You might think that a cute tiny dog like a Shih Tzu will never be aggressive. While you might be right for the most part, there are some dogs that have an aggressive side to them, and the severity may vary.
If your Shih Tzu is showing signs of aggression, you need to correct the bad behaviour right away to ensure that it doesn’t cause injury to himself, people, and other dogs. Also, don’t assume that you can just work around and carry on with this aggression. You have to take action to stop it from getting worse.
Why is Your Shih Tzu Aggressive?
There are several causes behind aggression in Shih Tzus. Well, the blame is often put on the owners themselves or past owners in the case of adopted or rescued Shih Tzus.
How does it happen? To be honest, it often happens when you love your pet a bit too much. If you are acting instinctively and pet and cuddle your Shih Tzu even when he misbehaves, in his mind, he thinks that the behavior is the correct way to behave.
Things can also get worse if you don’t offer rewards for good behavior. As an owner, your thoughts might also be like those of a dog. Ignore your pet when he behaves improperly and praise him for good behavior.
Small Dog Syndrome
Another very common reason why Shih Tzus can get aggressive is the so-called small dog syndrome. This is a condition that occurs when an owner of a Shih Tzu or other small breeds always gives in to the demands of the dog. This can make the dog think of himself as the pack leader, and the pack is composed of the humans in the house, with the owner included. It is important to address and correct small dog syndrome before it goes out of control.
All humans in the house and any visitors should assert themselves as the higher-ranking members of the pack above the Shih Tzu. Pet owners should show their dogs that they are the pack leader and not the other way around, something that the dog should learn to accept.
Shih Tzu aggression might also be the result of the boredom and frustration of not getting enough exercise. These dogs need to release any pent up energy. It would help if you took your dog out more often. Younger Shih Tzus must get two walks daily of 20 minutes at least, preferably early in the morning and before dusk.
Shih Tzus might also show aggression if they are possessive of their territory, food, toys, bedding, or all of the above. You can quickly rectify possessive aggression during feeding time.
Put the empty feeding bowl in front of your pet and place a small amount of his favorite food with your hand. Ensure that your clenched hand is right in front of your pet’s nose before you release the payload. After he finishes the initial handful of food, put a second handful in the bowl and push your pet out of the way if needed.
Once he gets used to what you are doing, add another handful with one or two morsels still left in the dish and again, push your Shih Tzu out of the way when needed. Take out the remaining morsels while adding what you have in your hand. This way, your Shih Tzu will know that he can trust you and your hand near his bowl and that you will take away less than what you give. He won’t snap or growl at you anymore whenever you get near the food bowl. He will trust you now hear his possessions.