Have you ever wondered why do Shih Tzus scratch the floor? There is actually a simple answer for this. It has to do with hundreds of years worth of behavior that made sense in the wild, but not so much in the house.
Why Do Shih Tzus Scratch the Floor?
There are a number of reasons why your Shih Tzu scratches the floor.
Here are the most common…
1. It’s in Their DNA
Dog’s ancestors lived in the wild.
This is before they were domesticated.
Because of that, they had to fend for themselves.
Whether it was finding food or keeping warm at night, a dog and its pack couldn’t look to humans to take care of them.
Dogs back then would dig a hole to make a soft bed.
They would also do this to give them a bit of shelter from the weather.
In the winter this hole would provide them a little warmth.
In the summer, it would help them cool off.
Chances are your Shih Tzu has a nice, comfortable bed in a house with regulated temperatures, but they still have this urge from days of old.
2. Your Shih Tzu is Nervous at Night
If your Shih Tzu is mostly scratching the floor at night, it could be a sign that they are nervous.
I know that my Truman gets a little nervous at night.
That hasn’t always been the case, but now that he is older, 17 years old, he doesn’t hear or see as well as he used to.
Those shadows bother him more now than when he was a young dog.
You, Shih Tzu, could also be scared due to a storm or some other loud noise.
Try to pay attention to when and how often and what is going on when your Shih Tzu starts to scratch the floor.
It will give you a clue as to why behind the behavior.
3. Marking Their Territory
Dogs use scents to mark their territory.
Dogs sweat from the pads on their paws through scent glands.
They don’t sweat through their skin as humans do.
When they scratch the floor this sweat is released onto the surface.
This helps them mark their territory.
4. Your Pup is in Pain or Stressed Out
Sometimes this scratching behavior is a sign that your Shih Tzu is in pain.
They may try to relieve the pain by scratching.
This will help them relieve the stress that comes with pain.
If you’re concerned about medical issues, be sure to see your vet right away.
Unfortunately, your Shih Tzu can’t tell you that they are in distress, but as a pet owner, you need to do what you can to pick up on the signals they are giving you.
5. They Are Having Fun
Dogs love to have fun and they are pretty good at entertaining themselves.
A lot of dogs, including Shih Tzus, love to dig.
While they aren’t going to get very far if they are trying to dig up your floors, that doesn’t mean they aren’t having a good time.
If your Shih Tzu doesn’t lay down after scratching, then they could just be bored and looking for a way to burn off some excess energy.
Throw them a toy or two to entertain them and see what happens.
It won’t take long for that extra energy to be spent and then they will be happily sitting next to you on the sofa in no time.
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Why Does My Shih Tzu Scratch the Carpet?
Your Shih Tzu scratches the carpet for the same reason they scratch other floorings in your house or even their own bed.
They don’t really care what the surface is and it doesn’t make much of a difference to them.
A floor or carpet is all the same in your doggy’s eyes.
Why Do Shih Tzus Rub Their Bodies on the Carpet?
It all depends on what part of their bodies they are rubbing on the carpet.
A Shih Tzu can get an ear infection pretty easily.
It is quite common.
So, if they are rubbing their ear on the carpet that could be the reason.
Just flip their ear over and take a look.
If the inside of their ear looks red or has red bumps on it, this could be an ear infection and you’ll want to visit your vet right away.
I remember the first time my Shih Tzu, Truman, got an ear infection.
He acted fine until one day and he was showing some odd behavior.
When I looked at the underside of his ear I was shocked and a little freaked out.
It was completely red and angry-looking.
Needless to say, we went to the vet that day and got it taken care of.
If your Shih Tzu likes to rub his face and body on the carpet after they have been outside, that’s something completely different.
While this might seem like strange behavior, it really isn’t…for a dog.
When they were outside they discovered all sorts of new smells.
Once back inside they want to spread those smells inside.
After a bath, your Shih Tzu might rub on the carpet to scratch their back or because the floor smells more like they did before they got a bath and they want to get the scent back.
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To Sum it All Up:
While scratching on your floor may seem like odd animal behavior, it is actually instinctual behavior for your Shih Tzu. Unless they are scared or in pain, ground scratching is completely normal.
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 veterinarian advice.