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Corrine's Manitoba Shih Tzu's Canadian Kennel Club

Canadian Kennel Club Shih Tzu's

Crate Training

Crate Training For Your New Puppy

Crate Training Tips!

Hi Everyone:
There's no need to go crazy
I have two suggestions, crate training and treats!!!
Works for me like a charm!!

I also would sugest to xpen train ... expecially if your working and gone all day the puppy has room to play and has the option to use a pee pad .. crate training is great but over the years I have come to think xpen training is a better option .. I will provide the xpen if the new owner would like to go this way for an added cost of 60.00

Crate training should be easy and fun for both you and your new puppy. It's not a substitute for housebreaking but instead a supplement.
First of all, keep in mind that your new puppy is like a new baby, their bodies have not formed sufficiently enough to hold bodily functions for hours on end. Take your puppy outside frequently, in the morning upon awakening, after eating and naps and a couple times before you go to sleep. If you choose, put paper by the door you will use to take your puppy out. Be consistent in times you take your puppy out. Soon enough they will get accustomed to the schedule you develop. When they do their "business" outside reward them with treats and praise him. Hugs and love go a long way in training your new puppy. Take them back to the same spot outside each time so that they will smell their own scent. Soon enough they will associate outside with potty time.

Get a training crate. Petsmart and Petsupermarket,Walmart,etc.The black iron wire ones I find the best out there .. They are invaluable. Get one large enough that when your puppy is full grown it will still have room enough to stand up, turn around and lay down in it with room to spare. Do not get an extra large crate for a Yorkie for instance. A small will do just fine. Do not get an airline crate. The crates I'm talking about are training crates. Ask the representative at the store, they will be glad to assist you.

Once you get your training crate home, assemble it and rinse the tray with a damp paper towel and then wipe dry. I then like to line my crate tray with newspaper. Some of you may prefer to line your crate with white paper that is available in craft stores. It keeps your puppies cleaner as newspaper print will come off on your puppy. Think of the crate as your puppy's new home in your home. Make if fun and pleasing. Your puppy should never be crated for hours on end, but eight hours at night is fine. Or a couple hours during the day if you have to be away from home.
The first few weeks are important. Your new puppy is adjusting to new people, new sounds, new scents etc. It's a whole new world to this little one. Be patient and loving. Let the puppy adjust to its new environment gradually. After lining the whole bottom of the crate with newspaper, I then take an old towel folded and lay that down at the back third of the crate, over the newspapers. I put the water and food dishes in the crate too. Don’t forget to put a few fun toys in the crate for your puppy as well. The towel at the back third of the crate for the first week serves several purposes. They do not like to "poo" where they sleep. They will lie down on the towel and "poo" on the paper.

The second week I unfold the towel so that half of the crate is lined with the towel and only one half of the paper is showing. Put your food and water dish on the towel part if you have to at this point. The third week I unfold the towel more so that only one third of the paper is showing. Many puppies are easily trained with this method and with quicker results. As I said earlier, please keep in mind that this is not a substitute for potty training outside. You need to be consistent with taking your puppy out several times a day.

Make the crate a wonderful new home for your puppy. After your puppy is trained leave the door to the crate open. You will find that your puppy will go back to the crate to take a nap or fetch a toy from it. The crate can give your dog a sense of security if the training is done correctly. Always put the crate where your puppy can be amidst the rest of the family, Never leave your puppy isolated in a laundry room or an out of the way area. If you do that the puppy will associate the crate with isolation. Puppies are lovable, they want to be with you. Make crate training a positive experience, be good to them and you will be rewarded with years of love!

Best Wishes and Remember, A Little Love and Patience goes a Long Way. You will be rewarded with many years of companionship and Unconditional Love. Well Worth It!!




Welcoming Your New Puppy

The thought of bringing home a new puppy can be exciting and overwhelming at once. Here are some puppy-specific suggestions that will help make your new friend's welcome a warm and lasting one.

The best time to bring your newcomer home is at the beginning of a weekend. If possible, add a few vacation days. This gives you time to acquaint your puppy with its new home and to begin housebreaking and other training. Even at the age of 8 weeks, your puppy is able to learn things. It is recommended to start house-training and showing him simple commands, upon arrival in your home. Show your puppy where he may eat, drink, sleep and go to the “bathroom”.

