12 Ways to Tell if Your Shih Tzu is Happy

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If you’re a dog lover and a lover of Shih Tzus you want to make sure your pup is happy, but how can you tell? Unfortunately, they can’t tell you if they are happy or sad or really unhappy. The good news is there are signs you can look for.

12 Ways to Tell if Your Shih Tzu is Happy

There are a number of ways you can figure out if your Shih Tzu is happy or actually not a happy camper.

Here are some of the best signs you can look for.

1. Wiggling Their Bottoms

Toy breeds and large breeds alike will wiggle their bottom and, of course, wag their tail when they are happen.

This can be when you come home after being out of the house for a while, or it might happen when you walk from one room to the other.

I know that my Shih Tzu, Truman will wag his tail whenever I walk over by him.

Sammy, my Shih Tzu mix isn’t much of a tail wager, but she will run in circles and wiggle her backside when she is really excited, like when going out or getting treats.

So, if your pup is super excited to see you, then chances are they are happy.

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2. They Are Relaxed

A happy dog is a relaxed dog.

As pet parents you should watch to see if your dog is truly relaxed.

This can include sleeping deeply.

Also take a close look at their ears. Are they relaxed or pulled back and alert?

Their tail is waging or their mouth is partially open.

They are not concerned about their surroundings or anyone or thing in them.

3. They Are Not Destructive

If a Shih Tzu is unhappy or stressed they can become destructive.

If you find your house destroyed after you have been gone for a while, your dog isn’t trying to be bad.

Chances are they suffer from separation anxiety.

This is very common issue for Shih Tzus as they have a strong desire to be close to their owners and always with them.

When you leave, they don’t know that your are coming back.

To sooth themselves, they will chew on furniture or shoes or anything that happens to be available.

They might even destroy pillows or go the bathroom inside.

If your Shih Tzu is showing no destructive behavior, then it is a good sign that they are happy and unstressed.

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4. They Stick Their Tongue Out

If your Shih Tzu’s tongue is hanging out of their mouth all of the time, this is one of many health issues that can cause problems for your Shih Tzu.

It is called hanging tongue and should be looked at by a vet.

However, if you see your dog’s tongue just sticking out a tiny bit past their teeth, especially when they are sleeping, this suggests they are completely happy and very relaxed.

Not to mention, it is very cute.

I will notice Truman doing this from time to time.

So, as long as your Shih Tzu isn’t suffering from any health conditions, then seeing the tip of their tongue can be a good sign.

5. They Want to Kiss You

A big, sloppy kiss from your dog might not be your favorite thing in the world, but in reality they are just showing you their love.

And let’s face it, if they aren’t happy, they aren’t going to be showing you any love.

While Shih Tuzs don’t actually kiss you in the sense of how two people might kiss, by getting close to your face and mouth and licking you, they are showing you that they feel pretty darn good.

Setting aside any possible bad breath, there’s nothing wrong from getting a good sniff or lick from your dog once in a while, so they can show you their true feelings.

6. They Mimic Your Yawn

Did you know that yawning is contagious?

Yawn around someone you know and there is a good chance they will yawn as well.

Well, this isn’t limited to people.

Dogs, who tend to be very emotional creatures also feel empathy, and it is empathy that causes a person, or even a dog to mimic your yawn.

Yawn in front of your Shih Tzu and see if you get a reaction.

They won’t mimic a stranger’s yawn.

Instead they only copy their owner.

This is a great way to see if your dog is in sync with you and happy.

Asian woman playing with her Shih Tzu dog.
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7. They Want to Cuddle With You

Whether it is sitting on your lap or laying next to you or even leaning against you, this is a true sign of happiness and love.

Shih Tzus have been breed to be companion dogs, so it is normal and part of their personality to want to be close to you or right on top of you.

Even so, if they aren’t happy with you they won’t show this type of behavior.

8. They Are Not Aggressive

An aggressive dog is not a happy dog.

If you are seeing any aggressive behavior in your Shih Tzu you will want to investigate further.

They could be sick or injured.

It could also be possible that someone in their environment is harming them.

Don’t ignore this behavior or just write it off as your dog just being difficult.

9. They Gaze Into Your Eyes

Shih Tzus have big expressive eyes.

And they use their eyes to show that they are happy.

From that puppy dog gaze to looking deeply into your eyes this is a sure sign of love.

Dogs have learned over the centuries that this type of gaze actually triggers a positive response in the person being gazed at.

So…yes…your dog is playing you in a sense.

But honestly, it just shows that they trust you and are happy and in love…with you.

If a dog narrows their eyes this means that they are afraid or unhappy.

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10. They Smile at You

While it is true that dogs can’t actually smile, they can seem to.

This comes from relaxing their tongues, mouth and lips.

As mentioned before, a relaxed dog is a happy dog.

When their lips curl up and their eyes soften, this is a true doggie smile.

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11. They Have a Good Appetite

If you find your Shih Tzu isn’t eating, there is a good chance something is wrong.

It could be just a little stomach bug, yes, dogs get those too.

Or it could be something more serious.

If your Shih Tzu goes more than a day or two without eating, it is a good idea to take them to a vet.

When your dog has a good appetite, it means they are feeling well and are in good spirits.

12. They Have a Nice Shiny Coat

Another sign of good health and happiness is a shiny, healthy coat.

If your dog is stressed or unwell, they might start losing hair and their coat can look a bit off.

You’ll notice if you take a close look.

Also, if you start to notice your dog scratching a lot or biting or licking their skin there could be a more serious issue from fleas to ear infections and other skin problems.

You might also enjoy:

15 Signs your Shih Tzu Hates You

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To Sum it All Up:

Shih Tzus are a popular breed and why not? They are certainly an adorable breed of dog and having one of them in your home should be a positive experience for everyone involved. Keep an eye out for the signs your dog gives you that lets you know they are healthy and happy. If you don’t see any of these signs it might be time to take your Shih Tzu to the vet to have them checked out to make sure there are no health concerns you need to worry about.

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