Are Shih Tzu’s Known To Growl A Lot?
Shih Tzu’s are typically happy dogs and aren’t particularly known for growling a lot. They are not much different than any other breed in terms of growling. There are many types of growling however and if your Shih Tzu is trying to communicate with you when they are growling, pay close attention.
- Playful Growl
- Affectionate Growl
- Friendly Growl
- Pleasure Growl
- Shih tzu’s Purr
- Warning Growl
- Scared Growl
- In Pain Growl
- Constant Growl
You can determine the different growling types by noticing the situation you are in and assessing their needs like if it is time for a walk, to eat, play or to go outside to use the bathroom.
Growling Or Talking?
Growling can be the most misunderstood form of communication coming from a dog. Other forms of talking your dog can do is whining, whimpering and even barking. A growl can be talking for your dog that is expressing some sort of desire that they need met and you’re the one to meet them.
Growling, But Not Aggressive?
Growling can and oftentimes can be non aggressive but it is important to know the signs of aggressive growling so you don’t push your pup too far. These are teething, nipping, bitting, lunging forward, shaking, crouching and heavy panting etc. If these are happening, correct your dog’s behavior and remove from the situation.
This playful growl can let you know that your dog is enjoying playing and they do not want to stop! In general this growl will sound more high pitched and shorter than other growls and will be accompanied by body language such as bounding motions with their butt in the air, tail wagging.
This growl is very similar to pleasure and friendly growl, it starts off low and may sound like a cat’s purr but louder. The dog’s body language will be loose and comfortable showing you that they are enjoying whatever affection you are giving them, it may even sound like they are talking to you!
A friendly growl can be a combination of pleasure, playfulness and affectionate growl during play. They can let out this similar sounding growl when playing with other dog friends to let them know that they are having fun together and want to keep playing with their friends and that you are doing a good job as an owner.
A pleasure growl can sound low and rumbling like the affectionate growl but may last longer than the other growls. In situations like you rubbing their belly or something else you know they enjoy they can let out this growl to let you know that they love what you are doing and please don’t stop!
Shih Tzus Purr
A Shih Tzus purr is unique to their breed, it differs from a growl as it sounds softer than an average growl, more like a cat’s purr. This is very common among this breed and occurs when the dog is relaxed and that is what their breathing might come off as, a purr.
This growl sounds more deep and it is a warning before the dog attacks usually. It will be when the dog feels threatened or possessive and they are warning you they are uncomfrotable but in most cases their personal space is probably being invaded and need whatever it is to back off.
This scared growl is your dog’s way of saying “back off now!”. This growl usually starts with a low, closed mouth, stiff body language and no breathing. From there your dog could escalate to snarling/showing their teeth if the threat hasn’t left. Try to move out of sight of where their perceived threat is.
In Pain Growling
You may notice this growl if you are touching a part of your pets body and they are letting out a shriek or a growl that may seem concerning as the growling might get worse as you get closer to where they are hurt or even press harder, make sure to visit the vet immediately.
A constant growl can become very frustrating for both of you, go through the list above to see if one of those could be the cause for concern. If behavior modification, being fed, pet or played with doesn’t seem to fix it, look into obedience training or a vet visit to find the source.
Why Is My Shih Tzu Growling At Me All Of A Sudden For No Reason?
Evaluate the situation, does your Shih Tzu seem hurt, distressed, uncomfortable? If you cannot seem to find a reason and you have already visited the vet you just might have a dog that loves to growl. It is hardly ever for no reason though as it is their way of communicating with you.
Shih Tzu Growls When Playing
This can be normal playful behavior as a dog can mock growls as they are having fun. The trick is also paying close attention to the dogs other behaviors such as body language, facial expression, if they seem serious or playful and if they are growling with a curled lip or not which can indicate aggression.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Growl When I Pick Him Up?
Your Shih Tzu may be communicating with you that they do not want to be picked up, it may be a warning growl to put them back down. Your Shih Tzu may also be growling that you are hurting them in the way you are picking them up, be careful.
How To Stop My Shih Tzu Growling When I Pick Him Up?
First be careful to make sure you are picking them up in a way where they are not getting hurt or feeling uncomfortable. Try holding your dog to your side while holding their collar with your non dominant hand to limit them getting away while still being gentle.
What Does It Mean When 5 To 9 Weeks Old Puppies Growl?
The rumbling growl of a 5 to 9 weeks old puppy is to express pleasure at being petted. A tummy rub is a sure way to elicit this purr like “growl”!
What Does It Mean When Adults And Senior Dogs Growl?
