My Shih Tzu always hides when people come over to my home. She is fine with with the family, but even with neighbors or people that she has seen before, she shows extremely shy behavior and wants to hide either behind me or seems to want to climb right into me. She never barks. Any advice would be helpful. Owner: Milly Shih Tzu: Tucker
Hi Milly, not to worry, we have had many owners looking for this type of Shih Tzu advice.
When a dog is shy, it is very common for them to want to hide behind their owners. However, this is a behavioral issue that can be fixed.
Teaching your Tzu to cope with visitors is an important element to proper socialization. Once Tucker learns how to cope with these situations, you will have a much more confident, happy dog.
When our dogs hide behind us, or try to just about climb into us, our first reaction is to comfort them. It is a natural human instinct to want to protect our little fluff balls from anything that scares them.
However, when we allow them to hide and we do offer comfort, this reinforces their behavior.
In other words, when an owner show that they recognize that their Shih Tzu is afraid and they offer comfort by allowing them to hide, this is telling the dog, "You are correct to be afraid and shy, I will protect you". Therefore, the dog believes that they are correct in their fears and that their owner is appropriately protecting them.
To fix this, whenever your dog tries to hide behind you (or on you!), it is best to completely ignore your Tzu.