2 Shih Tzu's not getting along Questions

Discussion in 'Shih Tzu' started by CountryboyJoe, Sep 14, 2022.

  1. CountryboyJoe

    CountryboyJoe New Member

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    2 Shih Tzu's not getting along

    Hello. I'm Joe from Arkansas. I'm new to the forum and excited to be here.

    We have a 6 year old Shih Tzu named Lucy and have had her since she was 2 years old. She's the best dog we have ever owned as she is calm and sweet and likes to sleep most of the time. She is trouble free. She is also the smaller size of this breed at around 10 pounds.
    About 6 months ago, we brought another female Shih Tzu named Izzy into our home hoping it would give her a buddy but it's been quite the opposite. This Shih Tzu is only a year old but almost twice her size. It constantly smells of her rear and ALWAYS picks on her til they are pawing at each other and fighting. They often fight over the dog bed (it's plenty big enough for both of them) but it's obviously a territorial thing.
    Even though Izzy is also a Shih Tzu, you wouldn't ever know it other than her looks. She has a totally different personality than Lucy. She constantly jumps up on us while we are walking around in the house and it's quite annoying as her claws are sharp. My biggest question here is, is there a chance Izzy will ever be the calm natured dog Lucy is? She's already over a year old but hasn't calmed down much.

    Thanks in advance for any info.
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  3. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Everything Izzy is doing is normal behavior to a dog. It is up to YOU to teach her what you deem as unacceptable behavior.

    You do NOT teach that by punishing her. Because her behavior is natural dog behavior, reprimanding her, yelling at her, telling her "no", etc, only confuses her and makes you scary.

    Instead, you teach her what behaviors you want from her. The easiest way to do this is with redirection.

    First, get them their own beds. Don't force them to share or fight over one bed. They each have a bed that is theirs alone. If Izzy tries to take Lucy's bed from her, simply redirect her to her own bed. As soon as she goes to her bed, even if for just a second, praise her. If she starts to go back to Lucy's bed, redirect her again, and praise her as soon as she goes to her bed. Repeat as necessary until she stops trying to take Lucy's bed.

    You can choose whether the beds are dedicated to each dog (bed A is Lucy's and bed B is Izzy's) or, if beds are a first come first choice option. The main goal is to teach Izzy that she is not permitted to take Lucy's bed out from under Lucy or to harrass her in such an attempt. If Lucy is on bed A, then Izzy is only allowed to go lay on bed B. Same with toys, food bowls, etc - Izzy is only allowed what Lucy doesn't currently have. Redirect Izzy to the toy or bowl, etc, that Lucy does not have in her possession.

    Second, start doing some basic obedience work with Izzy. Teach her to sit on command. When she jumps on you, simply stand/sit and calmly tell her "sit". As soon as she sits, get down on her level and praise her.

    The "get down on her level" is really important. She's short. When you are standing, the only way she can get to the "good" parts of you (hands that pet her, etc) is to jump on you - so when she sits, remove that temptation by getting down so she can get attention without having to reach for it. Your attention is the reward for her sitting. Until she sits, just stand there and ignore her. It will only take a few times for her to figure out that if she sits she gets your attention. And you can practice this by having her sit for treats and toys. If she wants the toy, she sits. If she sits, she gets the toy.

    Teach her "leave it". When she has something or is bothering Lucy, tell her "leave it" and redirect her to something acceptable. When she turns away from the unacceptable item or Lucy, praise her.

    Praise is usually a great motivator, but you can also use treats or a favorite toy as a reward.

    Remember, she was a puppy when you got her. She won't know human-acceptable behavior until she is taught it by you. And she is still young. It may take effort to get her well trained - effort from YOU. You can't just expect her to "be a calm natured dog" without putting in the work.

    Also remember that every dog is an individual, just like people. I'm sure you hated being compared to your siblings or cousins and falling short. Don't expect Izzy to be just like Lucy. Izzy may always be more energetic. But with work, you can teach her to be a well behaved energetic dog.
  4. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Good advice from Toed.

    Remember that just like when you have a couple of toddlers, there are times when you need to step in to keep the peace
  5. CountryboyJoe

    CountryboyJoe New Member

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    Thanks for all the info Toedtoes. I've been working with Izzy since we got her and I know it takes time and patience, but she is so stubborn that it honestly feels like I haven't made any progress at all...and that's in 6 months.

    There are times I raise my voice to her but I will start trying the redirection method as mentioned. Thanks again.
  6. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Shih tzus are known to be hard to train. I've known many and they are tough little dogs with minds of their own. I suspect that Lucy is the outlier in terms of personality, not Izzy.

    I also suggest not thinking of her as stubborn. It's a common habit we all do, but it makes it more difficult for us if we think that she is just fighting our attempts at training.

    In reality, she most likely isn't making progress because she hasn't been motivated or she doesn't understand what is expected of her. So, you want to be very consistent and clear about your desired behaviors (eg, redirecting her from unwanted behaviors to wanted behaviors) and to find the right motivation for her - whether that is praise, treats, a special toy, or even a favorite game.
  7. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    My two dogs have 3 beds. For their after meal treat (which mine need because of food aggression) they each have a specific bed they know they have to go to, to receive their treat. As far as sleeping, it’s whoever is on a bed, gets that bed. That even goes for my bed, only one at a time (they are too big to have them both on my bed, and leave room for me). It didn’t take long at all for them to learn which bed to go to for their treat

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