Shih Tzu Day 205: Shih Tzu Improvements

shih tzu mem­o­ries are secure

It has been quite a month. A com­puter crash and backup hard drive prob­lem at the same time caused me to lose all my data. Although pro­fes­sion­als told me I couldn’t get it back, per­sis­tency and lots of com­puter research led me to do just that. Yes­ter­day, I got to the point where I had even recov­ered my Day­One files, where I kept my Shih Tzu jour­nal. I am so happy to get back a few lost weeks that I hadn’t trans­ferred to my blog yet. I also recov­ered ALL of my videos. I was heart­bro­ken that I thought I had lost all those firsts with the shih tzus. I was kick­ing myself for not hav­ing put any up on my site or on YouTube, because I hadn’t yet fig­ured how to edit them. Now every­thing gets backed up on a backup drive and elsewhere!

atti­tude adjustment

One of the biggest things I have noticed over the past few weeks is Nigel’s changed atti­tude. He still gets ram­bunc­tious and still has to be cor­rected, but ever since I brought the “dog house” inside and put him in it when he was pick­ing on the girls, he has not been nearly as pos­ses­sive of things and doesn’t bully them to where it is unbearable.

Another improve­ment has been in the “tin­kle” depart­ment. I got tired of putting the small car­pet I put under their two train­ing pads in the washer and dryer, because I could always smell the rub­ber back­ing, and it was too hard to wash it by hand. Instead I have been using an old dish dry­ing mat as the base and putting one pad on top of it. For the most part, they are hit­ting the mark, although I do have to clean up the hard­wood floor in the morn­ing, because of whichever dog seems to squat on the edge. The best part is at least they seem to be really try­ing! I am not sure, but it seems like Flower might be wait­ing to go out­side in the morning.

shih tzu amnesia

Flower and Dot­tie seem to develop amne­sia every morn­ing. I have been com­ing down­stairs at 6 but John usu­ally doesn’t come down until 7. When the dogs hear his foot­steps on the stairs, they act like he is an intruder and bark like crazy, throw­ing in a growl here and there, even when they see who he is. But there is hope. He can now come up to them and pet them and assure them that he is not an intruder, and they do stop barking.

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Shih Tzu Day 151: Shih Tzus Lacking in Socialization Skills

pos­ses­sive shih tzus

a shih tzuDot­tie is either very pos­ses­sive of me or of her posi­tion on the couch. This morn­ing, she was sit­ting by me and Nigel and Flower came up to the couch. I reached my hand out to pet Flower at the exact time she went to snap at her, and she acci­den­tally bit me. It was a sur­prise more than any­thing. Her bite didn’t break the skin, but I could see lit­tle tooth marks. I think it sur­prised her too.

shih tzu alert

John and I left the shih tzus home alone this morn­ing. We had a nice break­fast and then went and picked out a beau­ti­ful, rus­tic com­forter for our bed. After that, I went gro­cery shop­ping and left John home alone with the shih tzus. We weren’t sure how that was going to work out. He mainly stayed in the garage. While he was out there he heard the shih tzus bark­ing, more so than nor­mal, and went in to see if there was a prob­lem. Noth­ing seemed wrong, except he had left the TV on and there wasn’t a pic­ture. He dis­cov­ered that the bulb had exploded, so that must have been why the dogs were bark­ing. The TV was a hand-me-down and we’ve already replaced the bulb once in the last six months, so it was time to go to Best Buy and upgrade! Very thank­ful for their no inter­est pay­ment plan!

unso­cia­ble shih tzus

A shih tzu between two dog beds. Heather, Her­man and the boys came back at 7. Candy stayed out­side and Flower didn’t move from Shih Tzu Cen­tral. Dot­tie was brave and sat by me for a while. How­ever, when Heather sat on her side of the couch to watch TV, she had to decide if she wanted to sit between me and John or between me and Heather. I put her between me and John, but she only stayed a few min­utes before jump­ing off and join­ing Flower at Central.

Jor­dan kept try­ing to befriend Flower, but she growled at him every time he looked at her. The shih tzus obvi­ously still need social­iza­tion training!

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Shih Tzu Day 96: Couch Potatoes

Nice Morn­ing

It has been so nice in the morn­ing. The girls didn’t start bark­ing until 6:30. When I went down­stairs I left Nigel with John, to give Dot­tie, Candy and Flower a lit­tle time alone with me. After I fed the dogs, we put Flower up on the groom­ing table to work on her tear stains a lit­tle more. We trimmed some of the stained hair, espe­cially close to her eyes.

Nigel and the Girls

black and white shih tzuNigel is a funny, lit­tle thing. Last night, he ran around the yard with Flower a few times. He was a lot slower, most likely because of his stitches. If he had gone faster, I would have had to try to slow him down.

