Frequently Asked Questions:
How do we apply to adopt an available puppy or get on the waitlist?
We have room on our WINTER 2022 waitlist (Dec 2021 - Feb 2022) and our SPRING 2022 (March-May) waitlist and are accepting applications now! You can also follow our facebook and instagram accounts for future waitlist announcements!
We don’t live in Alberta! Do you ship? How can we get a puppy?
We've had puppies head as far east as Newfoundland, north to the Northwest Territories, south to Arizona and west to Vancouver Island. Our pups are making families happy all over Canada and the US! Families can either pick up their puppy in person by driving or flying in. We are equally happy to carefully ship them to you, if you live near a location that Westjet or North Air services. For more shipping info for our Canadian adopters click here.
We offer pet nanny service to select locations. If you want your puppy personally flown to your waiting arms by a member of our family, just let us know. Nothing is more safe and secure than that!
We ship carefully and with love, ensuring our puppies are used to a kennel, have soft bedding, a stuffed animal with the litters scent, and a nutritious snack for their journey. Optimally, we would prefer that our puppies are shipped in groups of two or three and take this trip with a friend, which reduces stress. It also allows families living in the same city to split the shipping cost, which is a win/win!
We live in the USA. Are we able to adopt?
Typically the answer to this is yes COVID has created a lot of issues getting a puppy over the boarder. Currently, you will need to fly in and collect your puppy yourself, as we will not ship puppies to the US, or you can access our pet nanny service with delivery to Phoenix, AZ.
We already have an adult dog in our family. Is adding a puppy a good idea?
Adding a new puppy into the family with an existing adult dog present can be tricky business. In Pooch Palace’s experience, fewer than 50% of these placements work out. The older dog can resent the presence of the younger one and begin to act out with territorial peeing, aggression or depression. You have the best chance of success if your existing dog is still on the younger side, preferably a year or two old and if he or she has a relaxed and dog-friendly attitude. If you feel your dog will manage the transition well, we would be happy to assist you, as the personality of the puppy would need to be selected carefully. If your dog is on the older side, honor his last years. Enjoy him to the fullest. Once he has passed on into the Happy Hunting Grounds, we would be very happy to match you with your new pet.
Overall, I'd say that families who have adopted two puppies at once or added the second about a year later have been thrilled with their choice. As much as dogs love playing with their human family, the joy they get from having a furry sibling is contagious! It's awesome to watch your two dogs enjoy each other and include you as well. In general, I'd say most dogs are HAPPIER with a pal! So don't think we are opposed to two or three dog families.... we are completely for it! But we do feel that you need to be careful about the timing and the temperament of the dogs involved to be sure that it's happy for everyone.
What are the differences between a female and male puppy?
Every puppy has its own unique personality. That said, we have found that certain traits are more common to each gender. Often, females can be a bit more independently natured and want to be near their humans, but not necessarily cuddling up to them or doing the same degree of "lap sitting" as their male counterparts. On the flip side, males can be more "moochy" in their personalities... craving their human's company and wanting to be sticky-glued to them much of the time.
Females can occasionally kill the grass when doing their business outside and this is less common with the males. Some males will continue to squat through their lives but most will lift their leg and enjoy marking various objects around the yard, even if neutered.
Both make wonderful pets! I prefer the boys and my husband prefers the girls... so it all depends in what you want from your dog. For whatever the reason, we tend to have fewer female puppies to offer, so the wait for a girl will generally be longer.
We hear Bichon Shih Tzus can change color with age. What color will my puppy be as an adult?
Some change color significantly and others don't change color at all. We can give you a good estimate of adult color when assisting you with your puppy selection. If you'd like to see examples of what can happen check our "color transformation" page.
We'd like to get two puppies at once. What are your thoughts on this?
I get so happy when families take two puppies at once because I know that they'll be friends for life! Families will have a blast watching them play together and they won't have to deal with any separation crying or stress. I'd say the vast majority of our families that have taken two pups have been so glad they did! However, it does take longer to potty train two puppies at once and with their two creative brains combined, they can get into a lot more trouble if their space isn't adequately prepped for "puppy fun". So I'd only suggest two puppies for a family with dog experience as it does take a higher degree of skill to manage the training and a longer training period.
Can we come visit the puppies, even if we don’t currently have one on hold?
