View Full Version : Shih tzu issues...I need help!!!

7th November 2006, 02:11 PM
Since I have become so attached to this site, I am going to turn to you pet experts out there for my poor little Stewie (shih tzu). He has become really depressed lately. We just moved into a new house and have a a four month old puppy so there are A LOT of changes going on right now. He is having to live by new rules because at my fiancee's parent's house (where we lived before), he ruled the roost. He was grossly attached to my future father-in-law. Stewie would get fed CONSTANTLY from under the table, he had access to the entire house (we kennel the dogs in the kitchen now while we are away at work) and he would actually nurse off of my future father in law's arm!! We took Stewie over to my fiancee's parent's house for dinner last night and brought Stewie with us. He didn't want to leave!! When we got home he crawled under the couch and refused to come out. This morning he refused to come out of his crate. He has been incredibly mopey lately and it is just breaking my heart.

Stewie has been a volitile little dog since we got him 3 years ago. We got him from the "breeder" when he was WAY too young which I believe is the major root of his issues. I cringe now knowing what a mistake it was to get him as young as we did (6 1/2 weeks old!!!) Now he is unsocial, cranky and can be quite aggressive. We have been through behaviorists, through training sessions, one on one training and back again with his behavior. When someone looks at him, he growls. If my mother in law talks to him, he growls. He is so pissy!! We have tried everything and my last resort is doggy prozac!! He is attached to me and none of these behaviors get directed towards me, but I can't trust him around kids or guests. This is an underlying issue that has become more pronounced now that he is super depressed. Please help!!!

7th November 2006, 02:16 PM
Do your in-laws have other animals? It is terrible to think about, but would you ever give Stewie to them since he is so attached to your father-in-law? That may be a possible consideration if things do not improve. :(

When I was little, we actually had a cat that was like that. We used to live by my grandparents and this cat was really attached to my grandma. When we moved, we had to leave her with them. We knew she wouldn't be happy without my grandma!

I hope that Stewie's demeaner does improve! Poor little fellow! Maybe you could just take him to Grandpa's for a visit? :flwr:

7th November 2006, 02:35 PM
Oh wow, I am sorry you are going through that. I've never owned a shih tzu. How is their temperment generally? I wonder why he's so pissy?

Would you be totally against giving him to your in laws? I know he's your dog, but if he's most happy there, maybe you could go and visit him?

I know my parents moved out just a few weeks ago and my little JRT has been pouting.. .. maybe he's still getting used to things and he'll come out of it?

Good luck! :) :flwr:

7th November 2006, 03:11 PM
My mother-in law is totally against keeping Stewie, mostly because he is such a high maintanance dog (weekly baths and blow dries, pulling the hair out of his ears, clipping him monthly, high allergies etc). The fact that he hates her doesn't help much either. lol. She has a cavalier herself and was very pleased to see us move out (we have three dogs and two cats!!)

I thought about giving him to my father in law, but I would just be concerned that all of these things that he needs wouln't get done. I was joking with them last night that I would pay "child support" to get him professionally groomed monthly. I guess I was only half joking...poor baby. He just seems so happy there with him. (Let's just say their temperments are very much the same...they are both grumpy old men. lol) We go over every Monday and Wed. to visit with our niece and nephews and we bring Stewie with us, but he just seems to get twice as sad when we leave. We have been in our new house for a month now and he just seems to be getting worse.... :(

7th November 2006, 03:20 PM
I know you said you've already done training, but I am wondering if enrolling in some kind of a training class might be a good idea to help him work on ongoing socialization, confidence and provide him an opportunity to bond with you, especially if you think he's really missing your father in law.

Just a thought I had ... maybe the focused one-on-one attention will cheer him up. :)

7th November 2006, 04:16 PM
It was about the funniest thing I had ever seen when I took him to his first training class. My teacher was so patient and wonderful with Stewie, and he did much better as the classes went on (we took three 8 week sessions). During the first 8 weeks he sat as far away from me and the class as his leash would allow, with his back facing us. He sat and looked at the car! lol. During "social time" he was awful and growled at anyone who came near. We thought maybe he was just doing it with me so we tried having the trainer walk him around...to no avail.

Really, I think that is just his temperment, and it has been since he was 6 weeks old. What a cranky pants he is!! I am going to try to take him out one on one more with walks and on car rides (his favorite). Thats a good suggestion! This is why we named him after the baby on Family guy. I love my little baby but he really is evil icon_devil

7th November 2006, 04:56 PM
When I was married I had a Lhasa Apso. When my twins were born and grew big enough to cause trouble :roll: my poor Lhasa really took a beating! I know this is not your circumstance, but I wanted to relay my experience.

I decided it was in his best interest to have him go back to live with my parents, who he loved. I was very sad not to have him live with me, but I was still able to see him and enjoy him regularly.

