While rare, a Shih Tzu bite can be dangerous. Depending on a few factors such as the level of force, the age, and vaccination status of you and your pup, you may need to seek medical assistance.
In this article, we will look into the varying degrees of danger that come from Shih Tzu bites, what encourages biting, and how to make sure your Shih Tzu puppy stops biting for good.
Is Shih Tzu Bite Dangerous?
Shih Tzu’s pack more bark than bite. But that doesn’t mean that a bite from one isn’t dangerous. Of course, these animals are small, but with a bite coming in around 100 psi, they can still cause a lot of damage. If you are not careful to clean your bite, bacteria can easily spread and your wound may become infected.
Be sure to take immediate precautions after a bite by washing it with warm water and soap, and reaching out for medical attention if the bite breaks skin/bleeds. Be sure to bring a Shih Tzu that bites to the veterinarian, as biting in adult and senior Shih Tzu’s could indicate an underlying medical condition.
The only way to guarantee your Shih Tzu will not bite is proper training. Regardless of your Shih Tzu’s age, you can start at home or with the help of a trainer. The sooner you start training, the less biting your Shih Tzu will do
A Shih Tzu Puppy Bit Me, Is It Dangerous?
Yes and No. The level of danger coming from a puppy bite depends on a few factors; how hard the bite was, if the dog is sick or has been exposed to rabies, and if the dog and owner are up to date on their respective vaccines. If the level of force from the bite breaks skin or draws blood, you should clean the bite with warm soap and water, and watch it for 24 hours. If infection occurs, head to a doctor immediately.
Shih Tzu Puppy, Adult, Or Senior Bite Is More Dangerous?
Being bitten by an adult or senior Shih Tzu is more dangerous than a puppy. Puppy bites tend to be accidental and cause less damage than a bite from an adult of senior Shih-Tzu. The reason for biting in older dogs is also more dangerous. A bite from an adult or senior Shih-Tzu could indicate underlying issues with your dog, such as anxiety disorders, dementia in older dogs, or a range of other illnesses.
Shih Tzu Nipping Vs. Biting Which Is More Dangerous?
Biting is more dangerous than nipping. Nipping is common with Shih Tzu puppies, and sometimes in adults and senior Shih Tzu’s when they are trying to communicate their own discomfort. Biting is a direct form of aggression, usually in response to a stressful situation that your Shih Tzu is not used to, such as lots of noise or too many people huddling around your dog.
Shih Tzu Puppy, Adult, Or Senior Bites More?
Shih Tzu puppies are known to bite until around the 1 year mark, where they should be out of their teething phase and have learned enough from their owners and environment. Shih Tzu Adults or Seniors that bite are rare, and any biting incidents should be looked into immediately.
Can And Will A Shih Tzu Bite?
A Shih Tzu can bite, and they will bite if taught not to, just like any other dog. If your Shih Tzu has no history of biting, and suddenly has started to bite, it’s important to address the behavior immediately.
How Hard Can A Shih Tzu Bite?
While the bite force of a Shih Tzu has not been studied, it can be assumed that it is around 100 psi, a little less for a puppy. To give you a comparison, the average pressure behind a human bite is 70 psi. While the breed is small, this is more than enough force to cause damage.
Is It Normal For Shih Tzu To Bite?
No. It is only normal for puppies to nip and slightly bite their owners, as they are teething and expressing new forms of frustration. Adult and Senior Shih Tzu’s should not bite, and when they do it usually is in regards to something going on healthwise.
Can Shih Tzu Have Rabies?
Yes, your Shih Tzu can develop rabies, but there are plenty of methods of prevention. Make sure your Shih Tzu is always up to date on their rabies vaccinations.
How To Know If Shih Tzu Has Rabies?
These are the tell-tale signs of rabies in your Shih Tzu
- Excessive drooling
- Unusually aggressive behavior (i.e. biting)
If your Shih Tzu is exhibiting any of the signs above, immediately bring them to the veterinarian.
Can A Shih Tzu Be Dangerous?
A Shih Tzu can be dangerous if they are taught improper behaviors and encouraged to behave poorly. This will increase the likelihood of becoming aggressive with strangers and family members alike.
A Shih Tzu Bit Me, What Should I Do Now?
Wash any bite under warm water with soap to get rid of bacteria. If the bite breaks the skin it’s important to seek medical attention, as you may be given antibiotics for your wound or advised to get a tetanus shot if you haven’t received it in the last 5 years. It’s important to disinfect the wound, even if your Shih Tzu is up to date with their vaccinations.
How To Stop A Shih Tzu From Nipping?
Shih Tzu puppies will continue to nip throughout their first year as their teeth begin to grow. Encouraging teething with dog toys is important to stop nipping and to provide comfort for your pup. Around 7 months is when Shih Tzu’s teeth have fully grown in, and the nipping should stop soon after if you have continued with your training.
How To Stop A Shih Tzu From Biting?
Begin training your Shih Tzu as a puppy, in the nipping stage. Use chew toys to encourage them to teeth in a healthy way. It’s important to be stern and declare that you are the leader of the pack. Some experts recommend howling like a puppy if your Shih Tzu bites you, as this will indicate your discomfort for your Shih Tzu biting you and they are more likely to understand.
Is Shih Tzu Teeth Scratch Dangerous?
Not usually, unless the scratch is deep and broken through the skin. If it’s a surface level scratch, wash it after the accident occurs and keep an eye on it until it’s healed.
How To Stop Your Shih Tzu Puppy From Biting
[What To Do And What Not To Do! – A Step By Step Guide]
What To Do:
- Establish Dominance
- It’s important to have a hierarchy with your dog, especially your Shih Tzu. The best way to train your dog to obey you is with food. Train your dog to sit and stay before meals and treats. Make sure to walk into the house before your dog. The more they see you as the alpha, the more they will respect your rules and understand what you’re asking of them.
- Use Chew Toys
- Chew toys are important for training and for your dogs comfort. Puppies have no teeth when they are born, and won’t have a full set until they are about 7 months old. This leads owners to use their hands in training a lot with young Shih-Tzu’s. Encouraging them to nibble on toys and not your hands is important to keep them on track of not biting! Otherwise they’ll think your hands are fair game.
- Socialize Your Shih Tzu Puppy!
- It’s important for your Shih Tzu to interact with other dogs and people. As soon as your puppy is fully vaccinated, you should start taking them to dog parks and inviting friends over to play. The more people your puppy gets to know, the more comfortable they will become with new situations as well as your “no biting” rule. Practice makes perfect.
- Don’t Play Back
- Do not playfully encourage your dogs biting. Immediately stop playing and tell your dog that biting is not okay. It’s important your dog understands the change in your mood and that playtime is over, otherwise they will think you like biting just as much as they do.
- Don’t Get Physical – Ever.
- Dogs do not understand physical discipline. When you smack a dog that bites, you just make them scared and more likely to react by biting in any other tense situation. Under no circumstances, should you ever get physical with your puppy.
- Give In To The Cuteness
- Dogs need clear boundaries. Many trainers say a great way to stop puppies from biting is to isolate them for at least 3 minutes after the bite occurs. This discourages them from biting as they want to be with you, playing, not stuck in their crate being disciplined.
What Not To Do:
How To Stop Your Adult Or Senior Shih Tzu From Biting?
Training your adult or senior Shih Tzu to stop biting is relatively similar to the steps given for training your puppy. However, training an older Shih Tzu does take more time, as they’ve usually learned their biting is okay over time. Consistency is key.