Is your Shih Tzu a barker or do they just like to bark at you? It can seem that every time you sit down to relax your little bundle of joy starts barking at you, so you might be wondering, “Why does my Shih Tzu bark at me?” There are several reasons this might be happening. Let’s take a look at the top ones.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Bark at Me?
It can be annoying at times, but you shouldn’t ignore this behavior.
You want to get to the bottom of it if you can.
Let’s check out the top 5 reasons your Shih Tzu might be barking at you.
1. They Are Bored
Shih Tzus need a lot of mental stimulation and toys to keep them busy thorough out the day.
Otherwise, they can get bored, and being bored can lead to bad behavior.
So, one reason your Shih Tzu might be barking at you is to say, “Hey! I need something to do.”
If this is the case, it might be time to get your Shih Tzu a new toy.
Interactive toys, ones where you can put a treat inside or peanut butter work really well at keeping your pup busy and happy and bark-free.
This is one easy way to deal with Shih Tzu barking issues.
2. They Want Your Attention
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Shih Tzus really are a one-person dog.
Yes, they like most everyone, but they only love you.
That means they want your attention – all of the time.
Life gets busy.
You work, you might have kids to take care of, you cook dinner, clean house, and so on.
All of these daily activities take up a lot of your time.
And this is time that your Shih Tzu feels you should be spending giving them attention.
Take a moment to consider how much time you have been spending with your Shih Tzu one-on-one.
Is it less than normal?
Have you been super busy lately, more than typical?
If so, see what you can do to carve out a little extra time to spend with your pup.
Go for a walk.
Take them to the dog park.
Or just sit and cuddle on the sofa. It’s what they love the best anyway.
3. They Are Warning You
Another reason why your Shih Tzu might be barking at you is that they are trying to warn you about something they think they know and that you need to know.
Shih Tzus are a pretty intelligent breed and they want to protect you.
If they feel there is some sort of danger and granted that danger might just be a squirrel in the yard, they want you to know about it.
4. They Want to Play
Sometimes your Shih Tzu just has some excess energy they need to run off.
If you don’t have time for a walk, take ten or fifteen minutes and throw their toys around for them to chase.
They will love it and it doesn’t take long for them to get tired and their energy level to decrease.
I know that when my Truman was younger (he is 17 now and doesn’t really play much anymore) all it would take was about 5 or 10 minutes of throwing his toys for him to fetch before he was done.
It’s not a big time commitment.
And they will calm down and you can go back to what you were doing.
5. They Are Being Territorial
While the above four reasons deal with your Shih Tzu barking at you, your dog might be barking at other members of your household, and there is another common reason for that.
Because your Shih Tzu loves you so much, it can become possessive and not want anyone or anything near you except them.
If you notice your dog barking at others as they get close to you, especially at home, for no apparent reason, then this might be the case.
A Shih Tzu barking at your partner or child can be stressful, so you’ll want to do what you can to stop this behavior.
You’ll find some advice on how to do that here.
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What if Their Barking is Excessive?
If they are barking all the time and not just at you, then you will need to get it under control.
With proper training (you can learn more about how to train your Shih Tzu not to bark here) and some positive reinforcement, you can decrease their barking in time.
Obedience training does help, but this behavioral change won’t happen overnight.
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To Sum it All Up:
Dogs bark. That’s what they do, but if your Shih Tzu is showing signs of excessive barking or barking at you, then there might be a deeper reason. Their body language might give you a clue as to why they are barking, but most often it will be one of the reasons listed above.
This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian or doctor if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.