Shih Tzu Week 117

Back to the Past: Sept. 19 – Sept. 25, 2013

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Friday, Sept. 20

This morning when I went to grab the leashes out of the basket, Nigel wandered back to his bed and Candy wandered under the table. They probably need walking the least, so I decided to just take Dottie and Flower. It’s always easier with less than four anyway. When we got back, I opened the back door so the shih tzus could wander in and out. I so wish we could get Dottie and Candy to use the doggy door, because I am constantly trying to get flies and bees out of the house. I swatted a fly near Candy and she didn’t even run. Sometimes she still startles easily, but she is getting better.

Sunday, Sept. 22

We took the dogs for a walk this morning at Majestic View. I always get a kick out of Flower’s excitement during the car ride. Nigel gets pretty excited too, but Flower is more verbal. If I say, “Are you excited we’re going for a walk?” Flower squeals.

Monday, Sept. 23

We have done well with many areas with the shih tzus, including their relationship with us. I have also noticed that most of their tear stains are gone, although Dottie still has a little brown on her face. However, partly because of the fact that Candy and Dottie won’t use the doggy door, we still have housebreaking issues. It’s not unusual for me to try to figure out where the urine smell is coming from. I realized today that Flower had peed on her couch, so the cushion cover went into the wash. Also, it looked like someone peed on Dottie’s thick blanket that I sometimes sit on. Ick. Candy had been relieving herself on the carpet in our bedroom so I started shutting the door. Then she started peeing on the rug in the bathroom. At least I can wash that, but I also started shutting that door.

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Shih Tzu Day 114: Housebreaking Setback

back to housebreaking 101

A shih tzu protests being accused of not being housebroken (subject: housebreaking)I said yesterday that we had accomplished a housebreaking goal by moving the training pads by the back door. The pads went back into the dining room this morning because two incidences demonstrated a housebreaking setback.

First, thinking that housebreaking was at a different level, we let Dottie and Flower come in the bedroom, and someone took the opportunity to pee on the carpet. Also, when I went downstairs, I saw that Flower had peed on the red blanket on her couch. They are again barred from coming in the bedroom, and Flower got couch privileges taken away. So we are not as far along in our housebreaking as we thought. I should have appreciated our accomplishments in housebreaking Joey. There is a big difference in housebreaking a Yorkie puppy and puppy mill dogs.

a shih tzu between two couch cushions.Housebreaking isn’t the only difference between Joey and the shih tzus: licking is another. She used to lick faces, arms, hands. Not the shih tzus, though, but the surprise me at times. Flower came up once today and licked my feet, then quickly walked away. No idea if that was affection or what. Maybe she was apologizing for the housebreaking problems.

The morning frolic

a shih tzu chewing on a yellow bear.I try to keep the shih tzus outside as long as possible, as part of the housebreaking plan. I think Candy wanted to play after breakfast, but Nigel ran in with the other girls. I opened the door later and she started to come in. Nigel started to go out the door, paused and then turned around and got behind her. I guess he was going to push her in if she changed her mind.

a shih tzu in someone's arms.Then the morning frolic started near the dining room table. When I started to clean off the table, Nigel wandered over to his dog bed and started loudly chewing on a bone. Flower rivaled the noise playing with Yellow Bear. Actually, she wasn’t playing with it. Yellow Bear has a round plastic thing attached to him, and Flower likes chewing on plastic, so that’s what was causing the noise.

While they chewed, Candy sat under a dining room chair making peculiar noises. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong. I got the impression she might have been trying to get Nigel’s attention, but I doubt if he could hear her over his loud chewing.

grooming goes better than housebreaking

shih tzu with ears up like a rabbit.At least we seem to be doing a little better with grooming than with housebreaking. We got the kids’ faces and paws trimmed today. We are growing out their hair a little, so we didn’t get out the clippers. They were much easier to manage because of that. We also cleaned all of their eyes.

shih tzu getting eye cleaned with warm water on a cotton ball.Candy ran to hide under the trailer after we were done, Dottie acted as if it was business as usual and Flower ran back to Shih Tzu Central. Flower used to get so stressed out after getting on the grooming table, but that must not have been the case, because she immediately started chewing on something.

Nigel discovers the basement

two shih tzus playing.

I had to make a trip to the basement after my discovery that Flower needs a lot more housebreaking work. My washer and dryer get quite the workout these days. Nigel never used to know where I went when I went to do laundry, and he used to scamper upstairs to look for me, not understanding that the basement stairs and other stairs are in opposite directions. However, he finally followed me far enough to see where I was going. He ran downstairs when I went down and wandered around until it was time for us to go back up.

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Shih Tzu Day 79: More Grooming for Dottie

Grooming Dottie for Her Party

groomingGentle Groomer suggested. Dottie is getting two grooming turns this week, though, because tomorrow she turns 6, and we want her to look pretty for her “party.” John clipped her body and her toenails. Her grooming session went better today, since we weren’t touching her face.

Checking up on Spot Collins and Panda

shih tzu on makeshift grooming tableIt has been a very quiet day. Earlier, I thought maybe Flower didn’t feel good. She ran up the stairs to get me as usual, and did her usual dance when waiting in anticipation for her food. But later, after we came inside, she just lay in her dog bed looking listless. She seemed to be okay this afternoon, though.

