Do Shih Tzus Howl? (You Might Be Surprised!)

brown and white shih tzu barking
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All dogs are descendants of wolves and share certain features with them. These features include howling. Do Shih Tzus howl? Since they are descendants of wolves, it is possible that they do. Let’s get into the details of whether or not Shih Tzus howl.

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Do Shih Tzus Howl?

Even though they are docile toy breeds, Shih Tzus are still very much descendants of wolves, and howling is one of the direct features they got from their ancestors.

So, yes, Shih Tzus howl.

Simply put, Shih Tzus can howl and will howl when necessary.

Shih Tzus are not howlers in that they will not randomly or routinely howl.

Still, the cute little pooches have the ability to howl. 

What Causes Shih Tzus to Howl?

These dogs do not randomly howl.

An ancestral spirit will not descend on your Shih Tzu and cause it to howl randomly.

When Shih Tzus howl, it is typically purposeful.

Shih Tzus howl to mark their territory.

Yes, your adorable pooch believes that it has a territory and will mark it by howling.

Shih Tzus will announce their ownership of a territory when a possible intruder enters their space.

A Shih Tzu considers another dog its competitor and will howl at the dog to mark its territory.

So, if your Shih Tzu howls randomly, it may just be announcing its presence to another dog.

All your pooch may be saying is, “Back off, this space is already taken.”

Your dog may also just be communicating with other dogs in the area.

After marking their territories and ensuring that everyone knows their place, dogs can bond by howling.

Although this is not a very common trait for Shih Tzus, they could simply be howling to communicate with their friends.

Shih Tzus howling as a way of communicating with other dogs could occur if they are bored.

When they are lonely or bored, they can howl to build up excitement.

They might also just be howling to let you know that they are ready to play.

Your Shih Tzu may simply be saying, “Mama, I am ready, come play with me.”

Your pooch may not be bored or lonely.

The howl may just be because they are trying to communicate with you or get your attention.

You may have noticed them howling at your TV.

They could do this in response to high-pitched sounds.

They could respond to real-life high-pitched sounds the same way.

The high-pitched sounds that could cause Shih Tzus to howl include high-pitched musical notes and sirens.

While neither of my Shih Tuzs has ever howled, I did have a Bouvier years ago and he would howl at any loud noise.

This was especially true for sirens.

a group of dogs, large and small, howling
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Is Howling A Good Thing?

Although howling is a natural trait that Shih Tzus can display, howling is not always a good thing.

Your howling pooch may mean bad news.

Shih Tzus are calm dogs.

They have an even temperament and will not howl excessively except when something is wrong.

The excessive howling of Shih Tzus could be a sign of emotional trauma.

Shih Tzus remember past trauma and will display behaviors that are indicators of past trauma.

If a Shih Tzu is howling excessively, it may simply be because of past emotional trauma.

Seek professional help and find ways to get them to adapt to living with you.    

When Shih Tzus howl excessively, it may also be because they experience separation anxiety.

That is why the moment they notice you’ve been gone for a while, they begin to howl.

If your dog displays signs of separation anxiety, you should see a vet. You may also need a trainer to help improve the mental health of your pooch.

They might also be howling because they are ill and trying to tell you that all is not well.

If your Shih Tzu is howling unnecessarily, and you can’t figure out the reason, visit your vet. 

Excessive howling is not a natural trait of Shih Tzus.

Find out the triggers of this abnormal behavior and seek solutions.

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How to Stop Howling

If you find your Shih Tzu’s howling particularly unappealing, you can apply any of the following measures to curtail the problem.

Express displeasure

Make them know that you do not like the howling.

Do this when the random howling makes you uncomfortable.

You can express your displeasure with a firm and loud “no”.

You can also make a loud noise to get their attention which will distract them and stop the howling.

Anti-Bark Collar

The collar works by delivering a vibration any time your pooch barks.

The vibration serves as a form of warning and is a way to express displeasure.

Anti-bark collars are not dangerous. They do not deliver electric shocks. They are simply tools for behavioral training.

Also, remember to get the root of the problem. Identify why your Shih Tzu is howling and get to the root of the problem.

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Related Questions:

How Do Shih Tzus Communicate?

Apart from howling, Shih Tzus communicate through other means like barking, growling, whining/whimpering, and yelping.

Shih Tzus can bark in low or high tones.

They could bark in low tones when they are trying to alert you to danger. When they bark in high tones, they may simply be trying to get to your attention.

Growling is another way by which dogs communicate.

They typically growl when there is imminent danger.

Shih Tzus will growl at trespassers to get them to leave an area.

Whimpering is a sign of emotional or physical distress for Shih Tzus.

They yelp when they are in pain. Y

ou should investigate when you pooch yelps.

Are Shih Tzus Yappy?

Even though they are toy breeds that are known for their yappy nature, the average Shin Tzu is more bold, loving, and cuddly than yappy.

They could become yappy when trying to get your attention.

You might also enjoy:

Do Shih Tzus Bark a Lot?

Why Does My Shih Tzu Keep Sneezing?

To Sum it All Up:

Shih Tzus can howl because they are descendants of wolves. Although they are not loud animals, Shih Tzus can howl occasionally. Such occasions are natural and are not causes of alarm.

However, they can also howl when they are in distress or need help. If your pooch howl unnecessarily, you should seek professional help to get to the root of the problem. Find the triggers of your pooch’s unnecessary howling and eliminate them.


Please Note:

This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu’s behavior. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.

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