Are Shih Tzus Aggressive

Are Shih Tzus Aggressive? 8 Causes You May Not Know

Aggression is a behaviour or group of behaviours that dogs show when they are feeling territorial, scared, angry, worried, or upset.

Aggression can be as simple as getting bigger or as hard as barking all the time. It can also mean to attack or bite, as well as everything else.

Every dog is different, and each one will act aggressively in a way that is unique to its breed, personality, and situation.

If a dog thinks that another dog is going to steal its food, the Shih Tzu may growl to scare the other dog away and show that the food is theirs.

If the Shih Tzu is surrounded and thinks its health and body are in danger, it may bite the other dog or whatever is scaring it.

Are Shih Tzus Aggressive?

Shih Tzus are rarely mean to people they don’t know. This breed has a beautiful, sweet, and submissive manner and personality. Most of the time, a Shih Tzu’s aggression is caused by something outside of itself that can be found and fixed.

The most important thing that affects a dog’s personality is how it was bred. It affects their behaviour as well as their personality, temperament, and other emotional and mental traits.

But breeding is not the only thing. Shih Tzus can be aggressive depending on the breeder, how they were raised as puppies with their littermates and mother, and their breed background.

This is not like this breed at all. Still, bad breeding can affect a dog’s physical and mental health. So, it’s important to choose a breeder who uses the right breeding methods to make sure the Shih Tzu acts like the breed standard says it should.

Are Shih Tzus Aggressive

Any dog, of any breed, can become aggressive out of the blue. Even the nicest and most friendly dog can be mean if the right conditions aren’t met.

When a small dog like a Shih Tzu acts aggressively, it’s easy to ignore it because they’re so cute and never get the full attention they deserve.

This may make the Shih Tzu more likely to act violently again if it needs to. This could turn into a problem in the future, so any hostility should be dealt with right away.

Any dog, no matter what breed it is or what kind of personality it has, can act aggressively. The dog’s environment and the things going on around him can make him angry. If a Shih Tzu is sick, they may get violent because of problems inside of them.

What are the signs of aggression in a Shih Tzu?

When a Shih Tzu is angry, it often growls or barks, shows its teeth, looks at you intently, puts its ears back and down, and stands stiffly.

These things don’t always mean that your Shih Tzu is being aggressive. They can also be signs of a number of other problems.

Dogs can show fear by moving their ears up and down, but they can also show they want to play by barking or snarling. The easiest way to tell if a dog is mean is to watch how they act in general.

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Look at how they move, what they are doing, where they are, and what else is going on around them. The best way to tell if your dog is aggressive is to also get to know him well.

Some breeds are harder to tell apart because they were bred for different reasons and act differently in different situations. Even so, it should be easy to tell with the Shih Tzu.

Because they are usually nice and liked, it may be easy to spot violent behavior. When you’re not sure what to do, be careful and try to defuse the situation or, if possible, get them out of the place.

Forms of aggression in Shih Tzus

Shih Tzu aggression can show up in a number of different ways, such as:

  • Ressource-guarding is a form of aggression.
  • Anxiety is a violent thing.
  • Aggression that has been sent somewhere else
  • Getting angry because of pain
  • Aggression in a social context

So, what makes Shih Tzus so aggressive… Let us investigate!

Causes of aggression in Shih Tzus

Here are some of the most common reasons why Shih Tzus become aggressive:

1. A repeat of a traumatic event

Shih Tzus often go through traumatic events, which is one of the main reasons why they act aggressively.

Rescue dogs have anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because they have been hurt in the past.

Shih Tzus who grow up in a harsh or hostile environment are more likely to have emotional problems.

As a learned way to protect themselves, they feel scared and angry, which makes them act aggressively.

2. Frustration

When a Shih Tzu is unhappy, his high level of aggression is caused by a number of things.

Giving your Shih Tzu less attention than usual, ignoring the dog, messing up the dog’s eating schedule, etc.

Shih Tzus are small dogs that make good pets. They are easily startled by loud noises or sudden changes in their routine.

3. Neglect or abuse

Shih Tzus can get mean if their owners don’t pay full attention to them at all times.

To take good care of your Shih Tzu, you should feed him at the right times, brush him, take him for a walk, and give him hugs or pats.

Instead of yelling at your Shih Tzu, teach him what’s wrong and make sure he understands.

Make sure that your Shih Tzu has healthy food to eat and clean, fresh water to drink.

