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Why Should I Not Get a Shih Tzu (Learn About All Its Bad Behaviors)?

Albeit famous for being adorable, Shih Tzu have bad behaviors. The most common type of Shih Tzu behavioral problem is play aggression. They can growl, snarl, and bite. Shih Tzu owners have also reported excessive behaviors like licking, chewing, and digging.
Why Should I Not Get a Shih Tzu?

Table of Contents

Do Shih Tzu Like to Bite?

Shih Tzu can bite. Especially when they are still a puppy, this small breed can sink its teeth in your skin. Fortunately, the bite from these puppies is not harmful. Not until they develop their permanent teeth. Besides, these bites can be prevented by putting your dog in behavior training.

Are Shih Tzu Known for Biting People?

Biting is very rare with Shih Tzu. Yet, they are known to have nipping behavior. Nipping is defined as quick snaps of the jaw. Nip marks are usually on the owner’s hand or lower arm. Most of the time, a Shih Tzu puppy is the one with this problem.

Do Shih Tzu Bite Strangers?

Most Shih Tzu are polite with strangers. Though socialization is needed to gain their trust, they don’t usually bite. But, if your Shih Tzu has problems with aggression, watch out for the warning signs. It might bite anyone who gets in its way.

Do Shih Tzu Bite Their Owners?

Shih Tzu will tend to bite their owners for various reasons. Some of them will bite when teething, playing, or feeling bored. They will also do it when they have a problem with aggression. While most dogs become aggressive in their lifetime, it is very unusual for this breed.

Why Do Shih Tzu Bite You?

Shih Tzu are a very affectionate breed. When they bite, they are usually playing or getting your attention. Perhaps, they are just teething.

Reactive rescue dogs may have become aggressive, causing an attack. These dogs have experienced abuse, anxiety, or poor socialization training.

How Strong Is a Shih Tzu Bite?

Shih Tzu, especially puppies, love to nip. When they nip, blood is rarely drawn unless a small scratch or puncture is produced. However, aggressive Shih Tzu will lock its jaw down and sink its teeth in your skin. You may end up with a moderate or severe puncture with blood drawn.

How Do I Stop My Shih Tzu From Biting Me?

First, you should try to determine the reason behind your Shih Tzu’s biting or nipping behavior. Your dog may be teething. Giving teething toys might quickly resolve the problem. Rule out any health issues by paying your veterinarian a visit. If the nipping or biting persists, it’s time to establish or re-establish proper hierarchy.

Too much playfulness results in sudden nipping. But sometimes, dogs deliberately challenge authority figures by engaging in biting behavior. Put them back in their places by showing them who is alpha.

The easiest way to do this is to make them sit before handing them their food. Another method is being mindful during dog walks. Don’t let your Shih Tzu lead the way. Otherwise, it might take it too literally.

Prioritize your family’s safety. If your dog’s biting behavior roots from aggression, isolate it to prevent bite injuries. Consider hiring a professional canine trainer who specializes in aggressive behaviors.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Puppy Bite So Much?

Your Shih Tzu puppy is most likely going through the teething phase. During this time, they are in discomfort. Providing chew toys might resolve the problem.

Puppies typically explore the world through their mouths. They will outgrow this when they reach nine to twelve months of age.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Puppy Bite Me?

Shih Tzu are generally a very playful breed. Puppies bite you when they want to get your attention to play with you. They are also likely to be teething.

Although Shih Tzu are not usually aggressive, watch out for warning signs. Consult a professional dog trainer if you think your dog is aggressive.

Do Shih Tzu Grow Out of Biting?

After the teething phase, at around ten months of age, your Shih Tzu might finally refrain from biting. If it is still using these behaviors to get your attention, you need to correct it. Do it by simple behavior training.

How to Train a Shih Tzu Puppy Not to Bite

Whether your puppy is teething or playful, you have to react to it appropriately. If you have avoided the bite or not, do the following steps:

  • After Avoiding the Nip:
    Step back from your Shih Tzu. Then, offer a chew toy (a new one, reserved for this situation). If your puppy accepts and begins mouthing it, give praise and let it enjoy it. Doing this will teach your puppy to find comfort from the toy instead of your hands. Eventually, add more to your Shih Tzu’s chew toy collection.
  • If You Did Not Avoid the Bite:
    Firmly say, “No!” Then ignore your Shih Tzu for three minutes. Offer neither eye contact nor speaking. After three minutes, continue your interaction with your puppy. If, after three attempts, your puppy’s behavior persists, put it in a 15-minute timeout. Repeat the process if your Shih Tzu bites again.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Chew Everything?

Generally, with their short muzzles, Shih Tzu are not into chewing. However, a Shih Tzu might chew on anything for different reasons. Puppies may be teething. Chewing on things relieves its itch and discomfort. When it is bored or stressed, its idea of fun might be to chew or rip objects within its reach.

