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Shih Tzu personality traits/aggression


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Sounds like u have a handful there! normally its the yorkie that is aggressive thats the breed that they are so liitle but they think they are big as a whakle and can attack a doberman. Shitzus are lap dogs, companion when I got my little man, about 8 months ago he told me if i dont want a shadow dont get a shitzu, he was right my little guy here follows me everywhere and hes just the sweetest thing ever and can stay on my lap while im watching tv for hours. But talk to a professional too, maybe he will change give it a month more. Good luck and we need some updates! :tapfingers5rg:

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Louise, I talked to the vet about her behavior and she suggested I try the pill to calm her down. I used the lowest dose, since she said I could increase it. I do not think we have any specialist i

tzukeeper

Shih Tzu are not traditionally aggressive dogs. Most are very lovable and have an excellent temperament. But there is always the exception. I have a Tzu who has shown to be very aggressive to one of my other dogs but is not at all aggressive to people. Your baby is still a puppy. The biting at your other dog and hanging on to the hair simply sounds like puppy play. Puppy play can get very rough and very vocal. The growling at people could be something for concern but maybe not. I have one that growls to communicate. Instead of whining to go out or be fed he will growl at whoever will listen. I have 7 of these wonderful little dogs and they each have their own little personalities. With every new pup they had to work out the pecking order. Sometimes the puppy would cross a line with one of the adult dogs and would swiftly be corrected by them. I really doubt aggression is the issue in such a young pup. However all puppies require guidance in becoming well mannered adult dogs. Sounds like Marly just needs some gentle reprimands from her humans. :tapfingers5rg:

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ShihtzuBeauty

[quote name='tzukeeper' post='85731' date='May 15 2008, 07:56 PM']Shih Tzu are not traditionally aggressive dogs. Most are very lovable and have an excellent temperament. But there is always the exception. I have a Tzu who has shown to be very aggressive to one of my other dogs but is not at all aggressive to people. Your baby is still a puppy. The biting at your other dog and hanging on to the hair simply sounds like puppy play. Puppy play can get very rough and very vocal. The growling at people could be something for concern but maybe not. I have one that growls to communicate. Instead of whining to go out or be fed he will growl at whoever will listen. I have 7 of these wonderful little dogs and they each have their own little personalities. With every new pup they had to work out the pecking order. Sometimes the puppy would cross a line with one of the adult dogs and would swiftly be corrected by them. I really doubt aggression is the issue in such a young pup. However all puppies require guidance in becoming well mannered adult dogs. Sounds like Marly just needs some gentle reprimands from her humans. :praying:[/quote]


I agree and I'm soo happy that you're consulting a trainer. :blush-anim-cl: BTW "Hi and Welcome to the family"!

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  • 1 year later...

I am so glad Sadie is improving...my heart goes out to all that have aggressive babies.

Hi everyone, I am new...I found this site looking for help with my 2 year old Shih Tzu "Rocky." He was so loving and affectionate, easy to groom...you could do anything with him and he loved it. The past year since his eye surgery to have the second row of lashes removed...he will fight us, bite us if we try to get close to his face with anything...scissors, brush, it doesn't matter.

I have talked with my vet about this, she suggested I give him half of a Benadrly tablet to calm him before grooming. My vet put him on Prozac for a short period thinking it would calm his fear and aggression concerning grooming. He could not take it...he was constantly throwing up and would not eat.

A friend of mine is a dog trainer...she helped me with the positive training...it has worked...but not with grooming him...he will not allow you close to his little face without a fight.

Has anyone given their dogs Benadryl? Does it help?

Thank you for any help.

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I'm sorry I'm responding to this post so late. But I just felt the need to chime in here. Only because like the original poster, I am a "big dog person" who now has a shih tzu. And I will say, having a tzu after big dogs is like the difference between night and day. Like the original poster, when my shih tzu has shown any type of "aggressive" behavior, it has definetely never been out of fear. This dog is afraid of nothing. My shepherd mix is slightly timid and shy. Not my shih tzu. Nothing scares him. And if not worked with daily and kept in check he will become aggressive in time. He has showed the inclination in the past. It was not fear.....it was bossiness. I love him like crazy, but I will not sugar coat it and say well maybe he is afraid. He is not. I have lived with dogs for 40 years and worked in shelters and rescue groups. He is not fearful. He is bossy. Well, he's not anymore since I make sure to work with him every day. But he was well on his way at one point. Yes, my opinion is in general that the big dogs I'm used to are easier dogs than this little shih tzu. And in reading the boards here and the threads people start asking for advice, it is NOT unusual for shih tzu's to be "little sh*ts". I don't believe it is a breed for a first time dog owner. That being said, if raised right they are adoreable little love bugs.

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Well if I may insert here as a trainer- the problem I see with little dogs is " Neopolian complex". Due to the fact that since the dog is small, its allowed to get in your lap uninvited, Even stare face to face. If a large dog did this, it would not be tolerated. More of my clients have small dogs than large for reasons of passive dominance. Holding to the rule of treat all dogs the same, and holding to ask yourself " if this was a large dog, would you tolerate" whatever is going on is the primary key.