Would you be able to see Stewie if he went back to live with his beloved at your fiancee's house? I hate to suggest it, but it may be the best thing for Stewie since his personality is volitile and change is difficult for him.

I'm sorry you're having to go through this... I remember how sad I felt when I made the decision to give my dog over to my parents. I did feel better, though, when I saw how much happier he was living there.

Cathy Moon
7th November 2006, 05:22 PM
Wow, are you sure there isn't an underlying medical problem? I would take him to the vets for a thorough exam and evaluation. I'm thinking he may be in pain, or there is something going on that's making him overly defensive.

Ask the vet about his ears, too. I thought you were only supposed to remove ear hair if there was a problem, and that hair pulling could irritate the ears.

7th November 2006, 07:17 PM
With long haired dogs like shih tzus, lhasas and poodles, the hair actually grows inside the ear canal and can cause severe damage if it not regularly removed. Stewie gets chronic ear infections if it is not removed at least once a month. My vet said it is sort of like tweezing your eyebrows, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Supposedly... :yikes I also have to put the powder in his ears to keep them really dry. Sometimes I think I am a major hypocondriac and I wonder what would really happen if I wasn't totally obsessed with the health and happiness of my dogs. lol. They survived for thousands of years in the wild right? :roll:

8th November 2006, 07:49 AM
Sometimes I think I am a major hypocondriac and I wonder what would really happen if I wasn't totally obsessed with the health and happiness of my dogs. lol. They survived for thousands of years in the wild right? :roll:
Nope :lol:
Dogs are pretty much a human invention, with a bit of help from mother nature. They might be evolved from wolves but that's pretty far back and started off with people taking special care of the smallest wolves or the runts in human settlements. If it wasn't for human help these runts would have died in the wild and would not have evolved into dogs.

Some breeds might survive on the street for a while but the likes of cavaliers or shih tzu's need a lot of care and grooming. So don't worry about being over fussy! I think it sounds like you're doing a great job with your cranky old man :badgrin:

8th November 2006, 11:50 AM
How about a DAP diffuser? It might help him settle into the new home. as you said, he's got an awful lot to adjust to, bless him. When you next visit your in-laws could you leave him home? Just thinking it might make him worse if he keeps seeing Grandad & making him pine even more.

Poor little love, he sounds just like my friends little shih tzu, Mimi (so called because she was so demanding, as in me me me :lol: ). When Lucy left home to live with her fiancee she ended up having to take Mimi home to live with her Mum as she was getting herself so depressed. Coco soon followed too as she was neurotic without Mimi her sister - poor Lucy was devastated :(

8th November 2006, 01:41 PM
What is everyone else's experience with the DAP diffusers? It's funny you mentioned it, because I went out and bought one last night. I got the spray too and put it on his collar. He seemed to be a little more bright and actually played a bit. I tried it on Wesley because he has seperation anxiety and he just lounged around all evening. I think it was the first quite evening since we moved in!! Cody was so bored and tried to rouse up Wesley to no avail. The diffuser doesn't seem to do much, but the spray sure did!

This morning though Stewie again refused to come out of his crate. I'm thinking he likes the special treatment and wants to be away from my nutty cavaliers, as they romp and play all morning. I left him in the garage with his favorite toy and his crate. It is air conditioned and also has a couch so it's kind of like he has his own apartment. What a teenager he is!!

I really appreciate all of the suggestions... I agree that living with his grandpa is where he wants to be more than anyplace in the world, I just don't think grandma would go for it. We are having dinner there tonight so we will talk it over. Thanks again!!

12th November 2006, 11:12 PM
I just wanted to post an update about Stewie:

He is spending the night at grandma and grandpa's house tonight and I about cried when I saw how excited he was getting into the van. His tail was going a mile a minute and he was beaming. We called to see how he was doing and I could hear my father-in-law singing to him in the background. lol. I think we are slowly going to assimilate Stewie over there so that my mother-in-law gets used to the idea. Grandpa's eyes lit up when I told him how sad Stewie has been because he missed him. Hopefully all will work out and this will become permanant. Stewie has never been happier. Thanks for all of the support everyone!!

13th November 2006, 12:13 AM
awww ***HUGZ*** I hope you're feeling better. I know it's sad but at least your little stewie is happy. I know you love him but it does sound like he's keeping your father in law quite happy as well. He probably is overjoyed :) I am glad you're making a conscious effort to make little stewie happy. :)

13th November 2006, 01:56 AM
You are doing the right thing! I hope it all works out to everyones happiness in the end. :flwr:

13th November 2006, 05:18 PM
I hope Stewie finds his "feel good" place soon. With a very ornery Lhasa boy, we well understand the particulars of a breed such as this. Our Chaz McBean "Beanie" loves us, but boy he sure is picky about "who" he likes/dislikes. At least I don't worry about anyone breaking into our house - he would probably definitely take somebody on he doesn't know - vs. my two cavalier girls who would invite strangers in!