Monday, August 07, 2006

Learning To Recognize Aggressive Behaviors in Your Shih Tzu

Learning to Recognize Aggressive Behaviors in Your Shih Tzu

Generally speaking Shih Tzu should not be aggressive at all. However, with any breed of dog aggressive behaviors can and do occur. Do you understand what it means if a Shih Tzu bares its teeth at you? Is your Shih Tzu warning you to back off or is your Shih Tzu simply smiling? If your Shih Tzu suddenly snaps at you – is this a failed bite or a warning that a bite might be coming next? The truth is these are typically aggressive behaviors that can range from visual warnings to postural or symbolic threats. Every dog owner needs to learn these subtle or not so subtle warnings of aggression, whether it be with a Shih Tzu or a Pit Bull. Any dog breed can exhibit aggression.

Dog aggression is often meant primarily not to harm so much as to alter the behavior of another creature, human or animal. Dogs and Shih Tzu included communicate their aggressive intentions through changes in expression, posturing, and maneuvering, some so subtle as to be easily missed or misunderstood by a passerby or even the owner. A dog’s communication system is quite different from a human’s communication system. It is important that every dog owner, whether it be a Shih Tzu or a Pit Bull, or a tiny teacup poodle, learn the dog’s basic communication system expressing aggression.

The actual bite is often preceded by several aggressive responses and warnings. These might include staring, growling, tensing up, and walking stiffly. No one, however, would misinterpret the savage attack of a child by a Pit Bull, as anything other than pure aggression and most people would also interpret the attack as the dog being absolutely uncontrollably vicious. In a breed such as the Shih Tzu, one does not normally see such types of viciousness, however, as with all canines, it is possible. All canines are related to the wolf and even though humans have domesticated them extremely well they can still from time to time exhibit those wolf like behaviors.

Aggression may develop gradually in a pup as it matures. Play growling and nipping by puppies and Shih Tzu puppies as well may seem harmless, but they often represent warning signals of what can be possible later on. Growling and nipping in Shih Tzu puppies needs to be handled immediately and eradicated. The mouth of a Shih Tzu puppy should never be allowed on human skin regardless of the activity. One possible way of handling a mouthing Shih Tzu puppy on human skin is to immediately close the mouth of the Shih Tzu puppy and hold it tight while saying sternly to the Shih Tzu puppy – NO BITE.

All Shih Tzu puppies are prone to want to chew. They are teething and this is a very normal behavior, however, when it is transferred to human skin, it is not normal and not acceptable. It can be solved if caught in the early stages assuming there are no other emotional problems occurring with the Shih Tzu puppy. You can also quickly put a chewable object in the mouth of the mouthing Shih Tzu puppy.

Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. Sign up at: Designer Dog Clothes are offered on the website.

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Shih Tzu - Difficult Deliveries

Shih Tzu – Difficult Deliveries

Most Shih Tzu puppies present themselves normally at birth. There are times, very few times, of which I have experienced with the Shih Tzu that required assistance. Usually the most difficult Shih Tzu puppy birth is the first one. Delivery of a dry Shih Tzu puppy or overly large Shih Tzu puppy can take longer than normal and may affect the next Shih Tzu puppy birth. This next Shih Tzu puppy may be stillborn or have more fluid in the trachea and lungs. Oftentimes, subsequent Shih Tzu siblings are born normally.

Not every stillborn Shih Tzu puppy or difficult delivery is the result of a Shih Tzu matron suffering inertia. The problem of inertia, however, will cause a higher percentage of stillborn Shih Tzu puppies. Shih Tzu puppies are normally vigorous while attached to the uterine wall. Once freed from the uterine wall, a Shih Tzu puppy has limited time in which to arrive.

Once the Shih Tzu puppy has arrived, time is crucial. If the matron does not immediately tear the sac from around the puppy. You must quickly tear the sac from the Shih Tzu puppy’s face, nose and mouth and then proceed to remove the sac from the rest of the Shih Tzu puppy’s body. Rub the Shih Tzu puppy briskly while it is in a head-down position. Use a pediatric bulb syringe to suction the Shih Tzu puppy’s oral cavity. Clear the trachea and lungs by shaking the Shih Tzu puppy down. Each direction of the arc’s swing should take about 3 seconds. Repeat the procedures several times until the Shih Tzu puppy’s oral and tracheal passages are cleared as much as possible.

Dry Delivery:
A dry delivery is when the Shih Tzu puppy’s protective sac breaks inside the birth canal. A dry Shih Tzu puppy delivery can either a head-first or breech (rear quarters first). A Shih Tzu puppy breech birth is a normal canine birth position; however, a dry breech delivery can be dangerous to a Shih Tzu puppy. The Shih Tzu puppy is presented entirely or partially free of a sac. If the Shih Tzu puppy’s legs get stuck delivery progress is impeded. The Shih Tzu puppy’s head may turn back blocking passage or even its body turned sideways in the birth canal. Under these circumstances the Shih Tzu dam cannot deliver without assistance. Cooking oil may be substituted in an emergency to use as a lubricant.

While it is most important to get a Shih Tzu puppy breathing on its own as quickly as possible, the Shih Tzu puppy must never be pulled indiscriminately. You need to work with the Shih Tzu dam’s contractions. Place one hand in the dam’s inguinal area directly behind the Shih Tzu puppy’s position in the birth canal and exert a slight pressure to help prevent backward slipping. Grip the Shih Tzu puppy firmly with a towel in the other hand to prevent the Shih Tzu puppy from being withdrawn. Wait for the next contraction and exert a slight, steady pulling pressure downward toward the Shih Tzu dam’s feet. One or two contractions are usually enough to deliver the Shih Tzu puppy.

Your hands must be scrubbed, your nails trimmed and filed smooth in case adjusting the Shih Tzu puppy’s position is necessary. Use sterile surgical gloves or dip your hands in surgical antiseptic. Using a small amount of lubricant, gently insert one or two fingers into the Shih Tzu matron’s vagina. The Shih Tzu puppy should be palpable presenting facing the dam’s feet. You can feel if the Shih Tzu puppy is still confined or if the sac has been broken. If the Shih Tzu puppy is still in the sac, additional lubricant will not be needed.

If the Shih Tzu puppy’s head is foremost, gently ease the legs into the correct birth position. Gently push the Shih Tzu puppy a few millimeters back into the birth canal. Reposition the Shih Tzu puppy with the forelegs extended first. The Shih Tzu dam should then have little difficulty expressing the Shih Tzu puppy with one or two more contractions. Firmly hold the Shih Tzu puppy as it is presented and withdrawn back inside the birth canal at the end of contractions. If the Shih Tzu puppy presents itself head-first, keep the puppy’s face down toward the dam’s feet. If it is a breech delivery, hold the Shih Tzu puppy’s hind feet “facing” the dam’s paws.

Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:

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