What Vocalizations Do Your Shih Tzu Use?
Shih Tzus communicate with their owners and with other animals in a variety of ways. The video, for example, shows a Shih Tzu “singing” as her owner croons to her. But is this dog really singing along, or is she trying to say something else?
There’s no clear way to answer this question but, if you own a Shih Tzu, you can research about dog communication and spend time observing your pet to understand how he tries to communicate his needs and feelings. You can start by learning Shih Tzu vocalizations, which include:
All barks might sound the same to you, but there are actually several variations to barking that mean different things. Low-tone barks may mean that your Shih Tzu is trying to warn you about danger (such as a stranger approaching you) or reacting to a change in his environment (like a slammed door or a strong wind that rustles leaves). High-pitched barks, on the other hand, may mean that your Shih Tzu wants to get your attention because he’s hungry/thirsty, needs to go outside to pee, wants to be petted, or any other reason.
Barking is perfectly natural for Shih Tzus but, if you notice that your dog excessively barks for no apparent reason, you might want to see an animal behavior therapist to confirm if your pet’s barking is part of a behavioral problem.
This usually needs no translation since it’s easy to see what it means. A growling dog is reacting to imminent danger, whether it’s a human or another dog who’s “encroaching” on his territory. Your Shih Tzu growls to warn these “trespassers” to leave; if he hunkers his body down, it’s an additional warning that he’s ready to fight if needed.
This is another vocalization that doesn’t need translating. Yelps often convey that your Shih Tzu feels pain, like when he steps on a thorn or gets bitten by another dog. Most dogs yelp on the instant when they feel pain, then stop when it goes away. If you hear your Shih Tzu yelping, you need to investigate what happened and ensure he’s not in any danger, even when he has quieted down.
Horror movies have conditioned us to think that howling dogs are eerie and scary, but there’s actually nothing to be afraid of. Your Shih Tzu howls to communicate with other dogs in the area — even dogs that aren’t in your line of vision. It’s his way of “talking” with the other pooches in the neighborhood.
Either of these indicate that your Shih Tzu is experiencing physical and/or emotional distress. He might be sad and lonely because you’re leaving him for work or because he doesn’t have anyone to play with. He might also be feeling pain in some part of his body. Shih Tzu puppies will often whine, while older Shih Tzus usually whimper.
These are some of the vocalizations that your Shih Tzu will use to communicate with you and with other animals. Take note, though, that dogs don’t just communicate through sound; they also use scents and body language! It’s important to learn more about these means of communication to interact with your Shih Tzu in a better way.