Do Shih Tzu Bark a Lot? (+5 Things You Need to Know About Barking)

The answer is that Shih Tzu does a lot of barking. Shih Tzus have nice behavior, but their barking might be a problem sometimes. They bark at anything close to them. In the end, they’re a barking breed, but it might be annoying sometimes.

Shih Tzus may be little and adorable. However, they can be extremely loud, especially when they bark.

Whether you’re planning to get a Shih Tzu, or you already have one, here are a few things you may need to know. I compiled a couple of questions about their barking habits.

Let’s get into it!

Why do Shih Tzus bark so much?

Shih Tzus bark so much because it’s their nature. These dogs are generally alert and lively. 

Moreso, most of them believe it’s their duty to protect the house of their owner. Thus, they usually bark at anyone unfamiliar to them.

At the same time, they have quite sensitive senses. As a result, they respond even to the smallest sounds and actions, especially if they sense it for the first time.

Generally, when your Shih Tzu barks, it is trying to alert you about some danger or possible threat.

Like all other dogs, Shih Tzus bark as their way of communicating with you and the rest of the world.

For this reason, your pet can also bark when they are trying to tell you something.

As a result, you should expect a lot of barking if you’re yet to bring home a Shih Tzu pup.

At the same time, if you already have a pet, you should get used to barking as a sign to attend to it, whatever the purpose.

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Are Shih Tzus barkers?

Shih Tzus are barkers to unfamiliar people. Indeed, they may produce loud barks, but they are friendly and loyal nevertheless.

If you already own a Shih Tzu for some time, you probably already know how loud they can be.

Setting that aside, they don’t usually bark with harmful intent. Shih Tzus are curious dogs, and they bark even in small toys and other things.

If you’re wondering if they are good pets, yes, these dogs are good pets.

Once they get to know you, Shih Tzus can be one of the friendliest dogs you could ever meet.

With proper socialization and some time, they return the favor by being loyal and devoted to you.

Don’t be afraid to consider a Shih Tzu puppy if you worry about them being barkers.

Trust me. A Shih Tzu’s bark may even seem cute most of the time.

At what age do Shih Tzus start barking?

shih tzu

After three weeks, Shih Tzu puppies start to become accustomed to smelling. During that time as well, they also begin to hear clearly.

As a result, it’s also the time they start to vocalize and produce some soft barks. Keep in mind that the first noises of Shih Tzu puppies aren’t barks but mere cries.

If your pet is way past three weeks and still hasn’t barked, wait for another week or two.

Their barking can start sooner or later, depending on various reasons.

Thus, don’t worry if it’s taking too long for your pet to bark. Wait for a little more days or a week, and it’ll eventually learn to do so.

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Why do Shih Tzu’s bark at night?

Shih Tzus bark for a couple of reasons. If they continuously bark during the night, it can be either three things: 

  • They sense a threat.
  • They are feeling lively & playful.
  • They aren’t feeling well.

Shih Tzus are excellent watchdogs because of their keen senses. Although they can’t fight off burglars or thieves, they can make loud noises to alert their owners.

If they are feeling threatened, they will bark loud and continuous. 

Another thing is that they didn’t get the chance to play in the day, and they have the energy to bark and play at night.

For this reason, make sure your pet gets the daily exercise to make sure they get sleepy and tired at the end of the day.

Last, your pet may bark at you if it’s feeling any pain or complications. You may know this if they show signs of pain in their body.

Whatever the reason, don’t ignore your pet’s bark at night. If they do so, it means something is wrong, or something requires your attention.

My Shih Tzu doesn’t bark – what does it mean?

If your Shih Tzu is still four months old and below, you probably need to wait for a little bit more.

Like all other dogs, Shih Tzus will never forget to bark once they learned they could do so.

Since their senses start to mature at an early age of 3-4 weeks, they should begin making noises during that time.

Now, if you’re Shih Tzu already barked and has suddenly stopped, it may mean it doesn’t find any reason to do so.

Still, it may cause you to worry since older dogs always find a reason to bark.

Another thing is that your dog is suffering from complications related to barking.

Any complications that cause harm or pain to their voice can make them stop barking.

If you’re seeing any signs of pain, it’s better to consult your vet. Other than that, your dog should be barking after some time.

Do you know if shih tzus like to cuddle? Check it out!

How to stop Shih Tzu from barking?

Now, if your Shih Tzu keeps on barking and you want it to stop, here are nine tips to help you prevent it from doing such:

  • Figure out why your Shih Tzu is barking at night and solve it.
  • Lessen distractions.
  • Provide adequate activity during the day.
  • Reduce separation anxiety.
  • Don’t yell or demand that your Shih Tzu be quiet.
  • Provide a special toy only at night.
  • Seek out professional help.


Shih Tzus are cute little pets. Thus, at first glance, you won’t think they are noisy pets. In reality, Shih Tzus can bark quite loudly, and they can continue to do so if they want or if they feel the need for it.

Barking can be both positive and negative, depending on your perspective. Some people prefer loud barks, while some easily get annoyed by such.

The thing about such a habit is that it is a dog’s way to communicate. Thus, if you’re planning to include a dog in your life, then prepare to hear some barks.


Image Credits – Photos by Dieny Portinanni and Matheus Queiroz on Unsplash

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