Give your Shih Tzu the attention, exercise, and grooming he or she needs to reduce the risk of violence.

4. Inadequate obedience training

This is the best answer to your question about why your Shih Tzu bites other dogs.

50–60% of dogs that are mean to other dogs, people, or other pets are not trained well enough in obedience.

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You must teach your Shih Tzu to obey in order to stop it from being mean to other dogs or people.

With good obedience training, you can teach your Shih Tzu to follow your commands and know when to let go or stop doing something.

5. Anxiety and stress

When a dog is left alone for a long time without its owner, it can develop separation anxiety and other behavioural problems.

Are Shih Tzus Aggressive

Shih Tzus and other small dogs may have separation anxiety and start barking nonstop as soon as their owners leave.

Even though small dogs are more likely to bark, no one knows why some dogs get anxious when left alone while others don’t.

This is one of the most common problems Shih Tzu owners have, and it usually happens because the dog hasn’t been trained well enough.

Shih Tzus with separation anxiety act aggressively, dig, bark a lot, weep, and do other things that aren’t normal for them.

6. Canine illness

A dog’s body or mind is sick when it has a condition or stage of a disease.

This can happen if you eat spoiled food or ingest microorganisms, get hurt, get bitten by an insect, or get a parasite infection.

When you don’t take care of your sick Shih Tzu for a long time, he gets mean to you, your family, and other pets.

When a Shih Tzu is sick, it is always irritable and will attack other dogs of any size.

7. Poor socialization

Most Shih Tzus are aggressive because they haven’t been socialized well, which is usually because their owners aren’t able to socialize their puppy.

Shih Tzus are small dogs with big personalities. They always want to be in charge and treat you like you’re their slave.

If a Shih Tzu hasn’t been taught to get along with other dogs or to tolerate them, it will be aggressive toward them.

To have a Shih Tzu that isn’t aggressive, you need to teach it how to act around other dogs and things that scare it.

Because they haven’t been socialized, Shih Tzus that haven’t been socialized will bark and bite.

8. Fear

Most Shih Tzus become violent when they think they are in danger, can’t get away, and have to defend themselves.

This can happen if a Shih Tzu feels trapped and can’t get away, or if he thinks a hand over his head means he’s going to get hit.

Approach Shih Tzus carefully to avoid making them more aggressive, or better yet, let them come to you.

Start teaching your Shih Tzu puppy now and getting him used to other people and animals so he won’t be afraid in the future.

Shih Tzus can be aggressive toward other people or animals in the area at any time of day or night if they feel threatened.

What should I do if my Shih Tzu suddenly becomes aggressive?

If your Shih Tzu gets mean all of a sudden, try to calm things down. It could mean that you should give everyone something to do or get rid of the Shih Tzu.

This move is done to protect other people and to change how the Shih Tzu feels about whoever or whatever is making them upset. This is sometimes all it takes to stop the attack.

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Are Shih Tzus Aggressive

Always put your own safety first. So, if your Shih Tzu acts aggressively toward another dog and the other dog does the same, you may need to separate them without hurting yourself or the other dog and take the Shih Tzu away.

Once the Shih Tzu has been removed or redirected, you can find the problem and make changes to the Shih Tzu’s life or environment to stop this problem from happening again.

If the Shih Tzu has been trained in some way, it is less likely to act aggressively, but it does happen sometimes.

Some Shih Tzus might be easy to set off. Triggers can be anything that makes them react, things they don’t like that stress them out, or anything that makes them act in a way that isn’t in line with their feelings of discomfort, anxiety, or fear.

If your Shih Tzu has any triggers, knowing what they are can help you change their behaviour and stop them from getting violent. If your Shih Tzu doesn’t like it when another dog comes near their food bowl, you can take the bowl away and feed them separately.

These methods calm the situation down and make it less likely that your Shih Tzu will get violent because of the cause.

Most Shih Tzus aren’t mean, and they get along with everyone. No matter what breed a dog is or how it has behaved in the past, you should never make any assumptions about it.

As with people, anything can cause a reaction, and the best way to stop it is to calm the situation down or take the Shih Tzu away.


Any dog can get mean, but some are more likely to do so than others. The Shih Tzu is not a breed of dog that is dangerous. If they start to act mean, it might be easier to just get rid of them.

In this case, you should be careful, and figuring out what caused it can help you avoid it in the future so that everyone, including the Shih Tzu, can have fun!

Princy Hoang
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