Lack of a suitable routine and limited chew toys add to the factors. When a Shih Tzu is idle through the day, the teething discomfort sets it. It will find something to chew on. Without available teething toys, it will find something else to sink its baby teeth and gums on.

Will Shih Tzu Chew Furniture?

In the absence of suitable chew toys, the Shih Tzu will tend to chew and rip up anything within its reach. This is especially true when it is left alone on its own. Sometimes, even if toys are available, it will prefer to sink its teeth on objects like your shoes and furniture.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Chewing His Paws?

Like some people bite on their nails, Shih Tzu can lick and chew at its paws. Reasons for this include boredom, stress, attention-seeking behaviors, allergies, and other irritants. It may also be caused by parasites, pain, dry skin, or hormone imbalances.

What Can I Give My Shih Tzu to Chew?

If you take a trip to the pet store, most of the chew toys you can see there are safe for your dog. Shih Tzu’s favorites are bully sticks, dental chews, and rawhide chews.

  • Dental Dog Chews: have added benefits of improving your dog’s dental health.
  • Bully Sticks: palatable natural bone-shaped chews that are easy to digest.
  • Rawhide Bones: made with beef and horsehide. It is the sturdiest among the three. Dogs also love its natural flavoring.

When choosing a teething or chew toy, consider the type that your dog prefers. You may need to try out a couple of toys and see if your Shih Tzu agrees with it. Watch how your dog uses it. Be especially keen if you got a nonedible chew toy. Take precautions for possible choking hazards.

At What Age Do Shih Tzu Stop Chewing?

Your Shih Tzu should rest from destructive chewing when the teething phase ends. When their adult teeth erupt, their chewing will likely stop from six to eight months of age.

How Do You Teach a Shih Tzu Not to Chew?

If you find your Shih Tzu in a chewing and ripping frenzy, you need to take action to put your puppy in its proper place. Control your Shih Tzu by doing the following:

  1. Designate an area for your Shih Tzu to stay in. Gating off a part of your room or house where all your dog’s toys and needs are available has many benefits. Since your Shih Tzu is confined in this space, you control the things you give it access to. You also avoid leaving it in isolation when it wanders in the entire house.
  2. Puppy-proof the house. Move objects, particularly shoes, from the floor to a higher surface so your dog cannot reach them. Destructive chewing usually happens when you leave your Shih Tzu alone.
  3. Use chewing deterrent spray. Applying deterrent spray will put a bitter taste on objects. It will keep your dog from mouthing these objects. These sprays are nontoxic and safe for your Shih Tzu. However, these sprays are not 100% effective. There are times when dogs will continue to chew no matter how bitter they taste.
  4. Establish routine. Make sure that your Shih Tzu is occupied in the large part of the day. Feed it its daily dose of interaction. Destructive chewing may stem from isolation, boredom, or stress.
  5. Make sure that your Shih Tzu gets at least two daily walks for 20 minutes each. Throw in a game of fetch or any other cardio activity for it to productively use its energy for the day. Otherwise, it might resort to using its pent-up energy to other damaging means.
  6. Provide appropriate toys. After putting the above in order, make suitable toys available. For your Shih Tzu puppies in their teething phase, look for:
  • Correct Size: not too small but small enough to put in their mouths
  • Right Consistency: flexible and sturdy
  • Right Texture: one with nubs feel great on their gums
  • Optional Flavor: to keep your puppies interested

For older Shih Tzu, look for the same features and can withstand the teeth of a one-year-old dog.

Do Shih Tzu Lick More Than Other Dogs?

Licking is a form of affection. Being a very affectionate breed, your Shih Tzu might do it more than other dogs. Excessive licking can be a usual problem with all dogs. If you notice your Shih Tzu mouthing itself a lot, it may be a sign of an underlying problem that can lead to worse ones.

Why Do My Shih Tzu Lick Me So Much?

Licks are your dog’s version of kisses. When your Shih Tzu licks you, it is its way of expressing how much love and fondness it has for you. Also, after sweating, the salts (sodium, chloride, potassium) on human skin make it taste quite good to a dog.

Besides, your dog might have liked how you reacted to its kisses. Your reaction reinforces this action to be repeated over and over again.

What Does It Mean When a Shih Tzu Licks You?

Licking is the canine equivalent to kissing. When your Shih Tzu “kisses” you, it means that it is very fond of you and wants to show you its affection. It may also mean submission. Submissive dogs are found to lick a more dominant member of their pack.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Mouth?

Most dogs greet their owners and express their love by licking. Finding your skin salty and “tasty,” your Shih Tzu might also be tasting the last meal in your mouth. That is why it must be meaning to “kiss” you on the mouth.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Hand?

