Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

By:Connie Limon

Shih Tzu and other canines do communicate with each other and with you through body language. You can learn to recognize and understand what your shih tzu is saying to you. Shih Tzu can probably read your body language better than you can understand theirs. Take the time to learn what shih tzu say to you through body language. You might be able to form a new kind of a bond with your pets as a result.

Shih tzu will wag their tails, they will lower their tails, their ears will fly up, and on and on with all kinds of signals that is actually speaking to you. The more you learn about your shih tzu’s body language communications the better you will be at reading them. Don’t focus on just one piece of the message. The various parts of your dog’s body work together to tell you a complete story. The important pieces of this puzzle are the shih tzu’s ears, eyes, mouth, tail and body postures. Canine communication is a constant flow of information. To read the puzzel correctly also involves the context or what is going on around the dog at the time the expressions are made.

Fortunately for shih tzu lovers, it seems for the most part, most of their expressions will be communications of affection, something good, or to tell you they hurt or are afraid.

For example, my Danny Boy just jumped up and put his two front paws on my leg as I sit here typing this, I looked down and his huge soulful eyes were making direct contact with my eyes. I know for certain, Danny just said to me: “Hi mommy, it’s me, Danny. Just came to say hello, would you like to talk to me for a few minutes.” And oftentimes, I will stop what I am doing at thecomputer, and pat his head and say a few words to him to acknowledge his visit, and I will tell him how cute he is or that I love him, and if I am at a point where I can stop what I am doing, I will proceed to pick him up for a few minutes, and at this point, he always seems to say to me: “I didn’t mean for you pick me up, I just came to look at you and say hello.” The reason I know he is saying this is, he will sort of twist his body as if to not allow me to pick him up. If I continue with the pick up, he accepts it, but wants to sit very straight in my arms and looks toward the computer while I admire his side view and just continue to hold him gently for a few minutes. It is as if he is controlling exactly how I do hold him and he determines the time limit as well. Most usually, he will signal when he wants down by a sudden jerk of his body toward the floor. I put him down, and he will go onto something else. I looked back just now, he is back perched on the back of the sofa that sits in my office, which is a favorite resting spot of his. The interaction was unique to Danny and he does this at least once everytime I am at the computer, but I have noticed the time he chooses is mostly in the evenings. Early day or early morning when I am at the computer, he never shows up. So, it apparently is a time he has read my body language enough to know that this is the most acceptable time to come see me, in the evenings when I am at the computer, or else this is just a favorite time of his to come and see me.

Learning to communicate with your shih tzu in body language is a fascinating experience. You can allow your shih tzu to blend into your private environment rather than always having to play a game of fetch with them, they can sort of just blend into whatever activity you are doing and you can still be together and share moments of affection and moments of bonding, and go on with your life without picking up a ball and throwing it to say, “here Rover, fetch this if you can and bring it back to me.”

Some basics are:

Ears: Pinned back: Submissive or fearful. Back and relaxed means calm, relaxed, friendly. Forward and relaxed means aware and friendly. Pricked foward means alert, excited, aroused and could mean either play arousal or aggression arousal.

Eyes: No eye contact means being submissive or fearful, he may give you a subtle flick of the eyes or may turn entire head away. Squinting or eyes closed means submissive, happy greeting. Soft, direct eye contact means calm, relaxed, and friendly. Eyes open wide means confident, assertive. A hard stare means alert, excited, aroused, could be play arousal or aggression arousal.

Mouth: Lips pulled back means submissive or fearful, may also be lifted in submissive grin or aggressive grin. Licking lips or yawning means stressed, fearful or tired. Lips relaxed means calm, relaxed and friendly. Lips puckered forward may mean assertion or a threat.

Tail: Tucked under means submissive, deference or afraid. Low and still means calm, relaxed. Low to medium carriage, gently waving means relaxed, friendly. Low to medium carriage, fast wag means submissive or appeasing or happy, friendly.

High carriage, still/vibrating or fast wag may mean tension, arousal, excitement, can be play arousal or aggression.

Body Posture: Vertical, standing straight means confident, relaxed.

These are just a few of the meanings in general that canines use to express themselves. As you live with your own shih tzu, you will learn the unique signs of body language each individual shih tzu will give you on a day to day basis, just as I explained here about my Danny.

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Article keywords: Shih Tzushih tzu trainingshih tzu body languageshih tzu communicatingcanine body language

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