I brought Candy up to sit with me on the couch while I talked to Mom on the phone (she jumped down as soon as she got a chance). Spot Collins, the 3-month old kitten we got her from the Denver Dumb Friends League, can’t come out of his kennel yet, because of the sutures from his neutering operation. Mom said that at 1:00 a.m., SC started screeching. When Mom and Buddy, her adopted dog, came to see what the problem was, the screeching stopped. Spot will only be quiet if Buddy sits by her kennel. I don’t know if that means that she likes Buddy or that she is afraid of him. As for Panda, the 8-month old cat Mom adopted, Mom has fallen in love with her. All Panda wants to do is sit on Mom’s lap. Maybe later, after the shih tzus have acclimated completely, we’ll think about adopting a cat.

A Dog Treat Taste Test Tie

shih tzu upside down in dog bedThe afternoon has been very quiet. Dottie lay down next to me while I worked on the computer most of the afternoon. Flower was a little antsy, coming to see me, then going to her couch, then going under the dining room table for awhile. Candy lay on the carpet at my feet for sometime, chewing on a treat and looking cute.

I have been experimenting with rawhide and non-rawhide treats. I did a taste test, throwing out an equal amount of both on the carpet and seeing who would go for what. Candy went for the Grreat Choice Flips, that are flat, white rawhide treats. Flower seized a small Pork Chomps Mini Knotz. Initially, Dottie just lay on the carpet watching them. When I looked again a little later, she was chewing on a Flip, so Candy must have given it up. There are always half-chewed treats lying on the floor, which they pick up randomly and chew on.

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Shih Tzu Day 72: Cats and Scary Noises

shih tzu – cat excitement

two shih tzus at a kneeOur new morning schedule is going well. John got up at 4:30 when he heard jingling in the hall and went downstairs to see which shih tzushe could get to go outside. He only succeeded in getting Candy to go out. I got up a little before 7.

two shih tzus at a kneeA big grey cat and a black and white cat added excitement to Flower’s breakfast. The other shih tzus kept eating obliviously, but the guard shih tzu had to keep running and checking the backyard.

I had to throw a dirt clod near the feline visitors to make them scatter, so she could finish her breakfast.

home alone

A <em srcset=shih tzu close up” width=”300″ height=”225″ />I left the shih tzus alone for about 6 hours while I took mom shopping. As I expected, they were excited to see me when I finally came home. I took them outside for their apple and sweet potato treats. Although I saw her relieve herself outside, about an hour after we came in, Flower squatted down on the carpet.

shih tzu with squished face.


I told her no, but by the time I pushed my laptop and table out of the way, she had already peed and scrambled under the table. I don’t know if this is what you’re supposed to do, but I blotted the spot with a paper towel, sat the paper towel on the training pad and pointed to it, since I couldnt’ reach her. I got out one of Cesar’s treats and lured her out, then took her to the pad. Who knows if she understood or not.

scary noises

Later in the afternoon, the dogs heard noises outside and rushed into the middle of the living room, barking like crazy. A little later I noticed that someone had pooped on the carpet. My guess is that it was Flower, since that’s what she does when she gets scared. I moved the poop to the training pad, hoping they would get the message.

The girls were all excited when John got home. Once we had finished giving them treats, he picked Candy up and held her for awhile. She seemed very relaxed.

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Shih Tzu Day 67: Scaredy Dog, Cats & Grooming

scaredy shih tzu dog

I got up with the shih tzus this morning to let them out and feed them so John could sleep. For the next few hours, I worked on some ad copy for a client, with Dottie beside me and Candy and Flower at shih tzu Central.

When John got up, we took the shih tzus back outside. Flower was sitting on the porch when a motorcycle started up. Our scaredy shih tzu jumped up and ran for the door, pushing it open to get inside as fast as she could, with Dottie not far behind. As usual, Candy had the opposite reaction. She stood where she was, looking towards the fence, an inquisitive look on her face.

Flower gets an “A” on the grooming table

shih tzu after partial grooming. We put Flower up on the grooming table, because I’ve been noticing how wild she’s been looking lately, particularly her face. We went through the routine with the hot dog, letting her smell it to associate it with grooming. She didn’t take a piece, but when John started clipping her, she stayed completely still. We don’t have a grooming arm yet, so I held her in one place, but she didn’t fight me or John during the grooming process. We clipped a lot of her body and tidied up her face. The next time we groom her, we’ll work on her paws again and clip her nails. I was very proud of her. It was quite different from when she got kicked out of grooming school or our earlier attempts to groom her.

Backyard Intruder

shih tzu looking at cat in backyard.John and I went out to lunch and to run some errands, including looking for a new carpet to replace our beautiful, western carpet, from which we can’t seem to extract the urine odor. We decided to look for something cheap and small that we could stick in the washing machine. We found one we both liked at Kohl’s. I wasn’t sure about the size, and when we got it home, I thought it was way too small. We talked some more, and we decided to cover ever inch of our western carpet front and back with pet cleaning solution and then rinse it with the hose as well as we could.

three shih tzus chase a cat away.While we were outside, Flower spotted an intruder in the backyard. A stray cat was sitting on the landscaping timbers, putting her out of Flower’s reach. We put up a fence to prevent the dogs from climbing up into the landscaped area and possibly escaping out of the fence between us and our backyard neighbor.

Flower got as close as she could and barked like crazy. The grey cat just sat there aloofly, staring at Flower. Her barks finally pulled Dottie and Candy away from what they were doing, and they came running. That moved the cat to cross into the neighbor’s yard and the girls finally calmed down.

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