Avoid bringing home a new pet during busy times such as birthdays and holidays. The noise and confusion may frighten the pet. Family members are generally too busy with the festivities to devote adequate time to help the puppy become comfortable in its new home.

Do your shopping in advance, you'll need a harness (should be made of lightweight nylon or leather), a leash (a six-foot leash is the ideal length for both training and walking), a crate (a great aid in housebreaking), brush with natural bristles or hand mitt for grooming, toys that will be safe for the puppy (large rawhide chips, nylon chews and hard rubber balls are fun and safe), a bed for the puppy and easy-to-clean food and water bowls.

Once in its new home, remember that your adoptee is adjusting to strange new surroundings and people. Children can become excited. Explain to them that as he may be disoriented, their new companion needs time out for naps. Show children how to pet the newcomer and the proper way to pick up the puppy. A puppy should be closely supervised and taken outside to relieve itself after eating, following naps and play periods.

Basic medical exam for your puppy
You must take your newly adopted puppy to your vet as soon as possible. This is what will probably happen during the first visit:

Meticulous physical exam to determine the health status of your puppy.
Search for external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice, mites).
Search for internal parasites (tapeworms, roundworm) if you bring a feces sample.
First vaccines will be administered or discussion on the types of vaccines your puppy will need to receive. Your vet will indicate when they should be administered to your puppy.
Discussion of an eventual sterilization of your puppy, and if so, the age at which the operation should be done.
The first medical exam will provide your vet all the information he needs to recommend a healthy nutrition and the immediate care you should provide your puppy. It will also serve as a “reference” to evaluate and compare the health of your companion during future exams.

Puppy-proof your home
Like a child, your puppy can get into a great deal of trouble in the blink of an eye. Here are some tips for puppy-proofing your home.

Keep small items such as tinsel, rubber bands, buttons and beads out of reach — your puppy could choke on them. Put household cleaners and detergents and other chemical compounds in tightly closed containers and be certain they are properly stored. Medicines should be kept out of reach. Keep electrical cords out of reach or wrapped in electric tape. A good rule to follow is that anything that is not safe for children is not safe for pets.

Grooming your new puppy
It is important to make your puppy feel comfortable about grooming from an early age. Look into its ears, eyes, nose and mouth regularly. Look at its paws to prepare it for claw trimming when it needs it. Brush or comb your puppy regularly.

Puppies need a different kind of diet than adult dogs, as their stomachs are smaller and their nutritional needs different. Your puppy has a big appetite and will need to be fed several times a day! Feed your puppy a puppy food, in small amounts, that is specially designed to meet its nutritional requirements.

Key words to remember as you welcome your puppy: Gentleness. Care. Patience. Consistency. Praise. Love. Your reward is a delightful companion for years to come.

Bringing Home Your New Puppy - Tips and Advice.

START OUT WITH THE RIGHT ATITUDE - The first weeks of your puppy's new life with you will be busy and demanding. There may be times when you wonder if getting a puppy was such a good idea. Things will go better if you have patience and keep your sense of humor. Remember that puppyhood only happens once. The extra effort you put into it now will pay off in the future.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED - Get the supplies and equipment you'll need. Here's a list:
* wire or plastic dog crate.
* easily washable, hard to destroy bedding material. Avoid sponge/foam beds till puppy is past the teething stages.
* tip-less stainless steel food/water bowls and/or a water bottle (provided by the breeder).
* collar and leash or Harness (provided by the breeder).
ID tag with phone number to wear on the collar.
* safe chew toys (provided by the breeder)
* grooming supplies (basics are provided by the breeder)
* Quality brand of dry puppy food - We feed Purina One Smart Blend Puppy(sample bag is provided by the breeder)
* "Bitter Apple" - a safe spray-on product to discourage chewing on inappropiate objects. Not a requirement
* a wire, wooden or plastic "baby gate" for blocking doorways.
* Spot/Stain remover used to clean up any accidents.