Today, he came up to the couch sev­eral times and puts his paws on it, but then just stood there. His paws seem big for his lit­tle body. They are very cute. When I put my hand down to pet him, he bites it. Not hard bites — just small, play bites.

two shih tzusThis morn­ing, he strolled over to Shih Tzu Cen­tral and inspected their large dog bed, but didn’t try to get on it. That’s good, because the girls prob­a­bly aren’t ready to get that close to him yet. It reminded me that I need to get him his own bed. I did fold up some blan­kets for him to use for now.

two shih tzustwo shih tzusWhile he was lay­ing on them, Flower approached him. I don’t think he knew what to do, so he got off and went to stand under my com­puter stand. I think Flower might want to play with him, but I am not sure she knows how. She is only used to her sisters.

two shih tzusI was a lit­tle con­cerned about Candy, because she seemed a lit­tle with­drawn when Nigel arrived. She was spend­ing a lot of time in their cor­ner. How­ever, this morn­ing she came out and started prowl­ing around, watch­ing Nigel and Flower as they gnawed on bones.

I am strug­gling to get the girls to want to play out­side. When­ever I open the door, they run to it, but then look at me expec­tantly, hop­ing for food or a treat. I guess that’s my fault.

I went out­side with them at 11:30. Walks are out of the ques­tion since we haven’t got­ten very far with the leash, so I ran up and down the length of the yard. Flower ran behind me. Once in a while she would get dis­tracted, but then she would come back and catch up.

While we were doing that, Nigel wan­dered over by the shed, away from the girls club. He chewed on one of the bones he has dragged out­side. Candy and Dot­tie mainly sat in the dirt or on the porch.

Couch Pota­toes

Nigel keeps com­ing up to the couch, so I decided to give him some type of step, since he can’t get up on his own. I found a cute box filled with games for the grand­chil­dren and put it next to the couch, on the John side, not the Dot­tie side. He quickly learned its purpose.

He sat on that side for a while, and then walked across my lap to go lay next to Dot­tie. She doesn’t appear too thrilled to have another dog try­ing to enter her space. She moved up to the arm of the couch to keep a lit­tle distance.

Candy and Flower roamed around together later in the after­noon. Nigel was on the floor chew­ing on some­thing. They came near him, but not too close. Nigel got up and went and nuz­zled Flower’s face. She backed away quickly. I don’t think they are quite sure what to think of him.

Flower hasn’t come up on the couch all day. I know Dot­tie keeps her away some­times, but I think the Nigel fac­tor con­tributes to her dis­tance now too. Candy did walk back and forth in front of the couch, though, look­ing a lit­tle inter­ested. How­ever, Dot­tie stared her down and then Flower pounced on her, break­ing her concentration.

Nigel aka Elvis was mak­ing it hard for me to work for a while this after­noon. He crawled into my lap, which made it dif­fi­cult for me to reach the lap­top key­board. I let him stay there for a while, then put him back down beside me. I guess I am lucky that the girls aren’t lap dogs. I would never get any work done, unless I aban­doned my home office and got a real office job!

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Shih Tzu Day 63: Just Another Shih Tzu Day

Early A.M. with the Shih Tzus

We have no con­trol over our furry, shih tzu alarm clocks. Flower came up at 4, accom­pa­nied by Dot­tie. Sure would love to ask Flower a lot of ques­tions, includ­ing why she thinks we would want to get up that early in the morn­ing. Wak­ing us up early had the oppo­site effect of what she wanted, though. I slept inter­mit­tently between her bark­ing spells, and didn’t get up until after 6:30.

Although I men­tion food a lot, I always for­get to men­tion “how” these dogs eat. At meal­time, Flower gob­bles her food down as quickly as pos­si­ble, jump­ing back at any noise, no mat­ter how slight. When she is almost done, she rushes over to Candy’s dog bowl.

I have started trim­ming off a lit­tle each quar­ter cup of kib­ble, and hold­ing it back in reserve. When Flower makes a move for Candy’s bowl, I call her name and lure her to me by hand feed­ing her pieces of the dry dog food, one at a time, to let Candy fin­ish her meal with­out inter­rup­tion. Dot­tie is nearly as slow as Candy, because she is miss­ing some of her front teeth. When she eats, a lot of the pieces fall out, and she has to search for it on the porch. Once Dot­tie and Candy do fin­ish eat­ing, I feed them the kib­ble bits I have left over, so they don’t feel left out.

Candy and the Groom­ing Table

Shih tzu being groomedAfter the girls ate, I went upstairs for some­thing and found dog poop and a urine spot on our bed­room car­pet. I had heard Candy jump­ing around up there ear­lier, and should have known she was doing her “after poop­ing” dance she does after eat­ing. They were out­side for at least twenty min­utes after they ate, so I don’t know why she did that. I cleaned it up and announced to John that she was the shih tzu going on the groom­ing table today.

Shih tzu face.Although she was try­ing to nip at the dog clip­pers at first, she relaxed enough for John to clip quite a bit of her body and to even clip a lit­tle of her head. Since our goal is to just get her used to the groom­ing table, we stopped when we thought we were ahead. I tried to give her a Vienna sausage as a reward while she was on the table, like I had learned in dog groom­ing school, but she wouldn’t take it. She also wouldn’t take it from John when we sat her down on the floor, but she came back and took it from me.

