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

groomingWe put Dot­tie up on the groom­ing table again this morn­ing. We have decided that we will do some groom­ing on one dog every other day, so that they get used to it, as Lia at the Gen­tle 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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