Post # 1
We have a 2 3/4 year old Shih Tzu, who is our number one girl. I’ve owned her since she was 8 weeks old. She’s smart, cute, and very independent–right in line with typical shih Tzu personality as I understand. About a year ago, before Darling Husband and I were married, I lived in a back house that required me to walk through a huge yard to get to te street/my car. A couple weeks after moving in, I got home late from work and needed to take Rox on a walk. The landlord’s dogs were in the backyard, which was unusual. They had told me not to let her play with one of their dogs because he wasn’t always good with little animals. So, since Rox had been home for a long time and needed to be walked, I decided to just carry her through the yard (so she wouldn’t be able to mess with either of the dogs). Unfortunately, one dog started attacking us. I kept her from gettig hurt but got bit 3 times in the process and had to go to the hospital. All this to say, about a year ago we both were a little traumatized! Here’s my issue: before that incident, she rarely barked at all (usually just when the doorbell rang) and was always super, super friendly to all people and dogs we encounter on walks, etc. Now, she goes CRAZY when we see another dog on a walk (she just barks, doesn’t attack) and even inside the house will bark like crazy if she sees a person or dog anywhere outside, even if it’s down the street. I think a lot of it probably has to so with how secure she feels and also feeling like she has to “protect me. She is much calmer with the barking when Darling Husband is with us on walks or in the house. She isn’t just afraid of all dogs: she has no issue playing or being around dogs she knows.
Any ideas of what we can we do to get our happy-go-lucky, care-free dog back?
Sorry for typos-writing this on my phone! Btw, we no longer live in the back house, but did until we moved in with Darling Husband after the wedding.
Post # 3
It stems from the accident most likely, and your fear and projection through the leash! Do you get a little uneasty every time you walk towards a dog yall don’t know? Even if its just you anticipating her barking spaz out,and not necessarily nervous . believe it or not that is training the dog to associate other dogs with a problem.
I recommend not seeing at as her being “protective” but rather you become the lady in charge and she is insecure. She needs to be corrected with her barking at other dogs/people, and start working on her before it escalates. You can probably see her neck stiffen, her tail raise, intense staring or her head lower a bit when she notices another dog-some type of physical change. At that point, is when she needs to be redirected.
Your Darling Husband is probably also higher on the chain of command then you , especially if shes your baby 😉 which would be why she responds better to him, and he probably doesn’t have the same fears/experiences that she had with you.
Post # 4
Thanks. She probably can sense my anticipation of the barking spaz out. I don’t get nervous unless it’s a bigger dog, and I admit that if a big dog is loose, I always scoop her up since I don’t know what they are like. Maybe I shouldn’t do that. As far as redirecting her, when she sees a dog/starts barking, what would you suggest? I try to just keep walking, talk to the other dog in a nice friendly voice so she will sense that it’s okay, or just scoop her up and walk off if all else fails. As far as garlic inside, I don’t think I’m giving off a vibe there, but I’ve tried getting her to play, picking her up, telling her it’s okay-the only thing that will get her to stop barking is to open the door and show her that whoever isn’t out there anymore or close the blinds and carry her to a different room.
Post # 5
Picking her up is a big mistake… it raises her above the other dogs which triggers feelings of dominance, then when she can’t actually interact with the dog, it only frustrates both of them. I see this ALL THE TIME at the dog park when people walk in with their dogs on leashes, and/or pick them up to remove them from situations. Not being free to run, play and interact normally (due to leash or carrying) makes them feel trapped and creates very specifically aggressive behaviour.
My recommendation would be to join a medium/small dog play group in your area. Look here, or google to find one http://www.meetup.com/
If she get’s into a confrontation with another dog, pull her away by the collar, but don’t pick her up. I have a smaller dog too, and if she’s getting too heated with someone else, I’ll ask their owner to take them away, or I’ll physically get between them and block the other dog until it loses interest (note, I’m referring to rough play, but still play, don’t get in the middle of a real dog fight).
Once she’s comfortable socializing with dogs of her own size, take her to an offleash park, where she can learn to be social with bigger dogs.
In the house, if she’s barking at something outside go to the window and look out, then turn around and firmly shush her, or put her leash on and lead her away from the door or window. She’s barking to warn you of danger, and you mush acknowledge that she’s warned you, inspect the danger yourself, then indicate to her that you’ve taken care of the problem, it’s not her responsibility.