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Nipping Biting

Nipping and Biting

Overview

A Shih Tzu is most arguably the cutest dog in the world. However, that little ball of fluff may have a bite that makes you wonder how such an adorable little creature could break skin!

Almost all dog owners will experience a time when their dog has a biting issue. A dog may bite for the following reasons:
  • Teething
  • Protection reflex against strangers
  • Protection reflex to protect their property
  • Negative behavior either learned or instinctual inbred behavior
Luckily, there are resolutions to these issues; some will take more training and patience on your part than others.

If your Shih Tzu is biting due to teething, this is quickly fixed by supplying lots of interesting toys designed to ease their discomfort, toys that are made cold in the freezer and training by the owner. 

When your Shih Tzu tries to bite or nip at you and you know that they are teething, you must say "No" in a stern voice and hand them a toy. Only through repetition will a dog learn a new behavior.
Many people mistakenly believe that a dog that behaves badly will be one that gives the owner a battle of wills. However, dogs naturally wish to please and only need to be shown what their owner desires for them to do.

Some dogs are very wary of strangers and will nip or bite at those people that are new to them. While this may appear as if the Shih Tzu is out of control, this is actually just a reflex to act out against what they perceive as a threat. This can be fixed by desensitization.

For example purposes we will use the example of a friend. When a friend comes to your home, have your Shih Tzu at a distance and allow your dog to see that you are greeting your friend in a calm and pleasant manner. 

Have your friend sit down and then with your dog on a leash, slowly bring them over. Get to the level of your Shih Tzu and while talking in a happy and calm voice, introduce the two.

Have your visitor come with treats in their pocket and gently give them to your Shih Tzu while talking in a calm and loving voice. After training this way for several weeks with different types of people, you dog will realize that as long as you are happy with a visitor, so shall they be.

A Shih Tzu may bite or nip at someone who is disturbing them when they are eating. Dogs in general are very protective of their food. All dogs should have a quiet and undisturbed area in which to eat and drink. Any children should be taught to leave the dog alone while they are eating and that play time may begin after dinner.
By nature, the Shih Tzu breed is a very friendly dog and usually fits in perfectly as a family pet. However, there will always be exceptions to that rule and will be cases of a Shih Tzu with somewhat extreme biting issues. This may happen when a dog was previously abused; they may be acting out in what seems to them to be self defense; as the abuse taught them to be afraid of everything.
You may also be interested in:

Shih Tzu puppy teething - During this phase a puppy will have intense itching and discomfort that can cause him to chew on just about anything to find relief. 
Housebreaking - This is the most important training that owners will need to do. By following some important guidelines and sticking with a solid routine, a Shih Tzu can be trained in a matter of weeks.
Shih Tzu is growling - This breed is considered very happy-go-lucky and is typically not an aggressive dog. However, some Shih Tzu may show unwanted behavior including growling.  This should be dealt with early as soon as it begins. 
Shih Tzu licking problems - Just like any other habits, things can get out of control. A dog may obsessively lick himself or his owners. In some cases, this is due to a medical issue, most often allergies that are causing itching skin. 
Shih Tzu Isn't Barking - What it means if a Shih Tzu doesn't vocalize and things you can to to help a dog find his voice. 
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