If you have ever owned a Shih Tzu, you have probably realized that while they are a great dog breed to have, they are also very hyper and energetic, especially when they are puppies.
This is an interesting realization for some dog owners because Shih Tzus are known for being great inside dogs that will oftentimes enjoy relaxing on the couch and being lazy.
The Shih Tzu breed is very energetic and playful when they are puppies. Generally, most Shih Tzus will gradually calm down as they grow. By age 2 your dog has grown out of the energetic puppy stage. It is important to work on training your Shih Tzu puppy to decrease hyperactivity.
In this article, we will talk about
- Why Shih Tzus are so energetic
- How long it takes for them to grow out of their energetic behavior
- Tips/tricks for getting your Shih Tzu to calm down and stop their constant “zoomies,”
How Long Until My Shih Tzu Calms Down?
Many Shih Tzu owners are surprised when they realize that their Shih Tzu is actually very energetic. While a lot of dog lovers know that this breed is known for its hyper and energetic behavior, a lot of people don’t realize it until they own a Shih Tzu themself.
A new Shih Tzu owner may notice that their dog isn’t sleeping, they may be running around with “zoomies” all the time, barking, are overly anxious, or may be showing many other behaviors that indicate hyper/energetic behavior.
Thankfully, Shih Tzus usually begin calming down and exiting their extremely hyper puppy phase at around six months to one year of age.
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Remember, the amount of time it takes your Shih Tzu to calm down may be different from other Shih Tzus. All dogs are different; you may even notice your dog calming down faster than others of the same breed.
Note: Keep in mind that almost all Shih Tzus will calm down as they get older, adult Shih Tzus are way calmer than puppies, so don’t lose hope that your pup will never calm down!
Shih Tzus fully exit their puppy phase around the two years of age mark, this is when most owners start noticing their dog calming down significantly (slowly but surely!)
There are several reasons why some Shih Tzus calm down before others. Two common reasons are because the dog is trained well, or they are a mixed breed (mixed with a breed that is known to be very calm).
Why are Shih Tzus so Energetic?
Many dog lovers know that the Shih Tzu breed is very energetic, especially at a young age.
This breed is usually very energetic because they are either bored/have a lot of pent-up energy or they are anxious (very common for this breed). Thankfully, there are many ways to entertain them, wear them out, and comfort them!
Shih Tzu puppies, especially, become bored very easily. This is why it is important to train them earlier so that they don’t continue this behavior into adulthood.
You may notice that your new Shih Tzu puppy is extremely hyper and energetic, but they slowly begin to calm down as time goes on.
Shih Tzus will sometimes act this way if they are in a new environment, if you have just brought your puppy home and it is very energetic and hyper, they are probably just trying to adjust.
Note: Shih Tzus are usually very calm by the time they are four years old, compared to when they were puppies. Their periods of calmness will become even longer by the time they are adults and eventually, they will appear calm almost all of the time.
There are several other, less common, reasons why a Shih Tzu will be extremely energetic/hyper. Two of the most common are because they aren’t neutered or spayed, or they have underlying health issues.
A lot of dog owners have noticed that after their dog was neutered or spayed, they calmed down a lot; this is true for Shih Tzus as well.
Not only does a dog’s overall energetic behavior tend to calm down after being neutered or spayed, but a lot of owners who own aggressive dogs said that their dog became way less aggressive afterward.
There are also many health conditions that can cause a Shih Tzu to become hyper. Some of the most common include hyperthyroidism, liver disease, neurological conditions, and dementia, among others.
Sometimes a dog’s reaction to a certain medicine, or their mental state caused by disease or illness can be altered, making them behave more energetically or hyper.
It is usually easy to tell if your dog is behaving more energetically than usual. If you notice them become extremely hyper over time for no reason, it is best to talk with a vet to see if there is something else going on.
Best Dog Food for Energetic Shih Tzus
Diet can also play a huge role in a dog’s energy. If your dog is very hyper, one of the first things you can check is the ingredients list on their food.
Here are several ingredients that could be making your Shih Tzu very hyper:
- Artificial ingredients
Most cheap dog food is packed full of ingredients that will affect a dog’s behavior (just like a human eating a lot of junk food!).
The best food you can give a Shih Tzu who is overly hyper and energetic is food that is all-natural and contains necessary protein, fat, fiber, calcium, and omega-3s to make them feel their best while also not having as much sugar and salts going into their body.
Note: Make sure your dog’s food doesn’t contain any meat by-products, only identifiable meats — meat by-products are one of the most common ingredients found in cheap foods that can affect your dog’s behavior and overall health.
How do I Get My Shih Tzu to Calm Down?
Owners who have energetic and hyper Shih Tzus are oftentimes constantly searching for tips and tricks that might help settle their dog down, even if it’s only a little.
