogs in controlled settings, rewarding positive interactions. Consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist experienced in handling aggression for personalized guidance.

How can I prevent my Shih Tzu from being stubborn during training?

Shih Tzus can be independent and stubborn, but positive reinforcement training methods work best. Use treats, praise, and rewards to motivate and encourage good behavior. Keep training sessions short and consistent, focusing on one command at a time. Patience and persistence are vital to overcoming stubbornness.

Can I train my Shih Tzu without professional help?

You can train your Shih Tzu without professional help, especially for basic obedience commands. Utilize positive reinforcement techniques and be consistent in your training. However, professional service is recommended for more complex behavior issues or severe problems like aggression or separation anxiety.

How long does it take to see improvement in my Shih Tzu’s behavior?

The time it takes to see improvement in your Shih Tzu behavior can vary depending on the specific issue and the individual dog. Consistency in training and patience are essential. Some behaviors may improve within weeks, while others may require several months of dedicated effort.

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