PUPPY-PROOF YOUR HOME - Raising a puppy is a lot like raising small children, they like to get into everything! Some of what they get into can be hazardous to their health or to your possessions. You can make life safer for the puppy and your furniture by getting rid of the hazards and temptations ahead of time.
To a puppy the world is brand new and fascinating! He's seeing it all for the first time and absoulutely everything must be thoroughly investigated. Puppies do most of their investigating with their mouths. "Look at this! What is it? Something to eat? Something to play with?" Murphy's Law says that a puppy will be most attracted to the things he shouldn't have -- electrical cords, the fringe on your expensive oriental rug, your brand new running shoes, ect.
Preventing destruction and dangerous chewing is easier than trying to correct the puppy every second. Look around your home and get down to puppies level on your hands and knees. What objects could be put up out of the way of a curious puppy? Bitter apple spray can be applied to furniture legs, woodwork and other immovable items. Are there rooms your puppy should be restricted from entering until he's better trained and more reliable? Install a baby gate or keep the doors to those rooms closed.
Take a walk around your back yard looking for potential hazards. If your yard is fenced check the boundaries and gates for openings that could be potential escape routes. Puppies can get through smaller places than an adult dog. If your yard is not fenced make a resolution right now that your puppy will never be allowed to run off leash without close supervision. He won't know enough to look both ways before crossing the street to chase a squirrel. Keep him safe by keeping him on leash! For your puppies safety and health keep him on your own yard and don't expose him to other dogs until at least ten days after his third and final booster shot has been given. Your puppy is not fully immuned until the full three series of boosters/rabies has been received and he can pick up diseases even from other dogs feces, urine, ect. Never take your puppy to dog parks or other public areas that other dogs have used and contaminated that may not be current on their vaccinations or allow them on your yard or in your home. Also please check out my links to see what outdoor plants maybe harmful to your puppy.

USE A SCHEDULE - Work out a schedule for you and the puppy. Housetraining is much easier when the puppy's meals, exercise and playtimes are on a regular schedule throughtout the day. Housebreaking is whole subject in itself so check out my links for a more detailed article on this subject. Your binder on puppy care and training also has sections on housetraining with suggestions and a recommended schedule. Read through it and create a game plan before the puppy arrives. Many people like to bring their new puppies home on a weekend in order to devote extra time to settling in and housetraining those first few days.

EVERYBODY NEEDS A PLACE - Decide where to put the dog crate, and have it set up ready for his arrival. Where to keep the crate will depend on what's most convienient for you as well as the puppy's response. Many puppies don't like to be isolated in one part of the house while the family is in another but some puppies won't settle down in their crates if there's too much activity going on around them. You might have to experiment with different locations until you learn what works best for both you and your puppy.

VISIT YOUR VET - Make an appointment with your veterinarian to give the puppy a complete checkup within 48 hours of your purchase. If you don't have a vet, ask the breeder or local kennel club for a recommendation. Although the puppy has been health-checked by the breeder's vet, an exam is additional security against health defects, problems that weren't apparent the first time and a chance to set up your puppy's next booster shot appointment. If your vet offers microchip ID implants, this is an excellent time to get one! Also when taking your new puppy to the vet's office please keep your puppy in his crate at all times in the waiting area as other sick animals may have contaminated the waiting area floor of the clinic . Having your puppy on your lap is also not recommended as who can't resist petting your cute little puppy that may have had a sick dog drool on their hands contaminating them before petting your puppy. Your vet should sterilize the examination table before you put your puppy on there for the exam, if you didn't see them clean it ask your vet to to clean it again (if they say they have already done it) before you place your puppy on the table for his exam. I know this sounds like over kill but PARVO can be costly to treat and even deadly to your small breed puppy. An ounce of prevention as they say is worth more than a pound of cure.

ASK QUESTIONS! - Use your puppy's breeder as a valuable resource for advice and information. Don't be afraid to ask questions. I, your breeder want your relationship with your puppy to be successful and I can offer many tips based on my years of experience. To all my new puppy owners I am available 24/7/365 so please if you have any questions or concerns e-mail or call me as in most cases it is best to deal with a problem immediately, nip it in the bud as they say, before it becomes a bad habit and much more difficult to break

A Peek Inside Our Puppy Packs!

Dish,toys,pee pads,bags for walks for when puppy is old enough for walks,blanket,


- CKC registration papers to follow

- 6 weeks free pet insurance covering:

  $750 to cover veterinary fees for illnesses and accidents
 Your coverage begins after only 48 hours (from the date and time you take your puppy home) and continues for 6 weeks.  We pay for 80% of fees at any veterinary practice. You are responsible for the first $50 per condition (the deductible).

