Training and Behavior

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Piddle Puddles

My pup is house trained but every once in awhile I’ll see a little puddle somewhere in my home. She usually always comes and tells me she to go. Why would she do this?

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Excitement can cause this. If you are going to be a dog owner, expect it. However, if you catch her doing it a quick reprimand and taking her outside will help her “get it” that no matter how excited she gets, it isn’t pleasing you. The pups main goal in their little lives are to please you, their owner.

One important note: Prior to their completion of their 16 weeks shot schedules, never ever take a pup outdoors to start the potty training. These tiny pups are parasite magnets! Wait till the shots are completed then begin outside training.

Diligence is again your best friend in creating a happier home for you and your pup. The repeated reprimand and showing the pup where to go may have to be “relearned” thru out their lives.

Consider that just another part of being a good owner.

Don’t bother with a temper tantrum when you catch this act. it’ll cause the reverse of what you want to achieve.

And never correct the pup if you don’t catch it while it is happening. If you see a piddle puddle or even poo…here is an off the wall theory that has worked very well for me…

Scold the pee, scold the poo. Yes, looking at the pee or poo, NOT THE PUP, shake your finger at it, and proclaim that “you do that outside”, that is no, no! Picking the poo up and literally taking it outside to their “spot” is a tremendous wake-up to them. And yes, the pup is looking at you with bewilderment as you scold its waste.

It will work on the piddling too even tho this time I’m speaking of poo. I wouldn’t write this if it didn’t work remarkably for me. Try it. You might be pleasantly surprised. Remember tho, anger will set you backward.

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Outdoor Potty

I just bought a Shih Tzu pup, he just turned 9 weeks old. When do I start training him to pee outside?


Outdoor training cannot begin the day you bring your angel home. Eight weeks begins a whole new life for them. Sixteen weeks is when it is best to start the outdoor training. They usually are done with their shots and now their immune system can more than likely “conquer” those pesky parasites in all that soil. There are many methods for potty training. On My Tips section, I suggested Bell training.

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How to stop the poop-eating 

(Excerpt from … to read more there is a link below.)

It is up to you to take the chance if you think that your dog will not translate your negative reinforcement into something skewed to become positive. However, another option is to use positive reinforcement. It may be difficult to do this with poop you may not see that your dog finds outside on walks, but if your dog eats cat poop or his own poop it could be of assistance. Try using your dog’s favorite treats, praise, or divert their attention by play whenever the cat goes to the litter box. Moreover, giving your dog food to eat that will make your dog’s poop less ‘tasty’ will make it less appealing to your pet, and they will have less temptation to eat it. Rabbit pellets and canned pumpkin are a few ingredients that can be added to your pet’s diet in small quantities to minimize the savory taste of their own feces.

As illustrated, the behavior of dogs eating poop is actually a lot more complicated than it first appears. You must tread carefully as to not positively reinforce this behavior, as once it has become a habit in your pet, it will require a lot more work to eliminate. If you have a dog that is currently eating poop use the methods discussed as well as ample patience and determination, it won’t be long until your pet’s dung-eating days are over! If you are still having trouble ridding your dog of this habit, consult an experienced trainer or ask your vet for help.


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How do I teach a lickin pup enough’s enough?

Licking says I love you, incessant licking says I own you.
So often I’m asked how do I teach a lickin pup enough’s enough?
This is what I hear:

My puppy won’t stop licking me. My arms, legs, hands, and face get a scrubbing each time I’m near my the little angel.
When I tell my pup that’s enough, he/she won’t stop licking me. Sitting on the sofa makes my pup think “Oh goody, I get to lick again!”. What am I to do?

Believe it or not, your pup is playing the alpha role and he/she is winning. Your pup has you figured out! The constant non-stop licking is their way of “owning you”. What started as a sweet side effect of having a puppy, has become an annoying trait that needs re-training. Just a few licks are enough. It’s not easy letting your pup know when to stop.

I know this all too well, first-hand, cause I’m one of the culprits that chose to coo-coo the sweetness of the puppies kisses. Not all my angels became incessant lickers, but a few have decided that’s their method for attention and their cravings became insatiable. I have worked on stopping this and have succeeded in most cases.

