My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs
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Thread: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

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    Senior Member mitzi's Avatar
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    Unhappy My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    You probably won't remember me (long time no see) I moved a year ago and have been so busy. Anyhow, my little 'tzu is so mean to my new neighbors dogs, a sweet black lab, a boxer and several medium/ large mixes. He was fairly good with two small Havanese at my old house, but now he is nasty to every dog we come across while shopping or walking on local trails.

    He is my first dog in over 30 years and may as well be my very first as my previous dogs were perfect and I never had any problems. Bosley has several (

    Is there any way to mellow him out? Maybe a training program would help? We would love to get another dog now that we live rurally and have so much space.
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    Senior Member Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    Well, no dog is perfect. Time obscures flaws.

    You can train your dog to be behaved around other dogs, but not to like other dogs. He sounds dog selective, he likes some dogs and hates others. You may be able to find another dog he likes. I'd try females his size or slightly smaller since he likes havanese but not labs.
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    Senior Member mitzi's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by Amaryllis View Post
    Well, no dog is perfect. Time obscures flaws.

    You can train your dog to be behaved around other dogs, but not to like other dogs. He sounds dog selective, he likes some dogs and hates others. You may be able to find another dog he likes. I'd try females his size or slightly smaller since he likes havanese but not labs.
    So it's hopeless? I was afraid of that, he is also very attached to me. We would really like a big lovable lab but it would probably be a disaster. I fear Boz would snap at a big dog who would in turn kill him
    The California pet lovers license plate program will help fund low cost and free spay and neuter programs to help end needless pet overpopulation and the resultant euthanasia. Available for order through the California DMV office and DMV website.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    I think real dog aggression can only be managed and not "cured" but if he is more dog selective (having gotten on okay with other dogs before) then you could possibly find a dog that was a good match.

    I'd see about working with a good trainer to reduce his reactivity/aggression to other dogs on walks first before thinking about another dog in the house. I worked with my previous foster on her reactivity and was able to move her from going absolutely howling, snapping and straining at the leash crazy when another dog was in sight (other than Chester, she liked him from the beginning) to being able to walk past other dogs and going on the group dog walks (with an orange warning vest that indicated she was a DINOS - Dog In Need Of Space). She was adopted by a family with male lab who she adored from the first meeting. She was NOT dog aggressive, she just had very poor dog social skills and acted the fool but if it got the other dog riled up, she would snap back.

    Basically, it was tire her out and then get her focused on me and on walking forward rather than the other dog. Heavily reward calm behavior, even if it was brief (as in, started with rewarding 5 seconds of silence, then only 10 seconds etc). No interactions allowed between her and any other dog on walks, we did work on proper dog meetings in a training class.

    And you may find a very tolerant big dog who would be okay with the occasional snarking.

    Edit to add: Not sure how old your dog is, but some dogs just become less dog social as they mature. However, if his nastiness towards other dogs was a sudden change and you can't see any specific incidents that might have caused it, a thyroid check-up might be a good idea.
    Last edited by Shell; 05-06-2012 at 08:31 PM.

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    Senior Member RCloud's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    Is he aggressive or reactive? Many small breed dogs are very reactive towards dogs bigger then them as a result of fear, but are fine with dogs their own size.


    "Ma'ii is always out there, waiting. And Ma'ii is always hungry" - Navajo proverb

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    Senior Member Vicky88's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    You should try giving him treats when dogs are around, i brought a book from amazon about reactive dogs, as my BC Holly is due to being attacked, she also will not attack another dog, but will snap, i just finished reading it so the training starts tomorrow for us, give him chicken or cheese or something like that, normal dog treats do not hold or get Holly's attention, Holly is also a DINOS, but sometimes she is ok when they come say hello, i do tell every owner that if the dog gets in her face she will snap though, also find a dog he likes, my auntie has a BC, Holly has known from a pup so this does not count as Holly has always liked Poppy, but last year she made friends with a neighbours Shih Tzu, and even if she hasn't seen him for weeks she does not make a sound, he can and has got close to her, lying down right next to her without any trouble, she has only told him off when he tries to hump her, let him now that dogs means good things like treats, and yes he may not ever love dogs but learn to not bark at them, which is fine for me i do not care as long as Holly stops her barking.