  $150 for advertising and reward
  If your puppy is lost or stolen, call us and we will help.

  $250 death benefit
  In this unfortunate event we will share in your final costs.

  A total of $1,150 worth of coverage.

Shih Tzu – Early Socialization Is Essential For Your Shih Tzu Puppy

Teaching a shih tzu puppy or a shih tzu dog proper socialization skills is vital to the safety of both your dog and other dogs and people with whom he comes into contact. A properly socialized shih tzu dog is a happy dog, and a joy to be around for both humans and animals. A poorly socialized shih tzu dog, or one with no socialization at all, is a danger to other animals, other people and even his own family.

Socialization is best done when the shih tzu puppy is as young as possible The socialization lessons a young shih tzu puppy learns are difficult to undo, and it is important to remember that the socialization skills the shih tzu puppy learns will affect his behavior for the rest of his life.

A shih tzu dog that is properly socialized will be neither frightened of nor aggressive towards either animals or humans. A properly socialized shih tzu dog will take each new experience and stimulus in stride, and not become fearful or aggressive. Shih tzu dogs that are not properly socialized often bite because of fear, and such a shih tzu dog can become a hazard and a liability to the family who owns it. Improperly socialized shih tzu dogs are also unable to adapt to new situations. A routine matter like a trip to the vets or to a friends house can quickly stress the shih tzu dog out and lead to all sorts of problems.

Socialization is best done when the shih tzu puppy is very young, perhaps around 12 weeks of age. Even after 12 weeks, however, it is important that the shih tzu puppy continues its socialization in order to refine the all important social skills. It is possible to socialize an older shih tzu puppy, but it is very difficult to achieve after the all important 12 week period has passed.

There are some definite do's and don't when it comes to properly socializing any shih tzu puppy. Let’s start with what to do. Later in this article we will explore what to avoid.

Socialization do's

Make each of the socialization events as pleasant and non-threatening for the shih tzu puppy as possible. If a shih tzu puppy’s first experience with any new experience is an unpleasant one, it will be very difficult to undo that in the shih tzu puppy’s mind. In some cases, an early trauma can morph into a phobia that can last for a lifetime. It is better to take things slow and avoid having the shih tzu puppy become frightened or injured.

Try inviting your friends over to meet the new shih tzu puppy. It is important to include as many different people as possible in the shih tzu puppy’s circle of acquaintances, including men, women, children, adults, as well as people of many diverse ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Also invite friendly and healthy dogs and puppies over to meet your puppy. It is important for the shih tzu puppy to meet a wide variety of other animals, including cats, hamsters, rabbits and other animals he is likely to meet. It is of course important to make sure that all animals the shih tzu puppy comes into contact with have received all necessary vaccinations.

Take the shih tzu puppy to many different places, including shopping centers, pet stores, parks, school playgrounds and on walks around the neighborhood. Try to expose the shih tzu puppy to places where they will be crowds of people and lots of diverse activity going on.
Take the shih tzu puppy for frequent short rides in the car. During these rides, be sure to stop the car once in a while and let the puppy look out the window at the world outside.

Introduce your shih tzu puppy to a variety of items that may be unfamiliar. The shih tzu puppy should be exposed to common items like bags, boxes, vacuum cleaners, umbrellas, hats, etc. that may be frightening to him. Allow and encourage the shih tzu puppy to explore these items and see that he has nothing to fear from them.
Get the shih tzu puppy used to a variety of objects by rearranging familiar ones. Simply placing a chair upside down, or placing a table on its side, creates an object that your shih tzu puppy will perceive as totally new.
Get the shih tzu puppy used to common procedures like being brushed, bathed, having the nails clipped, teeth cleaned, ears cleaned, etc. Your groomer and your veterinarian with thank you for this.

Introduce the shih tzu puppy to common things around the house, such as stairs. Also introduce the shih tzu puppy to the collar and leash, so he will be comfortable with these items.

There are of course some things to avoid when socializing a shih tzu puppy. These socialization don'ts include:

Do not place the shih tzu puppy on the ground when strange animals are present. An attack, or even a surprise inspection, by an unknown animal could traumatize the shih tzu puppy and hurt his socialization.

