Any Shih Poo's here????

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Barked: Mon Jun 6, '11 1:31pm PST 
Such a bummer about the mix not doing well with kids. My kids are 8 and 10 and Cookie growls and snaps at them if they try to pick him up or pet him when he is laying down. frown I really didn't have many choices in breeds due to allergies. We used to have a rat terrier and he bit my son when my son was a baby. Was hoping to have a better relationship this time with the kids being much older and supposedly a better mix of breeds. From what I've read both breeds seem to do well with children. shrug I have been on their case not to bother him but what fun is he for them if they can't do anything to give him love and affection frown I know it's not the dog's fault.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Mon Jun 6, '11 2:05pm PST 
I wouldn't throw in the towel at 4 months! wink I don't know where you got Cookie but maybe he just doesn't know what to do with kids. Jewel's really excited when she see's a kid, gets all wiggly butt and wants to run to them but when she gets there she doesn't know what to do! Jewel's a rescue and I just assume she didn't live with kids because she doesn't know what toys are.

You should look for a trainer that can help you teach Cookie and your kids what they can and can not do together. Or if you're willing to do lots of work head to the Behaviour & Training thread here - there are some people willing to type huge detailed posts about what to do!

Giant Shih Tzu
Barked: Mon Jun 6, '11 2:50pm PST 
Don't feel discouraged! Gunther loves children. He wants to meet them and run up to them all the time. He's never shown even a slight sign of annoyance or aggression, but I know it would be different if we had children in the house. When a child lives in the home - it's different. I know that sounds crazy, but I have a great example.

We also had a rat terrier growing up, and he was a complete Gentleman on outings. He let children pet him, he never even showed his teeth once, he even allowed a toddler to tug on his ear - but when my sister's little boy would go to pick him up in the home, he snapped at him. I'm not sure what it is that makes a dog differentiate like that, but I've seen it happen.

Gunther doesn't even like to be picked up by my husband, who has only ever been nothing but gentle and loving with him. He doesn't growl or snap, but he is CLEARLY uncomfortable. A lot of people think that just because a dog is small, it should enjoy being held - when most of them don't that I've met. I only pick up Gunther when I have to, even though he appears to like being held (only by me).

Your kids need something fun and positive to do with Cookie. The dog's opinion of them would change entirely if they were to teach him some basic tricks with a clicker and some treats. Suggest that they teach him to jump thorugh a Hoola Hoop or to sit on a little stool. There is no better way to bond with a dog than to train it. It would be fun for them both, and it would give the children that outlet and connection they want with Cookie, but can't have by holding him.

What I'm afraid is going to happen is that Cookie will start associating the children with irritation or fear. If he isn't allowed to feel irritated and growl or snap at them to express he's uncomfortable, he will start to resent their presence entirely. The typical reaction is a "NO!" when a dog does this to a child, but that just further solidifies it in the dog's mind that the children are nothing but bad news for him. Think about the fun training, have the kids take him for little walks and give him treats for making eye contact with them. There are a lot of preventative measures you can take now before he gets older. It just takes patience, positivity, and respecting Cookie's boundaries.

Edited by author Mon Jun 6, '11 2:52pm PST


Bingley,- Emmett &- Martika

Little Ewoks
Barked: Mon Jun 6, '11 2:56pm PST 
Both Bingley and Emmett adore children. Bingley has even let curious children swish their fingers in his mouth, lol. There's no little kids in my family, so their only exposure to kids have been on walks, and they wiggle all over when they see kids, they love 'em. It's possible your pup just doesn't like to be bothered when he's sleepy?

Barked: Mon Jun 6, '11 7:13pm PST 
Yeah definitely hates being bothered by anyone but me in his bed. He hates when my kids try to pick him up or pet him if he's playing with a toy. He loves lots of kids outside on walks and at the park.

Barked: Tue Jun 7, '11 4:48am PST 
Cookie seems to have bonded with you. Gracie never growls at my dad because she immediately bonded with him, but she does have a tendency to growl at my mom, and sometimes me as well.

We (my family) assumed because of the problems that we have with Gracie that the growling is a "small dog issue," but after doing more research, we believe it has more to do with her genetic makeup and previous home. We never met her parents and know little about her history because she was "rehomed" to us from a neighbor who could no longer care for her. We found out after getting her that our neighbor did not tell us the complete truth, and we believe that Gracie initally came from a "backyard breeder" or puppy store.
Jasper, Gracie's lil brother, is showing no signs of behavioral issues at this point, and he's also a small dog. He loves to be picked up and held by anyone. He is not over protective of toys, etc.

