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Help! Advice needed

(22 Posts)
Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 12:42:27

Hey all, just after some advice. I have a 14 week old Shih tzu, and she seems to be having a toilet training regression! I am taking her out every half an hour, but she still has 'accidents'. She has also become very needy and if you leave her alone for five minutes, she barks to the point of making herself sick.

She has had all her jabs, been wormed, and I have been applying her advocate as advised by the vet. She had a really upset tummy got a few days, so vet gave me pro kalin which seems to have sorted it out.

We are signed up to puppy classes starting in a week or so, and I have been working on recall and basic commands with her. She has free rein of the garden, and lots of play time, and opportunities to go and toilet outside. She is bitey, understandably, and I have provided her with lots of toys and chews, yet she is getting to the point where she has broken skin.

I've taken her to puppy parties, we've been on lots of walks, she has been taken with me whenever I go somewhere where dogs are acceptable. However she is teeny tiny, and I get a bit anxious when much bigger dogs approach, and end up picking her up.

Not really sure what I am asking here, but I am just worried that she seems unhappy. And doesn't seem to like me. And I think the pooing and weeing in the house, as well as the agitated barking when she is on her own for five minutes is some sort of attention seeking, or anxiety?

Also, she refuses food, to the point where she will only eat if she is absolutely starving.

I am worried. Any wise words from anyone? I just want her to be healthy and happy.

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 14:04:39

Sorry typo: meant i have broken skin where she has mouthed on me.

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 15:00:22

No one??? Guess I will muddle along by myself.

Catinthecorner Sat 21-May-16 15:51:53

Remember 14 weeks is still so young, so don't panic.

I'd start with the biting. Every single time she puts her mouth on you separate from her, I'm guessing you don't have a crate so just pop her in the bathroom. She's in a safe place and if she toilets it's easy to clean, but you're depriving her of the attention. At first you may feel like you spend your whole day putting her in there. It may get worse as she tests this new boundary but it will improve.

I'd wonder if the toilet training, upset tummy and food refusal is linked. If she was poorly she may associate the food and toileting with pain and be putting it off. What are you feeding her? When she urinates, if you catch her mid act make a noise to shock her into stopping and carry her outside to finish. Restricting her space so she has to stay in the same area as her mess may help.

On the barking issue, when she barks ignore her and wait for that moment when she pauses to breath; mark that (so click or yes or whatever your mark word is) and praise madly. Again I wonder if she has too much freedom to cope with. Try limiting her to one room and see if that helps.

Separation is about small steps. So go outside the door and come back. Praise for quiet. Go outside, wait a minute, come back, praise for quiet. Go outside, wait two minutes, etc. Start with a couple she can definitely manage and build from there. If she fails go right back down and start again.

Floralnomad Sat 21-May-16 15:58:43

Shih tzu can be very slow to toilet train - think months not weeks and persevere with the basics . I would also resist the temptation to pick her up as you are signalling to her that she has reason to be fearful of other dogs .

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 16:16:54

We just went for a walk and she was lovely, walked to command, only barked a little bit at other dogs, but then was sniffing about.

She is on wet food, and I am ashamed to say that she is on waitrose puppy food. Preparing to be flamed. But that what she was weaned onto.. I am a bad puppy owner.

Oh and by the way, she is crate trained, and is very good with it. She will go in, bits of chicken and her favourite toy, no problems.

Like I said, she is my first puppy (had older dogs), and I just want to do right by her

Would changing her food be a good thing??

Dieu Sat 21-May-16 16:18:01

Hi OP! I have a 1 year old Shih Tzu boy. Please don't worry on all levels, as I promise it will get better!
They're horrendous wee dogs to toilet train. Mine wasn't reliable until the age of 8 months, but hasn't really had an accident since, so when it does finally click you're truly sorted.
Separation anxiety, yup, again very typical for the breed. Now that Teddy is toilet trained, I give him access to the whole house while we're out. He hates being cooped up, so this makes things marginally better for him. A behaviourist advised me to have activities lined up for him when we go out; namely treats hidden in recycling packaging (plastic bottles, loo roll holders, small cardboard boxes etc) for him to sniff out and eat. It takes his mind off us leaving and occupies his brain ... and nose.
Your pup will love you, but they're not the cuddly, super affectionate wee dogs that we're led to believe they are! Teddy can be really quite aloof when he wants to be.
You must leave her be when bigger dogs approach, in order for her not to develop anxiety around them.
Re biting, it's normal and a very short phase indeed. It will be over in the blink of an eye (unlike the toileting, ha ha!) and they're one of the least destructive dogs I've come across.
I wouldn't be without Teddy and love him to absolute bits.
Hang in there and good luck!