Do not inadvertently reward fear based behavior. When the shih tzu puppy shows fear, it is normal to try to sooth it, but this could reinforce the fear based behavior and make it worse. Since biting is often a fear based behavior, reinforcing fear can create problems with biting.
Do not force or rush the socialization process. It is important to allow the shih tzu puppy to socialize at his own pace.

Do not try to do too much too soon. Young shih tzu puppies have short attention spans, and continuing lessons after that attention span has passed will be a waste of your time and your puppies.

Do not wait too long to begin. There is a short window in which to begin the socialization process. A young shih tzu puppy is a blank slate, and it is important to fill that slate with positive socialization skills as early as possible.

House Training

House Training

Race Foster, DVM
Marty Smith, DVM
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

Q. What are the best methods for house training a puppy?



If your dog is going to live inside the home, and in America over 90% of our pets do, you are going to have to go through the housebreaking process unless you have grossly different hygienic standards than most. It is not hard, it need not be messy, and it need not be a struggle. It does not have to take a long time. Remember that it is a training issue and you will need to have more than casual input. It will take some of your time but the more involved you get, the shorter that span will be.

The Rules

House Training Rule Number One: This is The Most Important Rule – If you don't catch your puppy doing it - then don't punish him for it!

House Training Rule Number Two: Praise your puppy when things go right. Don't let this be a situation where your only action is saying "No" when they are caught in the midst of using the wrong area. If they do it right – let them know!

Methods of house training

Starting Inside: There are several ways to housebreak a puppy. With the first, you can put down papers or pretreated pads, encouraging them to use these areas for going to the bathroom. The pads are scented with a chemical that attracts the puppy to use them. Whenever you see them starting into their "pre-potty pattern," such as walking around and sniffing the floor, you gently pick them up without talking and carry them over to the papers/pad and then praise them when they go to the bathroom (Rule 2).

When all goes well and they are using the papers consistently, the papers are either moved closer to the door and/or another set is placed outside. The transition is made from concentrating the toilet habits to one spot inside the home to one spot outside the home. Finally, the papers inside are eliminated. The only problem with this method is that for a period of time it encourages the animal to eliminate inside the home. In our experience, house training may take longer when this method is used.

Puppy in cage Crate Training: The second popular method of house training involves the use of a crate or cage. The often-stated reasoning is that the animal is placed in a cage that is just large enough to be a bed. Dogs do not like to soil their beds because they would be forced to lay in the mess. It works, and while in these confines, most pups will control their bladder and bowels for a longer time than we would expect. Young puppies, at 8 or 9 weeks of age can often last for 7 or 8 hours, however, we would never recommend leaving them unattended in a crate for that long in most circumstances.

During housebreaking, whenever the puppy is inside the home but cannot be watched, he is placed in the crate. This might be while you are cooking, reading to the children, or even away from the home. The last thing you do before you put the puppy in the crate is take him outside to his favorite spot. The first thing you do when you take the animal out of the crate is another trip outside. No food or water goes in the crate, just a blanket and maybe a chew toy to occupy his time. Overnight is definitely crate time. As your faith in the puppy grows, leave him out for longer and longer periods of time.

Most people do not recognize an important advantage of crate training. It does more than just stop the animal from messing in the house. It also teaches the puppy something very important. The puppy learns that when the urge to urinate or defecate occurs, he can hold it. Just because the pup feels like he needs to relieve himself, the pup learns that he does not have to. This is thought to be the main reason why puppies that have gone through crate training have fewer mistakes later on.

Make sure you buy the right size cage. You want one that has the floor space that provides just enough for the puppy to lie down. But cages are useful throughout a dog's life and it would be nice if you did not have to keep buying more as he grows. That is not necessary. Simply purchase a cage that will be big enough for him as an adult, but choose a model that comes with or has a divider panel as an accessory. With these, you can adjust the position of the panel so that the space inside the cage available to the pet can grow as he does.

Using too large of a crate can often cause long term problems. The puppy will go to one corner of the cage and urinate or defecate. After a while, he will then run through it tracking it all over the cage. If this is allowed to continue, the instincts about not soiling his bed or lying in the mess will be forgotten and the puppy will soon be doing it every day when placed in the crate. Now a house training method has turned into a behavioral problem as the puppy’s newly-formed hygienic habits becomes his way of life.

