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Shih Tzu - new puppy - how to pick out a calm personality and crate train a puppy

Betty

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After a long hard search I found a good shih tzu breeder in Florida. She's like minded in keeping with the natural protocols for her dogs.
The pups are almost 3 weeks old and we will have a facetime visit after they grow and reveal their true selves in the weeks to come :)
Just wondering what should I look for when choosing my dog? I would like a "calm" disposition if possible. I had a wonderful shih tzu boy who was the life
of the party, but had an anxious personality. Unfortunately he passed away after a long illness in January of this year, so I am familiar with the breed.

Thanks in advance for helping me choose my new fur baby!

Betty
 

Dr. Jeff

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Hi Betty-

Congratulations on finding a natural rearing Shih Tzu breeder and on your new pup! Great idea to have a Facetime visit to pick a puppy.

It would be wonderful if you post the link to the breeders website in this thread.

Maybe Shih Tzu expert @heart500 will weigh in about your puppy personality question.

You can also ask the awe-some trainers @jenbridwell and @SarahH here or live during Sarah's great puppy Power Hour on Instagram TV 8pm Thursday.

If you are on Instagram already, just follow Sarah and you will be notified.

 

Betty

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Thank you Dr. Jeff!
The breeder has a facebook page, no website. I actually found her on the akc site and gave her a call to discuss her pups.

Hopefully @heart500 will respond :)
 

heart500

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Congratulations Betty! Dr. Jeff calls me an expert because I have four Shih Tzu girls running my household. LOL ~ My husband and I are their willing subjects... Three years ago, I told my husband that he could pick the new pup because I wanted him to form a special relationship as the oldest two were clearly mine. Dr. Jeff recommended that he observe the three available pups at play, pick up each one individually, cuddle them and get a feel for them by their reaction. The one who was a snuggler would be a good bet. Well, one of the girls just nosed into his chest and was perfectly content remaining there. The other two wanted to get down and explore after a few minutes. He formed a mutual admiration society with the 'love bug'. I fell in love with a sister. Things worked out so that we got two pups. The 'love bug' turned out to be a narcissist nicknamed; Kartoonie, Gangsta Girl, etc... Sweet as can be, she just lives in Jele Bean world. There are five dog beds in the family room ...and each and everyone is hers. Same with toys. Not an aggressive bone in her body, politely waits her turn to be hand-fed, just her personality. After three years, she is much better at interacting with others and has become a member of the pack. I wouldn't have it any other way. Her littermate is the kind of girl that you are asking for; smart, well balanced, calm and gets along with all. Frankly, I was just attracted to her and I can't articulate the reason. She snuggled for a few minutes and then wiggled and got down to explore the kitchen that she was in. Dr. Karen Becker published an article today that you may find interesting; "How Does Your Personality Affect Your Dog's Behavior?" Please accept my condolences on the loss of your beloved boy. You said he was an anxious pup. Maybe he left his mother/littermates too early? According to the AKC and American Shih Tzu Club, these pups should not leave their mothers before 13 weeks of age due to the health and behavioral benefits. Sorry that I can't offer a clear guideline for you. Am happy to help you in any way I can, just reach out. Here is the link to Dr. Becker's article. Best wishes and looking forward to follow-up pics and stories. Please let us know how you make out. Is There No Such Thing as a 'Bad' Dog?
 

Dr. Jeff

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Thanks so much for your reply Maura!
 

Betty

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Thank you so much Maura!! Shih tzu's are like potato chips, one is not enough :)
I will most likely defer to the breeder on the new pups personality. She's in Florida and I am in Connecticut. We will have a facetime meeting when the boys are more active, so I can at least get a sense of his energy. I would love a dog who is smart, well balanced, calm and gets along with all.
Lenny, my happy little shih tzu, passed in January after a long illness from IBD. Dr. Jeff was very helpful in keeping his little body going for as long as possible. He wasn't even 9 years old :(.
Lenny was not even 8 weeks old when I he joined our household. Very interesting about anxiety from pups who leave their mom/littermates too soon. Our new dog will remain with his family until he at least 12/13 weeks old. Just wondering what breeder do you get your dogs from?
Thanks again for all the good info. I will definitely check out Dr. Becker's article link. I follow her and Dr. Judy Morgan on facebook.

Betty
 

heart500

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Hi Betty,
Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your beloved Lenny. Nine years is way too young to let your cherished one go. I'm glad Dr. Jeff was able to support the two of you through the IBD journey. My two older girls came from Ming Dynasty Shih Tzu in North Carolina. After decades of devotion to their dogs, the owners fell ill and at least one has passed so Ming Dynasty has ceased to exist. My two youngest came from Sterling Shih Tzu in CT who had a male from Ming Dynasty and located a female in MA and those are the parents of my littles. I remember speaking to a breeder in FL a few years back who had started her kennel with dogs from Ming Dynasty. Maybe it is the same one.
 

novasimpson

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Hi! I love hearing about Shih Tzu Love! :) They are such quirky, silly, playful and loving love bugs! I really think even though we may "pick" our puppies/dogs, really....they are definitely picking us and it is just a connection that happens before we even know it! :dog2:
 

Betty

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Hi! I love hearing about Shih Tzu Love! :) They are such quirky, silly, playful and loving love bugs! I really think even though we may "pick" our puppies/dogs, really....they are definitely picking us and it is just a connection that happens before we even know it! :dog2:
I totally agree with you about the energy that connects us to our pups! I just picked out my new boy who should arrive at my home in early June. I'm so excited to meet him :). I see you have a couple of shih tzu's too. They are totally edible and can't wait to share my life with one very soon.
 

Dr. Jeff

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He's adorable Betty!
 

Dr. Jeff

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Happy!:p
 

Betty

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So Louie has arrived to our home. He was of course out of sorts being away from his family. The first night in the crate was tough. I didn't sleep, cause I was concerned about my new boy. He cried of course on and off all night. Hoping for a better night tonight. Any suggestions for bedtime crate training would be great. Especially points on settling down and staying asleep. He is super well behaved and very affectionate. I'll post more when he shows his true self.
Betty
 

Dr. Jeff

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Congratulations on your new baby Betty!

Is the crate near your bed?

I had a real hard time with Boris (my first pup who you might remember) staying asleep overnight, and what finally worked was his sleeping next to the bed to have more company including my hand (I was still in bed) on top of the crate as needed. It seemed that the energetic support of having me near and his sensing nearby company helped him.

There are many other suggestions, and I bet that @heart500 or some of the pet professionals and trainers have even more. @jenbridwell, @SarahH Jackie, Becca...?

There's a few in this puppy training report:


Also, Sarah's puppy hour archives and live on Instagram tomorrow 8pm is a great time to get valuable tips and ask questions.


I look forward to seeing some puppy pics and meeting Louie!!
 

Betty

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Thank you Dr. Jeff. His crate is right next to me at night and I did use the "comfort hand" the first night. Luckily last night was great. He went in his crate and slept all night long. Hopefully this will continue.
We are also working on potty training and learning to walk on a leash. So much stuff to teach him :)
I appreciate the links and will read through the content. Any other suggestions will be appreciated. Here are a few photos of Louis.

Louie June 2021 - 14 weeks old 2.jpgLouie June 2021 - 14 weeks old 3.jpgLouie June 2021 - 14 weeks old 1.jpg
Betty
 

Dr. Jeff

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He's adorable! Thanks for sharing the pics.
 

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