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Discussion Starter #1
HI -

I am a first time dog owner. Here is the background my family and then our new furbaby.

I am a mom to 4 kids. My 7 year old son has been in the hospital the past week and finally was able to come home yesterday. The doctor told us that he needed to have some positive stimulation such as a dog in his life to help him with his learning disabilities etc. So we found a breeder and bought a male shih tzu last night and brought him home around 9pm.

First - I have never been around dogs really and I am finding I am freaking out from the thought of animal hair on me. Not sure why and I hope I can overcome this fear. Anyone know why I would be feeling this way? I am a bit of a germ-a-phobe but I am trying hard.

Anyways, biscuit is a 11 week old. His pics are in my album. The breeder has never let him go anywhere except in a pack and play she had for him. He went to the potty on one side and slept on the other side. :(

I got him home last night and he stinks so bad. I gave him a bath in puppy shampoo but he still stinks so I figure another bath is in order again tonight maybe? (Please advise on how to get the smell out and how often to bathe him if you can)

So here are a few questions:

He is REALLY scared right now. Will he eventually calm down and get use to us?
He just wants to stand in the corner of my room and then go to the potty right there. I put down a pee pad next to my door. He has NEVER been outside she told us today. NEVER. It is raining really bad so I dont want today to be his first time. How do I get him use to going outside? Just take him out on the leash?

I am taking him to our vet on Saturday for shots and a visit. He has had 1st set and dewormed.

Also how much do you feed him at one time? I read it was best to feed them 3 times a day at around same time to get them into the routine.

I am also going to try to crate train him and will be taking him to pet smart for some training for like on the leash etc.

Any other words of wisdom for me? I am not sure what I have gotten myself into but I am determined to get him trained and to fit right in with our family :) I will also be getting him fixed as soon as I can. I believe that is right at 6 months correct?
 

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Oooookay. I have a lot of reactions to this, some good, some bad.

First of all, yes, he'll calm down and trust you. It does take a while. Just give him time and let him come to you. Don't force affection on him, don't pick him up if you don't absolutely have to (that frightens dogs), don't let the kids bother him.

Secondly, the smell. Yeah. That's common in dogs that were constantly crated with their filth. Kabota smelled awful until his second grooming after I had him 5 weeks. I would suggest taking him to a groomer. My groomer had to shave off fur around his butt to get out matted poo, poor thing.

Thirdly, training is good. Definitely do that after he's had his final shots.

Okay, on to the bad. You have no preparation for a puppy, don't seem to have a personal desire for a puppy, and with four kids, one disabled, I don't think you really have time for a puppy. And the breeder was undoubtedly an unethical backyard breeder, and that can be very, very bad. This could end up being a very bad situation for the puppy, especially if you are having anxiety regarding his fur. I say this not to be rude, but out of concern for the dog. I do hope I'm wrong.

I think you should read Before and After Getting Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar right away.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My son is not disabled - just has a learning disablity. Big difference. He has wanted a dog for a really long time and the doctor felt this would be something that would really help him especially when he is feeling frustrated because of his learning disabiltiy has nothing to do with a physical disablity etc.

Second- I came here for advice on our new dog. Not to be bashed for what someone feels I do and do not have time for. Just because I have four kids does not mean we do not have time for a dog in our life. Yes I have anxiety over a new dog because I have NEVER been around dogs really ever. So yes I would assume my anxiety is kind of normal for a person bringing a puppy into her home. I am just having to get use to it.

I figured out AFTER I bought the puppy that she was a back yard breeder but I cant take this dog away from my son. I can't do that. He is 7 and is in love. Actually he is the only one that can calm down Biscuit it seems when he gets really upset like after a bath. My other children are 14, 11, and 5.

I am willing to read and learn or do whatever I have to here to help biscuit. I just asked about my anxiety because I didnt expect to have anxiety until he came home so I thought maybe you guys with more experience could give me advice. Not be rude to me. I just want to give my son a pet to love. Maybe getting a puppy was not the ideal thing to do - but I have it, and I am here seeking advice because I cant take it away now.

Sometimes as a mother- you rush to do things to see your son's face light up for the first time in a long time and that is what I did. Doesnt mean I am not ready to take care of our furbaby or do not have the time. We just want to give him a good loving home. :)
 

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Ps. Sorry I wasnt trying to be snippy back. I understand your trying to give the best advice and I am trying hard to figure things out for our new doggie. I am trying to figure out how to best get him to play, get him to visit the outside world for the first time, and to seek the advice of all the knowledge dog owners here :)

If you have anyting else that would be good for me to read, I am all ears :) I will check out what you mentioned.
 