I wish that I could say yes to this one! I have experienced the draw of cute, cuddly puppies! Unfortunately, I can’t even begin to describe how busy it is giving our dogs full and fun lives, raising the puppies and facilitating adoptions, in addition to working as a nurse. As a result, I regret that I can't host visits with the puppies if you do not already have one on hold. Feel free to follow us on Facebook or Instagram and every week you'll see multiple photo updates of our dogs, their activities, and our new litters!
We are getting a puppy soon. Do you have a shopping list we can use to find the supplies you'd suggest?
Yes. We've created a well linked mini-amazon store of our suggested products that may be a helpful resource.
Do you have a recommended boarding service if we are on vacation?
We are no longer offering boarding services, even though we used to do so. As an alternate option, we'd encourage you to look into all of the "in-home" options now available. It's incredible how many companies have popped up offering in-home dog sitting, where skilled dog lovers come right to your house and take care of your pet. I don't think it would get much easier and happier than that!
What are your thoughts on immunizations?
As I nurse, I can say without reservation that evidence based scientific studies clearly show the benefits and importance of immunizing. There is more data for human immunizations than dogs, but the same principles apply. If you want to consider the issue pragmatically... think about the risks verses the benefits. An unimmunized dog risks catching horrible diseases, needs expensive treatments that may or may not work, potentially dieing from whatever they have caught, and passing their disease around to other dogs that are unimmunized or immunocompromised while they are sick. It's terrible to think that one family's choice not to immunize their pet can put other dogs around them at risk! Immunizations do have the risk of side effects, but these are both incredibly rare and typically very minor. So I'd say the risk to benefit ratio is clearly in favour of the immunized pet!
We have children 5 years old or younger. Can we adopt a puppy?
We do require that children in the home are at least 5 years old and preferably older. I know that every child is different and I often have parents tell me that their son or daughter is extra gentle. Regardless of how gentle the child is, most younger children don’t want to play with a puppy as much as they want to HOLD a puppy… and for frequent and lengthy periods, much the way they do their favourite stuffed toy. This is problematic for a high energy puppy who just wants to run and jump and play! Puppies that are sweet and gentle themselves have the potential to develop more reactive temperaments once they experience the amount of restriction that younger children tend to place on them. Because of this, I encourage families to wait those few more years so that both child and pet will have the same idea of fun!
Can we adopt a puppy and breed the dog later in life?
All of our puppies are offered on a spay and neutered contract. We are specifically breeding dogs to be treasured family pets. We are occasionally open to sending home a dog without the spay/neuter contract, but we would need to know this in advance and discuss "parent plans" with the adoptive families.
Are these dogs purebreds?
We breed Bichon Shih Tzu crosses, meaning a cross between two breeds. The result is a hardier, healthier alternative to each purebred family tree with its own unique set of traits. The Bichon Shih Tzus combine the family friendly and forgiving nature of the Bichon with the quieter and lazier nature of the Shih Tzu for the perfect puppy pal that is loving, people focused and easy going. Because these dogs are a cross, they are not registerable with the Kennel Club. But with over 35 years of carefully managed genetics behind them, we believe you'd be hard pressed to find superior dogs elsewhere. We are very proud to be offering them to families and to enjoy them in our home.
Why are your pickup dates fixed? Can't we pickup up our new puppy whenever works for us?
Our primary goal is keeping our dogs as happy and healthy as possible, giving them full and fun lives in a comfortable, clean and well maintained setting. In order to do that, I need to carefully manage my time and with 20-40 family visits taking place some months, this involves careful planning. It takes some juggling to work as a nurse, have a family and small social life, in addition to ensuring our dogs get the bulk of our time with a walk every day, play time, cuddle time and a carefully cleaned and maintained environment. In order to keep all of this running smoothly, we post our visit and adoption dates in advance so families have plenty of time to plan around a specific date for their new arrival.
Want to know the exciting benefit to coming on your litter's set visit or pickup date? You have the opportunity to meet other families who are adopting in your area! This will give you a chance to exchange info with other families, connect, have puppy playdates and maybe even puppy sit for each other outside of Baby Barks. We've had many amazing connections start on these viewing and pickup days, and families have thanked us.
We truly do appreciate families planning around their puppy's pickup date! We always look forward to meeting our families and it's so fun for us to see the joy on our adopters faces when they hold and play with their cuddly and cute new fur- family member!