If you have more than one Shih Tzu or more than one dog, do they seem down when one of them isn’t at home? Do Shih Tzus miss each other when separated? Do they miss family members or family that have passed on? Shih Tzus are pretty emotional little guys, so you might be surprised at the answer.
Do Shih Tzus Miss Each Other When Separated?
It’s really going to depend on the dog.
Some Shih Tzus have a close bond with a second Shih Tzu in the home and others don’t.
I had my, Truman for about five years before I adopted my second Shih Tzu, Sammy, from a rescue group.
You would think Truman would be happy for the company, but he wasn’t.
He wanted nothing to do with her.
Over the years, you would also think they would get closer, but they never did.
Neither one of them wants much to do with the other.
They don’t fight or grouse at each other.
Instead, they just pretty much ignore each other.
I assume Truman will pass before Sammy as he is older and is currently 17, but it doesn’t seem like she will be upset or miss him when he does go.
It feels like she will be happy to be the only dog in the house.
Of course, not all Shih Tzus are this way.
Some bond and become very close and yes when one passes the other does miss or even mourn their little buddy.
Do Shih Tzus Miss People?
My father passed away about 12 years ago.
It was very difficult for the whole family needless to say.
But surprisingly, it was hard on Truman as well.
Sammy had only been with us less than a year when dad passed, so she didn’t have a strong bond with him, but Truman did.
It was my father that held Truman in the car when we brought him home for the first time.
And I was staying with my parents for a few weeks between moving from Florida to Ohio, so Truman’s first days were spent around my parents.
Fast forward a number of years, and I was back in South Carolina where my folks lived.
In fact, I was renting a house right next to theirs, so Truman was around my dad a lot.
It was a couple of years after my father died and I was still in that same house.
I’ll never forget this…
I was standing in the kitchen and Truman was there watching me as he often does.
He never wants to miss out on the possibility of food.
For some reason, I mentioned my father. I said something about “dad.”
Truman hear the word “dad” and he perked up and got all excited and ran into the living room looking for him.
He was completely dejected when he realized my dad wasn’t there.
It was clear that not only did he know who my father was even though he had been gone for two years, but he was super excited about the prospect of seeing him again.
There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that your dog can grieve a person that has passed, but whether or not Truman truly mourned my father, he certainly did miss him.
Is it Better to Have Two Shih Tzus?
There are a lot of good reasons two have two Shih Tzus.
One, is you get twice the joy and cuteness.
More importantly, your pup will have someone to keep them company while you are out of the house.
Granted, you could end up with two Shih Tzus like mine where they aren’t all that fond of each other, but chances are that won’t happen.
One good way to make sure they bond well is to get two Shih Tzu puppies from the same litter.
Littermates will already have a bond and will tend to get along with each other.
But this bond can become too close.
You will want to keep them somewhat separated as they grow up, so they don’t become hyper attached and fall into littermate syndrome which are issues that come up after puppies have been together longer than ten weeks.
Also, it is best to get a boy and a girl instead of two of the same sex if you go this route.
Dogs are pack animals, so this helps them retain part of their pack.
As their human family, they will see you as part of the pack as well.
Another option is to adopt two older Shih Tzus.
Oftentimes pet parents pass on and they leave behind older or middle-aged dogs.
These dogs have a tough time getting adopted.
If you can adopt a couple of them that have been together for years, it would ease their transition and you would be saving a couple of lives instead of just one.
This is what I plan to do going forward, adopting older Shih Tzus.
They may not be as active as Shih Tzu puppies, but they are still wonderful companions.
Of course, if you already have a dog and want to add another, there is nothing stopping you.
That’s what I did with Truman and Sammy and while they aren’t close, there is still peace in the house.
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Do Puppies Miss Each Other When Separated?
What they really miss when they are separated from their mom and littermates is the closeness and security they feel with them.
When you take a new puppy home, they are leaving behind everything they know.
Their whole world has changed and all the people and pets they were close to are no longer around.
It would be scary for anyone let alone a tiny puppy.
The one companion that they looked to, to keep them safe is gone – their mother.
And all their friends that have taught them how to play and interact are gone as well.
So, yes, there is separation anxiety when they leave the nest so to speak.
If you’ve ever gotten a new puppy I’m sure you are familiar with the winning and crying at night as you’re trying to get some sleep.
To help your new pup get through the night, sometimes the old tricks are the best tricks.
Put a hot water bottle covered with a soft towel in your puppy’s crate.
This will remind them of their mom.
You can also use a clock that makes a ticking noise and put it near the crate.
Your puppy will remind him of their mother’s heartbeat.
Both will help your puppy go to sleep and feel calmer.
Do Shih Tzus Have Separation Anxiety When You Leave the House?
When it comes to dogs with separation anxiety, Shih Tzus are at the top of the list.
They are companion dogs and they create a very close bond with their owner.
This means when you leave, your Shih Tzu can get very upset and have anxiety.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a behavioral issue such as destroying your home.
There are signs of separation anxiety that you can watch for.
These can include:
- Going potty in the house after they are trained not to
- Shaking when you get ready to leave
- Loud barking that upsets your neighbors
- Overly happy to see you
- Destroying your home
If you see any of these symptoms of separation anxiety, the first thing you should do is talk to your vet and their advice.
You might need a dog pen or an area of your home that you can gate off, so your Shih Tzu has plenty of room, but can’t get to the rest of the house.
Be sure to take your dog for a walk before you leave so they can get some exercise and go potty.
This is a good time to give your Shih Tzu some extra love.
Just be sure you don’t do this too close to the time you are leaving the house or it can make it even more difficult for your dog.
Instead, give them a favorite toy or treat and leave without saying goodbye.
This may seem mean, but it isn’t.
It is making you leaving a causal event that your Shih Tzu should not get worked up over.
When you come home, wait a few minutes before greeting your dog.
The point is, you don’t want your Shih Tzu to connect you coming and going with a big event.
If push comes to shove and your Shih Tzu is dealing with intense separation anxiety issues, consider using a doggie daycare as an option and talk to your vet.
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To Sum it All Up:
While Shih Tzus might not process grief and loss the same way you do, they can feel it or at the very least they can recognize that you are feeling it. Dogs are emotional creatures, so if you feel yours is feeling down due to a loss, be sure to give them an extra hug or two. It just might make you feel better as well.
This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.