I recently moved with my spayed 2-year-old female shih tzu to live with my sister, who has three male golden retrievers and one female Bernese. My shih tzu instigates high-energy play several times a day, causing chaos and potential injury. How can we stop this -- without discouraging play?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
I love that your shih tzu is so friendly, instigating play with other dogs. Some members of this breed aren’t comfortable around other humans, much less dogs, and require many socialization classes to overcome the problem. It sounds like your dog is just the opposite.
The situation you describe is not much different from what happens to certain human children. If a child grows up surrounded by others who are congenial and not threatening, and the child has no knowledge of outside dangers, he or she may mistakenly think everyone is friendly. You can teach a child otherwise, but it’s difficult to train your dog to think this way.
Eve Adamson, author of Shih Tzu for Dummies, advises that you should never stop supervising play, even when your pet is with other familiar dogs. It's easy for small dogs like this to feel "overwhelmed," as she calls it, so care is needed.
When all of the dogs are together, you may also try confining them to someplace where supervision is easier for you or your sister. You could also try exercising your dog beforehand to work off some of that energy. Your dog's desire to play, and faith in others, may exceed the reality of the situation. Adamson further advises that shih tzus should not be taken to dog parks where a lot of canines go, due to related concerns.