Shih Tzu Barking – What Can You Do About It?

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Shih Tzus are such sweet, affectionate dogs, but some of them do love to bark. You might luck out and get a quiet one, but if not, chances are you’re wondering what can you do about Shih Tzu barking? The good news is there are ways to quiet the roar of this tiny lion.

Shih Tzu Barking 

While it might get a bit annoying, there are reasons your Shih Tzu is barking.

Once you understand why it becomes easier to correct the behavior.

Amazingly, the vast majority of Shih Tzus do not have a barking problem.

I know my two don’t. Truman will bark when someone comes to the door (I don’t see that as an issue.)

And Sammy never barks. I’ve had her 14 years and I may have heard her bark 10 times if that. 

She is a very quiet dog.

But on to why Shih Tzus bark.

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Why Shih Tzus Bark

One of the reasons Shih Tzus bark is because they are bored or lonely.

It gives them something to do and it gets your attention which is another reason they bark.

If they bark loud enough and long enough then you will give in and give them the attention they desire.

Even if you yell at them or scold them, you have still given them attention.

And this attention will reinforce their negative behavior.

Make sure they have plenty of toys to keep them busy so they don’t get bored.

Another reason they bark is to alert you to something.

This could an actual threat or just someone knocking on the door.

Either way, they are aware of something or someone and they want you to be aware of it as well.

A lot of Shih Tzus will bark when someone comes to the door, but typically will stop once you open the door or the person comes inside. 

When Truman was younger, he would continue to bark when someone came into the house. 

I finally broke him of this habit, but it did take some time.

The last reason your Shih Tzu may bark is to warn you to stay away.

They could be injured or sick or in pain and don’t want to be touched.

If this is the case, then you should take them to the vet right away to determine the cause.

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How to Train Your Shih Tzu Not to Bark

Let’s face it a dog that barks all the time can be a little annoying.

Yelling at them to stop isn’t going to help anything.

If you live in an apartment, then your neighbors are going to be none too happy about all the yapping, and you can’t blame them.

So, what can you do?

You will never be able to get your dog to stop barking completely, and you shouldn’t want to.

It is their way to communicate with you and warn you if there is danger or something you should know.

What you do want to stop is excessive barking.

The best time to do this is when they are a puppy, but if that ship has sailed, never fear, there is still hope.

Here’s how to train your Shih Tzu not to bark…

  1. Make sure you have some training treats on hand.
  2. Find a time when your Shih Tzu is calm.

There are a couple of different ways to train your dog not to bark.

The first is to ignore them.

This can be easier said than done.

Very often Shih Tzus bark for attention, so you need to not give them what they want.

You will want to get your dog barking. Do something that normally causes them to bark such as ringing the doorbell.

When they start barking literally turn your back on them and ignore them.

This can be more difficult than it sounds.

Continue to show them your back and ignore them until they stop barking.

When they finally do stop barking, turn back around and tell them they’re a good dog and give them a training treat.

This certainly isn’t an overnight fix, but over time, they will start to figure out that they don’t get what they want when they bark, and they will bark less.

The second is holding their muzzle.

You will need to do this every time they bark.

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Consistency is key.

Trigger them to bark as you did in the first method.

Once they start barking, put your hand around their muzzle.

Hold it closed for just a few seconds – gently.

While you are holding their muzzle closed, use a prompt such as the word quiet or stop.

Release their muzzle and see what happens.

If they stop barking, praise them and give them a treat.

If they continue to bark, hold their muzzle again.

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At some point, try just saying your prompt without holding their muzzle.

You should get to the point where this will work.

Again, this will take time.

Your furry friend can be stubborn and you won’t change this type of barking overnight.

It will take some work, but it will be worth it for both of you when you decrease incessant barking.

Your frustration level will decrease as well, and you and your Shih Tzu can have a much happier co-existence.

Either of these methods can be used during the normal course of your day and in training sessions.

Something else you will want to do is to make sure your Shih Tzu is getting enough exercise.

As they say, a tired dog is a good dog.

Excess energy can lead to boredom which can lead to barking and other bad behavior.

Daily walks can help with this.

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To Sum it All Up:

Shih Tzu barking can be an issue, but proper training can help you deal with excessive barking. Just don’t expect perfection overnight. It will take time and work and patience to train your Shih Tzu not to bark but in the end, it will be worth it. 



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. This article should not be considered in any way as a veterinarian or advice.


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