The experiences that a rescued Shih Tzu has endured will vary; however, it is safe to say that all adopted dogs will have history that includes some type of a lack of love.
Once in a while, a dog will originate from an owner who found the cost and effort of care to become too draining; this may be the case with a senior citizen who found that things became overwhelming.
However, with the majority of dogs, there will be some type of emotional trauma. Some will have been left in crates for days on end. Others will literally have never seen the light of day or not even know what it feels like to walk upon grass. Those that are rescued from backyard breeders may have lived for months or years crowded into cages with other dogs.
Many will not know what it feels like to be loved or for a human to follow proper care tips. It can take some time for a dog to accept that he or she is actually being treated well.
Most rescues will exhibit one or all of the following behaviors:
1) Shy, nervous behavior.
When you are caring for a rescued Shih Tzu, expect that the dog will be shy and may become anxious very easily. This can be difficult or even disappointing for some new owners.
It's easy to think that as soon as a warm, safe, loving home is presented that the dog will lap up the love and be happy to be in such a terrific environment. The truth is that it can take a while for a rescue to feel secure.
We can only imagine what rescued dogs are thinking and feeling when finally in a new, loving home. We'd venture to say that an adopted Shih Tzu is metaphorically thinking "Is it true? Is the nightmare over? Just what - exactly - is happening?" and perhaps, "What proof do I have that these nice humans are going to keep giving me food? Why is this one trying to hug me… humans are bad."
Most rescues will adapt. Ahead we will look at exact ways to care for an adopted Shih Tzu. All elements such as grooming, walking, feeding and even cuddling will need to be incorporated gradually and the dog will need time to accept this all as a new, wonderful way of life.
2) Shadowing, clingy behavior.
It is common - after some initial time getting used to his new owners - that a rescued dog will latch on tightly, wanting to always stay close. Your Shih Tzu may follow you from room to room, always wanting to be by your side.
This can be a pro or a con when caring for an adopted dog. For owners that are away from home for the majority of the day, this can make it really rough for the dog, creating a feeling of abandonment that can lead to separation anxiety. Extra steps such as calming collars, hiring a dog walker to break up the day half way through and specialized toys to offer comfort may need to be incorporated.