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I adopted a male shih tzu from the local shelter a little over two weeks ago. The vet thinks he is about four or five. The shelter told me he was very loving, sweet, and a great companion. From the moment I brought him home, he has wanted nothing to do with me or my brother. In the beginning I thought he was just getting used to us, but he hasn't changed or has gotten worse since bringing him home. He hides under our beds and will stay there for an entire day if we didn't drag him out to go the bathroom. He never comes when we call him and runs away when we try to pet him. If we hold him and put him on our laps, he runs off as soon as we let go of him. Last night was really bad because he bolted out the front door and ran for over half a mile until we finally caught him. When we got him back home, he jumped OVER his gate, which he has never done. I couldn't believe he did that because the gate is quite high. Then he pushed all his food into his water bowl. It was some sort of meltdown.

We have never done anything to hurt or scare him at all: never yelled at him, hit him, spanked him, thrown anything at him, etc. I pet him, take him on several walks a day, and take him out to go potty every five or six hours. Both of us have grown up with dogs, and my brother recently cared for a new puppy for a year. We love dogs and know how to care for them. This is just really troubling to me because I wanted a dog that would enhance my life, not make it stressful! Of course I am willing to work with him and let him learn to love us, but he has shown no improvement.

What do you all suggest?
 

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I would get some very tasty treats and lead him out from under the bed with them. Just make a trail and leave the room if you have to. If he responds, you can do it some more but spread the treats out a bit. Eventually just randomly place treats through out the house. The first goal should be to make him feel comfortable in the house and to show him it is a good place to be.

Also I probably don't have to say this but always remain calm. Sometimes people try to praise or pamper the new dog too much and it is overwhelming to them.
 

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Two weeks isn't that long. And, aside from a guess on his age, you don't really know much about his history, do you? Shelter dogs can have a simple history, as in, the loving owner died and the dog goes to the shelter, OR they can have complicated histories, as in, my first owner didn't have time for me, so I went to a second owner, who's kids were mean to me, so I went to my third home, but they had to move and didn't want to take me, so I went to the shelter. Or, the history could be anywhere in between.
My guess is, he's scared and unsure, he's in a new place with new people, sights, sounds, and smells. Some dogs take longer than others. And, I know, you do need to get him out from under the bed to pee, but, dragging probably just scared him more.

I would offer love and affection if the dog comes to you. Don't force it on him yet. Have treats in your pockets, always, and when you pass by him, toss a treat down. After awhile, he'll come to see that you near him = good things. And, for the time being, toss the treats down, don't hand feed, unless he's completely willing.
Make being in the new home comfortable, safe, and calm for the time being, most dogs come around, some just take a couple months instead of weeks...
 

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Shih Tsus are usually a dog that bonds VERY seriously to one person. Depending onm how he ended up at the shelter, he may be very disoriented and stressed. I'd give him a safe place to retreat, where he is left alone. Drop treats near him, when you pass by, but let him decide if he wants attention. Use high value treats to lure him out (I'd close bedroom doors so he can't go under beds.), when you need to take him out to potty or walk. It may take a month or so for him to relax.
 

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Definitely give him time!

A shelter dog usually has a limited known history; he may have been neglected or abused in the past, and doesn't know how to trust people.

I have a little toy poodle that was absolutely terrified of people; he would attempt to escape every time I came near him. At least he enjoyed my other dogs, but wouldn't come near me even for high quality treats. I had to keep him leashed to me even inside, and kennel him when I left the house. Now, five months later, he is a Velcro dog that doesn't want to leave my side, and enjoys the attention that terrified him at first.

I truly think that dogs want to love, but some of them have to shown that people are worth loving.
 

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Shih Tsus are usually a dog that bonds VERY seriously to one person. *snip*
This!! My parents have a shih tzu and she is super-bonded to my dad. If my dad isn't within sight of her she isn't happy. She totally ignores the rest of us and only has eyes for him. This could definitely be why your dog is having trouble adjusting.
 
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