Chastising the pup for licking doesn’t work, and the scolding gives you a guilt trip. First of all, step back and remember, you taught him/her that you loved those “kisses”… now you’re changing your mind? Confusing the poor pup gets you nowhere. However, it’s never too late to lovingly show your pup that too much licking does NOT please you. From day one, of course, it really is hard to stop all those kisses when you are so hungry for the love from your new pup, but that really is when it should start. OK, OK, we’re past those first days of sweet love exchanges. Please, relax, those endearing licks can be curtailed… slowly.

When your pup begins those first licks… let him/her do it along with your nuzzling them, holding them and cooing to them. That’s what the new pup needs and wants. When you’ve had enough, that is, once you have given the pup the loving moments of praise and attention they do require, change your behavior and get busy being busy. Ignore the pup. Go about doing what you have to do or get some dusting done cause stopping this will take repetition.

Ignoring the pup is essential. Going about your dusting, we’re using dusting as an example here, the pup is stumbling all over trying to lick your legs and jump up on you. Hum a little song, but do not coo or offer any attention to the pup whatsoever. Keep your legs jiggling this way and that, (great for muscle toning) so the pup stays back and can’t get close enough to lick.

The pup finally tires of your act and goes to sit down. Let the pup alone, I mean, pay no attention to him/her at all.

Sit in a chair, not the sofa, and pick up a magazine, pretending to browse those pages, your pup will think it’s time to join you. OK, here is where we do leg lifts while sitting. Again, think of a song and hum it or sing it, music can be good for the soul, so relax, you’re doing both you and the pup a favor.

Repetition of this method of ignoring the pup relates the message that this isn’t the time for their “affection”. The pup is only trying to offer what he thinks you want. Remember, you’re the one that started this mess, not the pup. Correcting this is going to take possibly days and weeks of the same “dancing” routine, also known as fast leg movements, just to keep the pup from getting near enough to lick. After 3 weeks of this, your mirror will reward you with more well-toned legs and your pup will reward you by giving up chasing those fast-moving objects.

The facial licks/kisses: Each time pup begins this, quickly jerk your head (also a great muscle stimulation for your neck and shoulders). Don’t gripe, just continue. Rejuvenation of your bones will be your reward.

What have you got to lose by trying these tricks? Your personal gain is a more flexible body and bending comes much easier. Each step gets easier… so get started re-training the angel. You can limit the holding and loving time until this annoying habit is replaced with the relaxed pup now at ease and happy to just sit with you. You have years to enjoy your pup, so please take the time to retrain your angel… they’re worth it!

A balance is necessary, too much babying will start it all back up again. Remember the guilt is in your own mind, the pup really is rewarded just knowing you are in the same room. So, let go of the guilt, be happy, sing and dance, jerk your head left to right and enjoy a pup that no longer gives you more licks then you’ll allow.

Whoever Said You Can’t Buy Love…
Forgot About Shih Tzu Puppies!

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Crate Lover

Why do so many people have different ideas on putting a dog in a crate? My Shih Tzu has loved hers from the very beginning.

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The idea of it being a jail or prison is an uneducated theory. We all need a “space” place. Dogs, in that area, are no different. The animal world creates their own dens and “hiding places”. We can offer our little angels their very own safe place a haven they’ll go to willingly each time they just want a little alone time. Deny them that? Offer a floor pillow instead? That’s is thoughtless. That is uneducated. The crate is not just a place to put “away” the pup. It should become their own very precious home. Give your angel the love they deserve….their own “private home” to come and go into as they please. Not a travel crate, please. A crate sized directly for the size puppy you have is a reward for your angel

And then for their safety, when you leave for errands and at night, that same home becomes their very own safeguard from sometimes, themselves…such as chewing into something dangerous.

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Puppy chews on everything! House is being eaten alive! Help!

 I was told not to let my puppy chew on my fingers. But he likes it and I rub his gums. Now my puppy seems to chew on everything?

