Rescue Dog and Fear Aggression

Posted by drevilla
Aug 25, 2007
I have posted this on another thread but I need help.

I adopted a 9 yr old male Shih Tzu last night. He was in a foster home with other dogs, cats and people for about a year. He was shy when I met him but I was able to pet him and pick him up without any issues. He rode home with me in the truck, no cage and was great. I put a leash on him, brought him into the house, introduced him to the 4 cats and put him on a doggie pillow in the kitchen. I sat with him for a while and pet him and then gated him in the kitchen. He has not moved from the pillow since. When I tried to hook a leash on him this morning he began growling and snapping whenever I got my hand close. Same thing this evening when I got home from work. He hadn't moved and wouldn't let anyone get too close. I took the gate down, still, he won't move.

I want to know how long I should leave him alone so he can get used to the house? I want to train him so he isn't fearful of new people and is just a happy friendly dog.

He looks so miserable in the kitchen and just shakes. I want to know if there is something I can do or if he should go back to his foster home.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Aug 25, 2007
Hi, I am a new member so forgive me if I am making a mistake on how to post my comment/response to your question.

First, it is very nice of you to provide a permanent home for the 9 yr old male Shih Tzu. I thought maybe he is confused and feeling very insecure about what is happening to him.

Is he eating his meals? Is he in good health? Is he taking any food or treats from your hand? Does he go potty outside? I am sorry for asking so many questions but I am concerned too.

I assume he was friendly to people when he was at the foster home.

As long as he eats and goes potty, I would give him a little more time for him to settle down. In the mean time, how about feeding his meals from your hand not from his dog bowl? I think he should first trust you before he trust any other strangers.

I hope he will feel comfortable at his new home soon.
Posted by eyeluvdogs
Aug 26, 2007
Hi Drevilla,

I think that what MaxHollyNoah said is good advice.....just take things slowly with this dog. However, before you go handing food to this dog, I would first try and build up some trust. I recommend that you sit as close as you can to the dog without him starting to growl. Dont make eye contact, just sit there quietly. Throw a few treats towards your dog and speak to him in an encouraging voice. Eventually, as your dog relaxes in your company, you can move closer and closer. Wait for the dog to come to you, and when he does, slowly reach under his chin to pet him.....don't pet him on the top of the head yet, as this might seem like a threatening gesture to an already jumpy dog. Once you can touch him without the dog becoming aggressive, then I think it will be ok for you to hand feed him.

I hope this helps. Good luck, and let us know what happens