If you own a shih tzu, you’ll know that these dogs are full of personality and make excellent watch dogs.
However, they can also be yappers.
Why do dogs bark for no reason?
There are actually many reasons why a dog might bark incessantly, such as if it’s fearful, lonely, seeking attention, and sometimes even if it’s playing!
By understanding why your Shih Tzu is barking so much, you can help to deal with the issues at hand.
You’ll also be able to stop feeling so stressed out that the neighbors are going to complain.
Do Shih Tzus Tend To Bark A Lot?
While all dog breeds can bark from time to time, Shih Tzus are a type of breed that does tend to bark quite a bit.
Although this isn’t always the case, your Shih Tzu might be a chatty fellow who barks at anything that crosses its path, from the mailman to strangers, and it might love barking whenever it hears the doorbell.
Shih Tzus are quite territorial and they want to protect the home against dangers.
While you love that about your furry friend, what you probably don’t like so much is that your dog is becoming a nuisance.
How Do You Get Your Shih Tzu To Stop Barking?
If you want to try to get your Shih Tzu to quit all that incessant barking, it first helps to know what not to do.
Your Shih Tzu is a stubborn dog, so scolding it won’t do the trick. It will respond more positively to positive reinforcements.
That said, avoid coddling it during training, as that can cause it to become overly fearful and nervous, which could cause it to bark even more!
How Can You Train Your Shih Tzu To Stop Barking?
If your Shih Tzu can’t seem to stop barking even when there’s no one around and nothing to warrant barking, there are ways in which you can train it to stop.
Here’s a rundown of some successful methods to try:
Method One: Remove Triggers
One of the easiest ways to prevent your Shih Tzu from barking is to remove any barking triggers.
So, if your dog keeps barking when it sees people walking in the street, close the curtains so that it can’t see them.
When you have to take your dog outside, prevent it from barking excessively by covering its carrier with a blanket so it can’t see things that trigger it to bark.
Other things you can do include putting your dog in a different room of the house where it isn’t exposed to triggers.
Although the above can work, they are more of a short-term solution to the problem.
When your Shih Tzu is exposed to the triggers again, it will probably bark again.
In order to create a longer-term result when it comes to preventing your Shih Tzu from barking, you’ll have to ensure that you train it so that it stops barking.
That’s where the other methods in this guide come into play.
Method Two: Ignore Your Shih Tzu
This is the first method we’re outlining that is more about training your dog not to bark so much or for no reason.
Your Shih Tzu might be barking to try to get your attention, so not giving it can help your pet to stop trying to use barking as an attention-seeking ploy. Here’s what you need to do.
- Produce a sound that tends to make your Shih Tzu bark, such as by pressing the doorbell.
- As soon as your Shih Tzu starts barking, turn your back and ignore it completely.
- Don’t give in, even if it continues barking. You have to wait it out and it might take a while but it’ll be worth it.
- Turn around when your Shih Tzu has stopped barking and give it a treat.
- You should repeat this regularly to teach your Shih Tzu that barking for attention won’t get your attention.
Method Three: The “Speak” And “Quiet” Training Method
In this training method you’ll use two commands: “speak” and “quiet.” Here’s how it works.
- Say “speak” to your dog and then make it bark, such as by knocking on the door or doing something else that triggers it.
- Hold a treat right in front of your dog and say “speak.”
- When the dog barks, let it eat the treat.
- If your dog doesn’t bark, don’t give it the treat and repeat the process. Only give it a treat when it barks.
- Now, once your dog has learned the above training, you should introduce the “quiet” command.
- How this works is that you should tell your dog to “speak” and when it starts barking, you should say “quiet.”
- Repeat this until your dog learns that it has to stop barking when it’s told. When it does, then give it a treat.
Method Four: The Throw Can Method
This method is specifically beneficial if you want to train your dog not to bark when you’re not at home.
How it works is that you have to train your dog not bark when it can’t see you. So, here’s how you’ll do it.
- When you are ready to leave the house, stand outside the door and remain quiet.
- Your dog will probably already be on the other side of the door, getting ready to bark because you have left so wait for that to happen.
- When your Shih Tzu starts to bark, don’t say anything to it. Instead, shake a throw can outside the door so it will hear it.
- If the dog continues barking, continue shaking the throw can.
- You should do this until the dog stops barking.
- Then, go back inside the house and praise it for being quiet.
Important Tips For Training Your Shih Tzu
If you want to train your Shih Tzu with the methods we outlined earlier, it’s important to stick to the following tips for best results.
- Avoid babying your dog. Shih Tzus are a dog breed that is prone to what’s known as “small dog syndrome.” This syndrome causes the pet to think that he’s the leader of his owners, whom he sees as being humans in his pack. It can cause the Shih Tzu to bark a lot because he thinks that will ensure he gets what he wants. To prevent this from happening, don’t coddle or baby your Shih Tzu. Instead, make sure you’re consistent and firm when training it so that it sees that you’re the leader of the pack.
- Make sure you give your dog enough exercise. You need to ensure that your Shih Tzu gets a walk every single day. This ensures that it stays healthy and happy. You might be wondering what this daily walk has to do with preventing your dog from barking. Well, if your Shih Tzu doesn’t get daily exercise, it will be more prone to experiencing behavioural problems. The key is to keep your Shih Tzu calm and happy, such as by engaging and playing with it regularly so that it doesn’t bark out of frustration or loneliness. Bear in mind that your Shih Tzu is a very social, loving dog.
At what age does a Shih Tzu start barking?
Your Shih Tzu will become vocal from about the age of three weeks. You’ll hear that its first sounds will be whining, chirps, and grunting.
Are treats good rewards to give your Shih Tzu?
Treats work as rewards, but they shouldn’t be the only way you praise your pet.
You don’t want your pet to become used to the treats as this will have the effect of making them not listen to you when treats aren’t available.
Mix up the rewards by making them consist of affection, toys, and praise.
Why should you never shout at your Shih Tzu to stop barking?
Not only is shouting cruel because it can instil fear and stress in your dog, it also has another effect: when you shout, your dog could think that you’re joining it in barking against whatever is upsetting it!
If your lively and energetic Shih Tzu has started barking a lot, it’s probably causing you to feel frustrated.
Although your Shih Tzu is quite stubborn, there are simple ways in which you can train him or her to stop annoying you and the neighbors with its noise.
In this article, we’ve looked at the issue of Shih Tzu barking and provided you with various ways in which to train it to be quieter and calmer.
Time spent with your pet is calm and happy.