10 Shih Tzu Behavior Problems & Solutions

Shih Tzu Behavior Problems

Shih Tzu lovers always want to know about Shih Tzu behavior problems, in this post as a big fan of Shih Tzu, I will outline and discuss the common Shih Tzu behavior problems.

We will also outline some common ways you can control, avoid, or prevent some of the common Shih Tzu behavior problems.

Shih Tzu Behavior Problems

Shih Tzus are a popular and adorable small breed of dog, but they have a couple of behavior problems, which include; prone to begging, difficulty to house train, jumping on people, separation anxiety, excessive barking, destructive chewing, biting, and nipping.

Shih Tzus are sensitive to change and require consistency in their lives. This implies that you should begin teaching your Shih Tzu as soon as possible so that it becomes easy later.

You should also learn whether the dog has any health concerns so that you can address any signs early on before they become greater difficulties.

You should be aware of the following typical Shih Tzu behavior problems:

1. Constantly pursuing people or other pets

Pursuing other animals, humans, and vehicles, as well as chasing moving things, are all examples of Shih Tzus’ excitement impulse.

Allowing your Shih Tzu to chase humans, birds, or other dogs can end in dangerous and fatal outcomes.

Chasing is rarely an issue if properly trained since the Shih Tzu dog was never designed with a predatory instinct.

Shih Tzu dogs like a nice game of tag with another Shih Tzu, and it’s usually a harmless sport unless the chase takes place on a busy road, at which point it can turn into one of those deadly dog habits.

While you may not be able to stop your Shih Tzus from pursuing, you may take steps to avoid disaster.


Here are some suggestions for preventing your Shih Tzu from running after distractions:

  • Keep your Shih Tzu on a leash or in a fenced-in yard to prevent them from chasing after distractions.
  • Don’t let your dog off the leash while you go for a walk.
  • Work on impulse control with your Shih Tzu and train them to come to you when you call.
  • Early and appropriate socializing is beneficial.
  • When it comes to other dogs, cats, or pets, teach your Shih Tzu to remain calm.
  • Seek out the help of a dog behaviorist.

2. Inappropriate urination and excretion

Shih Tzus are known to urinate and excrete inappropriately when they are stressed out or as part of Shih Tzu anxiety symptoms.


  1. Avoid unnecessary activities that lead to stress.
  2. Create and stick to a daily routine that works for you and your Shih Tzu.
  3. Never leave your Shih Tzu alone at home for too long.
  4. Never shout at your Shih Tzu, always use positive reinforcement.
  5. Socialize your Shih Tzu as much as you can.

Read more: 9 Top Reasons Shih Tzu Refuses To Walk.

3. Picky eaters

Some Shih Tzu puppies have an excellent concept of what they prefer to eat, but because they can’t talk, they won’t tell you.

Shih Tzus frequently suffer from revolving taste buds, which can lead them to consume only a few bits or refuse to eat at all.

Most owners are concerned about this, but it is a tendency that can be handled.

A Shih Tzu could be able to detect a protein deficiency in a meal and may refuse to eat such food.

Shih Tzus are known to be fussy eaters since they are aware that eating might cause suffering to them.


  • Any meal that is proving to be effective should be continued.
  • Make the food more appealing if required.
  • Rethink the foods you’re putting on the table.
  • Maintain a schedule that is convenient for you.
  • Consider switching to a grain-free option.
  • Stick to the most effective serving sizes.
  • Consult your veterinarian if you have any medical concerns.
  • Stop sampling too many different types of meals at once to your Shih Tzu. 

4. Begging

As the owner, Shih Tzus have appealing expressions that are difficult to ignore, prompting begging.

Begging is bad behavior, but many dog owners, regrettably, encourage it by feeding their pets while they eat.

Weight gain, digestive issues, and even recurrent diarrhea are all possible outcomes.

The most fundamental technique for avoiding this unpleasant behavior is to never support it in the first place.


  • Don’t look at the dog when he’s begging.
  • Don’t talk to the dog when he’s begging.
  • If he tries to jump on you, twist and turn away from him.
  • Feed your Shih Tzu and eat your food at the same time.
  • Train your dog to do something else than sit at the table and ask for food.
  • Put your dog in his box while you eat.
  • Put your dog in another room while you eat.
  • Place the bowl near the table, so your dog thinks he’s dining with you when it’s time to eat.

5. Separation anxiety

Shih Tzus, like many other little breeds, are prone to separation anxiety.

This is due to Shih Tzus being developed specifically to be human companions.

If they do not achieve their aim of being with their owners, they get afraid and anxious.

To keep your dog happy, help them overcome separation anxiety as soon as possible.


  • You should bring in a second pet as soon as feasible.
  • To keep the puppy interested, make sure there is plenty of new stuffed and entertaining toys.
  • Allow plenty of time for relaxation or exercise.
  • Start your dog on a fresh, suitable crate training program.
  • Make an appointment for your pet to see a behaviorist.
  • Think about hiring a dog sitter.
  • Teach them to leave you alone at home and not to follow you everywhere.