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I kinda expected that, no worries. ;)

I do get about making kids happy. I don't even have kids, but I spend a fortune at Christmas just to see my nieces and nephews happy.

As to the backyard breeder, probably half the people on this board got a dog from one. Ignorance is what allows them to continue their work. I only mention it because BYBs create dogs with health problems and temperament problems and that is something you need to know about for the future.

You can make this work, if you want to. I'm just not a big fan of getting a dog for the kids because I've seen it go wrong so many, many times and the dog is always the one who pays. I'm not saying that's your story, but I've seen it so many times before. Breaks my heart every time.

Read Ian Dunbar, read through the posts on this board and have patience.
 

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Also, watch kikopup's youtube channel. There's no reason to wait for formal training to get some basics down, like sit and stay. You should involve your son it. It might give him a huge confidence boost to help another creature learn since he has trouble with learning. Clicker training is all about timing, the worst that could happen is it might take him time to learn the timing. Just keep the sessions short. Dogs in general don't have much in the way of attention spans, and puppies are worse.
 

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Ian Dunbar: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads two free downloads. All of his advice is world-class, but some of his guidance can be a bit extreme or over the top in urgency.... His books really do answer all questions... but it's a lot to digest.
For Kikopup's Youtube channel ... scan through the info and wade in slowly. Great information, but the amount of info may be overwhelming.... excellent answers when you have a specific question.

Smell - When you take the Pup to the Vet, ask for an opinion.... an ear infection can cause a bad smell... A pup usually has a clean smell. Also, a pup will need a 3 sets of vaccinations, spaced about a month apart. The breeder has given the first set... And neutering at 6 mos is a good time.

After the third set of shots you might consider going to a professional trainer for help and learning. The Vet may have suggestions, as might the Pound.

Fear - He will calm down in about 3 days.... he may whine tonight and tomorrow night.... try to let him sleep in his crate alone, so he doesn't think that you always come when he whines. However, teach him to like his crate: 1: give him a few treats, while everyone is quiet. 2: Then show him a treat and put it into the crate. Let him figure out that he can go in to get the treat. Be quiet and don't encourage him... just let him figure it out. Do this about 5 times. 3: Show him a treat, put it in the crate ... then close the door without letting him in. He should try to get in and get a little frustrated - barking scratching chewing at the door. When he looks at you (especially if he sits down), praise him and let him in... then close the door to the crate. Don't let him out if he scratches or complains ... only let him out when he is quiet. This last step works best with a Kong.

Very soon you will want to teach him Bite Inhibition and socialization... later... As you see or anticipate questions, place them up here on the forum.... This is the right place.

He may not do well on a leash, yet. However, if you have a fenced backyard and an umbrella, it won't hurt him to go out and get wet and muddy... just means that you'll have to clean him up before he comes back in. (I may have to dry my dog's feet 3 or 4 times a day...)

Feeding 3 times a day is fine. Ideally, you'd like to use the same food that the breeder used, to reduce the chance of stomach upset and diarrhea. It takes a dog about a week or two to get used to a change in food. By the way, Never feed the pup from the table or people food while you are eating... This is what causes begging. You have to watch the kids closely...no food sharing with the pup ... because just like kids, once a pup makes a mistake, it takes longer to undo that mistake.
 

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He may not do well on a leash, yet. However, if you have a fenced backyard and an umbrella, it won't hurt him to go out and get wet and muddy... just means that you'll have to clean him up before he comes back in. (I may have to dry my dog's feet 3 or 4 times a day...)
I keep a package of hypoallergenic baby wipes by the front door and the first thing I do when we come in is wipe Kabota's feet. I call it "gimme paw." I say that, gently grab his paw and gently wipe it off. At first, my husband gave him a treat every time I took his paw, and now he'll lift his feet voluntarily.
 

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Congrats on the new baby! I used to have a Shih Zhou and he was a wonderful dog. He really didn't shed so rest assured you probably won't find gobs of hair around the house (although they require grooming because their hair has a tendancy to matt). One thing I would suggest is to not baby the dog and tell him "oh it's ok...." and pet him when he feels scared as it can lead to reinforcing their fear. I'd suggest making things look like you're having fun ignoring him and eventually he'll come to you and become more comfortable.

Good luck and I'm sure you'll get everything running smoothly and be a pro in no time.
 

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Thank you all for replies. He has bonded really well to my son and my son LOVES it

I have let my son Start with stay And he loves being a big helper.

I know we jumped into getting a puppy but this poor dog was in horrible conditions and never shown attention which the breeder toldy husband tonight after he called to ask a question. We are loving on biscuit and follow the wonderful advice to let Jim come
To us. He is less scared tonight and getting better.

