Can anyone give me suggestions how to stop my Shih Tzu from getting agressive to anyone entering my bedroom. Over the last few months my dog has started growling towards my two children when they enter my bedroom. I am watching TV and the dog is next to me as usual. As the kids progress closer to the bed the louder he growls and heaven forbid that they attempt to come close to me. He lunges at them and tries to bite them. How can I stop him from this behaviour before he succeeds and actually bites one of them.
This is dominance aggression. How old is your shih tzu? Your dog thinks you rank first on the social scale, he is second, and your kids are way down at the bottom. They're challenging his authority (and yours) and he's trying to put them in their place. Basically, he's spoiled rotten (which seems to be an easy thing to do to those cute little small dogs). How old are your kids? If they're not small, they need to start doing things to take over him on the dominance scale. This involves a few simple things, like letting them feed him and water. Make him sit for everything, sit before being fed, before they let him out, before they water him, before anyone even pets him, he must sit, so he has to work for the good life. Take him as a family to obedience classes, and let everyone in the family practice giving him commands for treats and such. Do not let him on the furniture anymore, this is a huge deal to a dog. IF your dog sleeps in the bed with you, he knows the kids don't sleep in bed with you, so therefore he must be higher ranked (to the doggy mind) Basically, you need to start treating him like he is a dog and not a cute baby puppy. Do not let him on the furniture, or sleep in the bed with you. Get him a nice dog bed and let him sleep in that. Do NOT tolerate any growling behavior, if you do it will keep escalating as you dont' discipline him for it. If he starts growling, get up and move away from him toward the kids, and hug them or whatever so they get the attention and he doesn't. If he growls when they go toward the bedroom, take the kids in the bedroom with you, and shut him out. Ignore the dog anytime he does bad behavior, if you give him attention, you may unconsciously give him positive reinforcement. Obviously, this will be a retraining period for the whole family, but if you keep to it, you will start seeing results. You can't tolerate growling towards your kids, as I said, if you keep letting hte dog get away with it, it may only be a matter of time before he bites one of them.
Thanks for your suggestions and I will try them. My kids are older 16/18 and the dog is 2 yrs this Jun. You're right about the dog being spoiled rotten, he certainly is a cute little guy (funny too). Thanks again