Constant Supervision: The last method involves no papers, pads, or crates. Rather, you chose to spend all the time necessary with the puppy. This works very well for people who live and work in their homes, retired persons, or in situations where the owners are always with the animal. Whenever they see the puppy doing his "pre-potty pattern" they hustle him outside. It is important that the dog is watched at all times and that no mistakes are allowed to occur. This method has less room for error, as there is nothing like a cage to restrict the animal's urges, nor is there a place for him to relieve himself such as on the papers or pad. When he is taken outside, watch the puppy closely and as soon as all goes as planned, he should be praised and then brought back inside immediately. You want the dog to understand that the purpose for going outside was to go to the bathroom. Do not start playing, make it a trip for a reason. Verbal communications help this method and we will discuss them soon. For those with the time, this is a good method. We still recommend having a crate available as a backup when the owners have to be away from the animal.

Verbal cues

Specific verbal communications will also help the two of you understand what is desired. It is an excellent idea to always use a word when it is time to head to the bathroom. We like "Outside?" Remember that whenever you use a verbal command or signal, it is important that everybody in the family always uses the same word in the same way. Think of the word "Outside" in this situation not only as a question you are asking the pup, but also as an indication that you want to go there. Some dogs may get into the habit of going to the door when they want to go outside. This is great when it happens but it is not as common as some believe. We have found that it is better to use verbal commands to initiate this sort of activity rather than waiting for the puppy to learn this behavior on his own. It seems like your consistent use of a word or phrase like "Outside" will cause the puppy to come to you rather than the door when he needs to go outside. The pup quickly sees you as part of the overall activity of getting to where he needs to go. We believe this is much better.

Once outside, we try to encourage the pup to get on with the act in question. We use the phrase "Do your numbers." This is probably a holdover from our own parenthood and hearing children use the "Number 1" or "Number 2" phrases. Others use 'Do It,' 'Potty,' or 'Hurry Up.' As soon as they eliminate, it is very important to praise them with a "Good Dog" and then come back inside immediately. Again, make this trip that started outside with a specific word "Outside" be for a purpose. If we are taking the pup out to play with a ball or go for a walk we will not use this word even if we know they will eliminate while we are outside.

When an 'accident' happens

One of the key issues in housebreaking is to follow Rule Number One: If you do not catch your puppy doing it, then do not punish him for it! We do not care what someone else may tell you or what you read, if you find a mess that was left when you were not there, clean it up and forget it.

Discipline will not help because unless you catch the puppy in the act, he will have no idea what the scolding is for. Your puppy has urinated and defecated hundreds of times before he met you. Mom or the breeder always cleaned it up. Nobody made a fuss before and the pup will not put the punishment, regardless of its form, together with something he has done without incident numerous times before. Especially if he did it more than 30 seconds ago! Puppies are just like our children. Unless something was really fun (and a repetitious act like going to the bathroom is not), they are not thinking about what they did in the past. They are thinking about what they can do in the future. At this point in his life a puppy's memory is very, very poor.

Anyway, let us face it. It was your fault, not the pup's. If you had been watching, you would have noticed the puppy suddenly walking or running around in circles with his nose down smelling for the perfect spot to go to the bathroom. It is just as consistent as the taxi cab driver behind you honking immediately when the light changes. The puppy will show the same behavior every time. It may vary a little from pup to pup but they always show their own "pre-potty pattern" before the act.

The same should be said as to your first reaction when you actually catch them in the act of urinating or defecating. It is your fault, you were not watching for or paying attention to the signals. Do not get mad. Quickly, but calmly pick them up and without raising your voice sternly say "No." Carry them outside or to their papers. It will help to push their tail down while you are carrying them as this will often help them to stop urinating or defecating any more.

They are going to be excited when you get them outside or to the papers, but stay there with them a while and if they finish the job, reward them with simple praise like "Good Dog."

House Training Rule Number One: If you don't catch your puppy doing it, then don't punish him for it!

In the disciplining of dogs, just like in physics, every action has a reaction and for training purposes these may not be beneficial! If you overreact and severely scold or scare the heck out of a puppy for making what is in your mind a mistake, your training is probably going backwards. With house training this is especially difficult for them to understand as they are carrying out a natural body function. Carried one step farther is the idea of rubbing a puppy's nose into a mistake he made, whether you caught him or not. In the limits of a puppy’s intelligence, please explain to us the difference of rubbing his nose in his mess he left in your kitchen an hour ago versus the one the neighbor's dog left in the park two weeks ago. If the dog were smart enough to figure all of this out, the only logical choice would be to permanently quit going to the bathroom. Punishment rarely speeds up house training. Often, it makes the dog nervous or afraid every time it needs to go to the bathroom.

We will give you a perfect example of how this kind of disciplining causes long-term problems between a dog and his owner. A client makes an appointment to discuss a housebreaking problem. They are hoping that on physical exam or through some testing we can find a medical reason for the animal's inability to successfully make it through housebreaking. They readily admit their frustration with the dog. The fecal and urine tests reveal no problem. We assumed that would be the case and have no intention of charging for those services. In the examination room, the pup is showing a lot more interest in the veterinarian than he is in his owners. The animal's eyes are almost saying, "Please kidnap me from them." When the owner reaches down to pet the dog on his head, the pup reflexively closes his eyes and turns his head to the side. The dog reacts as if he were going to be hit. What this tells us is that the dog has been punished for making messes in the owners' absence. During this punishment the puppy is not, and we repeat, the puppy is not thinking about what he might have done two hours ago. He is not thinking that he should not make messes in the house. The animal is not even thinking about the messes.

The classic line that usually goes with this scenario then comes up "When we get home we know he has made a mess because he always sulks or runs and hides!" The dog is not thinking about some mistake he may have made. Rather, the pup has learned that when the people first get home, for some reason he has yet to figure out, they are always in a bad mood and he gets punished. The puppy has decided that maybe he would be better to try to avoid them for awhile so he does try to hide. In this particular case, discipline, misunderstood by the puppy, has caused him to fear his owners and this will probably affect their relationship throughout the life of the dog.

If you want house training to go quickly, regardless of the method you use, spend as much time as possible with your puppy. In an exam room, one of us once listened to a client complain about how he had to take some time off from work for his own mental health and also, but unrelated, how the puppy was not doing too well in the house training department. For us this statement was just too good to be true. It was the perfect set-up for our pitch. This gentleman, a bachelor, truly loved his puppy. We saw them together everywhere. Still, the problem was that he worked in a downtown office and the pup was home. His work allowed him to get home frequently but not always on a consistent schedule. There would be accidents when he was gone and sometimes he was gone longer than the abilities or the attention span of the puppy.

The solution was easy. We simply suggested his health and the puppy's training would both do better if he stayed home for a week or so. It worked. Under the man's watchful eye, he was always there at the time when he was needed and in less than seven days the ten-week-old puppy was trained. We are not saying there was never another accident, but they were few and far between. In the end, the best of all worlds occurred. The man realized his dog could be trusted, and thereafter, they spent their days together at the man's office.

Feeding and house training

The feeding schedule you use can help or hinder housebreaking. You will soon notice that puppies will need to go outside soon after they wake and also within 30 to 40 minutes after eating. Be consistent when you feed the animal so you can predict when they need to relieve themselves. Plan your trips outside around these patterns.

All of this may seem simple, and it really is. The keys are that it will take time and you must be consistent. And, of course, you must never lose your temper or even get excited.

Little puppySpontaneous or submissive urination

Puppies may spontaneously urinate when excited. This may be when they first see you, at meeting a new dog, or when they are scared. It is often referred to as submissive or excitement urination. Do not discipline the puppy for this, as it is something they cannot control. Simply ignore it and clean up the mess. If you do not overreact, they will usually outgrow this between 4 and 7 months of age.


Your new puppy is home and you have started the house training process. This is just as much a part of training as the "Come" and "Stay" commands. However, mistakes that occur with house training can cause more problems between you and your pet than those encountered with any other form of training. Be patient and stay calm.

Housetraining Process For Your New Shih Tzu Puppy


House training a shih tzu puppy is very important for the well being of both the shih tzu puppy and the owner. The number one reason that dogs are surrendered to animal shelters is problems with inappropriate elimination, so it is easy to see why proper house training is such an important consideration.

It is important to establish proper toilet habits when the shih tzu puppy is young, since these habits can last a lifetime, and be very hard to break once they are established. It is very important for the owner to house break the shih tzu puppy properly. In most cases, true house training cannot begin until the shih tzu puppy is six months old. Puppies younger than this generally lack the bowel and bladder control that is needed for true house training. Shih Tzu puppies younger than six months should be confined to a small, shih tzu puppy proofed room when the owner cannot supervise them.

The Do's of House Training Your Puppy:

Always provide the shih tzu puppy with constant, unrestricted access to the established toilet area. When you are at home, take the shih tzu puppy to the toilet area every hour .

Always provide a toilet area that does not resemble anything in your home. Training the shih tzu puppy to eliminate on concrete, blacktop, grass or dirt is a good idea. The shih tzu puppy should never be encouraged to eliminate on anything that resembles the hardwood flooring, tile or carpet he may encounter in a home.

Praise and reward your shih tzu puppy every time he eliminates in the established toilet area. The shih tzu puppy must learn to associate toileting in the established areas with good things, like treats, toys and praise from his owner.

Always keep a set schedule when feeding your shih tzu puppy, and provide constant access to fresh, clean drinking water. A consistent feeding schedule equals a consistent toilet schedule.

Using a crate can be a big help in helping a shih tzu puppy develop self control. The concept behind crate training is that the shih tzu puppy will not want to toilet in his bed area.

And finally, it is important to be patient when house training a shih tzu puppy. House training can take as long as several months, but it is much easier to house train right the first time than to retrain a problem dog.

The Don'ts of House Training Your Shih Tzu Puppy

Never reprimand or punish the shih tzu puppy for mistakes. Punishing the shih tzu puppy will only cause fear and confusion.

Do not leave food out for the shih tzu puppy all night long.

Keep to a set feeding schedule in order to make the dog's toilet schedule as consistent as possible.

Do not give the shih tzu puppy the run of the house until he has been thoroughly house trained.

House training is not always the easiest thing to do, and some dogs tend to be much easier to house train than others. It is important, however to be patient, consistent and loving as you train your shih tzu. A rushed, frightened or intimidated shih tzu will not be able to learn the important lessons of house training. Once you have gained your shih tzu puppy's love and respect, however, you will find that house training your shih tzu puppy is easier than you ever expected.

Harmful Plants

Outdoor Spring Plants – Are They Toxic?

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben
Azaleas are among those plants that are
very toxic and can result in severe illness. Azaleas are among those plants that are very toxic and can result in severe illness.

Problem Plants

As spring approaches, we tend to look forward to the end of winter and the rebirth of the earth. Snow melts, trees begin to bud, baby birds and bunnies abound, and sprigs of new plants begin pushing through the earth. We can't wait to spend time outdoors.
Your pet may be as excited as you to frolic in the outdoors, especially after the year's long winter. However, without proper care, this can be a time of danger to your pets. Some of those plant sprigs may be toxic to your pet.

Plants cause a large number of toxicities in pets and can result in death. In fact, in cats, plants are the second most common toxins. In dogs, plants rank in the top 5 of common toxic exposures.

Though some plants can cause serious illness or death, irritation of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract are the most common problems. Vomiting usually occurs soon after ingestion, which removes most of the plant from the system and reduces additional toxin absorption.

Toxic Plants

The springtime plants that can result in gastrointestinal upset in dogs and cats include:

  • Amaryllis
  • Ferns
  • Caladium
  • Calla lily
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Tulip

    Plants that are considered very toxic and can result in severe illness or even death include:
  • Crocus
  • Azalea
  • Rhododendron
  • Tiger Lily
  • Easter Lily
  • Bittersweet
  • Clematis
  • Daffodil
  • Day lily
  • Foxglove
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Narcissus
  • Morning Glory
  • Death Camas

    The most important part of treating ingestion of a toxic plant is to determine if your pet actually ate the plant, how much was ingested and which part of the plant was eaten. The entire plant is not always toxic. Sometimes only the seeds, the leaves, stems or roots are toxic. Also, plant identification is crucial in diagnosis. Get a sample of the plant if you are unsure of the name. This information can help your veterinarian determine the best course of treatment.

    Unfortunately, there are very few specific treatments or antidotes for toxic plant ingestion. Supportive care, including intravenous fluids, may be necessary. Without proper care, some plant toxicities can have devastating effects on your pet's health.

    By knowing which plants could pose a threat, you can work towards preventing your pet from access to the plant and keep your pets safe and your yard beautiful.
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