Do you have concerns about your Shih Tzu barking? Just like any other breed, the Shih Tzu may be vocal, quiet or somewhere in between. However, being vocal is not necessarily a bad thing. If you have a Shih Tzu 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.

However, it does become a problem when your Shih Tzu barking becomes excessive. Out of control barking that seems to be on auto pilot, driving you and the rest of your household or neighbours to your wit’s end!


All too often, there is a reason that your Shih Tzu is barking. It can be easy to dismiss the behaviour of the dog as just being “yappy”. However, there is always a trigger … or several triggers. There is always some way that you can stop this unwanted behaviour.

Shih Tzus are very lively and alert watchdogs.  Keep in mind that all dogs will bark from time to time, but Shih Tzu’s can be a bit of an earful if you do not train them properly with leadership from their human pack. The Shih Tzu will usually respond well to training that is consistent.

 Training For Helping Minimise Excessive Shih Tzu Barking

Items that you will need:

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

Step 1 – You want to start Shih Tzu training the very moment that you have your new Shih Tzu puppy at your home. If the puppy starts to whine or bark, gently place your hand around your puppy’s muzzle and say “Quiet” or a command that is similar. Release your dog’s muzzle and praise if the quietness continues. Soon you will be able to say “quiet’ and the puppy will be quiet. [easyazon_link identifier=”B004WJ7I1Y” locale=”UK” tag=”hynl-21″]Treats[/easyazon_link] can be used to reward the quiet behaviour.

Step 2 – Avoid yelling at our Shih Tzu Barking. When the dog barks at a stranger, yelling at them will only make them think that you are “barking” with them at the stranger. Yelling can also cause more stress for your pet, according to the American Shih Tzu Club.

Step 3 – Teach the “Speak” command. Arrange for someone to knock at your door when you say “Speak” so your dog barks at the command. Hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose and while they are sniffing the treat, say “Speak”. Give the treat whenever the dog barks, or repeat the process with the knock.

Step 4 – Teach the command for “Quiet” when your dog is consistent with the “Speak” command. Tell your Shih Tzu to “Speak” and when your dog barks, say “Quiet”. Give the treat as soon as they stop barking.

Step 5 – Taking your Shih Tzu for a daily walk, as well as spending time playing and petting, will help to avoid behaviour issues like barking.

Step 6 – Remove stimuli that seems to cause excessive barking. You may not be able to control the stimuli, but you can close your curtains, put your dog in a different room or bring your dog into the house when there are noises or activities going on outside.

Step 7 – Ignoring your Shih Tzu until the barking stops, in lieu of training. Give praise and treats only when your dog is quiet. If he is trying to get your attention, simply turn your back on them and face them again only when the barking starting stops, again giving praise and a treat.

Take a sneaky peek at this video – a cute Shih Tzu puppy taking some of the first barks!

Need more help with your Shih Tzu, take a look at our post on Shih Tzu Obedience Training