For affection, submission, and fondness for the taste of human skin, your Shih Tzu is licking your hand. It may also be because of the smell and taste of something you held or touched. Perhaps, it was food or any other object it might be interested in or curious about.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Legs?

When your Shih Tzu licks your leg, it tries to express something to you. Especially if you are standing and your legs are the only part it can reach, then it is trying to call your attention.

Watch its body language for additional clues. It may be a greeting, regard, obedience, or a request for a walk.

Why Do Shih Tzu Lick the Floor?

All dogs may develop behavior that involves excessive licking of surfaces. According to research, the most common reason for licking the floor is stomach pain. If your Shih Tzu suddenly licks the floor for no apparent reason (such as spilled food or drink), pay a visit to the veterinarian to address any gastrointestinal concerns.

Why Do Shih Tzu Lick Their Paws?

When Shih Tzu lick their paws, it may be due to physical or emotional reasons. Physically, your Shih Tzu is licking its paws, possibly because of dry skin or irritation. Treat potential allergies, irritants, and other skin concerns by bringing it to the veterinarian.

Emotionally, excessive licking may be due to anxiety or isolation. Address this behavior soon. Waiting too long may result in thinning hair on its paws (areas usually licked) and infection.

How Do I Get My Shih Tzu to Stop Licking?

You must first identify the cause of this excessive behavior. Causes may range from parasites and skin maladies to other diseases. If your Shih Tzu is licking itself for physical reasons, you may want to look into its surroundings. Check its doggie bed, shampoo, comb, skin, and coat.

Licking may stem from emotional issues. Several things may be triggering its stress. These are its daily routine, duration of exercise, relationship with household members or other pets, and others.

Consider all possible sources of this behavior. It may only be a bad habit it has recently adapted. Behavior training is then necessary to unlearn it. It is best to consult with your vet. He will identify the problem and implement the best treatment plan to address the issue.

Do Shih Tzu Love to Dig?

Shih Tzu enjoy digging. All dogs have a natural instinct to explore.

Shih Tzus have a variety of reasons why they do it. Digging serves as an outlet for separation anxiety and boredom. When their owners leave, they dig to be happy and occupy themselves.

Sometimes, your Shih Tzu might turn to digging to seek your attention when you are busy.

When it is hot, dogs also love to explore on the lawn to find a cool spot to roll on. They also tend to dig when they intend to bury something.

Why Do Shih Tzu Bury?

When dogs bury stuff, they most likely consider it their prized possession. It becomes an issue when they bury perishable goods. Burying food may also indicate a lack of appetite or overfeeding. By hiding the food under the ground, they save it for later.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Dig at the Floor?

When dogs dig at the floor, they mimic the action they usually do on the lawn to find a nest to rest in. You will notice that they then lie down on the same spot they’ve been digging. If they don’t, they probably have different reasons for doing so.

One other motive for digging on the floor is to investigate or explore. They may have smelled something on the spot, such as rodent droppings, etc., and want to learn more about it.

Your Shih Tzu’s digging may also be a sign that they are marking their territory. Dogs have scent glands at the bottom of their toes and by the act of scratching, they secrete pheromones. Doing this allows them to leave a chemical message for other dogs to find.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Dig at My Legs?

When your Shih Tzu appears to be digging at your legs, it is most likely pawing you. It is its way of calling your attention to show its affection. At play, it might tell you to play with it or pet it longer.

Occasionally, pawing is a cry for help. Your Shih Tzu might be telling you it is sad or is in pain.

Should I Let My Shih Tzu Dig?

Digging is a good exercise and stress reliever for dogs. Your Shih Tzu also enjoys it a lot.

However, digging in your lawn or garden may be harmful. Your Shih Tzu may dig under the fence and get lost outside.

The holes on the ground and displaced dirt in your yard may also add work for you.

Rather than removing this activity that your Shih Tzu loves, you can designate a sandbox or a digging area in a part of your space. Train it to dig in this area by initially burying a bag of treats. It will motivate your dog to always find treasure in this part of your lawn.

How Do You Teach a Shih Tzu Not to Dig?

If you don’t see yourself indulging your dog in a dig, there are ways to stop it. But whatever you do, do not punish your Shih Tzu for digging. Doing it might worsen the situation. Instead, reward your dog for good behaviors.

Find out what your Shih Tzu gets from digging. If you see that it digs for fun, make fun readily available. Walk and play with it regularly. These burn up excess energy. If you think it is planning to bury or hunt something in the yard, keep it indoors for other activities to divert its attention.

Finally, if your Shih Tzu is digging to find comfort, make sure that its bed is neither hot nor cold. The key is to answer its needs before it starts looking for them by digging. Keep it happy, calm, and content by spending ample time with it.