How to Train a Shih Tzu to Stop Barking

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Sometimes called "Lion Dogs" due to their mane-like facial hair and courageous behavior, Shih Tzus are a popular toy-breed dog. This popularity isn't surprising since, according to the American Shih Tzu Club's breed standard, the Shih Tzu is an outgoing, happy, affectionate, friendly and trusting dog. While it is uncommon for a Shih Tzu to bark excessively, some Shih Tzu owners are looking for tips to train their Shih Tzu to stop barking.

  • Socialize your Shih Tzu. A dog that is confident is less likely to bark. Enroll your Shih Tzu in training classes where she will meet other dogs. Take her to the dog park or other safe environments where she can interact with new people and dogs. If you don't feel comfortable exposing your small dog to larger dogs, arrange for play dates with other well-behaved Shih Tzus or small breed dogs.

  • Take your Shih Tzu for daily walks. Excessive barking can be caused by boredom and pent-up energy. Your Shih Tzu needs both the mental stimulation and energy-burning benefits of a daily walk.

  • Reward good behavior. According to an article by Dog Obedience Advice, Shih Tzus respond best to positive training. When your dog is exhibiting the quiet behavior you want, reward him with a treat and say something like "good quiet" or "good, no barking." Conversely, avoid giving your dog attention when he is barking.

  • Be the leader in your pack. While one of the benefits of having an alert dog is that they will warn us when something is amiss, we do not want them to think they are the only one in the house paying attention. When your Shih Tzu barks, take the time to check out the situation. He will be more confident and quieter when he knows you're in charge.

  • Create a safe environment for your Shih Tzu. The American Shih Tzu Club states that Shih Tzus are bred for companionship. This indicates that they are not the kind of dog that can stay outside all day by themselves. If your Shih Tzu spends every day alone, excessive barking can be an indicator that she is lonely or fearful. If you can not rearrange your schedule to spend more time with your Shih Tzu, consider hiring a dog walker to check on her once or twice a day.

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