Edited by borzoimom
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I definetely agree.

You also have the difference in temperment though. Anyone could have raised my GSD mix any old way and she would have been an easy dog. Not all dogs are like that. My shih tzu needs more guidance and rules.

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enchantedmountain

Wow this is an old post, but I want to put in my 2 cents. I find that small dogs around 4 mos old can sometimes start to show signs of aggression, I also think it is the "Neopolian complex" and most of the time is just stage and if diciplined and taught that this isn't the way we treat our humans or anyone else most outgrow this, but I do think that if it isn't handled properly that it can get out of hand if they continure to think that they "where the pants in the family". If I had to put a number on it I would say about 1 in 5 will go through this (maybe I am way off, but just my thougths). They need to be taught from a young age that it is inappropriate to act that way, and if allowed to get away with it, they just think it's OK. Dogs are "animals" and have instincts and in the wild that is completely appropriate behaviour for dominance, ect. But they are no longer in the wild and some need to be taught that it is completely in-appropriate. When mine act aggressive at that young age, I will grab them and be very firm and stare then right in the eyes and tell them no, no, no (in a rough low voice) and just stare at them (look them straight in the eyes, when they are young they respond well to this method), so they know I am boss and that I dis-approve of the behaviour (when they are older that sort of dominince may not work as well, but it has always worked for me). Then I will put them in a room by themselves (not their crate or anywhere that is their security). For me it is usually the bathroom. I do not find it uncommon at all for young pupps (4-6 mos) to go through this stage, some just don't get over it as quickly as others and some take additional trianing and disipline. Just my 2 cents :)

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And a good 2 cents it was Rael. The "stare then down" method has worked for me and I have only had adult dogs. I just grab their beards and look them eye to eye and say "no!" Has always worked :)

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  • 10 years later...

 I have a 2 year shih Tzu that has been biting since a pup. its full on draw blood . I love him so much it saddens me ever since we brought him home. he has a fun personality ,very loving towards everyone except me and my husbbband       .he bites me more even though I spend all my time with him and take him with me as much as I can. I can tell when hes stressed. I took an animal behavior class on body language and many other classes plus I tooik him to the vet when this first started happrning. what gets me is that he is good for others. hes done training classes. he loves to play ball in make sure we play all the time. we go to dog park. hes good around other animal he good all the way around. could be the most lovable dog ive ever had . except for one thing.he bites us !! I try everything that trainetrs suggest .watch shows, read books ,classes. this little dog is special to me more than any of my others. he saddens me I want to do so much with him but I cant. I got into a training group the trainer does private training .I cant afford it does anybody out there share my pain?

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  • 1 year later...
LLRAYNOR

We just rescyed a Shi Tzu that is estimated to be 1-2 years old. He is not neutered. But will be very soon. His name is Chase. I have a Shi tzu mix 3 tears old Callie Belle, the sweestest mommy's girl. Chase will growl and jump at her all the time. He will not leave her alone. I think he is trying to play, but she gets tired of it. My 10.5 year old Pomeranian Coco, well heabdd Chase seem to really almost fight aggressively.  Coco is a mess, he has  bitten us numerous times. He is the Alpha always. But Chase, gives it as good as he gets it. Coco seems obsessed with Chase's testicles. Wants to bite at them. I am wondering if when Chase gets neutered this will all be better. He is afraid of my 81 year old dad also. Dad will be taking them out, when I go back to work in the office very soon. I am afraid he will pull out of the harness and get loose. He doesn't want to walk with dad.  He is also afraid of a car, will not go near it. I have to pick him up and get in. I am wondering if the fear of my dad and the car, is a sign of what happened to him. He was reported found just wondering on a country road about 3 months ago. The people who found him, didn't take care of him either. When I got him, he had flea dermatitis so bad, he had bitten the hair on his back out. Any thoughts on Chase's bdhavior???

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Pawz4me

Welcome to the forum!

I think neutering very well may help, but it won't be an instantaneous change. It takes several weeks/a couple of months for their hormones to calm down after neutering.

It also takes awhile for newly adopted dogs to feel comfortable in their new homes. How long have you had him? I'm just a wee bit concerned because most dogs are on their best behavior for the first few weeks after adoption. It's referred to as the honeymoon period. Usually it's three months, maybe even longer, before you start seeing a dog's true personality. In most cases that means they're on their best behavior to begin with and then as they feel more comfortable and secure you start seeing the more naughty side. But that's not always the case, so don't be worried that his behavior will get worse!!

I'd really work on a lot of structure and routine for him. He needs to learn what the rules are in your house.

His fear of the car and not liking your dad could be related to something bad that happened in his past, or it could be due to lack of exposure/socialization. He may not have ever been in a car much and he may not have ever been around older people. Older folks are just like little kids--they tend to move somewhat differently than most adults, sometimes they talk differently, etc. And it takes a bit for some dogs to get used to those differences.

My guess is that Chase was very under socialized and that he's had some bad experiences, and that it's going to take some time and patience to get him better socialized. Good luck!

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