The Shih Tzu can be a very yappy dog, but with proper training, consistency, and regular exercise, problem barking does not have to be a problem for Shih Tzu parents.
However, when the Shih Tzu begins problem barking, it is almost always due to human failure. The most common reasons for problem barking in Shih Tzus include:
- Poor socialization
- Small dog syndrome
- Inadequate exercise
Is the Shih Tzu Yappy?
In short, yes – the Shih Tzu can be a very talkative breed, but as a small dog, that “talk” takes on a high-pitched “yap” rather than the deeper bark we hear from larger dog breeds. This change in vocalization is due to smaller dogs like the Shih Tzu having a shorter respiratory tract which means less vibration.
Shih Tzu Vocalizations
The Shih Tzu is not a shy dog when speaking up, but as such a vocal dog, problem barking can quickly get out of hand. Most often, problem barking results from boredom, poor socialization, small dog syndrome, and inadequate exercise (all caused by human behavior.)
Causes of Yappy Behavior in Shih Tzus
The Shih Tzu is not always a problem barker. When yappy barking is a problem, however, it is almost always caused by human error. Some of the most common reasons that Shih Tzus become problem barkers include:
- Lack of Exercise
- Lack of Attention
- Poor Socialization
Lack of Exercise
Exercise allows your dog to burn off excess energy and interact with the world. If your dog does not get enough exercise, its energy levels build up, and with no interaction with the world, so does frustration.
One of the easiest ways dogs express their frustration is through barking, so it is not surprising that Shih Tzus, who Shih Tzus that do not get regular exercise, can be problem barkers.
Imagine being shut inside a house all day with nothing to do but wait for your best friend to come home to you. You would feel bored too! When our dogs do not have tasks or toys to keep them occupied while we are out of the house, they are likely to express their dismay and boredom through constant barking!
Lack of Attention
Our dogs require our attention, but sometimes we mistakenly give them too much attention; this may not seem like a terrible thing, but pampering your small dog’s every need can give them the impression that they are the center of the universe. This thinking becomes a genuine problem when you cannot share your dog your full attention. This situation often leads to chronic barking problems!
Lastly, socialization is vital in how our dogs behave around others. If we fail to socialize our dogs properly, we cannot be surprised when they respond to unfamiliar stimuli with barking or, in some cases, – chronic yapping!
Conclusion / Summary
The Shih Tzu is a great family pet and companion, but pet parents must provide consistent training, regular exercise, and plenty of stimulation to avoid problem behavior!