Candy stayed in the liv­ing room for longer than I thought she would, after fac­ing the groom­ing table, but she did run upstairs to regroup. She had to sit in the hall, though, because after she used our bed­room as a potty box, I closed both doors.

More House­break­ing Contraptions

While we’re on the sub­ject of dogs who aren’t house bro­ken, my lat­est train­ing con­trac­tion hasn’t worked out either. This one was a sim­ple tray that you put a train­ing pad on. Then, you snap a “frame” over it that is intended to hold the train­ing pad in place. No one used the train­ing pad while it was on the tray. How­ever, one of the shih tzus was inter­ested. I caught my plas­tic lover, Flower, try­ing to gnaw on the edge.

I still have a few options. I can try a dog train­ing spray that is sup­posed to tempt them to do their busi­ness where you spray it, or the spray that is sup­posed to pre­vent them from doing their busi­ness where you don’t want them to. I also need to inves­ti­gate dog lit­ter, which I saw at PetS­mart. (If any­one has any sug­ges­tions, I’d love to hear them!)

After­noon with the Shih Tzus

When I came back from gro­cery shop­ping, one of the shih tzus had pooped on the train­ing pad. That almost makes me feel that we are get­ting some­where in the bat­tle to house­break our doggies!

The girls didn’t come alive this after­noon, like they some­times do. Candy stayed upstairs for awhile. Dot­tie sat beside me, but Flower spent most of the after­noon in the Safe Zone. It’s pos­si­ble it’s because the hard­wood floor keeps the dogs cool.

So Happy to See You!

Shih tzu jumping for treatWhen John came home, Candy didn’t just wag her tail; she nearly wig­gled her butt off. Flower barked like he was an intruder. Candy let him hold her after treat time. I am happy about that. I keep remind­ing them that they should be nice, since he sup­plies a good deal of their dog food and treats. Flower con­tin­ued to stay dis­tant, going back to her cor­ner imme­di­ately after get­ting her night-time treat.

I stopped by to visit the girls on the way upstairs. They were all so adorable, lying in their dog beds, I had to scrunch their faces between my hands and sing a cho­rus of the Ste­vie Won­der song, “Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she won­der­ful,” to each lit­tle dar­ling dog.

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Shih Tzu Day 24: Mama’s Little Angel Devils

Shih Tzu Confusion

John spent quite a bit of time in the garage, try­ing to fig­ure out why the garage door would go down most of the way, and then go back up. Each time it went down and then back up, three lit­tle shih tzus would run out of their cor­ner, dash halfway across the liv­ing room and halt, real­iz­ing that I was sit­ting on the couch. They asso­ciate the sound of the garage door open­ing and clos­ing with me com­ing home, so the noise really played with their furry lit­tle heads.

When we left to go to the zoo with Nikki and Clarke, we put Shiloh in the ken­nel, to be on the safe side. After we got back, they left for date night down­town. I picked Candy up and set her down on the couch between John and me. She sat there patiently for a few min­utes, before saun­ter­ing off the couch and going back to their cor­ner. Then, for some rea­son, Dot­tie and Flower trot­ted out and greeted me, wag­ging their tails. They must have thought there was a treat wait­ing for them some­where. It looks like we are get­ting beyond the stage of them stay­ing as far away from John as pos­si­ble. They might not greet him with danc­ing, like they do me, but they tol­er­ate his pres­ence better.

Shiloh, the TV Dog

Shiloh growls at the TVShiloh pro­vided us with a lit­tle enter­tain­ment tonight. We had decided to watch “Blood­worth.” In the first few min­utes, a dog begins bark­ing at a mail­man. Shiloh ran up, put his paws on the TV, growled and barked. When I rewound it to see what we had missed, he did the same thing.

The Shih Tzus Run to Mama for Protection

All three shih tzus on the couch at the same time for first timeWhen Nikki and Clarke got back from their date night, Shiloh mainly sat on the couch with them, enjoy­ing his new friends. How­ever, he was sit­ting on the floor with John for a while. Sud­denly, we heard growl­ing, like Shiloh had done ear­lier to Nikki and Clarke and to John.The growl­ing turned to a strange howl­ing when John swiftly turned the dog over on its back and held him down. He held up his hand and  showed us where Shiloh had bit him. Nikki and Clarke were shocked, so John explained that Shiloh was increas­ingly show­ing more signs of aggres­sion and that putting him on his back showed Shiloh that he wasn’t the one dom­i­nat­ing the situation.

When Shiloh began shriek­ing, three scared lit­tle shih tzus ran up to the couch and jumped for it, land­ing by Dot­tie and me. It was the first time all three of the girls had ever been on the couch with me. In fact, Candy has never jumped on the couch when I was on it. Flower does on rare occa­sions, although Dot­tie usu­ally comes up to the couch sev­eral times in the day want­ing me to pick her up. They sat there for prob­a­bly ten min­utes before Flower and Candy got back down.

In the mean­time, John took Shiloh for a walk. When they came back, John sat down on the couch besides me and Shiloh jumped up and sat beside him. He was docile when he went upstairs with us to bed.

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