I *think* my shih tzu has seperation anxiety?

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  1. Let me just start off by saying that my 2 going on 3yr old shih tzu is like my baby. He's actually my second shih tzu... I had a shih tzu growing up as a child whom had to be put down at the age of 17 (due to gluacoma :cry:... I still miss him everyday). I got Burberry (lol yes, Burberry cause he is all the colours of Burberry) when I was 23. So basically I've done all the training/raising etc (I was only 6 when we got my other dog Zak so my Mom was the "Mommy").

    Burberry (we also call him Bear) is quite the character. He is a true baby. From the minute we got him he acted like a true baby. He sleeps with me everynight (he likes to sleep with at least his head on any part of my body). I've woken up to him sleeping on my chest... how cute? Zak, my other shih tzu preferred to sleep UNDER the bed or right beside it. When we're sitting down watching tv he likes to wedge himself between whoever is sitting on the couch. Just last night I was sitting on my couch using my laptop and he tried climbing on top of it LOL. He's also very "childish" about his many toys. He will bring them all to you and drop them in front of you (I guess as a cue he wants to play). Every night before we go to bed he runs up and down the stairs collecting at least 1 or 2 of his toys to bring in bed with me. He even always sleeps on top of his stuffed animal in his bed.... :smile:. Yes, I'm crazy I talk about him like he's a baby. My other shih tzu wasn't like that... he had a really funny personality too.

    Anyways, the other night I came home from work and noticed he was shaking. I still live at home with my parents and younger sister. We all have different schedules but he is honestly never alone more then 3 hours or so until someone comes home where as my other shih tzu was alone basically everyday between the hours of 8:30am and 4pm Mon to Fri. I held him for awhile and my dad mentioned he had taken him out for a walk earlier (so maybe he caught a chill... we live in Canada. Enough said.). I put him in his bed with a blanket and he was STILL shaking (I had only been home now for over an hour at this point). He wouldn't eat HIS food but wanted whatever meat my Mom was cooking and wanted his biscuits.
    My father also mentioned he was the first to come home and he was sitting by door on a mat (he never sits there) on top of a pair of my shoes with his teddy bear? I held him on my lap for a good 10 minutes and pet him (I made a call to the vet in the mean time). Funny, I think he understands english bc as soon as I got off the phone with the vet he stopped shaking. He was fine then.

    Yesterday my Mom was home all day and when she left for a few hours he sat by the door (on top of the mat with our shoes) and started shaking. She brought him to his bed and he sat there shaking when she said bye to him. When she got home she gave him a biscuit but he wouldnt take it. An hour later when I walked in the door he ran up to me and then ran away to take his cookie we left in his bowl.

    This morning when I woke up to get ready for work he followed me from my room to the bathroom and back again. When I was doing my hair in the bathroom he laid down and I could see he was shaking (he never usually sat IN the bathroom with us... usually out in the hallway). As I was picking up my purse he took his toy from my bed and brought it downstairs (I keep my room door closed when Im not him). As I put my shoes on he sat again on the mat and put his head down.

    ....I don't have too much experience with this. My Mom says she vaguely remembers my other dog doing this (only bc this was years ago). He's going to be 3 soon and JUST started doing this. Wouldn't he of been more prone to this behaviour as a puppy?
  2. I would suggest first taking him to the vet to rule out any health problems. If he comes back with a clean bill of health, call a local dog trainer to work on possible separation anxiety.
    Another idea: do you have a doggie day-care in your area? I've heard (my friend did this) that taking a dog to one once or twice a week sometimes makes a huge difference with anxiety-issues in dogs.
  3. ITA. Take him to the vet first just to make sure something isn't physically wrong. Then ask if your vet can refer you to a trainer/behaviorist to deal with separation anxiety. If it is separation anxiety, you will both need to work on behavior modification.
    I am going to try to phrase this next part as delicately as I can, and hopefully, I won't be flamed ...
    Pets are not children. They are part of the family, but you really cannot treat them like children. Human behavior/motivation is very different from dog behavior. Sometimes treating our dogs like children can create a furry little monster.

  4. Not from me. Im just watching all seasons of Cesar Millan show and its unbelievable how much damage people can do to their dogs - out of love - by treating them like humans not like dogs. MissLianne Im sorry your little critter is going through this and I hope you will find a solution soon - and I highly recommend watching Cesar Millan in action - what he says is so simple and obvious but we just dont realize it.