Thankfully, there are many things that can be done to help your Shih Tzu overcome whatever is making them hyper/energetic.
The most common methods of getting a Shih Tzu to calm down include training, exercise, distraction, rewards, and attention; let’s break these down:
This is one of the most important steps that owners must take to ensure that their Shih Tzu doesn’t become hyper or extremely energetic.
It is very important to begin training a Shih Tzu at a young age, the same goes for all other dog breeds. That way, they will learn from the start and won’t have to be trained later on in life when it is harder to catch on.
A lot of times, Shih Tzus that are trained later on in life will have more energetic behavior than puppies who were trained from the start of their lives.
Training can not only help with overly energetic behavior but also with many other behaviors that Shih Tzus are known for such as night crying, biting, jumping, etc.
Training can also help teach a Shih Tzu how to have good socialization with other dogs, animals, and people.
Note: If your Shih Tzu is out of control with its energetic behavior, try visiting your vet or a training professional to see if they have any recommendations that can help your dog in particular.
Exercise is the best way to wear any dog breed out. This is why it is so great for dogs that are known for having high energy.
Try taking your Shih Tzu on multiple walks per day, especially right before bedtime; this will make them sleepy, and they will have the opportunity to use the bathroom, which means, they probably won’t wake you up multiple times throughout the night to go outside.
Not only can exercise help with a Shih Tzus behavior, but this also helps their overall health and their sleeping habits, which are known to sometimes cause issues with this breed.
A lot of times dogs will lose sleep because they have so much pent-up energy. If you are interested in learning about how to get your dog/puppy to sleep, check out his article: When Do Puppies Sleep Through the Night (Tips & Tricks!)
This method of getting your Shih Tzu to calm down comes with a variety of options. You can try playing with your dog, giving them toys, something to chew on, etc.
Sometimes Shih Tzus solely need a distraction from boredom to stop their hyper behavior.
Note: Oftentimes dogs that are bored will resort to chewing on things they shouldn’t, if your Shih Tzu begins doing this, try giving them chew toys to play with.
Providing a relaxing environment is one of the best distraction methods for Shih Tzus. It is important not to wind them up even more than they are.
Try eliminating loud noises, kids playing near them, etc. removing these distractions will typically help a Shih Tzu calm down and be more relaxed.
Tip: One of the best ways to calm down a Shih Tzu is for you to be calm yourself; Dogs are very good about sensing our emotions/behaviors. If you’re not calm, chances are your dog won’t be either!
If your Shih Tzu doesn’t respond well to the calming tactics, try other, more difficult methods for them. For example, instead of just going for a walk, you could try to teach them a new trick.
This will help wear them out even more than a simple walk would because their brain is working extra hard to try learning the trick or task while also trying to please their owner.
You could even try other mentally stimulating games with your dog such as hide-and-seek, food puzzles, interactive dog toys, or obstacle courses!
This video is a live training session to help these owners with a very energetic Shih Tzu who also is very nippy.
Positive reinforcement training is one of the best training methods for all dog breeds.
If the dog knows they are going to get a treat/reward for good behavior, it is way more likely that they are going to behave well.
Try training your Shih Tzu so that when they don’t behave overly energetic, hyper, etc., they will be rewarded. Chances are, you will notice that they will calm down very fast and work to have that good behavior because they know they will be rewarded for it.
Shih Tzus are known for having separation anxiety, and anxiety in general. Because of this, they will oftentimes become hyper or energetic when they are anxious.
The best way to calm a Shih Tzu down if they are anxious is to give them attention.
Try petting them softly, creating a calming atmosphere, etc. Sometimes even giving them a blanket or soft dog bed can help calm their anxiety. Shih Tzu love affection, they even love cuddles when they are in the right mood.
Note: Keep in mind that they may not be acting this way out of stress/anxiety. They may just be looking for attention from their owner, it is important to try and recognize the difference between your dog’s behaviors.
If you notice your Shih Tzu is overly hyper/energetic, it may be time to talk to a vet to figure out If there are other methods that can be taken in order to help your dog calm down.
Vets can provide hyper, energetic, and anxious dogs with certain medicines, relaxants, etc. to help them calm down.
Owners who have energetic/hyper dogs that also suffer from anxiety highly suggest giving the dog calming chews or other types of calming treats to help the dog calm down.
Note: One of the most popular calming treats for dogs is the Zesty Paws Calming Bites
Other calming supplements that Shih Tzus can take include certain oils, pills, tablets, and food supplements that can be eaten, drizzled over food, etc., the options are practically endless!
While we strive to give the most accurate and helpful information about your pet’s health that we can, this article is meant to be informational only and not medical advice. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified veterinary health care provider regardless of what you have read on this site or elsewhere.