The telephone jangled on the morning after I got back from my Chicago trip. My friend and her husband had gotten an eight week-old Shih Tzu puppy and were very upset that the pup was whining and messing up her floors.
I went over, where I found a most adorable pupster. He was indeed a tiny little fellow, and Mom was distraught.
We chatted about what she had been doing with this little tyke, and what methods she was using to train him. I watched her interact with him. I quickly recognized that if she didn’t adjust her methods, the puppy would become the leader of the pack at home, and become a horrible pet. I then shifted into tough love mode.
I am by no means a dog-training expert. I have had two dogs in my life, and have sought professional help for their training. Being Huskies, training has been a daily occurrence. I have seen people treat small breed dogs like babies, and this is a recipe for disaster. A dog is a dog and behaves as such, whether it is a two pound “land shark” breed, or a giant puppy that weighs more than I do. One needs to read about the characteristics of the breed and adapt to its unique behavior.
I recommended to my friend two books, The Mentally Sound Dog, By Dr. Gail Clark, and How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With by Clarice Rutherford and Dr. David Neil. The latter is the best puppy book around even though I first used it in 1983, and the former is great for a pup in training. “Auntie Gail” was Tipper’s kindergarten teacher. I’ve know her a long time, and I taught her kids elementary physical education.
I also recommended that my friend by a book written about Shih Tzus. I have several Siberian Husky books on my shelf.
Winter puppies can be difficult, yet it’s often easier to housebreak a winter puppy. It has to go out to do its business, and you don’t want to supervise a puppy in the cold. Therefore, time spent outside for this purpose is minimal.
Lastly, I recommended that she, her husband, and the pup go through a minimum of puppy kindergarten and novice obedience classes. Not only are these classes an informative way for you to interact with a new pup, they are also too much fun.
I was proud that my friend “got it” after my jet-lagged hour and a half visit with her and her new friend. Since many little dogs seem to live forever, I know they have many fine years to come.
One thought on “New puppy driving you nuts?”
Dr. Mary saves the day (and the puppy!) again! So much to learn to be a good puppy momma! Thanks Mary!