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

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 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.

groominggrooming 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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