Dieu Sat 21-May-16 16:21:31

Oh, and Teddy will refuse his (top quality) food unless mixed with something more exciting, such as a tiny amount of tuna blush

I would definitely get her off the wet food though. Look on the Millie's Wolfheart website for trial packs (£1.50 each) of kibble, with free delivery.

Teddy's poos have never been so lovely and firm!

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 16:23:51

cat thanks for your advice. I have done the clapping hands thing when she is starting a wee... She just sort of looks at me like I am deluded, and carries on. With the poos, she was getting really good at holding it and going outside. But overnight (she is left alone for a max of four hours while she is sleeping, and has her own space, with bed, water, fave toys, etc.

And like I said, we are going to puppy classes starting next week (she will totally embarass me).

Bit worried, my partner is coming back this afternoon to stay with me for a few weeks. She is going to bark and bark and bark at him. Don't think she likes men. And he has suddenly come into her space...

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 16:27:59

Thank you dieu, teddy sounds amazing! I have tried little miss on Lily's kitchen puppy food that she loves. Weirdly when she was on the pro kalin she just decided to eat that and leave her food. Will look into Millie's wolf heart. Is it only available online? Just want my little bugger to be happy!!!

Floralnomad Sat 21-May-16 16:29:18

If you catch her doing her business indoors just swoop her up and run to the garden then praise like mad when you put her down outside to finish .

Dieu Sat 21-May-16 16:30:05

Encourage lots of positive associations with him ... games, treats, he can be the one to feed her, etc. Don't make things a problem before it's even happened!

Dieu Sat 21-May-16 16:32:03

Yes, Millie's is online.
And absolutely lots of praise and treats (soft, smelly treats such as hot dog or chicken) for when she does her business outside.
I'm sure it won't take her as long as Teddy, as boys are often slower smile

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 16:32:50

I have tried that! And she was doing so well, as in puppy circles around, sniffing, poo is imminent, lots of praise and a chicken treat. And that worked for a while. She just seems to be not bothering anymore sad which means I have to clear up after her every morning.

It's such a shame as she was so good before!!! (Wails in despair£

Dieu Sat 21-May-16 16:35:59

I can remember coming home one day and Teddy had done an anxiety shit, and it was smeared all over the iPad, sofa, walls, floors, etc etc. I cried and wondered what the hell I had done in getting him!
Your wee one will get there, I promise. She is still so young.
On the plus side, well done for successfully crate training. I messed it up big time, resulting in Teddy hating it.
Who'd be a first time puppy owner, eh? wink

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 16:36:08

Will check out Millie's wolf heart. She is currently downstairs barking her heart out. I have been gone for two minutes!!!!!! How do I get her to calm the fuck (scuse my language£ down???? She will settle with a chew stick, or dentastik, whatever they are called, but I am fully aware that they aren't good for her.

Dieu Sat 21-May-16 16:36:49

I should add that he had only been left 20 minutes at the time!

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 16:39:20

Aww dieu, she did that when I left her for an hour, luckily she was in her crate so the poo was contained... But I spent a good two hours rueing the day I got her, and elbow deep on bleach and disinfectant. On all her crate lining, her blanket, and she had somehow smeared it into her toys.

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 16:41:16

Cross post! Bloody hell!!! I am going to run downstairs and check what she has done, it's been 15 mins... Why do we do this to ourselves... Why??? Just remembered it's because they are cute little buggers and we love them.

Dieu Sat 21-May-16 16:41:39

I remember it well! Is her crate perhaps too big, and that's why she has room to soil it? Usually they don't if it's more like a bed to them.
What about a Kong to keep her busy, or one of these:*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Lalaladida Sat 21-May-16 16:50:17

She has the smallest size crate. And she ignores all kongs/ treat related stuff. Trust me to get the fussiest puppy in the world!! She will only pay her kong attention if it smothered in peanut butter (that's how I get wormer down her).

littlemonkey5 Sat 21-May-16 17:02:32

Hi there, I can only recommend the cage training, worked well for our lab. My mum went down stairs one morning and let out this shriek and when we got downstairs, the dog was outside in the rain and mum was on her hands and knees putting the kitchen floor back together - it was in teeny tiny pieces!!! Bad Kelly! She also had toileting issues after a few months, it can be quite common without any reason.

Also, I noticed you have mentioned the food your pup is on and I need to give you this link. I bred pedigree cats for 8 years and we feed a mixture of wet canned (butchers classic - 46% meat), Iams dry kibble (47% meat) and raw on the bone (chicken wings and thighs for the kittens and adults). When feeding raw, it is a good idea to add cod liver oil and make sure there is fresh water at all times. If you don't, the poo goes black and it can be difficult to pass as the water content in raw is slightly lower than canned. Feeding 100% dry is never a good idea, I started my career as a vet nurse and the amount of dogs and cats we saw with renal failure due to eating a completely dry diet was surprisingly high. A mixture of all 3 is a really good idea.

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