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Sometimes when people come to me and are purchasing one of my pups I find it perplexing that they feel they are giving some sort of “so-called comfort” to their new pup with their finger in its mouth. What old wives tale was this?

Never offer your fingers or toes as chewing or sucking items for your pup. Never.

Get them teething items. I like to go to the baby department in the stores and shop for the teething items. They aren’t too expensive and they offer the same “training” for your pup as it does for a baby.

Your new pup has very little actual teeth in its mouth. Little nubs are beginning to show thru their gums. These sweet little angels need to exercise their gums on teething toys and also flat pieces of rawhide…not the bones. The flat pieces fit better and keep the pup occupied. As with all toys and items given to a pup…you do have to monitor when the toy gets broken and the rawhide gets too small, just throw it away.

If monitoring your pup seems like a nuisance, please reconsider even having a pup in your life.

Monitoring your pup and its actions is a life time love affair…not a nuisance.

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What can I do to stop my puppy from barking?

Again, little things become bad things. As a baby pup that little bark was cute and endearing as it told you someone or thing was “out there”. Although we want the “watchdog” habit we also do not want the incessant bark.

There are bark collars on the market and I do agree with using them.

See this post on vibrating bark collar, plus a review on the collar itself and a hint on its batteries.

However, as I have said previously, your pups main goal in life is to please you. It will learn from your emotions. Start early with the quick “good dog’ for the alert of someone at the door scenario. But stop the continuous bark with your strong sounding reprimand. A drill sergeant is an example. No funny cutesy wootsey command. Rather the adamant command to stop must be given.

The drill sergeant theory was learned ages ago to begin in becoming a private in the army that this was serious business. Attention was the first response. This is what will also work for your pup.

Being wishy-washy with your “stop” command has no results. Being the drill sergeant with and adamant command of stop with repetitive diligence each time the pups do continuous barking is an absolute necessity. Again for the mental and emotional well-being of your pup.

Love is shown with many training methods. Neglect, or letting the behavior get out of hand is not offering your pup the best love it should get and deserves.

Keep in mind that when a young pup learns to heed your commands at an early age, your rewards may not come till later when the pup is saved because it listened to your command as a natural duty and its life was saved from running out into the street or chewing on an electrical wire or going near something it shouldn’t.

Love has many facets for the well being of our angels.

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I have a shadow, his name is Sparky…Separation Anxiety

My Shih Tzu is 6 months old now and while I hadn’t noticed his actions like this before, I seem to be more aware that he is overly anxious about being right next to me all the time. I think he is beginning to get separation anxiety.

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Somehow when you first received your new pup, the idea that he followed you from room to room became a precious and welcome action. The pup recognized you liked this. Believe me, they study our emotions like no other animal I’ve seen.

Then, somehow, along with the way of his growth, he became incessant in following your steps…uh oh.

And somewhere along this way, you started thinking it was seeming a bit needy on the pups part. The ah ha moment of realization hits you. Now what?

Try to think back ….similar to what we do when we misplace something…we try to go over every where we could have been to try and find the item.

Now take that theory and walk your way back into the puppies life…now is where in your memory you can reach a clue and begin the repair can be done. Somewhere the pup started a little whimper or the sadness set in when he wasn’t with you, again, you displayed sweet appreciation for the missing of you.

Diligence is obviously the key here. Remember the diligence it took in those first few weeks to potty train? Well, here again, we’ll need quality time to undo what in fact your own actions caused.

Telling the pup to stay in one room while you are in another room, even if it means using a baby gate is our first achievement we need to conquer. Treats are necessary for this. And then we grow to you being outside rather than in the next room and rewards for his good behavior are paramount.

Next, grow from this to longer periods of time. And whatever you do let’s not make a great big celebration each time you come in the door, rather a calm and relaxed attitude as if you had been home all the time and now coming in as if from another room.

Your diligence in this “backward” training is a must for the pups mental well-being.

For all you new owners…although the room to room following is endearing… don’t let it become constant. Nurture bonding but don’t let the pup become glued to you. It isn’t mentally healthy for your angel.

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