My Shih Tzu Nick is 10 years old, but he has gotten aggressive over the past five years. I have brought two more dogs into the home and he doesn’t seem to have an issue with them, but he doesn’t want them around, either.
He has become a biter in the past four years. Sometimes when I try and pick him up to move him, or when a kid gets in his face or even when he gets in bed with us, trying to make him move over is a big deal and he tries to bite us. He has bitten me in the face, causing 10 stitches. He has also bitten my husband and a few others. When left alone for any amount of time he trips out, screams and acts really crazy for about 10 minutes after we get home. In between these incidents he is very loving and sweet.
I am fighting the emotions on whether to have him put down or not. He still has a lot of life left in him. The only major thing that has happened to him was getting hit by a car, which resulted in one of his eyes being removed.
The other issue is that he will not let anyone groom him. He tries to bite the whole time and I can no longer find a groomer who will work with him. He won’t let me groom him either, and Shih Tzus must be groomed. At the mention of having him put down, my husband gets really upset with me. I love my dog, and I more or less know what I can and cannot do to upset him. My question: Is it time to put him down or should I just keep him away from people and let him live his life out with adjustments?
– Melissa, Georgia
Thank you for your email, but the issues going on with Nick are something that need to be addressed in person by a professional dog trainer/behaviorist. Nick has a long history of biting, and I strongly recommend keeping Nick away from visitors, particularly children, until you receive advice from whomever you decide to work with. A good place to start your trainer search is at www.apdt.com; you just type in your zip code, and a list of trainers in your area comes up. APDT members have various certifications and specialties – please speak with at least three to five people before making your decision. All the best to you.