my 11 m.o. female shih tzu loves to dig her front paws into the carpet, rugs & my legs (only when standing); she does this behavior very often & in a hyper-mode, she is my first shih tzu so i don't know if this is "normal", my 6 y.o. male westie doesn't ever dig & their known for that trait. i am thinking about using a water-squirt bottle on her front paws when she does this behavior-to try & break her of it. does anyone have any experience with shih tzu's & some advice?
I have a 6 month old male shih-tzu. He digs into his bedding when he's getting ready to go to sleep for the night. Also, when he is in hyper-mode he digs into his other bed and tries to rip it apart. I don t know if that's the same thing that you're experiencing. This is my first shih, too, totally different from my lab (that recently passed away).
hmmmm... my mom's maltese does that when he is all spazzed out.
I think it's just a release of nervous energy or overexcitement.
The dog should NOT be allowed to do this to your leg. Can you imagine if a large dog got away with that? I'd be covered in scars from my lab.
Teach the "off" command. Do this by first turning your back and completely ignoring the dog when it does this. Move away, dont' give any attention. They are doing it for attention. Then, when they stop doing it, you can give them attention.
I don't know about digging into other things. You might just start by simply ignoring it when it is doing this frantic behavior. What do you do now when it does this? The dog probably knows that if it scratches things, you give it attention. So, if you have rewarded this behavior by taking the dog for a walk, or paying it attention, or anything positive after the action, then you have sortof created this. And sometimes, if the dog is not getting enough attention, it will do this JUST to get you to yell NO, and give it that attention. Sometimes negative attention is good enough.
So, I think the nervous actions are a sign that maybe the dog needs more exercise / stimulation. Little dogs often don't get their needs met because people think they don't need exercise like big dogs. That is not true. So while you want the digging to stop, the digging itself likely stems from another problem. That root problem is what you need to solve. If your dog is anxious and always trying to get your attention.. THAT is what you need to deal with. Then the digging will just subside.
"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."
My Shih tzu is like a roto tiller if she is outside in her pen. The dirt flys and you don't want to stand behind her or you will be covered. She does not dig at carpets or bedding in the house, however.
She is from a long line of Champion Earth dogs and I often wondered if that had something to do with her love of the underground? Or is it just a Shih tzu trait?