Separation anxiety is a common behavioral issue in dogs, and certain breeds, such as Shih Tzus, are more prone to experiencing this condition. Shih Tzus are affectionate, loyal, and often form strong bonds with their owners. In this blog post, we will explore the topic of separation anxiety in Shih Tzu dogs, understand its causes and symptoms, and provide effective strategies to manage and alleviate this distressing condition.

Understanding Separation Anxiety in Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus, being companion dogs, thrives on human interaction and companionship. When they are separated from their owners or left alone for extended periods, they can experience anxiety and stress. Some common signs of separation anxiety in Shih Tzus include excessive barking, destructive chewing, house soiling, pacing, and attempts to escape. We also have Shih Tzu puppies available for sale. Check out our full moon shih tzus available page to see our new litter.

Do shih tzu dogs have separation anxiety
Do Shih Tzu dogs have separation anxiety?

Causes of Separation Anxiety

Several factors can contribute to the development of separation anxiety in Shih Tzus. These may include:

  1. Early Life Experiences: Dogs that have experienced early life trauma, such as being abandoned or separated from their mothers too early, may be more prone to developing separation anxiety.
  2. Change in Routine: Dogs are creatures of habit, and significant changes in their daily routine or environment, such as a move to a new home or a change in the owner’s schedule, can trigger anxiety.
  3. Lack of Socialization: Insufficient exposure to different environments, people, and other animals during their critical socialization period can increase the likelihood of separation anxiety.

Managing Separation Anxiety in Shih Tzus

While separation anxiety in Shih Tzus can be challenging, it is a condition that can be managed with patience and the following strategies:

  1. Gradual Departures: Start by leaving your Shih Tzu alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration over time. This helps them get accustomed to your absence and builds their confidence.
  2. Create a Safe Space:Provide a designated area, such as a crate or a specific room. Where your Shih Tzu can feel secure and comfortable when left alone. Make it a positive and enjoyable space by including toys, bedding, and treats.
  3. Mental and Physical Stimulation: Engage your Shih Tzu in regular mental and physical exercise to help alleviate anxiety. Interactive toys, puzzle toys, and obedience training can provide mental stimulation and distract them from their anxious thoughts.
  4. Establish a Routine: Stick to a consistent daily routine for feeding, exercise, and playtime. Predictability can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of security for your Shih Tzu.
  5. Calming Techniques: Explore calming techniques such as playing soft music, leaving the TV on, or using pheromone diffusers to create a soothing environment. Leaving an item with your scent, such as a worn t-shirt, can also provide comfort to your Shih Tzu.
  6. Positive Reinforcement: Reward your Shih Tzu for calm behavior and gradually reinforce their independence. Use treats, praise, and toys to positively reinforce their ability to stay calm and relaxed when alone.
  7. Seek Professional Help: If your Shih Tzu’s separation anxiety persists or worsens despite your efforts. Consult with a professional dog trainer or a veterinarian. They can provide additional guidance, and behavior modification techniques, or suggest medication if necessary.

There are several common signs that may indicate separation anxiety in Shih Tzus.

These signs can vary in intensity and may not occur in all dogs. But they often manifest when the dog is left alone or separated from their owner. Here are some of the typical signs to look out for: Are you interested in buying a Shih Tzu puppy? Read this post before you begin your search.

Excessive Barking or Howling

Shih Tzus with separation anxiety may bark or howl excessively when left alone. This vocalization is often persistent and may continue throughout the duration of the owner’s absence.

Destructive Behavior

Dogs with separation anxiety may engage in destructive behaviors as a way to cope with their anxiety. This can include chewing furniture, shoes, or other household items. The destruction is typically focused on items that have the owner’s scent or those that are associated with their presence.

House Soiling

Shih Tzus with separation anxiety may have accidents indoors, even if they are typically housetrained. This can include urinating or defecating in inappropriate places, such as on carpets or furniture.

Pacing or Restlessness

Dogs with separation anxiety often exhibit restlessness and may pace back and forth when left alone. They may also exhibit signs of agitation, such as panting or trembling.

Attempts to Escape

Some Shih Tzus with separation anxiety may attempt to escape from their confinement or the house itself. They may scratch at doors or windows, dig at carpets or furniture near exits, or even injure themselves in their attempts to get out.

Excessive Salivation or Drooling

Separation anxiety can trigger excessive salivation or drooling in Shih Tzus. You may notice wet spots on the floor or furniture when you return home.

Loss of Appetite

Some dogs with separation anxiety may experience a loss of appetite when left alone. They may refuse to eat or show a significant decrease in their food intake.

It’s important to note that these signs can also be indicative of other issues, so it’s essential to rule out any underlying medical conditions through a consultation with a veterinarian. Additionally, if you suspect your Shih Tzu has separation anxiety, it’s advisable to seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who can provide tailored strategies to address the specific needs of your dog. You can watch this video on how to fix separation anxiety in your Shih Tzu.


So, Do Shih Tzu dogs have separation anxiety? Separation anxiety is a real concern for Shih Tzu owners, but with understanding, patience, and consistent training, it can be managed effectively. By gradually acclimating your Shih Tzu to being alone, providing mental and physical stimulation, and creating a safe and comforting environment, you can help alleviate their anxiety and strengthen their independence. Remember, each dog is unique, so tailor your approach to suit your Shih Tzu’s specific needs. With time and dedication, you can help your beloved Shih Tzu overcome separation anxiety and lead a happier, more balanced life. Thank you for reading this post on be sure to check out our blog for more interesting blog posts.