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Is this behavior expected?

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  • Aug 22nd, 2020 1:26 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
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Jan 8, 2009
1346 posts
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Brampton

Is this behavior expected?

I got a 1.5yr old Shih Tzu from a breeder a month back. We have taken good care of him, given him best food and taken for walks, play grounds daily. Have been trying to keep him busy with toys etc.
The dog still doesn't show any affection. Doesn't respond when called. Likes to spend time alone in the walk in closet in our bedroom. Only interested in eating food that we eat (we don't feed him that). However very interested in going outside as soon as the door is opened. He was a flight risk when he came but doesn't show that behavior now. In the evening, he will come from park and eat and right away go to the second floor to his crate to sleep.
Is this normal? Anything we need to do to change his behavior? Vet is saying to wait a bit before starting any training. In his previous home, he was surrounded by other dogs but he didn't get any walks or play time and spent a lot of time in his crate.
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Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
What was the dog's behaviour like when you viewed him at the breeder? It sounds like he wasn't well socialized back then.

Rather than putting his crate in an out of the way area, I'd think about putting it in an area that your family is in, when you're home. That way, he can have a safe place to hang out, while still being "around" you all. When you take him for walks, do you play with him outside? Toys, balls, etc? Talk to him, interact, etc? How much are you home with him?

Have you tried any food-based training? Rewarding him with food when he comes to you, etc?

You might want to find a good dog based forum, and see what kind of ideas people come up with. I agree with your vet, that you've only had him a month, so intensive training isn't maybe necessarily yet. But I'd say you still want to work on socializing him with your family.

C
[OP]
Deal Addict
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Jan 8, 2009
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Brampton
CNeufeld wrote: What was the dog's behaviour like when you viewed him at the breeder? It sounds like he wasn't well socialized back then.

Rather than putting his crate in an out of the way area, I'd think about putting it in an area that your family is in, when you're home. That way, he can have a safe place to hang out, while still being "around" you all. When you take him for walks, do you play with him outside? Toys, balls, etc? Talk to him, interact, etc? How much are you home with him?

Have you tried any food-based training? Rewarding him with food when he comes to you, etc?

You might want to find a good dog based forum, and see what kind of ideas people come up with. I agree with your vet, that you've only had him a month, so intensive training isn't maybe necessarily yet. But I'd say you still want to work on socializing him with your family.

C
We play with him whenever possible. We are with him all day due to Covid. He only goes up to sleep in his crate otherwise he is in the walk in closet. My daughter and her friends play with him in the park every evening and he gets a lot of attention and exercise. We are constantly calling him but he doesn't respond. He just wants to stay away. He is also very lethargic and doesn't like to engage in playing with his toys. When he came, he used to sleep while sitting, scared of all noise outside and wouldn't even pee or poo. Thankfully that is not the case anymore.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
11340 posts
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Edmonton
dealerguy wrote: We play with him whenever possible. We are with him all day due to Covid. He only goes up to sleep in his crate otherwise he is in the walk in closet. My daughter and her friends play with him in the park every evening and he gets a lot of attention and exercise. We are constantly calling him but he doesn't respond. He just wants to stay away. He is also very lethargic and doesn't like to engage in playing with his toys. When he came, he used to sleep while sitting, scared of all noise outside and wouldn't even pee or poo. Thankfully that is not the case anymore.
What was he like when you met him at the breeder?

You've only had him a month, and it seems like he's improved quite a bit. Lethargic at 18 months old doesn't sound right, but if your vet has eliminated physical issues, then I guess just give him more time.

C
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3293 posts
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Not really expected, but you do not know the pup's history, so perhaps he was "trained" to act this way or that his living circumstances contributed to his current behaviour. He does not appear to be well socialized.

I haven't had a Shih Tzu but from those I have seen, the behaviour is unusual. Normally I think they are velcro dogs. There are a few on my street and they certainly are.

Did your vet do a blood panel on your pup? I ask this just in case there is an issue. If not, did he/she indicate when it would be time to do one? And to start some proper socialization/training. It is good that your pup gets along well with other dogs.

I agree with CNeufeld that you should find a good Shih Tzu dog forum and ask their advice and read the various commnets. I know I did for our last dog and it was incredibly helpful. Shh Tzu's are very popular so there should not be an issue with finding a good forum.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 8, 2009
1346 posts
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Brampton
Blanche123 wrote: Not really expected, but you do not know the pup's history, so perhaps he was "trained" to act this way or that his living circumstances contributed to his current behaviour. He does not appear to be well socialized.

I haven't had a Shih Tzu but from those I have seen, the behaviour is unusual. Normally I think they are velcro dogs. There are a few on my street and they certainly are.

Did your vet do a blood panel on your pup? I ask this just in case there is an issue. If not, did he/she indicate when it would be time to do one? And to start some proper socialization/training. It is good that your pup gets along well with other dogs.

I agree with CNeufeld that you should find a good Shih Tzu dog forum and ask their advice and read the various commnets. I know I did for our last dog and it was incredibly helpful. Shh Tzu's are very popular so there should not be an issue with finding a good forum.
He is up to date on vaccinations and also did a complete vet check up and no issues.

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