Just like any other breed, the Shih Tzu may be vocal, quiet or somewhere that is in between. However, being vocal is not necessarily a bad thing. If you have a puppy or dog that is just expressing their happiness or barking in response to some sort of stimuli like a favourite toy or going for a walk, it can be very normal It can and does become a problem whenever the Shih Tzu barks to a point of excess.

Out of control barking that almost seems to be on autopilot and driving you and the rest of your household or neighbours crazy needs to be addressed. All too often, there is a reason that the Shih Tzu is barking. It can be easy to dismiss the behaviour of the dog just being yappy. However, there is usually always a trigger, or several triggers. There is always some way that you can stop the behaviour. Shih Tzu’s are very lively and alert watchdogs.

They can be very joyful as an addition to your family. Keep in mind that all dogs will bark from time to time, but these are cute yappers that can be a bit of an earful if you do not train them properly with leadership from their human counterparts. The Shih Tzu will usually respond well to training that is consistent.


The simple list below provides a guide to some of the training item that will help when working with your Shih Tzu to solve any excessive barking issues.

  • Treats
  • Leash
  • Toys
  • Dog sitter (optional)
  • Professional trainer (optional)
  • Spray bottle (optional)


Step 1 – You want to start training the very moment that you have your new Shih Tzu puppy at your home. If the puppy starts to whine or bark, simply close his/her muzzle closed and just say “Quiet” or a command that is similar. Then release the dog muzzle and praise when the quietness continues on Step 2 – Try to avoid yelling at your Shih Tzu when it barks. When the dog barks at a stranger, you yelling at them will only make you think that you are barking along with them at the stranger. Yelling will also cause more stress for the dog, which is according to the well known American Shih Tzu Club. Step 3 – You can teach the “speak” command.

It is recommended by the Humane Society to arrange for someone to knock at your door whenever you say speak so your dog barks. You can hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose and then while he/she is sniffing the treat, you can say “speak”. Just give the treat whenever the dog barks, or you can repeat the process with the knock. Step 4 – Teach the command for “quiet” right after your dog is consistent with “speak”. Tell the dog to “speak” and then whenever your Shih Tzu barks, you can say “quiet”.

Give a treat when the barking stops. Step 5 – Give the Shih Tzu attention on an individual basis by way of daily playtime, walks and petting. Playtime alone will not fulfil the basic walking needs, which will lead to behaviour issues including barking. This tends to be the view of most canine experts. Step 6 – Take away all stimuli that seem to cause excessive barking. You may not be able to control the stimuli, but you can close your curtains and put your dog in a different room. Some owners will even bring their dog in the house or use a crate whenever there are noises and activities going on outside. Step 7 – In lieu of training, ignore your Shih Tzu until the barking stops. Make sure to give treats and praise whenever your dog is being quiet. If he is trying to get attention, simply turn your back.