Nervous shih tzu?

My shih tzu is nervous about everything. We got him last year from Debra Jensen in Las Vegas and we were expecting a professional dog breeder. Instead, all the dogs were kept in one room in a small trailer. We felt bad for the dogs, so we adopted Sparky, a 6 month old "imperial" shih tzu. A $1200 rescue.

Now Sparky barks whenever anyone comes over, including my nephew who is at my home every week. He is scared of my Lhasa Apso Smoothie, barks constantly (He has a horrible bark, like a howl), is scared of the vet, groomer, dog park, and shakes whenever I take him in the car. He is scared of all other dogs and barks and tried to attack my friend's yorkie for no reason. I can't have guests over without him barking all day or having to keep him in a bedroom or outside.

I have tried taking him to the dog park to socialize, but he barked and shook the whole time, and he would not leave my side, he was scared of everything.

What should I do?

Asked by Member 813724 on Mar 22nd 2009 Tagged shihtzu, dog, nervous, scared, dogpark, socialize in Fears & Phobias
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Quinn Elizabeth

Your poor dog is so unhappy. He really needs some help from an animal behaviorist. Contact your vet or look online for any recommendations on a local certified dog behavorist that can work one on one with you and your dog to help him feel comfortable in his surroundings. I'm not saying this will work 100% but you can at least give him a chance to see if he is able to be a happy dog. To be completely honest/blunt his behavior could be do to his "professional breeding" and/or his lack or inappropriate socialization during his "puppy window of opportunity."

Quinn Elizabeth answered on 3/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I have to go along with the previous answer. Failing to properly socialize a puppy before 12 weeks causes severe problems. Likely beyond what you can fix with help over the net.

It is really too bad so many breeders create such problems.

Member 811694 answered on 3/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer