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#1 of 74 Old 04-30-2008, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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On friday we welcomed a new member to our family. His name is Gizmo. He is almost 10 weeks old. He is a Shihpoo. His mom was a shih tzu and his dad was a toy poodle, bothe purebread. He is 3lbs (and probably will be about 8lbs or less full grown) , and all black with a short snout and curly but long hair. He resembles a Shih Tzu mostly, (except after a bath, LOL). We originally wanted to adopt, or resue a dog. But we have somewhat strict criteria. My DD and DH are allergic, so we needed a non-shedding breed. We also wanted a small dog since we live in a townhome. We basically needed a smart breed, easily trainable, good with kids, not barking, non shedding, low excersize needs.......etc......Any dog of this nature that is in a shelter has long waiting lists. We were on multiple waiting lists, some of wich were numbered at 40 other applicants. I also didn't want to ship a dog, as I have personal moral issues with it. So this little guy came from a local, family breeder. All the dogs are socialized right away, and are part of the family.

Gizmo is working on housebreaking and is doing AMAZING!! He is working on bell training, as he is not a barker. We are also considering litter box training him, but need to do some research on it. He is sleeping well, practically threw the night (in our bed) and then he goes out to potty, and then into his crate for about 2 hours. He usually enters himself and stops whining right away. He is surprisingly calm for a pup, but does still jump up, and bite while he is playing. We want to work with him on his training right away. He is a smart breed, so I know we will be able to do alot with him. I would LOVE some good book or web suggestions for easy 'how to' on training a pup. Or even some IRL experiences from others on things that worked for them. TIA.

I have some pics, but I am not sure how to attach them.

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#2 of 74 Old 04-30-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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Hi! And congrats on your puppy.

I'm going to say something that you don't want to hear, so I need you to realize that ANY criticism is intended for the person you bought him from, NOT you.

There's no "breed" shih-poo. Anyone who told you that a toy-breed mix is great for kids is lying. Anyone who told you that a Shih-Tzu mix is great with kids is lying. Anyone who told you that a Shih-Tzu mix is easily trainable is lying. And, as you are already finding out, they bite both when playing and when they feel threatened. He'll start barking soon, trust me.

The great tragedy of bad breeders, and that seems to be unique to mixed-breed ("designer breed") breeders, is that they will tell you that their magic mix is the perfect dog, the best of all worlds. It's just not true. Shih Tzus are notorious for not housebreaking completely, and they are often very reactive (bite-prone) with children. Toy poodles have incredible health problems. Toy breeds in general are very challenging when you have kids; a three-pound dog is the size of a micro-preemie baby, and just as fragile. You will have to keep your two-year-old from ever hugging the dog, from tripping over him, from sitting on him, and you'll have to be extremely diligent to make sure that he does not become a habitual biter.

OK! Having said that, and with a great urge to go smack your "breeder" upside the head, you have the puppy now. So what next?

First, I hope that he has had a first vet visit and that you have been told to watch out for the problems that are common in poorly bred toys (luxating patellas, which show up at closer to a year, heart murmur, epilepsy, kidney problems, and congenital blindness).

You also need to be VERY careful to keep small, healthy meals going into him; he's very prone to hypoglycemia because of his tiny size. So you need to make sure he's eating well, and offer tiny meals frequently throughout the day.

Once you are sure that he is as healthy as he can be, you can work on beginning to train him.

It's OK that he's in your bed right now, as long as there is NO possibility that anybody could roll on him, and as long as he NEVER jumps off, but you may have to crate him through the night if he shows any sign of being dominant. Being allowed on the bed is a huge power play for a dog, so many of them can't handle it and continue to behave well.

Make sure he has lots of appropriate chewing materials, and that his jaw and teeth are healthy, before you start correcting him for biting. Also, do not let him play on the couch or on the bed. The floor is the only place where play of any kind can occur. So now, when you're playing with him on the floor, if he bites you squeal "Ouch!" and stand up and walk away. You can't have ANY exceptions to this--no amount of teeth on you or your hands is "cute" or OK. The second a tooth hits skin, you object loudly and stand up and walk away. Everybody in the family must play this way; it will completely and utterly fail if your husband thinks it's adorable to have him attack his finger or if you try to get the puppy excited by having him chase your hand.

He also needs good and appropriate exercise already. You should be walking him 3-4 times a day. He cannot ever be outside off a leash unless he's in a very securely fenced area. So get him walking politely on a leash, and get out there with him multiple times a day. Right now a "long walk" will be a quarter-mile or so, and you'll probably have to carry him home. Within a few months, he'll be able to go much longer. But DO NOT do what so many toy owners do, and never walk him. He's a wolf, despite his tiny size, and wolves can't be healthy or happy if they're not getting straight-line exercise (not just playing in the yard).

You should schedule his first grooming soon, and you should be combing him completely through every single day. Don't use a brush except for a pin brush (the type that has like fifty little metal pins, NOT a slicker brush with hundreds of tiny pins). A teflon comb is a good choice. You will need to make sure that not a single tiny knot exists ANYWHERE on his body, every single day. Once he is getting regular groomings (every six weeks would be normal for his breed mix), you can request a clip that is short enough that you will only have to do daily combings of his face and ears, but if you want a clip with ANY kind of length (more than about an inch), daily combing is going to be your life with him. You should also be handling and playing with his feet every day, and nail clipping once a week.

We always love to see pictures, and I hope you enjoy him.
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#3 of 74 Old 04-30-2008, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thekimballs Thank you for your reply. You had some very good suggestions. I will try and respond to most of what you said.

First, it actually wasn't my breeder who ranted and raved about the breed. I did tons of research before getting a dog. I actually have been thinking about this for awhile, and looking into it seriously for weeks before making our decision. A Shihpoo is a hybrid cross breed. So no, he is not a purebread, and also is not recognized by the AKC. Which was not a concern for us. Everyone whom I talked to said that a cross breed was a good idea for smaller dogs since cross breeds tend to be less yippy, skiddish, and better behaved in general.

The negetive things you mentioned about the two breeds are true, but there are negetives in all breeds, and these breeds also have possitives. The thing with cross breeds, is that they are usually bred to produce 'the best of both worlds' although it is never a gaurantee. You could potentially get any characteristics of either breed. That is why it is important to meet the puppy and both parents before buying, wich we did.

As far as training, I am not worried in the least about housebreaking. He is well on his way to being fully trained allready. Poodles are probably the smartest of all breeds, and all though Shih Tzu's are not as easily trained as poodles, are also very intellegent.

The bitting while playing is something I have seen in EVERY puppy I have ever come into contact with. Obviously something we need to work on and nip in the bud now, before it becomes exceptable behavior.

He is up to date on shots, and we have already broughten him to the vet. We have a one year health gaurantee on him. The vet said he is in tip top shape. We have allready cliped his nails, I brush him every day with the type of brush you mentioned, I have bathed him once allready, cleaned his ears, cliped hair around his butt and eyes, etc...and we have only had him 4 days. I am very prepaired to keep up on his grooming. In fact, we have our first visit to the groomers today.

Your recomendations on biting are wonderfull. I will admit we are allowing him to play on the couch. We will change that emediately. Also, we don't let him bite us. We usually say, "Ah AH AH" (our interruption word for bad behavior) and then a "NO BITE" and we hand him a toy to bite. Do you think that is a good method?

I am curious about the health concerns you mentioned? I knew he was at risk for hypoglycimia, but I will have to research and keep up on the other things as well.

We do walk him, and are working on leash training. This is the thing I know least about, and am having a hard time knowing how to approach it. He stays by my side better if he is not on a leash. He never runs.

Also my 2 year old is very good and gentle with him. They are like siblings, it is so cute!! He actually plays with her the most because he sees her as a litter mate. So we are working with her to show her the commands and working with him as well.

Again, thanks for your reply, I wasn't trying to sound defensive, just wanted to clear some stuff up. I think each dog is different, and we have gotten this now a few times when we tell people his size or bread, but we love him, he is a wonderfull puppy, and I am sure he will be a wonderfull dog. That is why I want to start training him now.

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#4 of 74 Old 04-30-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
First, it actually wasn't my breeder who ranted and raved about the breed. I did tons of research before getting a dog. I actually have been thinking about this for awhile, and looking into it seriously for weeks before making our decision. A Shihpoo is a hybrid cross breed. So no, he is not a purebread, and also is not recognized by the AKC. Which was not a concern for us. Everyone whom I talked to said that a cross breed was a good idea for smaller dogs since cross breeds tend to be less yippy, skiddish, and better behaved in general.
That's exactly the kind of bill of goods you get sold. There's absolutely no evidence that cross-breds are in any way better or sounder or healthier or anything else than purebreds. There's actually a substantially higher risk of bad stuff with cross-breds than with responsibly bred purebreds, where breeders are committed to health and are actively participating in activities that test temperament.

Quote:
The negetive things you mentioned about the two breeds are true, but there are negetives in all breeds, and these breeds also have possitives. The thing with cross breeds, is that they are usually bred to produce 'the best of both worlds' although it is never a gaurantee. You could potentially get any characteristics of either breed. That is why it is important to meet the puppy and both parents before buying, wich we did.
Just a small note that you actually don't want to see both parents. Most good breeders don't keep the male they use, with some exceptions. Most of the time you'll meet the mom, and the dad will live hundreds of miles away because the best match for her was nowhere near and definitely not in the backyard.

You're exactly right that you are JUST as likely to get the worst of both worlds as the best. Bad breeders use this justification all the time--"the best of both worlds!" But nobody actually believes that except the duped purchasers. It just doesn't make sense--you can't choose how the genes combine.

Lots of breeders will then say "But that's how new breeds are developed--by crossing the existing ones." And they're right. But if I want to, say, breed something similar to a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever (which frisks along the shore to draw the ducks in and then retrieves them), but I wanted a really small and easy-going one, I could indeed begin with my Cardigan Corgis and something like a Sussex or Boykin Spaniel. But when I breed them, out of the six puppies (all of which I must raise to adulthood to see what the mature tendencies of the dog are) MAYBE one would show the tendencies I want. The rest would be "culled"--in the old days, that meant killed; now it generally means the dog is spayed or neutered and sold for a very tiny amount. And so I repeat the breeding, with lots of corgis and lots of Boykins, and each time raise them all, and only keep the one that behaves like I want. And then eventually I begin breeding those together, and maybe back to the Boykins, and maybe then I bring in a Cocker to see if I can get more grass-sense, and so on. Each time I do a breeding, I am rejecting nine out of ten puppies, because nine out of ten are NOT "the best of both worlds."

"Designer dog" breeders don't tell you that you have about a 90% chance of not getting the best of both worlds, they don't sell dogs for a tiny amount, they don't keep puppies until adulthood, they don't have any intention of actually developing a new breed, they don't have any idea what their new breed would do if they DID develop it. What they are doing is fleecing the public by taking two poorly bred purebreds and using magic beans to make a super-valuable oh-so-awesome "designer dog" out of them.

We have the great privilege of owning a designer dog--a Papillon/Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix. We LOVE her. She is a GREAT little dog. With a mouth so poorly developed that she can't bite anything properly. With bowed front legs and back legs that are too tall for her body. With cherry eye, and a good possibility of glaucoma to come. We spent a grand total of $5 on her from a pound, and we'll probably spend thousands over the years fixing all her problems and keeping her pain-free.

Look at your puppy's front legs. Do the toes point absolutely north-south no matter how he's standing? Or are they already beginning to point a little east-west? One of the most common structural problems with shih-tzu/poodle crosses is that the front legs bow and the toes point out (you'll see this develop over the first year of the dog's life). This puts weight on a very unstable joint and the dog ends up painful and arthritic for the rest of its life.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with owning a mixed-breed dog. I just don't want people being rewarded for breeding them.

Quote:
As far as training, I am not worried in the least about housebreaking. He is well on his way to being fully trained allready. Poodles are probably the smartest of all breeds, and all though Shih Tzu's are not as easily trained as poodles, are also very intellegent.

The bitting while playing is something I have seen in EVERY puppy I have ever come into contact with. Obviously something we need to work on and nip in the bud now, before it becomes exceptable behavior.
I'm not talking about play-biting, when I say that Shih Tzus are reactive biters. I mean defensive biting when they feel threatened or punishment biting when they don't feel like obeying. Both are extremely common in the breed.

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He is up to date on shots, and we have already broughten him to the vet. We have a one year health gaurantee on him. The vet said he is in tip top shape. We have allready cliped his nails, I brush him every day with the type of brush you mentioned, I have bathed him once allready, cleaned his ears, cliped hair around his butt and eyes, etc...and we have only had him 4 days. I am very prepaired to keep up on his grooming. In fact, we have our first visit to the groomers today.

Your recomendations on biting are wonderfull. I will admit we are allowing him to play on the couch. We will change that emediately. Also, we don't let him bite us. We usually say, "Ah AH AH" (our interruption word for bad behavior) and then a "NO BITE" and we hand him a toy to bite. Do you think that is a good method?
I am very glad that you are grooming him regularly. That's going to be a big part of having him grow up healthy and happy.

I don't like involving toys in no-bite, because I think that rewards the dog. Just yelp and walk away--that's what another dog would do, and it's how puppies learn that biting is no fun because the game ends.

Quote:
I am curious about the health concerns you mentioned? I knew he was at risk for hypoglycimia, but I will have to research and keep up on the other things as well.

We do walk him, and are working on leash training. This is the thing I know least about, and am having a hard time knowing how to approach it. He stays by my side better if he is not on a leash. He never runs.
All of those are disorders that are epidemic in poorly bred poodles and shih tzus.

Put him on a light leash, NO harness (a normal collar) and use treats to encourage him to come forward and watch you. Always teach leash skills that are combined with watching you for signals--you don't want him forging ahead and choosing the path. He should be beside you and frequently glancing up to see what you want to do.
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#5 of 74 Old 04-30-2008, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=thekimballs;11100401]
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That's exactly the kind of bill of goods you get sold. There's absolutely no evidence that cross-breds are in any way better or sounder or healthier or anything else than purebreds. There's actually a substantially higher risk of bad stuff with cross-breds than with responsibly bred purebreds, where breeders are committed to health and are actively participating in activities that test temperament.

But if his mom is a responsibly bred purebred Shih Tzu, and his dad is a responsibly bred purebred Toy Poodle, then isn't he actually getting good genes? I am not asking to be snarky or anything, it just seems to me that if you cross too good dogs who are good tempered and bred to be so, the likelyhood of the offspring being similar is higher, regaurdless of if the offspring is purebred or not?

Quote:
Just a small note that you actually don't want to see both parents.
Sorry, you are right here, I must have miss spoke earlier. We did only 'meet' his mom, since she actually lived in the home. But we did talk about and iquire quite a bit about the father.

Quote:
You're exactly right that you are JUST as likely to get the worst of both worlds as the best. Bad breeders use this justification all the time--"the best of both worlds!" But nobody actually believes that except the duped purchasers. It just doesn't make sense--you can't choose how the genes combine.
I see what you are saying, and I know that you can get any traits that any two breeds carry. But again, to me it seems logical that the pups will take after their emediate parents, and gene line. So if both breeds invovled have been properly breed to be well tempered, healthy dogs, I wouldn't be too conserned. When you start multi generational cross breeding, then you may begin to have a problem. Also, temperament has alot to do with how the dog is socialized, raised, and trained.

Quote:
Look at your puppy's front legs. Do the toes point absolutely north-south no matter how he's standing? Or are they already beginning to point a little east-west?
I haven't noticed this yet, but I will keep my eye on it, thanx for the heads up.


Quote:
I'm not talking about play-biting, when I say that Shih Tzus are reactive biters. I mean defensive biting when they feel threatened or punishment biting when they don't feel like obeying. Both are extremely common in the breed.
Wich is why we want to train asap. As of right now, he is a very well tempered, non agressive, playfull, happy pup.


Quote:
I don't like involving toys in no-bite, because I think that rewards the dog. Just yelp and walk away--that's what another dog would do, and it's how puppies learn that biting is no fun because the game ends.
Ooooh, I was thinking this right after I wrote it. I was wondering too if a toy would seem like a reward. We will do as you suggested starting now.

Quote:
All of those are disorders that are epidemic in poorly bred poodles and shih tzus.
Okay, so again, if his ma a pa are healthy and bred currectly, we shouldn't have to worry as much right? I just got scared with the long list of health problems that I hadn't done my research well enough, and we would go broke???

Quote:
Put him on a light leash, NO harness (a normal collar) and use treats to encourage him to come forward and watch you. Always teach leash skills that are combined with watching you for signals--you don't want him forging ahead and choosing the path. He should be beside you and frequently glancing up to see what you want to do.[/
QUOTE]

Okay, this is awesome. We use this type of leash. I just took him for a walk to the park today. (carried him some of the way.) At first he wouldn't even walk. He just laid down in the grass, LOL. But I brought a toy with me, and held it in my hand, said "come," and he would walk with me. I said, "heal, good boy..." almost the hole time. He got it right away, and walked almost the entire way home with me. I praised him ALOT, cuz I wanted him to know what he was suposed to do.

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#6 of 74 Old 04-30-2008, 04:03 PM
 
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But if his mom is a responsibly bred purebred Shih Tzu, and his dad is a responsibly bred purebred Toy Poodle, then isn't he actually getting good genes? I am not asking to be snarky or anything, it just seems to me that if you cross too good dogs who are good tempered and bred to be so, the likelyhood of the offspring being similar is higher, regaurdless of if the offspring is purebred or not?
You are exactly right. If the Shih-Tzu mom was registered, either shown herself or with champion parents, and was tested for PRA, the JRD mutation, hips and patellas, von Willebrands, and thyroid, and the Poodle dad was registered, either shown himself or with champion parents, and was tested for hips (for Legg-Calve-Perthes), patellas, eyes (genetic PRA test and a yearly CERF), and the breeder was aware of and breeding to avoid epilepsy, cushings, addison's, and hepatitis, if she made you sign a written contract that specified that the dog be returned to her if you ever could not keep it, and if she warrantied genetic disorders for at least two years, then she was doing it EXACTLY right and you were wise to get a dog from her.

The problem is that I have NEVER seen a cross-breeding breeder pass these very basic good-breeder tests. Never. So if yours did, please let me know and I will send everybody who asks me about getting a poodle cross to her.
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#7 of 74 Old 04-30-2008, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You are exactly right. If the Shih-Tzu mom was registered, either shown herself or with champion parents, and was tested for PRA, the JRD mutation, hips and patellas, von Willebrands, and thyroid, and the Poodle dad was registered, either shown himself or with champion parents, and was tested for hips (for Legg-Calve-Perthes), patellas, eyes (genetic PRA test and a yearly CERF), and the breeder was aware of and breeding to avoid epilepsy, cushings, addison's, and hepatitis, if she made you sign a written contract that specified that the dog be returned to her if you ever could not keep it, and if she warrantied genetic disorders for at least two years, then she was doing it EXACTLY right and you were wise to get a dog from her.

The problem is that I have NEVER seen a cross-breeding breeder pass these very basic good-breeder tests. Never. So if yours did, please let me know and I will send everybody who asks me about getting a poodle cross to her.

The mom (Shih Tzu) is registered, and healthy. I didn't get specifics on all of the test undergone (allthough I see now I should have ). The father is not registered, but also healthy. She gave us a one year health garauntee on the dog. We signed a contract that we would nueter him. We also did discuss that if anything should happen, health or other wise, that would cause us to not be able to keep him, that we would return him to the breeder. I think I will talk to her more about mom and dad, and their testing and health.

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#8 of 74 Old 04-30-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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Yes, it's VERY important to insist on actual TESTS. A dog can look perfectly healthy one day and drop over dead from cardiomyopathy the next. I've seen it happen. I can get (and in fact have gotten) a veterinarian "health clearance" on my little Papillon mix, who is a genetic nightmare. A "vet check" involves "does the dog have any immediate and obvious illnesses that are visible to the naked eye" and "does the dog have a grade II or above heart murmur." Neither of those has anything to do with the genetic timebombs that affect the two breeds.

The problem with a one-year warranty is that so many things don't show up until the dog is fully mature. Thyroid disorders, for example. Hips can't be checked until the dog is two. You won't see Addisons or Cushings diseases during puppyhood. That's why a two- or three-year warranty is more common and more respected.

In terms of why the dog should be registered and, more than that, should be shown, is because if you don't breed to the "standard," or description of what the dog should look like, things go south quickly. Good breeders care about what breeding only the "prettiest" dogs because appearance really does mean something. A nice strong topline (the back of the dog) means a longer life without arthritis. Straight legs mean that weight is supported on stable joints. Teeth that meet properly will need less dental work and the dog can feed better. Showing dogs also opens the dogs and their breeder to peer review, which means that you know that other breeders also think this breeder is responsible and worth giving money to.
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#9 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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This is such great info!

Our new doggy is a "doodle". I would have never paid money for one, but holy cow, she is a great dog, and I am glad someone did! :

OP, will you take him to puppy classes? That's the biggest thing I always hear, socialize, socialize, socialize!
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#10 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 06:23 AM
 
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Congratulations on your new puppy! I know that is a very exciting time

I am also going to say some things that you won't want to hear. I am also not directing these comments toward you but toward the 'breeder' who created these dogs. I hope that you will take all of the steps necessary to ensure that your adorable puppy will mature into a great companion for your family. I have an 'oops' mixed breed puppy who requires a lot of constant work. I was vacillating between a couple of breeds, and then came across a litter of puppies who were that exact mix. I wouldn't change it for the world, but he is a lot of work (which I anticipated, was completely ready for, and am not complaining about) to shape him into the dog that I want. There are other breeds that I could have chosen that would have been an easier road, but it is well worth it to me to invest the work into this puppy.

My dog growing up was a cockapoo. It was the only type of dog that I was allowed . This was long before a cockapoo was anything more than a mutt, we got her free from an ad in the newspaper.

She was a great dog in many ways. But please, please pay close attention to Joanna's grooming advice. If I skipped one or two days or if I skipped a tiny part of her body for a day or two, there would be mats that were difficult and painful to comb out. If I was really, really bad and skipped 4 days or so, I'd have to cut the mats. I finally got totally faithful about combing her out very thoroughly twice a day. Fortunately I was a teenager so I had lots of energy and patience for it

It also took constant work to avoid dominance issues, although she was great at learning any trick that I could think of. My parents thought I was so mean to make her sit before eating or going outside, or any of the other routine dominance stuff that I did.

As for poodles being the most intelligent dog, that is hotly debatable, to say the least. And as for 'breeding for the best of both worlds'? Well. If I have x dog and it's cute and registered, and my friend has y dog and it's cute and registered (but neither have been seriously health tested because, you know, that's expensive or maybe we've never heard of those things), and we throw them into the backyard together and charge xxx amount of money for the puppies... at what point am I 'breeding for the best of both worlds'? Because I hoped for the best? Because I liked both dogs? Just because I said so, and other 'breeders' stick their dogs together and hope for the worst?

Registration has nothing to do with health or quality of breeding. Nothing at all. All it means is that you have bred two dogs together who are both registered. Worst case, and yes I've seen this, is that your registered purebred dog gets "oops" bred by a neighbor fence-jumper. But you own, or you know someone who owns, a dog of the same breed as yours. So you falsify the puppy papers and sell the pups as purebreds, papers and all

I'm not saying that your puppy's 'breeder' was guilty of this. Not at all. I just say that to illustrate how little registration means without all of the tests that Joanna mentioned, as well as showing or working the animals.

Here are some things that I have written about my landlord's shih-tzu x rat terrier:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=869522

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=795654

This was such an adorable puppy. He was docile and calm, followed them around, learned little tricks on his own, was content to be carried around in arms, showed no alarm in new situations or around unfamiliar people... etc. Really. An outstanding puppy.

He is now over a year old. He bites not just my son, but anyone walking, jogging or biking past. He goes into other people's yards and barks at them. He is nowhere near housetrained, despite the use of a crate in his early months. He just goes if he feels the urge. Not even an attempt to hold it. As a result of the fact that he followed so closely with no leash and resisted the leash, he is utterly non-leash-trained. If you put one on him, he reacts exactly like a feral or wild dog would.

Also, even though he appeared to be well proportioned as a puppy, he now has a teeny tiny little muzzle. Seriously. He's about cocker spaniel sized, or a little smaller, but he looks like someone took a muzzle from a very tiny chi and stuck it on his (wide, flat) face. I don't know what ramifications this may have healthwise, but it seems to me that there must be something that will come of it.

When he was a baby, the landlord's 12 year old son brought him over to my house sometimes. The boy would be holding the tiny puppy near the boy's face and cooing and stroking him. Predictably, the puppy would call a boundary- first he did so by squirming, and over a period of a couple of weeks he would actually lift a lip and growl or snap... because at every display of boundary crossing, the boy would laugh and nuzzle him. So now he not only bites my son and other passersby, he also bites his owners for no reason that they can discern (I am 100% positive that if they were open to it, I could go down to their house and observe for a minute and tell them why, and how to fix it. But they don't want to hear it).

I think that Joanna has given you some extremely sound advice. The only thing that I would add, is that no matter the behaviour, keep in mind that this is a dog. If you would not accept a behaviour from a 50 or 75 lb dog, do not accept it from your 5 lb dog.
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#11 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, thank you all for your replys. I understand what you all are trying to say here, but I just personally don't feel that this hole cross breeding buissness is the devil or anything. I just don't get it. I have never owned a purebread, and never even considered it. I don't see how this dog is the same, (or worse) then any mut I would adopt from the pound??? All dogs need to be trained and socialized, all dogs have good and bad qualities, and all dogs have potential health problems. I think we have an advantage here, because we know his background, and we know what to watch for.

So, again, thank you all for your advice. But if we could now swich the subject from cross breeds back to why I originally started this thread, and that was to get some help with training. I have gotten some good advice allready, and I appreciate that. The things I am most curious about are
a) leash training
b) housebreaking, and bell training, and or litter box training
c) teaching basic commands such as sit, stay, come, lay down
b) how to curb the puppy play bitting
d) food sceduals

If anyone has any good reading sources for this info, or can stear me in the right direction, that would be great.

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#12 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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P.S thanx all for the congrats, and yes we will be doing puppy classes and socializing as much as possible.

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Joanna has already answered your questions about everything except litter box/bell training and basic commands. Most people don't box train their toy breeds; it's very difficult to housebreak toy breeds (and Shih Tzus in particular) to begin with, and when you teach them that it's okay to relieve themselves inside the house in a box, they will often never make the connection that it's okay to potty in a litter box, but not on the living room floor. You can take her to the back door, or whereever you are going for potty breaks (and with her breed(s) and size, she should be going out no less than every hour on the hour), ring the bell, and say, "Let's go outside and potty". Then take her out. She may or may not get the idea to ring the bell when she needs to go out.

Honestly, I'm not sure where you got the info. that either a Poodle or Shih Tzu are easily trained or housebroken. I've found the exact opposite to be true. Poodles can be extremely stubborn, and Shih Tzus can be nervous, independant and stubborn within a 5 minute period and all are very normal behaviors for the breed. I would recommend leashing her to you- tie the leash to your belt loop- every second she's out of the crate in the house. If you give her an opportunity to make even one mistake of soiling the house, it will create a huge defecit in her training. And with a very small toy breed, they have trouble identifying the entire house as their "den", and this often contributes to them never being 100% reliable in the house.

For basic command training, you should definately take her to a puppy class. They will teach you how to prompt and reward each behavior using treats, toys, affection and praise- depending on what she responds well to. Plus, the socialization is really important. She needs to be around dogs and puppies of all sizes at this stage of her life. I'm currently dealing with a 10lb adult dog who was never socialized and does terribly with dogs larger than himself; if he had been properly socialized as a puppy (and had continued to be exposed to different sized dogs on a regular basis), he would be a much happier, more balanced dog.

If I were you, I'd seriously consider taking out a good pet insurance policy on her, or starting a savings account for vet bills. All of the medical issues that Joanna mentioned are VERY real, and very common. And no puppy is going to start displaying symptoms of congenital defects within the first year- that's why good breeders extend a 2 year health contract at the very least. This little dog could very well wind up costing you thousands of dollars in the next few years, so an insurance policy with good comprehensive coverage would be a wise investment, IMO.

Besides feeding small meals several times daily (I'd feed her at least 4 times per day), you need to make sure that she's getting top quality, super-premium food. Every calorie that she puts into her body counts at her size, and a very good diet will help support her overall health. What are you feeding her right now?

Any dog can be "healthy" at any given moment. If the parents look "healthy", that's great, but it means absolutely nothing. Without the proper testing for prevalent problems in each of the respective breeds, even a vet's opinion that an animal is "healthy" at an appointment isn't worth the paper it's written on. Backyard breeders are often very good at convincing prospective buyers that the parents are great dogs in fantastic health. And they are saying all of those convincing things because they have one goal- to sell a puppy to you. A good breeder will put you through the third degree, asking questions and checking references. And a good breeder won't try and tell you how healthy his/her dogs are. She/he will show you proof of all clearances, test results, show results, etc. Those speak for themselves. I owned a backyard bred Rottweiler at one time who was AKC registered, who came from a long line of AKC registered Rotties. And he was a train wreck, health-wise. I rescued him, knowing that his parents hadn't been health tested, but I would never never never willingly pay a breeder to continue breeding dogs that have not been at very least tested, and preferrably shown, to insure responsible breeding.

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Well, thank you all for your replys. I understand what you all are trying to say here, but I just personally don't feel that this hole cross breeding buissness is the devil or anything. I just don't get it. I have never owned a purebread, and never even considered it. I don't see how this dog is the same, (or worse) then any mut I would adopt from the pound??? All dogs need to be trained and socialized, all dogs have good and bad qualities, and all dogs have potential health problems. I think we have an advantage here, because we know his background, and we know what to watch for.
YES! You are exactly right. This is about the same as adopting a mutt from the pound. Since the breeder didn't do health testing and doesn't show, so there's no guaranteed predictability for the puppy's appearance, health, or behavior, this is exactly like going to the pound.

The problem is that you gave (probably a decent or even large amount of) money to his breeder. So now his breeder will keep on breeding, keep on putting animals out there that are no better and no worse than a dog from the pound, and the cycle goes on. We don't NEED more cross-bred dogs; there are already millions and millions of them looking for homes. It's one thing to put a "product" out there that actually is quantifiably and qualitatively different than the pound puppies--when I breed, I don't do it unless I am making something that really can't be found at a shelter, or it would be totally wrong and horrible of me to ever breed. But making more no-better-no-worse dogs perpetuates the problem of homeless dogs, and we're all (at least on this board) horrified and troubled by that problem.

Quote:
a) leash training
b) housebreaking, and bell training, and or litter box training
c) teaching basic commands such as sit, stay, come, lay down
b) how to curb the puppy play bitting
d) food sceduals

If anyone has any good reading sources for this info, or can stear me in the right direction, that would be great.
OK! Backwards first:

- Right now he should have lots of tiny meals. He's so little that his blood sugar can go out of control very quickly. He should be on a TOP quality puppy or all-life-stages food (I like Solid Gold, either the puppy or the toy-dog varieties, Canidae, the Wellness puppy food looks decent, etc.). Not Iams or Eukanuba or Pedigree or Science Diet or anything like that. Generally, if it's advertised on television or available in a grocery store, don't buy it. You can use canned foods as well; those are great for toy babies because they boost blood sugar very quickly. Again, choose the super-premium brands.

- I think I talked about the play biting--just screech "ow!" and turn and walk away. No playing unless he plays nicely.

- He should be crated when you are going to be gone a very short time (like an hour); any longer than that and you should give him a larger area (a baby play yard or exercise pen is excellent for this) with a bed and puppy pads. You want him to have no area that is not bed or puppy pads. He should come off the bed to the pads to eliminate. When he is reliably doing this, you can gradually reduce the pads until he is always finding just one or two, and always missing the floor. At that point you can try letting him stay home in a larger area, like the gated-off kitchen, and see if he'll go to the pads every time; most dogs will. He should never have the run of the house while you're gone; just too many things to get into.

- Basic commands are always taught with treats and very gently. Puppies will automatically sit when they look upwards, so that's an easy one to teach first. Once you have a good sit, train a down by putting the puppy in a sit and pulling a treat from nose to toes. He should have to lie down to get it.

For come, get his very favorite person (probably you) to crouch down and hold a treat. Someone else takes him a few feet away and gently holds his body. You get all squeaky and excited and say his name a few times and wave the treat. You want him to be wiggling with the desire to come to you. Then the holder lets him go and you say "come!" at the same time. He should rocket right to you. Repeat. You can VERY gradually increase the distance, and when he is always coming right to you you can try it without the other person. Only go as fast as he can succeed 100% of the time--never use the magic "come!" unless it WILL be enforced. It's the most important command of all, so it can't ever be allowed to be "diluted."
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#15 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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congrats on the puppy.

you have recieved a lot of good advice already.

I would recommend getting her out of your bed and into the crate all night. Also some crate time during the day will go a long way with potty training. Just make sure you have the right sized crate. They should be able to walk in, turn around and lay down. thats it. We even fed ours in her crate and have special crate only toys. it really is her happy place.

get some treat dispensing chew toys. molecule balls are great. also groovy stuff where you shove a little kibble in the grooves and they have to work like crazy to get the stuff out. keeps them busy, mentally and physically stimulated and gives them something to chew on. Mine also really likes things that sqeak. She will sit there all day squeeking them. her favorite is her loofa dog (the one from the petsmart commercial, they make it in about 6 different sizes) and her beenie babies (with squeeks and crinkles). Lusy was about 7 pounds when we got her and those were the perfect size for her.

Our puppy is still really mouthy. we keep a toy handy to shove in there everytime she opens her mouth.

every dong needs excercise. at least two walks a day and I don't if yours needs a full 45 minutes but at least 15-30. and a good walk. concentrating, using good leash manners, and walking with you. they also needs lots of play. this is not only good for their bodies but for their brains.

house breaking -always take your dog out on the leash. even if you have a fenced in yard. this way you will be able to direct her to the appropriate place to eliminate and she will know that it is time to go and not play. take her out on a regular schedule. every 60-90 minutes, after meals and after walks if she is not inclined to go while walking. another reason to always have them on the leash and be with them is so that you can know if they actually went. you can see her poo and know if she is pooing too much or too little and if it looks healthy. a healthy poo wil be well formed but leave a skid mark on the ground when cleaned up (it also makes clean up easier if you scoop it as she poops it.)

use natures miricle to clean up all accidents. settle for no subsitutes. Don't be decieved.

if your dong is not microchipped please do that and get tags with your name and phone numer even though she is microchipped. the pound will call us but we still have to pay her bail. The microchip is an excellent back up system and ours cost a 1 time $20. updates to contact information can made online and they even got an emegancy number incase i can't be reached. you can't go wrong. but I would rather my neighbors just give me a jingle before they ever called animal control. but please please get as manyforms of ID on your dog as possib;e. my neighbor has an escape artist and has no id at all. what the heck. I was going to call animal control but had some free time so i started knocking on doors. but if you love your pet let people know where to find you if the find your pet. make it as easy for them as possible.

start grooming now even if they don't need it. start brushing their teeth as well. even if they don't need it. get them used to it while they are little and they will think nothing of it as they grow. (I still don't know if I am sold on the importance ofbrusing my dogs teeth but if you are now is the time to start.)

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#16 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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Once you have a good sit, train a down by putting the puppy in a sit and pulling a treat from nose to toes. He should have to lie down to get it.
If this doesn't work for your puppy (it didn't for ours . . .she would just stand up and bend over. ) sit on the floor with one leg bent (make a tunnel) put the treat where she can see it but has to crawl under your leg to get it. say down and as son as she is in the right position give her the treat and praise her like crazy. (this makes so much more sense when you see it)

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#17 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Joanna has already answered your questions about everything except litter box/bell training and basic commands. Most people don't box train their toy breeds; it's very difficult to housebreak toy breeds (and Shih Tzus in particular) to begin with, and when you teach them that it's okay to relieve themselves inside the house in a box, they will often never make the connection that it's okay to potty in a litter box, but not on the living room floor. You can take her to the back door, or whereever you are going for potty breaks (and with her breed(s) and size, she should be going out no less than every hour on the hour), ring the bell, and say, "Let's go outside and potty". Then take her out. She may or may not get the idea to ring the bell when she needs to go out.
This is what I was wondering. But he is allready pad trained. I was wondering if it is possible to pad train him while we are gone (wich probably wont be too often) and still have him go outside while we are home. Or is that too confuesing?

Quote:
Honestly, I'm not sure where you got the info. that either a Poodle or Shih Tzu are easily trained or housebroken. I've found the exact opposite to be true. Poodles can be extremely stubborn, and Shih Tzus can be nervous, independant and stubborn within a 5 minute period and all are very normal behaviors for the breed. I would recommend leashing her to you- tie the leash to your belt loop- every second she's out of the crate in the house. If you give her an opportunity to make even one mistake of soiling the house, it will create a huge defecit in her training. And with a very small toy breed, they have trouble identifying the entire house as their "den", and this often contributes to them never being 100% reliable in the house.
So are you just speaking from personal experience?? Because all the research I have done sais that poodles are very highly intellegent and eager to please, making them one of the easiest breeds to train, as well as allowing for fancy tricks. This leash thing is a bit impracticle. My dog is allready pad trained.


Quote:
Any dog can be "healthy" at any given moment. If the parents look "healthy", that's great, but it means absolutely nothing. Without the proper testing for prevalent problems in each of the respective breeds, even a vet's opinion that an animal is "healthy" at an appointment isn't worth the paper it's written on.
You know, I didn't ask for all the paperwork. Again, I don't know why the harsh thoughts on cross breeds. What you are saying here is that purebreds have these medical problems. So isn't a purebred just as much of a risk to get?

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#18 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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So isn't a purebred just as much of a risk to get?
Yes, which is why you should only purchase from a GOOD breeder as Joanna was talking about initially. Breeders of hybrids most likely are not GOOD breeders for the already mentioned reasons (no health testing, no showing, no health guarantee, etc.).
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#19 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The problem is that you gave (probably a decent or even large amount of) money to his breeder. So now his breeder will keep on breeding, keep on putting animals out there that are no better and no worse than a dog from the pound, and the cycle goes on. We don't NEED more cross-bred dogs; there are already millions and millions of them looking for homes. It's one thing to put a "product" out there that actually is quantifiably and qualitatively different than the pound puppies--when I breed, I don't do it unless I am making something that really can't be found at a shelter, or it would be totally wrong and horrible of me to ever breed. But making more no-better-no-worse dogs perpetuates the problem of homeless dogs, and we're all (at least on this board) horrified and troubled by that problem.
I think my dog is better than a dog from the pound. Like I said earlier, I tried to rescue a dog, and would have loved to do so, but these breads are in high demand, and we couldn't get our hands on any. There are allready millions and millions of purebred dogs as well needing homes. I am not keen on the breeder thing in general. And that inclueds purebreds. Again, I fail to see the huge difference. Breeding is breeding.

Quote:
- Right now he should have lots of tiny meals. He's so little that his blood sugar can go out of control very quickly. He should be on a TOP quality puppy or all-life-stages food (I like Solid Gold, either the puppy or the toy-dog varieties, Canidae, the Wellness puppy food looks decent, etc.). Not Iams or Eukanuba or Pedigree or Science Diet or anything like that. Generally, if it's advertised on television or available in a grocery store, don't buy it. You can use canned foods as well; those are great for toy babies because they boost blood sugar very quickly. Again, choose the super-premium brands.
Okay, should I have him on a feeding scedual, or have his food out for him. Right now it is out. I was told to do 2 meals a day of 1/2 cup of food each time. But he eats only half of that threwout the hole day. So should I do like, 1/4 a cup 4 times a day. And how long should I leave it out for him if he doesn't finish it?

Quote:
- I think I talked about the play biting--just screech "ow!" and turn and walk away. No playing unless he plays nicely.
Yup, we are doing this. Thanx

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#20 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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So are you just speaking from personal experience?? Because all the research I have done sais that poodles are very highly intellegent and eager to please, making them one of the easiest breeds to train, as well as allowing for fancy tricks. This leash thing is a bit impracticle. My dog is allready pad trained
I'm not a trainer, but I've worked in the veterinary medical field for close to 13years as a registered vet. tech and have seen many many MANY poodle crosses, and shih tzu crosses. I do know of 2 very good poodle breeders, and one thing they will tell you honestly- poodles are stubborn. That is the opposite of eager-to-please. They would never allow a family with young children (under the age of 8) to purchase one of their puppies; they are too fragile and require wayy too much time- ie, leashing to you during training- to be practical for a family with such young kids. And I've worked with rescues who desperately try and re-home crosses of both of these breeds. They are super cute and fuzzy when they're babies; then they get matted, pee/poop all over the house, and turn into agression-led or fear-led biters because of lack of training, or poor breeding, and the family can't deal with them anymore. So now there's a 3 year old poodle/cross who bites, can't be handled by a groomer or vet, and isn't housebroken. There's not a big market for a dog like that.

What references did you use for research that said Poodles are highly intelligent and eager to please? I'd be very interested in reading those studies, because it's so very different from what I've seen/been told by reputable people.

A client that I know very well has 2 retired American and International champion Shih Tzus. Neither can be left alone in the house when she's gone, because they WILL urinate inside. And these dogs are very well trained, obedience-wise.

If she's completely pad-trained, why are you asking questions about housebreaking? If she's 100% reliable on the pad, sounds like you're all set. FWIW, it's nearly impossible to teach a dog that it's okay to soil in the house during certain circumstances (ie, when you are away) but that it needs to relieve itself outside when you're home. Maybe North of 60 (who is a trainer) or Joanna, who has had more training experience than I have, knows of toy breeds who have mastered this, but I doubt it.

No one is saying that purebreds have a magical bubble around them that makes them healthy. You're not understanding the concept that several people have tried to explain in very basic terms. A well-bred dog is one that comes from 2 extensively tested parents- regardless of breed.

If both of your dog's parents were health tested for every genetic problem inherent to that particular breed, and passed with good results; and are champions (which means that they are superior specimens of the breed- true to breed standard), then I'd say you probably have a very healthy dog on your hands. What you have described is a mixed breed consisting of 2 very medically fragile and statistically unhealthy breeds, from parents that have had no health testing whatsoever. If you go into the situation of dog ownership knowing and accepting that, realizing that you may very well have a dog that is going to require enormous sums of money to keep healthy and pain-free, that's awesome. But to buy a "designer" breed, happy that one parent is AKC registered, feeling confident about the health of your puppy because the "breeder" told you that both parents are healthy is really ignorant, and I don't mean that in a nasty way at all.

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#21 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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Okay, should I have him on a feeding scedual, or have his food out for him. Right now it is out. I was told to do 2 meals a day of 1/2 cup of food each time. But he eats only half of that threwout the hole day. So should I do like, 1/4 a cup 4 times a day. And how long should I leave it out for him if he doesn't finish it?
What are you feeding right now--brand? And is he eating a total of 1/4 c the whole day or a total of 1/2 cup?
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#22 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No one is saying that purebreds have a magical bubble around them that makes them healthy. You're not understanding the concept that several people have tried to explain in very basic terms. A well-bred dog is one that comes from 2 extensively tested parents- regardless of breed.

If both of your dog's parents were health tested for every genetic problem inherent to that particular breed, and passed with good results; and are champions (which means that they are superior specimens of the breed- true to breed standard), then I'd say you probably have a very healthy dog on your hands. What you have described is a mixed breed consisting of 2 very medically fragile and statistically unhealthy breeds, from parents that have had no health testing whatsoever. If you go into the situation of dog ownership knowing and accepting that, realizing that you may very well have a dog that is going to require enormous sums of money to keep healthy and pain-free, that's awesome. But to buy a "designer" breed, happy that one parent is AKC registered, feeling confident about the health of your puppy because the "breeder" told you that both parents are healthy is really ignorant, and I don't mean that in a nasty way at all.
I came on here hoping for some good advice, and thank you for those of you who have given that to me. But these comments to me are very offensive. I don't appreciate being called ignorant, or implying that I am not capable of understanding basic terms. This thread has mostly just made me sad now, and is making me question my decision. And that is not what I wanted. I feel like I am being pushed to say "your right, my dog sucks, I'll give him back." You keep saying that these dogs you come into contact with were not properly trained. So why do I feel like I am being attacked for trying to train my dog? I want to know everything I can about how to make this dog the best dog it can be, but I think now I will look elsewhere.

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#23 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What are you feeding right now--brand? And is he eating a total of 1/4 c the whole day or a total of 1/2 cup?
He is eating BLUE. It is a good brand, and what his breeders used, so I would like to keep him on the same one if I can. He eats about 1/2 cup total all day. He drinks lots of water, but basically grazes with his food. I wouldn't expect his little belly to hold that much at once......but I also don't want to cause problems by letting him eat as he pleases all day.

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#24 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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twice a day is not enough. He needs to be fed on a schedule (I don't know anyone who recommends grazing). 3-4 times a day. Call the food company (or look on the back of the bag) and they should give you an approximation of how much to feed per pound of hound. keep treats to an absolute minimum (if you are using them to train find something that can be cut up into very very small bits. soft jerky treats work and cut with scissors as does cheese, chicken shreds or chopped ham. I can also get your a recipe for soft training treats that you cut to size). he should finish eating in about 10 minutes and then take the food away. are you certain of his age? was his breeder still moistening the food maybe? I don't know how long you are supposed to do that . . . . my pup didn't eat well at first then we started moistening her food and she did much better. we added a little broth, olive oil and/or yogurt, let it sit a while to soften then serve. She is just over 3 months and she will eat it fine without softening now but still really enjoys the bonus flavor.

and smart fart. Standard poodles are one of the smartest breed but I don't know about toy poodles. i was also told (we have a border collie who is consistently listed as one of the smartest breeds) smart does not = easy to train. Smart often equal mind of her own Lucy already knows all of the basic commands. but she is not eager to preform or hungry for our praise and adoration. she prefers a good chase. : So smart - definitely, obedient - not much. but all dogs with proper training can become obedient, house broken, submissive and well mannered. with any breed consistency and work is the key.

and gees cut the lady some slack already. She bought a mixed breed. so what. If she likes her dog and is happy with it, what is the problem? i paid $125 for my wonder mutt and now that I know her would have gladly laid down 10 times that for someone to breed me another just like her. the is the perfect combination of whatever it is she really is. She has her dog for better or worse and just was looking for a little love. excitement and help. way to sap the fun out of it for her.

and to the original poster. . . . it is totally not cool to tell us all about a fluffy little puppy without showing us a few pictures of your bundle of puppy love. cough them up already.

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#25 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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and gees cut the lady some slack already. She bought a mixed breed. so what. If she likes her dog and is happy with it, what is the problem? i paid $125 for my wonder mutt and now that I know her would have gladly laid down 10 times that for someone to breed me another just like her. the is the perfect combination of whatever it is she really is. She has her dog for better or worse and just was looking for a little love. excitement and help. way to sap the fun out of it for her. --lilyka

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#26 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lilyka Thank you so much for all your help. Your earlier post was really helpfull to. (and thanx for sticking up for me )

I just bought the cleaner you recomended today. We also got some new food, and plan on starting our new feeding scedual. I will do 3-4 times a day, and check the back for amount, or ask my vet. So what if I put the food out and he doesn't eat, or eats very little? Should I still take it away after 10 minutes so he gets used to that scedual? I might try wetting it down. His breeder wasn't wetting it down any more, but who knows, maybe he wasn't ready for that.

I know standard poodles are smart, and I know that miniature and toy poodles are as well. Allthough they may not be as smart as the standard poodle, I think they are still smarter then some other breeds. Your right about having a mind of their own. I am excited to get to know his personality more.

I will be happy to share some pics, but I still am not quite sure how to attach them here. Can anyone help me out with that.

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#27 of 74 Old 05-01-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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Since he is such a tiny baby and a toy dog AND new to your home, I would not schedule his feeds until he is eating eagerly. If you remove the food, rather than being really eager the next time he may just eat one or two kibbles again, and get into trouble. I definitely do scheduled meals, and they are the right way to feed dogs, but new/tiny/baby dogs do not get scheduled until I know that they'll eat their entire meal during the ten minutes.

For what it's worth, I've never met a dog who wasn't smart. They're just smart at different things--every one of those "ratings" puts the sighthounds at the bottom, but sighthounds are brilliant. They just don't like to slavishly follow commands. But they're brilliant problem-solvers, they strategize, they make up funny games, they tell jokes. It's the breeds that enjoy repeatedly obeying the same commands that are labeled "smart," and they ARE smart, but no more so than the others. Well, OK, maybe some of the Great Danes are dumb .

I want to talk one more time about the crossbreeding thing, because THIS purchase is why there are so many dogs in shelters. I am not exaggerating for effect--THIS is why.

Several times I've been accused of causing the shelter problem, because I breed. And we've talked about that, about what careful breeding is, and why predictability is important, and how to keep dogs from ending up in shelters.

But that does not let all breeders off the hook. And in this case, this really is a breeder who is contributing to the problem of pet abandonment. Here's how:

- Since the dogs involved were not registered, shown, or health tested, the puppies have a much higher chance of being unhealthy and/or not demonstrating the proper temperament for the breed(s). While I haven't asked specifically, there's a very good chance (given the usual MO of these types of breeders), the prospective owners were not rigorously interviewed, screened, and rejected if they were not perfect. Not only is this just plain not fair to the dog, this leads to a much greater chance that the puppies will not be successful lifetime placements. The breeder (unless I am very mistaken) did not require a written contract and change of address notification, so she has no idea where the dogs end up and whether they are dumped in shelters.

- People who will buy mixed-breed dogs with no health testing and no predictability are exactly the type of owners who would be adopting from shelters if there were not these types of breeders around. So this really IS a situation where a dog purchased equals a dog euthanized.

- The purchase of of poorly bred dogs creates a market for more poorly bred dogs. People see a cute dog and they want a dog who looks just like that (heck, I do that--I LOVE that "shaggy dog" look and I melt when I see a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle). Since dog ownership in this country has become all about looks (a sad and bad situation that deserves its own thread), they'll go out and find that "look" for themselves. And since everybody is buying Shi-Poos or Malti-chons or Doberdoodles, breeders who want to make a buck jump on the bandwagon and make millions and millions of puppies, don't support them, don't help the owners, and produce unhealthy or unpredictable dogs, many of whom end up in shelters.

- Breeding mixed-breeds has become an unbelievably lucrative trade. It's not uncommon to be charged $500-1000 for a mixed breed; I saw a litter of Aussiedoodles recently for $1600 each (the same breeder was selling Labradoodles for $2600). So for a litter that costs $200 to produce (no stud fee, cheap food, no vet bills, etc.), you can make a couple thousand dollars and it's a slam dunk. This is why breeding continues.

- The ONLY way bad breeders will stop breeding is if they can't sell the puppies. Legislation fails (it's been demonstrated multiple times). Peer pressure fails. The ONLY thing that works is if they end up with puppies peeing and pooping in their living rooms and can't sell a single one.

The purchase of even a single--yes, a single--deliberately and irresponsibly bred mixed-breed OR purebred makes the shelter situation worse. It's just NOT OK.

Now is the OP supposed to give back her dog? I'd say no. And, thankfully, if she's willing to ask, she'll get a lot of support that should help this dog live as long and as happy a life as possible. And of course she loves and adores the dog. None of that is wrong. Owning mixed-breeds is not wrong. Even breeding them is not wrong, inherently--like I said earlier, if they did it responsibly I'd love to send people to buy their dogs. But it is NOT EVER EVER right in my book to give money to people who care so little about dogs that they produce puppies carelessly.

These babies did not ask to be born. Every single one is made deliberately. Every breeder must be a guardian, every breeder should be terrified of making a mistake and putting lives into the world that will not be long and happy. It's the very least we can do if we're going to make these puppies happen.
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#28 of 74 Old 05-02-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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attatching pics here . . . you have to make a link so get yourself an account somewhere (flikr, photobucket, or even your xanga sight) post a picture there and put a link here . . .carry on.

i don't know much about toy breeds but if my dog does eat I just wait until the next feeding (of course I am a slacker and she ends up grazing half the time, not that I recommend that) and i thought she was doing ok until my friend commented on how she had never seen a dog eat so little or leave food in her bowl. But she has a lab so maybe it is just a breed thing. but she is a healthy weight (trim but on a scale of 1-10 1 being emaciated and 10 being obese the vet gave her a 5 both times . . . . ) and is pooping well and thats how i judged my children's eating . . .

I don't know anything about toy poodles (except for Hurricane Hannah my great grandmas dog which was a complete and total menace but I don't hold that against the breed ) The only thing i know about standards is what I learned from my friend but she is a little partial. Apparently she is privileged enough to be the dog mommy to the smartest, prettiest, most dignified, noblest standard poodle to ever poop in a yard. and the dumbest, dorkiest, sweetest Italian grey hound on the plant. but what can you do. they weren't bred for brains. what a pair. so like I said. she is a little biased.

You can't always get the most perfect, healthiest dog on the planet. because of how Lucy's life started she was spayed at 8 weeks which puts her at risk for some stuff. what are you going to do. We had no choice. but I would rather have 5 good years with Lucy than a hundred with any other dog because she is totally the right dog for us. (have I mentioned what an awesome puppy I have?)

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#29 of 74 Old 05-02-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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You can't always get the most perfect, healthiest dog on the planet. because of how Lucy's life started she was spayed at 8 weeks which puts her at risk for some stuff. what are you going to do. We had no choice. but I would rather have 5 good years with Lucy than a hundred with any other dog because she is totally the right dog for us. (have I mentioned what an awesome puppy I have?)
PLEASE never, never think that I don't think you should have her. She's gorgeous and you adopted her from a shelter, so you get every kudos in the world from me. I'm objecting to bad breeding, not owning.
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#30 of 74 Old 05-02-2008, 02:46 AM
 
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To the OP:

I don't think that you should get rid of him. I applaud the fact that you're looking for good training advice. Too many people undertrain their toy dogs.

I can only speak for myself, but the reason that my first comments to you were as they were, is not because your dog is mixed breed. Mine is as well. I didn't pay for him, but I did drive over 4 hours each way twice (with a 9 month old baby in the car) to view, pick and then take him home. With the cost of gas... he was far from free. And 16 hours of driving is a lot

My reaction was because you called your dog a 'breed' (even if the mix has a fake name it is not a breed), and because you seemed so proud of having sought out and purchased this puppy (who I am assuming was not bred responsibly). If fewer people felt this way, fewer of these dogs would be produced.
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