I still can not seem to get his fur from having the pee and poop smell from his living conditions - any ideas? And he can't go to groomer because he hasn't had shots. Our vet visit is Saturday. I will learn and teach him well too. I am heart broken how he lived and I am proud to give him a loving home.

I know it will take patience and time. And we have that. I am reading, watching videos and researching. Thanks again to all for wonderful advice.
 

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Hi, I am also mom to 4 kids, and we got our first dog a year and a half ago on "impulse"....we had no preparation, nothing at home for a dog, and mainly got the dog bc our family had been through some personal tragedies and we thought it would help us, as a family, to have a dog, something positive, in our home. The kids really wanted one. So we were not the typical "ready" family. We literally paid for the dog, drove to petsmart for a crate and leash, and then brought the puppy home. We had no idea what we were doing, never had a puppy before. But, the six of us were committed.
The first thing I did the next morning, was go to our local library and check out every single book they had relating to dogs. On every level, both adult, child, and in between, so we could all participate.
We made a LOT of mistakes. But we've pushed through and now she is as much a part of our family as the rest of us, and has turned out to be a great dog.

So, please dont think that just bc you did this in a hurry, maybe, you cant give this dog a loving home. You can.

I have to tell you, my kids struggle with major medical issues. It can be difficult, having Zoey (and later, another dog, Ziva) has really helped my kids as they struggle with their conditions and deal with treatments. The dogs have helped them through some emotional struggles as well. And we've given these dogs a good, loving home. I know you can, too.

We got our first dog from a puppy store (at the time, we really didnt know that was bad). She'd never seen the outside, and was scared to death of it. She had never felt grass, and was scared about a lot. But she eventually came around. Im glad your puppy now has a loving home to keep him safe. I don't know what to do about the smell. I wonder if you can bathe him with baking soda to help the smell. Maybe you could call a groomer for advice?

I have a 15 yr old nephew who has learning disabilities and cognitive impairments. He has about 30 animals now....he has learned to take great care of them and hopes one day to be able to work in a vets or groomers with dogs and other animals. He can learn just about anything if it relates to his animals....he struggles to read, but has forced himself to learn to read the words in books about animal care, he has trouble with math, but has learned through caring for his animals that math that relates to food and/or medicine dosages, he has a hard time learning and retaining steps in a process, but through repetition of task, he has learned how to do just about everything with his animals....from basic care and grooming, to caring for the hooves of goats, to tattooing a rabbits ear. Animals and their care can be great benefits to a child with any kind of disability, I think.
 

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I also wanted to tell you that I had a great deal of anxiety as well, at first. And I was constantly afraid I would wake up and the dog would be not breathing or something. I was very unaccustomed to having a puppy and was very nervous.
But after a few weeks, the anxiety got much better and now Im not anxious with my puppies at all:)
I think it is that "mom" gene that comes out....the same way you worry about a newborn baby when it first comes home.
I think you have a lot of good intentions and can provide a great home. Im glad your son is so happy...thats exactly how my kids were when we first got Zoey. I thought at first, when we went to look at her, that my son was having an allergic reaction, bc I looked at him and his eyes were wet and red and swollen...but he was just crying bc he was instantly in love with her:)
 

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A Shih Tsu is a good choice if you don't like fur all over you because they don't shed. They do need to be brushed regularly though to avoid matts.

You can buy a set of clippers and clip a path from the underside of his tail down to the lowest point. They call that a "sanitary trim". Use the longest clipper setting, and do not use a lot of pressure as you can cause a clipper burn if you shave right down to the skin. You just want to shorten the hair under his anus so poop won't stick to it.

One thing to be careful about, is that you mentioned your son gets frustrated. Please make sure you supervise all interactions with him and his dog. Kids are notorious for doing things to dogs that can be unintentionally abusive. (Rubber bands on snout/tail, etc.) Or they try to "train" and smack the dog. Often this will happen when kids think they are alone/out of sight.

Be aware that dogs will get "zoomies" after baths, and when they are feeling good. THey race around crazily. It's fun. A happy time for them. It's normal. My dogs do it nightly.

Get a harness for the puppy instead of attaching a leash to a collar. It's safer for the dog's neck.
 

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I also wanted to tell you that I had a great deal of anxiety as well, at first. And I was constantly afraid I would wake up and the dog would be not breathing or something. I was very unaccustomed to having a puppy and was very nervous.
But after a few weeks, the anxiety got much better and now Im not anxious with my puppies at all:)
I think it is that "mom" gene that comes out....the same way you worry about a newborn baby when it first comes home.
I think you have a lot of good intentions and can provide a great home. Im glad your son is so happy...thats exactly how my kids were when we first got Zoey. I thought at first, when we went to look at her, that my son was having an allergic reaction, bc I looked at him and his eyes were wet and red and swollen...but he was just crying bc he was instantly in love with her:)
You sound like US to a T! :) We went to get him stuff AFTER we bought him. My son was also instantly inlove and we are much better today with him. :) I feel a lot better it has just been an adjustment.