Read more: 9 Shih Tzu Anxiety Symptoms.

6. Play aggression

This is the most prevalent and well-known sort of Shih Tzu behavior issue.

Growling, snarling, flashing fangs, lunging, and biting are all signs of play aggressiveness in Shih Tzus.

It’s quite frequent among Shih Tzus since their owners always tolerate or encourage it because they believe it’s the correct thing to do.

Play aggressiveness in Shih Tzus develops gradually and, if not properly managed, can lead to major problems with your children and your dog.


  1. Begin by playing with your dog softly.
  2. Your dog’s socializing should begin at a young age.
  3. Plan play dates with other puppies and well-behaved adult dogs who can teach your puppy appropriate behavior.
  4. By neutering or spaying your dog, you can reduce hormone-driven aggression.
  5. When your dog engages in friendly play, praise him or her.
  6. Make a toy part of the equation.
  7. Always Stop your dog from playing when a line is crossed.
  8. Stay off the floor if you have a lively Shih Tzu dog.
  9. Encourage others to avoid aggressively seeking attention.
  10. Teach compliance demands and techniques.
  11. Positive reinforcement is the only way to go.

7. Digging

Shih Tzus dig for a variety of reasons, including separation anxiety, play aggression, a lot of energy, loneliness, wanting to get away, and looking for a cool place to relax.

You must determine why your Shih Tzu is digging and address the issue as quickly as possible.

Never leave your Shih Tzu outside for a lengthy amount of time, and keep your Shih Tzu active at all times.

Dogs have an instinctive impulse to dig for a variety of reasons, none of which involve being cruel.


  1. Associate digging to a bad behavior.
  2. Provide lots of mental stimulation activities.
  3. Interrupt the behavior by distracting them.
  4. Make the digging spots unattractive.
  5. Getting rid of rodents.
  6. Establish a daily routine
  7. Provide more chewing toys

Read more: Why Do Shih Tzus Dig: 9 Tips They Dig & Prevention.

8. Chewing

Chewing is a normal pastime for all dogs, but if the dog chews on things that aren’t meant to be eaten, such as shoes, furniture, or electrical wires, chewing may quickly turn into a behavior problem.

Provide lots of toys and chews to keep your dog active and encourage appropriate chewing.

Objects you don’t want to be chewed can be removed or sprayed with a substance like Bitter Apple, which leaves a nasty taste in their mouth.

When Shih Tzus are bored or lonely, they chew like crazy.


  1. Invest in a large number of chewing toys.
  2. Furniture should be sprayed.
  3. More mental stimulation is required.
  4. Give your Shih Tzu extra opportunities to exercise.
  5. Puppy proofing your house is a good idea.

9. Growling and howling

In little dogs like Shih Tzus, growling might be a sign of fear or hostility.

A Shih Tzu will most likely show signs of both, causing them to growl at anybody in their area.

Reduce their growling to make them more accessible, friendly, and less likely to harm people.

It may at first look cute or entertaining, especially with little dogs such as Shih Tzus, but it can upset neighbors and cause difficulties.

Encouraging dogs to howl is not a smart idea. Keep an eye on your dog to ensure that he remains as quiet as possible.


  • Early and adequate socializing are essential.
  • Keeping a consistent daily habit.
  • Remove any and all sources of anxiety.
  • Allow your dog to be alone when they want to be.
  • Please do not mistreat your Shih Tzu.
  • More mental stimulation is required.
  • For medical check-ups, talk to your Shih Tzu veterinarian. 

Read more: 7 Reasons For Shih Tzu Barking At Night.

10. Crying

Emotional stress, loneliness, boredom, pain, hunger, need for love, tension, separation anxiety, demanding attention from their owners, or an allergic reaction can all cause Shih Tzus to weep.

Because Shih Tzus are trained to stay with their owners at all times, there must be a reason for all of the sobbings that the owner is unaware of.

The way Shih Tzus’ eyes bulge out when they’re angry or sad is well-known. They’re also notorious for being abrasive and obnoxious at times.

This breed has been known to weep or scream when left alone for a lengthy amount of time.


  1. Create and stick to a daily routine.
  2. Always keep your Shih Tzu busy at all times.
  3. Create a stress-free atmosphere for your Shih Tzu.
  4. Provide a selection of music and video games as a kind of treatment.
  5. Invest in anti-anxiety medications.
  6. Provide your Shih Tzu with a variety of brain stimulation activities.
  7. Give your Shih Tzu more physical contact and attention.
  8. Pay special attention to your Shih Tzu’s needs.
  9. Purchase a second pet to keep your Shih Tzu company.

Read more: Why Do Shih Tzus Cry: 9 Common Reasons. I hope you now understand Shih Tzu behavior problems!