When an adult and a senior dog growls, they are telling you something, pay attention to what situations they are growling in as it can be a different type of growl each time. Due to their age they might growl more when they are uncomfortable, hurt or need attention.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Growl When I Touch Him / Pet Him
Your Shih Tzu could be growling for a few reasons, it could be that they don’t want to be touched at the moment or even that they may like it, it could be their way of communicating that they enjoy it, make sure to pay attention to your dog’s other body languages to differentiate.
Why Has My Shih Tzu Started Growling At Family?
Your Shih Tzu may not be comfortable around your family yet and they may be telling you with their growling that they are not happy with your family there, they also may be trying to show their dominance and protection over you and your home, they just need to spend more time around them.
What To Do When Your Dog Is Growling At Family?
Sternly tell your dog no and then redirect their behavior to do something else like play with a toy, lick a mat etc and then reward them when they are around your family and not growling. They may just need more time to get used to and comfortable around family.
Why Does A Dog Growl At Their Owner
Just like we tell others we do or do not like something, our dogs do the same for us. As their owner they are needing you to help them identify the reason they are growling and to help them reach their desired outcome such as being fed, played with etc.
Shih Tzu Growling At Strangers
They are most of the time warning the stranger to stay away and they are protecting themselves and you. It is important not to punish growling as it is not the problem but a symptom of your dog’s uncomfort in the situation as you do not want a dog that bites without warning.
Why Is My Shih Tzu Puppy Growling For No Reason
There is always a reason even when it might not seem like it. As mentioned above there are many different growl types such as playful, affectionate, friendly etc. Try to read the situation to see what type of growling your puppy or even adult dog might be doing whether they are bored or just hungry.
Shih Tzu Puppy Is Growling And Barking At New Dogs
Start off by correcting the behavior and showing your dog that you are in charge, that you are the alpha/the dominant one and they need to listen to you, you can do this by looking at them and using a firm, confident, yet calm tone and tell them no!
What To Do If Your Shih Tzu Is Always Growling?
You will want to start off telling your dog no and then start to desensitize your dog from what they feel is a threat to them/what is causing the growling, spending more time with them, reinforcing and rewarding good behavior and then considering obedience training by a professional if you are still struggling.
Shih Tzu Growling At Night!
Possible reasons for your Shih Tzu growling at night is their diet, either they are not being fed enough and are hungry, fed too much or the wrong foods. Not enough exercise, noises such as sirens, alarms etc, separation anxiety and needing to pee can all be signs as well.
Growling In Rescue Shih Tzu
Rescue dogs often have had their trust betrayed by another human(s) in the past and have been let down. Growling in your rescue dog is their way of communicating with you, pay close attention to what they have to say and what situation and other markers they are giving off.
What Does It Mean When My Shih Tzu Growls And Wags Its Tail At The Same Time?
First determine your dog’s tail wag, is their tale high or low, fast or slow? If they are growling and their tail is high and fast that can indicate that they might want attention and to play, but if it is slow and low while growling that can be a sign of aggression.
How To Stop My Shih Tzu From Growling
- Calm quiet peaceful dining area –no noise, people, appliances etc and giving them their own safe space
- Adjust reasonable triggers
- Establish Alpha/Leader & Beta/Follower hierarchy
- Appropriately react by staying calm and sternly saying “No!”
- Rewarding when your dog stops growling
- Visit the vet to rule out any health problems
Creating A Calm Area
By giving your pup an area to retreat to, it gives them a release and relief when they are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. This area can be a dog bed, a separate room or even a quiet corner of a room to give your pup some much needed space.
Adjusting Reasonable Triggers
By adjusting reasonable triggers for your dog you are allowing them to have their own space by providing a private eating area. Another trigger can be children, by teaching your pup early to play gently with them, you are lessing a trigger for when they are older.
You can show your dog that you are the leader by teaching your dog to sit before being fed or receiving a treat, showing them you as the human enters and exits the house first and keeping your dog in the heeling position which shows that you are in charge!
Reacting To Your Dog
Along with giving a stern no in attempts to get your dog to stop growling you may also want to try standing up to show superiority, commanding a sit and if your dog obeys then saying “good boy/girl” and giving them a treat or placing them in a time out if growling continues.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your pup as dogs in general respond best to these versus being punished. It is important to carry treats around and to use positive words such as “good girl/good boy” when your dog has done something that pleases you, make sure rewarding is immediate as well.
When To Visit The Vet
If your dog is still constantly growling after you have tried to change their behaviors with positive reinforcement training then it may be time to see if your pet is battling an underlying and maybe unnoticeable health issue that is making them more prone to growling as they might be constantly feeling unwell.
By knowing that growling does not always equal aggression in Shih Tzus and other breeds of dogs, it is easier to find the source. Knowing the different types, the next step is to determine if it is aggressive or not by taking a look at their other behaviors and the environment that they are occurring in, growling is communication.