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    Senior Member mitzi's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    "absolutely howling, snapping and straining at the leash crazy when another dog was in sight"

    That describes Bosley's behavior to a 'T'. I haven't met a dog here yet that Boz is okay with. As soon as he sees another dog he starts squealing and pulling at the leash and from there it progresses to full on snarling, snapping, standing on his hind legs pulling, growling vicious behavior. In the yard he will run flat out after any dog that comes into sight, he even chased a coyote out of the yard one day which terrified me.

    Even though I have acres of land surrounding me I have to keep him leashed at all times because of his behavior and predators. Had I known I was going to move here less than a year after adopting him he would not be mine just because of the coyotes alone, but we belong to each other and that's that.

    He seems to want to walk past the homes where he gets into arguments with dogs that are fenced in along the way. They run up and down the fence as we pass and I drag Boz past the homes trying to calm everyone down. We pass several horse boarding/breeding places and Bosley even growls at the curious horses that walk over to greet us! The exception on our walk is one house along the way where there are two large collies that run to the fence and just want to say hello and exchange pees. His other very favorite thing is to go where many strange dogs have gone and sniff and pee there after which he scratches at the ground growling.

    When we go to Petsmart if we pass the doggie day care window he starts an argument which in turn causes a huge ruckus. We now avoid the area and I don't allow him to 'meet' other dogs in the stores or on walks.

    I think he was 2 yo or less when I adopted him, that's what vets and groomers decided based on his teeth so that would make him about 3-3 1/2 now. He adores people and always wants everyone to love on him, at home he is very snuggly and follows me everywhere so he isn't all bad.

    I will try rewarding him for calm behavior, thanks for the advice
    The California pet lovers license plate program will help fund low cost and free spay and neuter programs to help end needless pet overpopulation and the resultant euthanasia. Available for order through the California DMV office and DMV website.

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    Senior Member mitzi's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by RCloud View Post
    Is he aggressive or reactive? Many small breed dogs are very reactive towards dogs bigger then them as a result of fear, but are fine with dogs their own size.
    I think he is aggressive. While at Lowe's a few months ago he went after a dog his size when the owner wanted them to meet.
    The California pet lovers license plate program will help fund low cost and free spay and neuter programs to help end needless pet overpopulation and the resultant euthanasia. Available for order through the California DMV office and DMV website.

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    Senior Member RCloud's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by mitzi View Post
    I think he is aggressive. While at Lowe's a few months ago he went after a dog his size when the owner wanted them to meet.
    If he is truly aggressive, it's not the end of the world. I have a dog aggressive Pit Bull that's very well mannered when out walking on a leash, and even lives peacefully with our other dog. She's more selective then full on aggressive however. I would get in touch with a trainer/behaviorist so you can learn more about dog aggression and what you can do to manage and control it


    "Ma'ii is always out there, waiting. And Ma'ii is always hungry" - Navajo proverb

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    Senior Member jenz's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    My first greyhound, Lucy, was very fear-aggressive with other dogs. I tried socializing her for years, but nothing worked. Good luck with your Shih Tzu!

    Jen

    Jennifer
    with Jack (Greyhound) & Lela (Chow/Beagle x)

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    Senior Member mitzi's Avatar
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    Re: My Bosley (shih tzu) aggressive towards dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by jenz View Post
    My first greyhound, Lucy, was very fear-aggressive with other dogs. I tried socializing her for years, but nothing worked. Good luck with your Shih Tzu!

    Jen
    Thanks you so much, I know I will need it.
    The California pet lovers license plate program will help fund low cost and free spay and neuter programs to help end needless pet overpopulation and the resultant euthanasia. Available for order through the California DMV office and DMV website.

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