Shih Tzus can be cute and cuddly, but there are also times you cannot seem to get them to calm down and they can be quite a handful when they refuse to calm down. Sometimes you cannot understand how your obedient and calm best friend suddenly loves acting out of control.
Nearly every dog owner has gone through this stage with different dog breeds and with an appropriate level of control, you can get your Shih Tzu to calm down and behave.
So, how do you get your Shih Tzu to calm down?
You can get your Shih Tzu to calm down by dealing with the causes of the hyperactivity either by getting him to exercise more, applying positive reinforcement for positive behavior, or looking out for environmental factors that might have led to such behavior.
If your Shih Tzu is a puppy, you can also teach him what behavior is appropriate and what behavior is not.
How to Calm Down a Hyper Shih Tzu?
Let’s look deeper into the things you can do to calm your hyper Shih Tzu down.
Work Out the Energy
Sometimes Shih Tzus get hyper and act up because they have too much energy, and they just don’t know what to do with it. Unlike humans, dogs don’t know they should take a walk or take a nap when they feel a certain way; you have to help them do that.
Take your Shih Tzus on a long or fast-paced stroll that will help them burn energy. You can also involve them in exercises and games that can help them burn the energy and eventually calm them down.
After a long walk and playing catch for a few minutes, your dog will probably feel tired and do nothing else but sit around and be calm.
Many Shih Tzu owners have a set of choice games and exercises that they indulge their pets in when they seem to have too much energy and need to burn some off.
Here are some of the games you can try to calm a hyper Shih Tzu down:
Fetch: This is one exercise that you can engage your dogs in but doesn’t stress you a single bit. When your Shih Tzu is feeling hyper and just won’t sit still, get him to play fetch for a few minutes while you relax. All you have to do is throw the baton or tow far away so he can get a good run every time he fetches something.
Tug: You can play tugs with your Shih Tzus and burn some of their excess energy, although you are going to be burning a few of yours as well. Regardless, it burns off excess energy and leaves you and your dog closer than you were when you started.
Flirt poles: These are toys that take the form of a fishing pole with the actual toy at the end. All you have to do is raise the pole and watch your Shih Tzu jumps as high as he can to catch the toy on top of the pole.
The good thing about this game is that you can play it indoors or in a small space with just your hand and the flirt pole; leave it to your Shih Tzu to do all the jumping until he has no more energy to play.
Avoid Indulging the Habit
Just like kids sometimes act up to get your attention, your Shih Tzu might be acting up to get your attention. In such situations, the worst thing you can do is to give them attention when they start acting up.
Once you do this, your Shih Tzu will likely put up this attitude many times after that and it could get worse if you fail to respond.
The best thing to do is to ignore this habit and insist that they calm down before getting your attention. Once they realize that acting up doesn’t get your attention, they will relax and listen to you.
I know you would always want to pet and pamper your Shih Tzu but sometimes it takes a bit of hardness to get them to act appropriately.
Put in Some Training
When dealing with a new pet or a puppy Shih Tzu you might need to do some training to let them know when and how to keep calm.
Sometimes you have to teach your Shih Tzu some manners and let him know how to act at appropriate times; teach him how to ask for the things he needs correctly and not throw tantrums to get what he wants.
One such manner of teaching your Shih Tzu is that he has to be seated to get his requests granted and jumping around; barking or acting up will not get him any of these things.
Before you hand the food ball over, throw the ball, clip the leash, or get anything done for your Shih Tzu, command him to ‘sit’ first. It is only after sitting he can get whatever he is asking for.
Also, teach your Shih Tzu how to act outdoors, how to react to people, how to get your attention, and other appropriate behaviors. You must not allow your Shih Tzu to get away with the wrong attitude no matter how much you love him.
Get Your Shih Tzu on Some Mental Exercise
Combine physical exercise with mental exercise and the result is a very calm Shih Tzu.
If your Shih Tzu has lots of energy and does not get tired from physical exercise, then mental exercise is one very important way to tire him out fast.
Get your dog to learn tricks or play games that require focus and mental stimulation. Before you know it, he has burnt out all the excess energy and just wants to cuddle up in a corner and be good.
It is easier to burn off all the excess energy making your Shih Tzu hyper with mental stimulation than physical exercise.
Check the Contents of Your Shih Tzu’s Meals
Sometimes, there is a relationship between a change in your Shih Tzu’s mood and the food he eats. Cheap dog food can mess with his mood because of some ingredients it contains that are not supposed to be consumed by Shih Tzus.
A few studies have shown some correlation between some food ingredients and hyperactivity in dogs, and most of these ingredients are found in cheap supermarket dog foods.
Ensure to feed your Shih Tzu with high-quality food made of natural and healthy ingredients; also ensure these meals are free of ingredients like coloring, preservatives, fillers, and the likes.
When your Shih Tzu eats well, he is bound to act well.
Aromatherapy has been known to work on calming people down and easing off tempers and has been used for many years.
Shih Tzus have a pretty great sense of smell. So it would be quite easy to get them relieved using odors and aromas that can work on their moods and calm their tempers.
You can visit your vet for advice on which product or merchandise you can use for your Shih Tzus as well as how to use it.
Spend Quality Time With Your Shih Tzu
Your Shih Tzu might be acting naughty to get your undue attention. But sometimes he might just feel neglected and not know how to call your attention to its needs.
When your Shih Tzu grows and becomes somewhat self-sufficient, it is quite easy to overlook spending as much time with them as you used to before, especially if you are always working.
Your Shih Tzu can feel neglected and do all sorts of things to get your attention. So make sure that you’re spending quality time with your pet before checking for anything else.
Look Within and Around
Dogs can sense the energy and mood around and are likely to react based on the energy they sense around them.
If you are feeling angry, bothered, sad, confused, or you have pent up emotions, your pet is likely to feel it and mirror a similar emotion. You might think you’re not showing it but your Shih Tzu can feel it and will act in the same line.
A slight change in your tone of voice, your actions, or the absence of your regular smile can send lots of messages to your pet and trigger an unusual feeling in him. So you have to do your best to be calm and project positive energy your pet can pick up.
Similarly, if there are arguments among spouses, children, and members of your family, all the negative energy will bounce off on your Shih Tzu and you cannot expect him to not act negatively as well.
I know it is impossible to never feel angry or frustrated, but one thing you can do is to avoid hanging around your Shih Tzu when you are not in a good mood. Stay away for a while, sort out your feelings and then you can cuddle up with him and get the rest of the comfort you need.
Get Medical Consultation
After trying all of these methods and you still don’t get the result you desire, then it is the right time to get some medical evaluation done.
Some sudden changes in behavior or attitude problems can be caused by biological factors or medical conditions like liver dysfunction, neurological conditions, and hyperthyroidism.
Your Shih Tzu might have also inherited a health issue that reflects in this manner. However, Shih Tzus are mostly free from inherited ailments and diseases.
Since you can never be sure what the problem might be, you should take your Shih Tzu to the vet for examination, diagnosis, and possibly a medical cure for this problem. It is important to never rule anything out when it comes to your Shih Tzus wellbeing.
My Final Thoughts
Your Shih Tzu is not the only pet experiencing some hyperactive behavior or some major behavioral change, and you are not the only pet owner to bother about this behavioral change.
Rest assured, one of these methods I have given above is surely going to help get your Shih Tzu calm down so you should get on it as soon as possible.
Don’t forget your Shih Tzu deserves all of the love and attention even when he is acting naughty. It is still up to you to show love and affection, even when you are tough.
With your love and care, your happy little best friend will be good in no time.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.