Shih tzu nipping & one bite, ouch!

Posted by shihtzumom
Aug 27, 2007
We purchased a 1 year old shih tzu 2 weeks ago. She has been a wonderful addition to our family. Two days ago, we came back home from a family walk, and our 4 year old daughter went to pet the dog and she growled at her and bit her on the forearm. Leaving teeth marks on her arm but thankfully not drawing any blood. We have given our 4yo more responsibilites in caring for our dog so our dog will see that she is higher in the pack than she is. Any suggestions on what else can be done?
Posted by eyeluvdogs
Sep 6, 2007
Hi there....Firstly, please do not underestimate the seriousness of the situation just because your dog is a small breed. No dog should bite children, or adults for that matter. Imagine if your 4 year old was bitten by a larger dog - the dog would probably be put down almost immediately.

I would strongly adivse that you do not leave your dog and your daughter unsupervised. It's great that you want to teach your dog that your daughter is higher in the pack, but she will require your help and constant supervision to ensure that this does not happen again.

You can practice reinforcing your daughter's higher position by having regular obedience lessons. Have your daughter issue the commands, and reprimand your dog if she does not respond - do not allow your daughter to issue reprimands herself. You can reprimand the dog by issuing a guttural growl, or squirting her with water. Or you can use the Alarm-No-Command as described in the bonus Alpha book.

You should also practice making the dog wait for your daughter to go through door ways first. Another good method of reinforcing dominance is if your daughter eats something in front of the dog, before the dog is fed its morning and evening meals.

Training your dog in obedience, and also making sure that she gets a good amount of exercise will also be important for making sure that she displays only good behavior.

Good luck