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Hi guys. Basically a couple days ago myself and my partner adopted a 1 year old female shih tzu. She's already been pushed around homes wise, I believe we're her 4th.... myself and my partner would love to keep her but there are a few issues. Doesn't seem to be fully house trained, one of my cats is really struggling with her being here and the one I want help with, barking.

Now I understand part and parcel of having a dog is that they bark. But as soon as she's closed away at night it's almost constant. We shut her in the kitchen because the flooring in there is able to be easily washed for accidents. But our issue is that apart from a couple of hours all she seems to do is bark! I'm in an extremely stressful job which will be more stressful going in tired all the time. Is there anything we can do to lessen it? We really want to keep her but for obvious reasons can't if she's keeping us awake or disturbing the neighbours.

Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Poor thing, four homes in a year. Obviously never had any training, love or interest shown in/given to her.

Why was she up for rehoming yet again? Very early days for her to even try and settle surely?

Actually, I feel sorry for your cat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well the cat in question is coming out of its shell a bit now. He's just very weary. Only ever seen a dog once before and that was one of those little yappy jack Russell types that run around like crazy barking! So it'll take him a while to realise this dog isn't like that.

I think it probably is the fact this is all new to her. Just worried it'll be ongoing to be honest. Be very difficult to keep her if the neighbours complain or she's stopping us from sleeping.... really don't want it to come to that because we want this to be her forever home! She's already very loved and spoiled. We've put curtains up in the kitchen in the hope of darkening it out in there. Just any tips that will allow her to settle in and perhaps calm the noise down would be great!
 

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Sounds like separation anxiety to me and who can blame her? It doesn't sound like she's had anything constant in her life up to now and must be wondering what the hell is going on!

I would google some websites to find some suggestions about how to help a dog with separation anxiety, there are threads on here where people have asked for help with it so you can find loads of help on the net. The main thing is to leave her for very short periods, like 5 minutes then go back and make a fuss of her, extending the time you leave her. It's just going to take time and patience and I hope you can find that.

She needs to trust that you are always going to come back and not leave her. Also boredom buster toys like a Kong with peanut butter in it or meat paste etc that she has to work at to get the food out will occupy her for a while and take her mind off being alone.

We took on an 11 month old German Shepherd and they are notorious for chewing (my previous pup ate the kitchen when he got to 9 months old) and also for suffering separation anxiety. He absolutely ADORES pigs ears, but he only ever gets them when my hubby and I are going out and leaving him. That's all he needs. He's watching us all the time, reading our body language and he knows when he is coming out with us and he knows when we are going out without him. When we come into the living room dressed to go out (rather than casual for a dog walk), he never rushes to the door - he rushes to his bed in the utility room and fixates on the cupboard where the pigs ears are - that's all he's interested in :lol:

As far as the toilet training is concerned Shih Tzus are not a breed I've ever owned, but a friend of mine used to breed them and she said they weren't called "shitties" for nothing. She had terrible trouble with hers, but then she also had a houseful of cats and too many dogs and that could have been a main factor in their problems. I'm sure there are plenty people out there with Shih Tzus who don't have a problem. Maybe nobody has taken the time to teach her and when she's got it wrong in the house they've got fed up and offloaded her onto someone else, which only compounds the problem.

As far as the cat is concerned, it's an accepted fact that it's much easier to introduce a cat into a dog's house than vice versa. A couple of days isn't very long at all for a cat to accept any new member of the household let alone a dog.

Poor wee dog I feel really sorry for her :sad:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The cat's are coming round to her more as each day passes. Two of them prefer to stay away from her at the moment but they are no longer hiding, just staying away. She's not big or bullish so I don't think I will get lasting issues. The cat's could probably beat her up!! So far tonight she seems to be sleeping well.... we did take her for a long walk just before bedtime! Just hoping as soon as the sun comes up she doesn't start going mad. I'm sure that within time she will be an amazing part of the family! I've traded, given and sold reptiles away in my time, but I grew up in a family that really believed that things like dogs, cats and rabbits are for life. So I have no intentions of moving her on. Even if I've got to get her professionally trained!
 

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Hald the issue with toy dogs/miniature dogs like Shih tzu is they are difficult to train and require a lot of attention...

They can also become very picky about who they allow to handle them and have been known to bond to one person and then be aggresive to anyone else in the house.

As already mentioned, all the moving around sounds like its left her with separation anxiety, but these animals require a lot of attention anyway.

Trying to break this is a long and painful process, as already mentioned, and most of the people i know with this breed rarely leave them alone (molly-coddled by the people i know with them)

Good luck! but i wouldnt blame you if you rehomed her with someone who had far more time to spend with it, ive always been of the opinion that these arent really a family/working home dog type of breed, more the retired person type.
 

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you could try leaving a radio on quietly for her, a blanket that smells of you in her bed, as well as a chew or stuffed toy in there to keep her amused if she wakes.
Start up a routine, take her out for a walk then its settle down time before bed time. that way she has had the chance to go to the loo and walk off a bit of energy than had a bit of time to calm back down after the walk before going in the kitchin.
 
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