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5 Signs Your Shih Tzu is Stressed

Shih Tzus are an affectionate and outgoing breed. However, they can definitely get stressed and anxious about the world around them. Being an effective dog parent includes knowing when your Shih Tzu is nervous or fearful, so you can help them to relax. The following are 5 signs that your Shih Tzu is stressed:

Image Source: Kevin Long Via Flickr
Image Source: Kevin Long Via Flickr

#1 – Whining

If your Shih Tzu is stressed, he may whine. Usually the whining is paired with pacing if the stressor is something like thunder that your dog can’t get away from. Otherwise, he may be sitting and whining for what seems like no reason. If your Shih Tzu is not whining because he needs out or is in pain, it’s probably stress. (Of course, pain causes stress, so stress can still be present in that case).

#2 – Tucked Tail

Shih Tzus normally carry their tail over their back. However, when stressed, that tail will drop. In instances of severe stress or fear, your Shih Tzu’s tail may even be clamped down, hanging straight along her back legs. She may also hunch her body and even cower or try to hide.

#3 – Whale Eye

This is something most dogs will do when stressed. “Whale eye” is when your Shih Tzu’s eye bulge and the white around the iris is visible. This is a clear indicator that your Shih Tzu is stressed or anxious.

Image Source: Angela N. Via Flickr
Image Source: Angela N. Via Flickr

#4 – Shivering

Many little dog breeds shiver when they are frightened. It’s usually paired with a tucked tail, cowering and other signs of stress on this list. If it’s not cold and your Shih Tzu is shivering, something is wrong. If you’ve ruled out any medical issues, she is stressed.

#5 – Lip Licking

Lip licking is a common sign of stress. Your Shih Tzu may lip lick and yawn when she is stressed. It’s usually a slower lip lick than when they are tasting something good. It can also look like a “flick” where the tongue comes out and goes back in without actually touching their lips.

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Written by Kristina Lotz
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