Shih Tzu Health – Over Attachment in Focus
Shih Tzu over attachment can be a real sticking point for Shih Tzu health, but what is over attachment, how can you avoid it and what can you do about it?
I’m dog sitting at the moment. Two little monsters that share their time between two loving retired owners are underneath my feet and have had me up since 3am twittering and whining.
One of the dogs, a little brown blob of cuteness has attachment issues, how do I know?
A dog that suffers with over-attachment gets highly stressed when parted from the person he is bonded with. A Shih Tzu is susceptible to developing this type of problem for two reasons:
- He is often in a home with a retired person or someone that can easily take him everywhere they go.
- He is bred to be a companion to humans and can easily become stressed by alone time if it is not introduced properly early in his life.
When an over attached dog is parted from his bonded human he will try hard to attach to any other person round because he is feeling insecure. He will try desperately to stick close to them and can only truly relax when he is sure he won’t be left alone.
Sadly there is something else going on in the body of this dog and it’s quite a damaging stress reaction. He is worried about his safety and maybe even his survival so his body is filled with the stress hormone called cortisol. His digestive system is slowed, his immune system is lowered and should this reaction not settle down his Shih Tzu health will begin to suffer.
Avoidance of Shih Tzu Over-Attachment
Over attachment can be avoided from puppyhood by teaching the dog to relax when left alone because alone time is normal.
Leaving a puppy with a nice toy that he can work some food out of will help. Leave some classical music on, go to the bathroom without the Shih Tzu and generally show your dog that he need not be attached to you every step of the way and every minute of the day.
A dog that suffers severely with over attachment may need a careful separation anxiety program designed from a qualified behaviorist. This will take the dog back through the learning process that he has encountered by modifying the negative thought patterns, towards any necessary alone time, that have developed in his life so far.
Back then to this little anxious dog. He is fast asleep, snoring quietly beside me whilst my rhythmic typing assures him that I’m still here.
So, whether you are raising a Shih Tzu puppy or dealing with an insecure rescue dog remember the tendency for some dogs to get over attached and make some small adaptations for prevention. His Shih Tzu health and well-being depends on it.