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Do Shih Tzus Bark a Lot? How Much & How to Stop It

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Shih Tzu barking at something

Do Shih Tzus Bark a Lot? How Much & How to Stop It

Do Shih Tzus bark a lot? It’s one of the most common questions asked about this breed. The short answer is “Yes.” Shih Tzus will bark at just about everything. Whether it’s a noise outside, someone walking by the house, or even another dog in the neighborhood, chances are your Shih Tzu will bark at it.

But how much do Shih Tzus typically bark, and is there anything you can do to stop it? Let’s find out!


Are Shih Tzus Big Barkers?

Upon first glance, it’s easy to see why people think Shih Tzus bark a lot. They’re small dogs with big voices and are not afraid to use them! But believe it or not, this is actually more of a disadvantage than an advantage.

Smaller dogs have higher-pitched barks, which can be irritating after a while. And since Shih Tzus are often found in urban areas, their constant barking can become a nuisance to neighbors and passersby.

Why Are Shih Tzus So Loud?

There are a few reasons for this. First and foremost, they were bred to be companion dogs. This means they’re very attached to their owners and want to be with them at all times. When they can’t be by your side, they tend to bark out of loneliness or anxiety.

Shih Tzus are also very territorial. They see their home as their domain and will bark at anything that enters it, whether it’s a person, animal, or even a piece of mail! This instinct is further exacerbated by the fact that Shih Tzus are naturally suspicious of strangers.

These characteristics combine to create a dog that is both vocal and territorial. So what can you do to stop your Shih Tzu from barking all the time?

Shih Tzu on a leash barking
Image Credit: Alexander Nadrilyanski, Pexels

Can Shih Tzu Be Trained Not to Bark?

Yes! The best way to stop your Shih Tzu from barking all the time is to give them plenty of exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog is less likely to bark out of boredom or frustration.

Take your Shih Tzu for long walks, runs, or hikes. If you have a backyard, let them run around in it for a while each day. And if you live in an apartment, make sure to take them out for potty breaks frequently.

In addition to exercise, another great way to reduce barking is to provide your Shih Tzu with lots of mental stimulation. This can be in the form of puzzle toys, food-dispensing toys, or even just simple training exercises.

The more engaged your Shih Tzu is, the less likely they are to bark out of boredom or frustration. And if they do start barking, you can quickly redirect their attention to something more positive.

Understanding Your Dog’s Temperament

All dogs are different and will therefore respond to training in different ways. It’s important to understand your dog’s individual temperament in order to train them most effectively.

Some dogs are more independent and aloof, while others are more affectionate and clingy. Some dogs are highly food-motivated, while others couldn’t care less about treats. And some dogs learn best through positive reinforcement, while others respond better to negative reinforcement.

It’s important to take all of these factors into account when training your Shih Tzu not to bark at everything it sees or out of frustration. For example, if your Shih Tzu is highly food-motivated, you may want to use treats as a way to reward them for quiet behavior.

Conversely, if your Shih Tzu is more independent, you may need to find a way to make the training process more challenging, such as using a puzzle toy that dispenses treats.

The best way to figure out how to train your Shih Tzu not to bark so much is to consult with a professional dog trainer. They will be able to assess your dog’s individual temperament and come up with a training plan that is tailored specifically for your dog.

shih tzu with puppy cut
Image By: AlexFilim, Shutterstock


Top 4 Care Tips for Shih Tzus

In general, caring for your Shih Tzu is not difficult. But like all dogs, they do require some basic grooming and care. In this section, we’ll give you some tips on how to best take care of your Shih Tzu.

1. Feeding

It’s best to feed your Shih Tzu high-quality dog food. This will help to ensure that they stay healthy and have all the nutrients they need. You should also avoid giving them too many treats, as this can lead to weight gain.

Try sticking with dog food that’s all-natural and has no fillers or artificial ingredients. You can also talk to your vet about what kind of food you should feed your Shih Tzu.

shih tzu dog getting wet food from owner at kitchen
Image By: chaoss, Shutterstock

2. Grooming

Shih Tzus don’t require a lot of grooming, but they do need some basic care. You should brush their fur regularly to prevent tangles and mats. You should also trim their nails every few weeks to keep them from getting too long.

It’s also a good idea to bathe your Shih Tzu every few months. This will help to keep their fur clean and healthy. Just be sure to use a mild shampoo that’s designed for dogs.

3. Exercise

Your Shih Tzu needs at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This can include walking, running, or playing fetch. It’s important to make sure that they get enough exercise to stay healthy and avoid boredom—and barking!

You can also take your Shih Tzu to the dog park or on hikes. Just be sure to keep them on a leash at all times, as they may try to chase after smaller animals.

4. Training

Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs and can be easy to train. But, like all dogs, they will need some patience and consistency. Start with basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. Once your dog has mastered these commands, you can move on to more advanced tricks.

It’s also a good idea to socialize your Shih Tzu from an early age. Doing so will help them to be less shy and more confident around other dogs and people.

divider-dog paw

In Conclusion

Barking can quickly become annoying in any dog breed. But in Shih Tzus, it can be even more bothersome due to the pitch. Fortunately, the right training and care can help to minimize barking. Just be patient, consistent, and loving with your furry friend. Before you know it, they’ll be a mindful and well-behaved little companion.

Featured Image Credit: Alexas Fotos, Pexels

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