I believe that Cookie came from a puppy store as well? In the situation where you don't know what the parents were like, it's difficult. frown I'm no expert, but having your children involved in his puppy training classes might be helpful. Everyone needs to understand the commands, but also, the classes teach children to respect their pets we well.

I wish you luck with Cookie!

Edited by author Tue Jun 7, '11 4:52am PST


Barked: Tue Jun 7, '11 6:51am PST 
Thank you,
Yes Cookie came from a pet store and puppy mill. So I have no idea what his parents were like frown.

Love- unconditionally.

Barked: Tue Jun 7, '11 6:59am PST 
I think a dog enjoys handling LESS when small, generally-- a fall from the height of a person's arms would jar a Lab slightly, whereas a Chi might break a leg. So that takes a lot of trust that you won't harm them. Think of it as the difference between sitting in the gondola at the top of the ferris wheel, mostly trusting the thing to be safe, and dangling from the same height by one foot which is wrapped around a broken harness, or something like that (congratulations on your new job as a high-rise window cleaner btw).

Dogs aren't dummies-- they know kids are more unpredictable, less careful, and less in control of their bodies. And heaven knows an adult person is a dangerous and bizarre enough animal! wink

I'd give your pup a little slack and a lot of patient reinforcement-- definitely head over to Behavior and Training for lots of awesome advice!
Desi Ray

I hear a- noise...what's- Desi into now?
Barked: Tue Jul 5, '11 7:42am PST 
Desi is my Shih-Poo. He actually weighs in at 28 lbs! All of the Shih-Poos the lady had that looked like Poodles were at least that size or up to 35 lbs! She had one that looked like a Shihtzu and he was way smaller. In fact, we went to view and adopt the smaller one, but the kids liked Desi better. And at the time, I'll admit I didn't know a thing about dogs. Desi is 8 years old. He was neutered at about 15 weeks old (by the vets advice) and has never lifted his leg or marked. I do like that about him. He is my only male. He is very smart, loves our family and is "in love" with one of my Cavaliers, but he tends not to like anyone else. Oh....he does love his groomer, but she's been grooming him his whole life and at first she had to muzzle him. Now he runs to her for petting. He is also my "problem" dog lol. He has to be kept busy or he will get into the trash. He is also OCD...has to always have his toys or a toy in his mouth. He eats socks, dish towels, undies, paper towels, etc. if you don't watch him. Desi also has some allergies that I have to contend with, although they didn't develop until he was about 4-5 years old. He has been obedience trained and is very good at the commands. He also has bilateral luxating patellas that we've kept functioning without surgery using supplements. Desi is a dog that I should have never adopted, but I do love him anyway. One thing's for sure....he's taught me a lot about dog parenting!

Edited by author Tue Jul 5, '11 7:50am PST

Maxie CGC,- TDI

Social Butterfly
Barked: Wed Jul 13, '11 7:32am PST 
I agree with the idea of getting the kids and the puppy involved in a class. It will help them bond and the kids will have a better understanding of what the dog needs.

Maxie is my 11 month old Shihpoo- he is 18.8lbs, very solidly built, but Shihpoos do range in size as you can see from the postings. Max is great with the grandkids- they range from 7-11....but I have monitored their playtime with him because especially when he was real little (and we got him at 10 weeks)- to them he was just the best little toy. The kids don't know any better and learning to respect an animal's needs is such a great life lesson for kids and helps them bond to the animal rather than just see it as a fun little toy.

Puppies still need a lot of sleep and are learning to trust the world. Kids' constant energy level and unpredictable movements can be too much for them. The more you can provide positive experiences early on, the more confident and calm dog you will have later on. It's kind of like when you protect your kids from certain scary situations in the world until they are ready for them.

I just adopted another Shihpoo- a rescue dog- 1 yr old. Her name is Lily Anne, she is 11 lbs and has been with us 3 days. Already she is acting like she has been here all her life in spite of being picked up as a badly matted stray (it took them an hour to shave her) and failing the food aggression test at the shelter. They were going to euthanize her but a rescue group took her in and worked on the food aggression issue ...which didn't take long. She is doing fine with that here and her and Maxie have become the best of friends, sharing bones and chew toys and even eating out of each other's dishes now. And they were going to euthanize her! If I was an 11 lb dog living on the streets (and she had been there a while judging from her condition)- I'd guard my food too! It's probably why she survived. I will post pics of her after she goes to the groomer today.

I have dogs all my life, but this mix of Shihtzu-Poodle produces seems to produce such a sweet, wonderful dog. You're very smart to think about the best way to handle this situation now- and I aplaud your foresight and committment to this little pup.. for everything you put into this puppy now- will reward you for the rest of his life.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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