Nobody likes tears. Human, dog or beyond: tears and crying are something that makes us all feel uncomfortable and anxious. So if you have ever wondered why cute little Shih Tzus cry, we have the answers right here.
With Shih Tzus, crying (or to be more exact, whining) is usually a clear indicator of emotional distress. If your dog whines a lot and doesn’t avoid contact then it all points to them demanding affection or being stressed. Shih Tzus can be needy but they don’t need to be anxious if you know how to handle their needs.
How Emotional Are Shih Tzus?
It’s important to take into account the traditional purpose of Shih Tzus to understand their reactions in modern society.
While a lot of breeds were traditionally hunters or scouts many generations ago, this just isn’t the case for Shih Tzus. Shih Tzus have historically always been companion dogs, and rather premium ones at that; as I wrote in another article, they don’t naturally like to be left alone.
Centuries ago Shih Tzus were best known for living a pleasant life in royal courts and palaces. So as a breed they are all about being attended to, played with and of course being pampered all the time.
While modern Shih Tzus don’t need to be treated as royalty, these roots won’t just go away, and this ultimately means that their emotional state is deeply tied to their interactions with humans.
Stress can be really common in Shih Tzus but most of the time it always goes back to humans. The relationship between a dog and it’s owner is key for any household, but with dogs as social as Shih Tzus it matters even more.
If someone in your household they are used to suddenly leaves this will affect their mood. Similarly, if someone completely new arrives then they’ll react strongly as well.
So more or less any unexpected change in their life can mean stress for your pet, they’re kind of like cats in this way!
It’s important to take into account that stress is a natural thing that happens and is not something to be overly alarmed with. When your dog is whining it’s a telltale sign that something is wrong, but also a good opportunity to fix it.
You should learn to treat whining as what it really is: A warning that something is wrong and they want to fix it alongside you.
Whining doesn’t meant something is at a critical point. It means your dog wants something to change and that vocal cue is the hint you need to start taking action.
Like the owner in the video below says though, don’t let your Shih Tzu train you to fawn over them at every little whine or cry that they let out, these dogs will take a mile if you give them an inch in that arena:
Do Shih Tzus Shed Tears In The First Place?
You might have heard of “tear stains” before when it comes to dogs, but dog’s tears are rather different from ours. Yes, Shih Tzus can release tears. But no, they don’t tear up as a result of emotion.
No dog breed can release tears as an emotional reaction to distress, and emotional crying is really something that is very unique to humans.
When it comes to dogs, tears simply serve their most basic purpose: Keeping their eyes moist.
If you’ve seen tears in your dog’s eyes accompanied by whining, then it’s likely the two factors aren’t tied at all.
Dogs will release tears as needed for their eyes to remain in perfect shape, not unlike us when we yawn (especially me). So don’t try to find a correlation there.
However, whining can be tied to tears when it’s not an emotional reaction. See, just like us dogs can get allergies, dust in their eyes and many other issues with their eyes.
If you hear constant whining tied to excessive tearing then they are likely complaining about what’s making them tear up in the first place.
Your dog shouldn’t cry all the time, in fact it really shouldn’t tear up frequently. So if it keeps happening then a quick visit to the vet might be a good call.
Note: Remember, just because dogs don’t cry the way we do, it doesn’t mean their tears don’t mean something.
How To Make Your Shih Tzu Happier
If you want to make sure your Shih Tzu is in a better mood moving forward, the most important thing to keep in mind is attention. This is a breed that just loves people and keeping up with it is the easier way to get it back on track.
Stick to Regular Schedules
Something important to avoid further stress when something in your house changes is to stick to schedules. We all have some sort of internal clock, but with dogs it’s even more pronounced.
Your Shih Tzu understands that certain hours are meant for walking, playing or brushing and it looks forward to them!
A great way to counter the stress that comes from visits or even from moving houses is to make sure its habits aren’t affected; Keep on walking your pet at the same hours, stick to the usual schedules as much as possible.
This will help your dogs on two levels: They get their required exercise and the attention they crave, and they get back their sense of normalcy.
Give Your Shih Tzu Its Own Personal Space
Another trick that helps a lot and lets your dog handle stress on its own is to give them their own spot in the house. We all like to take a step back and stay on our own at times and dogs can be the same. This is why organizing a spot in the house that is “theirs” can be great for their mood.
Usually this will be their bed or a small space where they can lie down. It needs to be a part of the house they can reach on their own and lie down whenever they feel in the mood.
Resting is vital for everybody, dogs included, and being able to rest at their own pace will help them a lot.
And of course, pamper your cute little doggy (but not too much)! Physical affection means the world for Shih Tzus, and playing with it and petting it can go a long way.
Shih Tzus tend to be particularly fond of ear rubs, so it can be a good option to help them relax and feel close to you.