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 83: Just Another Tuesday

More Groom­ing for Candy

shih tzu on carpetWe did a lit­tle groom­ing on Candy. She is still the worst one on the groom­ing table. She bites at the clip­pers and squirms and wig­gles. She seems to do a lit­tle bet­ter when she can’t see the clip­pers. She had a short ses­sion. She ran off as soon as we let her down, but then she came back and got her hot dog pieces. At least she isn’t so trau­ma­tized she can’t eat.

As soon as John left, Flower and Candy came out of their cor­ner and started wan­der­ing around. Flower came up on the couch look­ing for food. I know I shouldn’t, but I gave her half of a frosted mini wheat, so then had to give one to Dot­tie and Candy too. Flower stayed there while I pet­ted her, but got down shortly after I helped Dot­tie up.

Look­ing Guilty

shih tzu on a carpetI haven’t put my beau­ti­ful cow­boy area rug back down, because we need to clean it again. After we clean it, I guess we will only put it down when we have com­pany. I miss it, but I have to break them out of the habit of pee­ing on it. I know they liked to sit on it, though, so I put their red blan­ket from their couch on the floor. I had it down for a few hours before I noticed a wet spot! My guess is that is was Candy and Flower. When I pointed and asked who did it, both of them looked guilty; also, both of them scam­pered under the din­ing room table.

A lit­tle later, I went into the spare room to print a coupon. I don’t let Candy go in there, because I think she’ll pee on the car­pet, but I did let Dot­tie come in with me, because she is so good with the train­ing pad — and she peed on the car­pet! I know I am not sup­posed to raise my voice, because puppy mill dogs par­tic­u­larly are frag­ile dogs, but I couldn’t help it. I chased Dot­tie out of the room, stomped down­stairs, pointed toward the door and told them to go outside.

Fall Wardrobe

I didn’t want the girls to think I was angry with them, so I made sure to kiss them all good­bye before leav­ing to run errands. While I was out, I went to PetS­mart, and then next door to T.J.Maxx/HomeGoods. While I was look­ing at the pet stuff, I found three adorable sweaters for Dot­tie, Candy and Flower. I don’t want sum­mer to end, but at least I have their fall wardrobe!

When I got home, I took the girls out­side to give them their apple and chicken snack, and then left them out for a while, hop­ing that if any­one needed a potty break, they would take care of busi­ness. The bad thing about leav­ing them out­side when I go inside is that I don’t know who took that oppor­tu­nity. A lit­tle after they got in, how­ever, Candy ran upstairs. That often means she’s look­ing for a place to relieve her­self, so I quickly fol­lowed her up there, and she ran back down­stairs. I asked her if she wanted to go out­side. She did, and she did her busi­ness, so that spared us one spot to clean up. As soon as I remem­ber to buy some, I’m going to try to train them to ring jin­gle bells when they need to go outside.

Flower Loves Lovin’

shih tzu on carpetCandy was excited when John got home, although Dot­tie and Flower acted wary. They warmed up to him again by the time we went out­side and he pro­duced the treat bag. We also gave them a teeny bit of our Noosa yogurt, in three sep­a­rate lit­tle bowls. We hadn’t given them any in a while. They love it.

We are one of those cou­ples who usu­ally eats our meals on the couch, in front of the T.V. Tonight, we had left­over roast. Flower quickly caught the scent and leaped up onto the couch, hunt­ing for the source. That prompted Dot­tie to jump off the couch with­out even beg­ging for any roast. Flower stayed for about 10 min­utes after I gave her a bite, wait­ing for me to fin­ish eat­ing so I could scratch her chest and pet her. Then, she lay down for awhile, stay­ing there until John came back into the room. I am glad that she’s learn­ing how to be loved. I still recall very vividly when she ran every time I tried to get near her — and pooped!

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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 76: Grooming Is Not So Scary

Another Good groom­ing Day

We aren’t doing well with our plan for the girls to go out­side in the morn­ing with John, and then for him to come back to bed and get a lit­tle more sleep. Again, none of the dogs would go out with him, so he just came back upstairs. I got up a lit­tle later, and opened the bed­room door to three excited dogs.

groomingWe have been remiss about groom­ing lately. Flower still looks shabby, so we but her up on the groom­ing table after break­fast. Her paws were too dirty from run­ning in the wet grass, so John just worked on trim­ming up her face a lit­tle more and clipped her body a lit­tle with the scis­sors. She was very good again, except that she got star­tled when John’s arm hit a treat bag, and she man­aged to jump off the groom­ing table. I caught her and put her back up for a few min­utes. Then, we sat her down and gave her hot dog pieces.

We also gave her a bath. That went well too. I didn’t blow dry her. I just towel dried her and let her go back to their corner.

I decided I wanted to work on the com­puter out­side, so I dropped a blan­ket down from our bed­room bal­cony for some shade from the sun. It ended up falling down a few hours later. Candy had a good time rolling around on it, lead­ing Flower to do the same.

The girls were a lit­tle bet­ter when John got home.



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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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