I called a groomer who gave me some advice on usuing a waterless shampoo just on the places he has the stains and pee issues for a few days. We go to the vet tomorrow so i am SURE this is going to be a trying time for him.

He also has never been outside and last night we just let him sit there for about 5 minutes at our feet on a leash. Then we picked him up and brought him inside to love on him a bit. He is adjusting a lot better today and like you I am sure I will make mistakes but we will give him all the love he needs and more. he really took to my son and I think he could sense the one that needed him the most. It was just weird to see him immediately go to my son instead of anyone else.
 

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Wow! I wish that if doctors were going to recommend animals to a non-animal family that they would refer the family to a professional who could help them prepare and find the best dog. It sounds like you are making the best of a tough situation though and are seeking the help you need now. Sorry you got thrown in over your head like that.

Puppies and young boys are something else. Sometimes I think every puppy should have a boy ;). We've always had animals, but we usually adopt adults...we adopted a 12 week old puppy this summer and she and my 9 year old are thick as thieves, whereas the older animals always attached to adults.

Good luck with your puppy!
 

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For the smell: keep brushing him daily. Like I said, it took a bath, a month of brushing, then another bath for Kabota to stop being stinky. Now he just smells . . . doggy. That's the only way I can describe it. Not offensive at all and not strong, just like a dog.

Make sure he's eating right, that can affect smell, too. You want a good 4 or 5 star food from here: dogfoodadvisor.com. Low quality foods can cause the dog to stink and can lead to allergies and ear infections.

I definitely second supervising all interactions between all children and all dogs every time. Children are bad with dogs and that can end in a bite.
 

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Thanks all :) Yes we do not let the kids near him unless we are there every second. He hates the brushing but I am doing it very gently as I can. Hopefully the vet visit will go well tomorrow. I have him on the exact same food she had him on so that he doesnt get an upset tummy but I do want to ask the vet how to transition him to something much better.

The doc recommended my son might need a pet in his life to help him as he is depressed. He doesnt act out when he gets frustrated from his learning issues. He just gets shy and depressed. So the professional counselor aka doc stated my son really was happy when he was around dogs. He goes to a friends house that has a shih tzu and he loves that dog more than anything else and has expressed to the doctor in his visits about how the dog makes him feel. So of course when I was told that I set on going to find him a shih tzu. Yes I should have gotten an older dog but I didnt think about it - i just went to get him a puppy to make him happy. Which since biscuit has been with us from Wednesday night he has been extremely happy and very talkative for a change which really makes me smile.

He is a good kid but gets down trying to always overcome his learning issues and it is had for a 7 year old.

And biscuit is adjusting well now too. Starting to get more adventurous in getting out from under my feet.

I do have one more question - on a harness - I got him a harness the night we got him but he HATED it and was acting like it was bothering him. Was it just because it was on him and he is not use to it? I took it off and havent tried it since. It wasnt tight bt wast too loose either. I tried to make sure it fit him well.
 

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Thanks all :)
He is a good kid but gets down trying to always overcome his learning issues and it is had for a 7 year old.
What better way for a kid to learn !
He has a puppy that he loves..a real puppy of his own ..That He and can teach and train !
Training a puppy is a learning experience for the kid and the puppy! The rewards are overwhealmingly positive for the kid!
 

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Hi, I'm new here too, but have been doing a lot of reading on the forums for the past few weeks. From what I understand, it is best to take your vet's advice with a grain of salt when it comes to food/nutrition. They don't always recommend the best foods. No idea on if their advice on how to transition to different foods is sound or not. But I'm speaking in general terms. I'm sure there are vets out there that are well-versed in nutrition.

Good luck with your new pup!
 

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The puppy might just not be used to wearing a harness. Our puppy came from a hoarders yard and had never had a collar or leash on when we got her. She threw a fit the first time I put a collar on her. I let her wear just the collar around the house until she was used to it, then I attached a piece of string and let her drag that around, then a lightweight leash...it wasn't long before I was able to pick up the leash.

I agree that animals are good for depression, caring for something else can really help you feel better about yourself. And then there is the non-judgmental, unconditional, love you get from a pet. They don't care about your grades or how good you are at sports or how good looking you are or how popular you are ;). They are also good for people with problems with shyness...when I was a kid I was painfully shy with people, but very comfortable with animals. The only way to get me to talk was to talk about my dog, cat or horse ;).
 
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