Training...

because they are worth the work to become the best they can be.

When can I go to obedience classes?

Plan on waiting until your puppy is at least 4 months of age and finished their immunization series. Once this is complete, there are lots of great dog obedience schools around.  We have personally checked out the Calgary Humane Society obedience classes and found them great!  They are the most affordable in the City of Calgary, offer great tips, and use clicker based training. Whatever group you go with is bound to assist you in managing your dog and creating both safe and helpful behaviors.

Click on button below to be directly linked to their classes. 

 

Are there some resources that have a less expensive price tag?

You bet!  We're a big fan of Dog Whisperer episodes and books and the pack leadership they promote.  A lot of these can be watched, free of charge, on YouTube or can be watched limitlessly with a streaming subscription to Disney+.  Are you waiting to be matched with a new puppy?  Take advantage of the time you have and watch one or two a week.  You'll be amazed what you have learned and can apply when your dog arrives.  In my mind, this is the best preperation you can do.

Can you link me to these resources for sale? 

Below's button will link you to the series for sale:                                   Click below for a link to Cesar Millan's book:

My puppy was coming when called and now stopped.  What can I do?

It is very normal for puppies around four months old to suddenly decide not to come when called or play “hard to get”.  In reaching somewhat of an "adolescences" you may find many training cues aren't responded to readily over this period as they gain more independence and a bit of sassiness! Consistently is the key and the "coming"  is easy to correct - simply leave his leash on him when playing outside, but don’t tie it to anything provided your yard is fenced.  Go outside several times and call him.  If he dances away, walk up, pick up the end of the leash and pull him to you, firmly but gently.  Praise him well when he is at your side.  Continue to work with him in large areas (park, etc) on a longer cord (15’ to 20’) but don’t let go of the end.  Repeatedly call him and pull him in.  After two weeks he should come when called in your yard, and after he is mature, he will come much better outside your yard, if you have continued to work with him.

Can I take my puppy or dog off the leash outside?

 

They should never be allowed off leash outside your yard as they are easily distracted and will run after the first child or dog they see.  Once you have attended classes and have consistent recall in a more controlled environment, this is something you can work on in larger fenced and safe settings.

Help! My dog is barking and destroying things!

Discipline is necessary for excessive barking or crying, chewing on shoes, furniture, etc, biting at toes or jumping up.  Use a squirt bottle filled with water to squirt him in the face and say firmly “NO!!”.  Repeat as often as necessary until the habit is controlled.  If he doesn’t respond to the water discipline, use lemon juice in a squirt bottle and squirt him directly in the mouth to stop barking.

Dogs are less likely to take, chew, or tinkle on things that you have firmly "claimed" as your own.  To claim items, you need to have established yourself as the pack leader and have learned the body language that can stake your claim.  Again, the Dog Whisperer episodes are an invaluable resource for managing this.

How much rest does my puppy need?

Playtime with your puppy should be limited to a half hour of play for every two hours of rest for each one month of age until he is four months old.  Example: an eight week old puppy can play for one hour and then must rest for two hours.  After four months, the puppy will adjust to his own needs.

 

When can I take my puppy out in public?

 

Puppies should NOT be taken for a walk on public sidewalks or park areas until four months of age and all of their shots are up to date.  Additionally, consider carrying your puppy into the vet for his shots rather than having him walk on the floor.  It makes sense that a floor that sick dogs have crossed is not something you want your puppy tredding on!

Is my puppy/dog safe in the yard?

 

Do not leave your dog in an unlocked car or yard when you are not around.  It is best to put locks on your gates if you don’t have a lockable pen built outside as these dogs are easily stolen.  Fighting dog groups steal these small dogs to use as bait for their pit dog fights.  There was an incident that occurred in Airdrie where four small dogs were stolen from their yards on the same night and never heard from again.

Why is my new puppy biting so much?

 

When puppies bite or nip on a child’s face, hands, etc., it’s a normal type of play for a puppy.  It does not mean he’s aggressive or poor tempered.  Try substituting a toy or chew stick for your hand or toes. If a puppy insists on playing rough, put him in his control area for an hour and try again.  Excitable or rough children encourage a puppy to play rough, so supervise them when they are together, and separate them when the play gets too wild.  This nipping period lasts about two months, from eight weeks to about sixteen weeks, then it will usually settle down. 

 

Teach children to come and get an adult if the puppy snitches something it isn’t supposed to have, rather than try to take it away themselves, as a puppy can bite trying to defend its stolen item.  If this behaviour becomes a problem, please call me. 

How long can I leave my puppy/dog in his kennel during the day?

A limit of 6 total hours per day maximum kennelled (not including the night) should be observed to avoid stress related to over caging.  See the "potty training" section for more kennelling thoughts and training tips.

Is my puppy going to get car sick?  How to I help prevent this?

It’s relatively rare for an adult dog to experience car sickness.  It does occasionally happen and I’m convinced it’s linked to anxiety rather than the actual motion of the car. Your puppy may throw up on the way home (and this is common), and I again, I’d say it’s the stress of leaving, the new people, new smells and the motion not because this particular puppy is predisposed to car sickness for life.  Even though your puppy needs to be in quarantine over the two months (no public places, side walks, public lawn) until her immunizations are done, it would be good to take the puppy for a little car ride in her kennel, or on your lap, once or twice a week to get them used to the experience and sensation.  Keep it short and sweet but only take them out of the kennel and car when they are CALM.  This would also mean you’d need to complete kennel training before attempting this or being stuck in a kennel is going to add to the distress and create a negative experience associated with the car.

My dog is a picky eater.  Should we switch brands?  How to do we curb this behaviour.

Please check out "health" section. There is an extensive write up on picky eating and how to fix this problem.

Any toy suggestions?

 

Your puppy will enjoy his own teddy bear/stuffed animal, NO bean bag toys.    Latex squeak toys are fun and a ball provides a lot of fast action.  Please avoid wicker beds because chewed splinters can cause illness or even death.  There are some amazing puzzles now available for dogs to keep your pooches mind busy, if you have the inclination towards such things.  We love treat balls and most of our dogs do too.  We simple fill them with our dog food and our dogs love rolling them around and eating that way.

Any treat suggestions?

 

Initially, treats should be bland and not very rich.  Typically, if a Bichon Shih Tzu has too rich of a diet, you will see it again in the form of diarrhea.  The same can be said of treats.  Avoid the pure liver treats, such as the vet sells, for life.  These are entirely too rich for the dog to the point that their own liver values will be thrown off for blood tests, if your dog is a regular consumer. White, not colored raw hide bones are good, but not too many.  A bully stick on occasion can be enjoyed by an older dog, but should be avoided for puppies, and again... occasionally is the key word. Puppies enjoy nylon bones, Milk bones, raw carrots,  celery sticks, or even a different variety of pet food are good treats for a puppy over four months of age.

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